It’s extremely important that children see a dentist on a regular basis. The problem is many children areMore
Prophylaxis Pediatric, Kids Dentistry NJ
What Is a Dental Prophylaxis (Cleaning)?
A dental prophylaxis (Cleaning) is in-office dental procedure which involves cleaning mineralized buildups of bacteria-rich plaque (also known as calculus). Some may refer to this procedure as a scale and polish. Dental prophylaxis are typically recommend twice a year for the “average” healthy child as it is an extremely important for maintaining dental health, and preventing dental diseases like tooth caries (i.e. cavities, or tartar).
In certain circumstances some children, such as those with mental or physical challenges that impair effective oral hygiene may require prophylaxis as often as every 6 to 12 weeks
Remarkably some parents often misunderstand the role prophylaxis (Cleaning) plays in their child’s dental health, believing that it is the children dentist’s responsibility to keep their teeth clean. Dental office prophylaxis (Cleaning) alone is not enough to keep the mouth clean and disease free. Therefore children must be taught at the young age about the importance of daily brushing and flossing.
Why Is It Necessary?
Every day, teeth plaque bacteria build up on the teeth, particularly around the junction where the gums meet the teeth creating a sticky film that is possible to feel if you run your tongue over your teeth. These bacteria can cause inflammation and infection, eventually leading to gum disease if they are not thoroughly removed. Most are cleaned away through regular brushing and flossing but in areas that are difficult to reach or which are regularly missed then this layer of plaque teeth will soon harden into a substance called calculus or tartar on teeth. Calculus is extremely hard and cannot be removed through regular brushing as it has to be gently scraped away. It is important to make sure it is removed at regular intervals as otherwise the toxins in calculus will cause inflammation and infection.
What Happens during a Dental Prophylaxis (Cleaning)?
During a dental prophylaxis (Cleaning) our hygienist will gently remove tartar from teeth or calculus. This is done by using special tools to scrape away the teeth tartar in a process called scaling. Once all the tartar is removed then the teeth are gently polished. This helps to smooth any rough surfaces making it harder for plaque on teeth bacteria to stick to the teeth, and it’s a great way to help freshen up a smile and reduces the risk of bad breath in kids. (see: how to remove plaque from teeth)
This process should be painless and most children in reasonable dental health will only need to have a prophylaxis (Cleaning) every six months. If they have any signs of gum disease than our kids dentist may want to advice on more frequent cleanings to help clear up this condition and to get it under control. If the gum disease is more extensive than a deeper form of prophylaxis (Cleaning) may be necessary and this might be carried out under local anaesthetic or another form of sedation to help keep your child comfortable.
D1110 – Adult Prophylaxis for permanent teeth
D1120 – Child Prophylaxis