Routine dental cleanings are one of the easiest ways to significantly lower your child’s risk of tooth decay and gum disease. At McNutt Pediatric Dentistry in Nashville, Tennessee, Timothy McNutt Sr., DDS, and the team offer dental cleaning to children of all ages. If it’s time to schedule an appointment for your child, book online or call the office today.

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What is a dental cleaning?

A dental cleaning is a routine procedure used to check-in on your child’s oral health and well-being. Experts recommend that children undergo a professional dental cleaning every six months. Many oral health problems, including cavities and gum disease, present few obvious symptoms early on. Regular cleanings can alert you to these and other potential problems.

What happens during a dental cleaning?

At McNutt Pediatric Dentistry, dental cleaning involves several basic steps:

Oral exam

During an oral exam, Dr. McNutt uses a circular, handheld mirror to observe your child’s teeth and gums. He carefully inspects each area of your child’s mouth, looking for signs of tooth decay, gum disease, or oral abscesses.

Digital X-rays

Digital X-rays use low doses of radiation to provide detailed images of your child’s tooth roots and jaw. X-rays allow Dr. McNutt to catch potentially serious problems, like impacted wisdom teeth, early on before they negatively affect your child’s oral health.

Dental cleaning

During a dental cleaning, a dental hygienist carefully removes plaque and tartar from the surfaces of your child’s teeth and from underneath their gum line. The length of time a dental cleaning takes depends on how much plaque is present.

Polishing and flossing

Following the dental cleaning, your child’s dental hygienist polishes their teeth with a gritty toothpaste. This removes any remaining plaque and minimizes the appearance of minor stains and tooth discoloration. Afterward, the hygienist flosses your child’s teeth. This helps to remove food particles from between their teeth and massages their gums.

Fluoride treatment

If your child is at risk of cavities, Dr. McNutt might recommend a professional fluoride treatment. Fluoride makes your child’s teeth resistant to acid caused by plaque and bacteria in their mouth. This strengthens their tooth enamel, lowering their risk of cavities.

What if my child has dental anxiety?

If your child experiences dental anxiety, Dr. McNutt and the team can administer sedation dentistry. Sedation dentistry uses medications like laughing gas (nitrous oxide) or oral sedatives to help children feel comfortable and at ease during dental treatment.

The type of sedation dentistry that’s right for your child depends on their age and health history. Dr. McNutt and the team see young children as well as high schoolers and college-aged kids.

Don’t wait to schedule a dental cleaning for your child at McNutt Pediatric Dentistry. Book online or call the office today.