Pediatric Dental Cleanings

At Novato Children's Dentistry, we specialize in pediatric dental care, offering comprehensive and gentle dental cleanings for children of all ages.

Understanding that a child’s first experiences at the dentist can shape their attitude towards dental health for life, we are committed to creating a positive, welcoming, and child-friendly environment. 

Our team uses techniques tailored specifically for children, ensuring each dental cleaning is effective, comfortable, and stress-free. We take the time to educate both parents and children about the importance of oral hygiene, offering tips to maintain healthy teeth and gums between visits.

Our gentle approach and fun, engaging environment make every dental cleaning a positive experience.

Why Pediatric Dental Cleanings are Essential

  • Early Prevention: Two professional dental cleanings a year will remove plaque and tartar build up that develops over time even with regular tooth brushing and flossing at home. Regular dental cleanings are crucial in preventing tooth decay and gingivitis, which are very common in children.
  • Oral Health Education: We believe in educating our young patients about good oral hygiene practices. During the dental cleanings, our team takes the time to show and discuss where they can improve on their dental brushing technique. We go over the frequency and duration of their toothbrushing at home and teach children the “why’s” of brushing, flossing, and maintaining a healthy diet for their teeth.
  • Habit Development: Regular dental visits from an early age help inculcate healthy habits. We hear many times from parents that after a dental visit, their child has changed their habits at home and talks about our office regularly. It takes a village!

Our Approach to Pediatric Dental Cleanings

Gentle Care:

We understand that children can be anxious about dental visits. Our team is trained in pediatric dentistry, ensuring a gentle, caring, and patient approach to every cleaning. Some children present with sensory disorders and we work with the child to reduce anxiety causing stimulus while providing quality dental cleanings.

Sometimes children need pauses or breaks during a dental cleaning to cope with their fear and anxiety. We ensure that we provide that time and space and do not rush a child through an appointment, unless a child will benefit more from a faster paced approach.

Child-Friendly Environment:

Our clinic is designed to be a fun and relaxing space for children. We use the “Tell-Show-Do” approach many times to prepare them for the sounds and sensations. We find that as long as children know what is going on and there are no surprises, they can settle into the process of the appointment more easily.

If a child would become anxious with the “Tell-Show-Do” approach, we may use noise canceling headphones, sunglasses, and/or a parent's hand to hold to support them better through the appointment.

We strive to make dental care in our office enjoyable by catering to each child’s needs. We also offer colorful and fun office decor, two beautifully maintained salt-water fish tanks, soothing and familiar music, essential oil diffusers, freedom to explore the office and interact with all of the staff, kid friendly vocabulary, and prizes earned at the end of their appointment. 

Parental Involvement:

We encourage parents to be involved in their child’s dental care journey. Our dentists recommend helping with the brushing and flossing at home until at least the age of 7 when they develop better dexterity to properly clean their teeth. When they can write well they have the ability to brush well. And remember, it takes practice and guidance, not just at the dental office but also at home. Children will learn with guided repetition and confirmation.

Prior to or during your child’s visit please don’t use words such as shot, needle, drill, or pain. Even if you are telling them that those things won’t happen during their visit, these spoken words will be received negatively by their subconscious and will only counteract our approach to their positive experience.

Prior to the appointment, If a child is nervous or asking questions about what is going to happen at their dental appointment, we like the parents to do the following:

  • Tell your child, “that is a great question”
  • Write down any questions or concerns that your child has
  • Present these questions at the beginning of the appointment.

Dr. Espinosa and Dr. DeSimini will use their expertise to discuss the appointment steps with appropriate and friendly terms and tones. Our goal is to always set the child up for their greatest success at the dental office!

What To Expect During a Dental Cleaning Visit

  1. Assessment: Our dentists and assistants will start with a gentle oral hygiene  examination of your child’s teeth, gums, and mouth. We will assess if your child has good, fair, or poor oral hygiene while showing and discussing the areas that need to be cleaned better at home. In addition, we will assess if they have healthy gums or gingiva. If they present with mild, moderate, or severe generalized or localized gingivitis, we will discuss how they can return these tissues back to health with home care. 
  2. Cleaning: Using child-friendly dental instruments and vocabulary, we gently clean the teeth, removing plaque and tartar. We also polish the teeth to remove any surface stains.
  3. Fluoride Treatment: A fluoride varnish may be applied to the teeth to help strengthen the enamel and protect against cavities.
  4. Education and Tips: We provide personalized tips on brushing and flossing, tailored to your child's age and needs.

Schedule Your Child's Dental Cleaning Today!

At Novato Children's Dentistry, we are dedicated to providing the best dental care for your child in a friendly and comfortable setting. Contact us today to schedule a dental cleaning and take an important step in ensuring your child’s oral health and wellbeing.