Teeth Cleaning for Kids – When Should You Go?

Teeth Cleaning for Kids – When Should You Go?

Maintaining good oral health from a young age sets the foundation for a lifetime of healthy smiles. Regular teeth cleanings play a crucial role in this process, but when should you take your child for their first professional cleaning?

In this guide, we’ll explore the optimal age for children to start getting their teeth professionally cleaned, the role of a pediatric dental hygienist, and the differences between pediatric and general dentistry. Let’s dive in!

The Ideal Age for the First Cleaning

Many parents wonder when they should schedule their child’s first teeth cleaning appointment.

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that children visit a dentist for the first time by their first birthday or within six months of their first tooth eruption.

While this initial visit may focus more on oral hygiene education and examination, it sets the stage for regular dental check-ups and cleanings as your child grows.

Understanding Pediatric Dental Hygienists

Pediatric dental hygienists specialize in providing dental care to children, from infancy through adolescence.

Their role goes beyond teeth cleaning; they educate children and parents about proper oral hygiene practices, assess oral health status, apply fluoride treatments, and provide preventive care such as sealants.

Pediatric dental hygienists have specialized training to address the unique needs and concerns of young patients, creating a positive and comfortable experience during dental visits.

What to Expect During a Pediatric Teeth Cleaning

During a pediatric teeth cleaning appointment, the dental hygienist will gently remove plaque and tartar buildup from your child’s teeth using specialized instruments.

They may also polish the teeth to remove surface stains and apply fluoride to strengthen enamel and prevent tooth decay.

Throughout the cleaning, the dental hygienist will engage with your child, explaining each step of the process in a friendly and reassuring manner.

Pediatric Dentist vs. General Dentist

While both pediatric dentists and general dentists can provide teeth-cleaning services for children, there are some notable differences between the two. Pediatric dentists undergo additional training to specialize in treating children, including those with special needs.

They are well-versed in child psychology and behaviour management techniques, making dental visits more comfortable for young patients.

On the other hand, general dentists may also treat children but may not have the same level of expertise or focus on pediatric dental care.

Benefits of Early Dental Visits

Early dental visits for teeth cleanings offer numerous benefits for children. Regular cleanings help prevent cavities, gum disease, and other oral health issues, promoting healthy teeth and gums from a young age.

Additionally, early dental visits familiarize children with the dental environment, reducing anxiety and fear associated with dental appointments in the future.

By instilling good oral hygiene habits early on, parents can help their children maintain optimal oral health throughout their lives.

Establishing a Dental Home

Establishing a “dental home” for your child is essential for ongoing dental care. A dental home is a dental office where your child receives regular check-ups, cleanings, and preventive care.

This continuity of care allows the dental team to monitor your child’s oral health over time, address any concerns promptly, and provide personalized treatment as needed.

Choosing a pediatric dental office with a welcoming and child-friendly environment can make dental visits a positive experience for your child.


Regular teeth cleanings are an essential part of maintaining your child’s oral health and preventing dental problems in the future.

By scheduling your child’s first dental visit by their first birthday or within six months of their first tooth eruption, you can establish a foundation for lifelong oral health.

Whether you choose a pediatric dentist or a general dentist, prioritize finding a dental home where your child feels comfortable and receives personalized care.

If you’re ready to schedule your child’s first teeth cleaning appointment, contact Kids Dental Group today to book a visit with our experienced pediatric dental team.

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