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When (and Why) Should My Child Start Having Their Teeth Professionally Cleaned?

When (and Why) Should My Child Start Having Their Teeth Professionally Cleaned?

Your child is growing at a dizzying rate, and each day seems to bring a new development. If one of the developments comes in the form of new baby teeth, it’s time to kick off their dental care if you want to set the stage for great oral health down the road.

The fact is that these early teeth can succumb to tooth decay — more than 45% of American kids between the ages of 2 and 19 have dental caries or cavities.

If you want your child to reap the great benefits of healthy and strong teeth, whether they’re baby teeth or permanent teeth, early dental hygiene is incredibly important. 

This hygiene includes at-home care as well as professional teeth cleaning with the team here at Aura Dentistry. Under the direction of Dr. Chang Yi and Dr. Negar Tehrani, we focus on pediatric dentistry, and we understand the importance of early dental care, which we explain here.

Baby teeth aren’t expendable — they play an important role

Children typically have 20 baby teeth at birth, which begin to erupt at 6 months and continue to come in until about the age of 2 or 3.

While you might assume that these primary teeth are expendable since they all shed out during adolescence, this couldn’t be farther from the truth. The reality is that baby teeth play several important roles, including:

This last function is an important one — baby teeth act as placeholders for your child’s 28-32 permanent teeth and ensure that they come in correctly and that there’s enough space for them.

So, losing baby teeth to tooth decay can hamper oral and overall development (speech and nutrition), so it’s a good idea to do what you can to safeguard these early teeth through professional care.

What we accomplish during your child’s teeth cleanings 

As soon as your child’s first baby tooth erupts, we think it’s a good idea to schedule a cleaning with us. Not only can we check to ensure that your child’s baby teeth are erupting properly and that there are no impactions, but we can also set the course for strong permanent teeth.

To do this, we thoroughly clean the teeth that have erupted and apply a fluoride varnish to strengthen them. We recommend coming in every six months between the ages of six months and five years for this fluoride varnish.

When your child’s early molars come in, we can apply a sealant to protect them against early tooth decay.

A chance for education

Another reason we strongly recommend coming in for regular teeth cleaning with us is that it gives us a chance to educate your child on the best way to take care of their teeth and gums. It’s one thing for parents to teach their kids, but we can drive the point home and show them how to practice great dental hygiene on their own.

These visits also allow your child to accustom themselves to dental care, which can help minimize future dental anxiety.

If you want to make sure your child gets off on the right foot when it comes to keeping their teeth healthy and strong, it’s time to schedule their first professional cleaning. 

To get started, please contact our office in McLean, Virginia, at 703-429-0770 to schedule an appointment. You can also use our online form to request a consultation.

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