Cleanings & Hygiene

Pediatric Dentistry

Cleanings at Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics of Salem in Salem, NH

Cleanings & Checkups

Why are Regular Dental Visits Necessary?

Regardless of age, visiting the dentist for check-ups is essential to good oral health. We recommend a professional cleaning and check-up twice a year. 

The American Dental Association and the American Academy for Pediatric Dentistry recommend that you, and your child, visit the dentist every six months for routine teeth cleanings. We’d love to see you here to make sure that your child’s smile is staying healthy!

When to Begin Dental Appointments

Our office recommends checkups every six months, starting at age 1 or the eruption of your child’s first tooth. This is extremely important in preventing dental disease.

Infant Tooth Brushing

Once your child’s teeth begin erupting, you can begin cleaning them by wiping them with a moist washcloth. As your child gets more teeth, you can begin to use a soft child’s toothbrush. For children 3 years of age and younger, use a smear of toothpaste. For children 3 years of age and older, use a pea-sized amount of toothpaste.

Best Brushing Practices

  • Hold the brush at a 45 degrees angle towards teeth and gums.
  • Brush gently in a circular motion.
  • Brush the inside and outside surfaces of each tooth, top and bottom.
  • Hold the brush flat on top of the teeth and brush the chewing surfaces.
  • Gently brush the tongue to remove debris.
  • Floss between teeth daily.
  • Stick to the same routine each day to establish consistent, thorough brushing habits.

Getting Kids Engaged

For most toddlers, getting them to brush their teeth can be quite a challenge. Some suggestions for making tooth brushing less of a battle can include:

  • Have everyone brush their teeth at the same time.
  • Let your child pick out a few toothbrushes with his/her favorite characters and giving him/her a choice of which one he/she wants to use each time (this will give him/her some feeling of control over the situation).
  • Let your child brush his/her own teeth first (you will likely have to “help out”).
  • Let your child read some children’s books about tooth brushing.

To help your child understand the importance of brushing, it can be sometimes fun and helpful to let them eat or drink something that will “stain“ their teeth temporarily and then brush them clean.

What is are Sealants?

Dental Sealants

Dental sealants are very common. If the doctor determines your child is a candidate for sealants, they will have a coating painted onto the biting surface of the tooth. This method is highly effective in preventing decay on the tooth’s surface. The seal acts as a barrier for the deeper groves and protects the enamel from plaque buildup.

Easy to apply, sealants take only a few minutes to place. Sealants hold up well under the force of normal chewing and can last several years before a reapplication is needed.

Fluoride Treatment

Another common preventative treatment is fluoride treatment. Fluoride treatments help the teeth regain lost minerals and make them more resistant to acid. These treatments are quick and easy, often taking a few minutes at the end of a regular cleaning or checkup.

What is Gum Disease?

Gum disease, sometimes referred to as gingivitis or periodontal disease, is fairly common in all age groups. Chronic gum disease is common in children and adolescents and can cause the gums to become swollen, bloody, and sensitive. Conditions that make children more susceptible to gum disease include Type I Diabetes, Down Syndrome, and Papillon-Lefevre Syndrome. 

Luckily, gum disease is highly preventable with a good oral health regime consisting of regular brushing, flossing, and regular professional dental care. If left untreated, it can eventually advance to more serious forms of gum disease.

Signs of Gum Disease Include:

  • Gums appear red or swollen
  • Gums feel tender
  • Gums bleed easily during brushing or flossing
  • Gums recede or pull away from the teeth
  • Persistent bad breath
  • Loose teeth