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When it comes to your kids’ oral health, information is key for making the best choices. So as your pediatric dentist in San Diego, we’re here to answer your questions and help you feel confident about visiting our office. Here, six of the top questions patients ask us about what to expect at a pediatric dental check-up and the dental cleaning process.

  1. How often does my child need a pediatric dental exam and clean?

Your San Diego Smile Pros pediatric dentist, Dr. Hayes, recommends a dental cleaning every six months. However, if your child has a history of gum disease or lots of cavities, more frequent visits might be recommended.

  1. How long does a dental check-up take?

The answer to, “How long does a dental check-up take?” isn’t always the same for everyone. But typically, a dental check-up which includes the dental cleaning process takes around 40 minutes. At San Diego Smile Pros, we’re big on making sure your child feels comfortable and has fun during their visit. So come in a bit early so they can check out our fish tank, iPad station, and get to know us. 

  1. What Happens During A Dental Exam and a Kids’ Dental Cleaning?

A pediatric dental check-up and cleaning includes:

a) Getting Settled:

Older kids can hop right up into the dentist chair. Younger kids are welcome to sit in the chair on their adult’s lap or have their adult sit in the room with them. We’ve got ceiling-mounted TVs with Disney+ and wireless headphones to level up the fun. 

b) X-rays:

If needed, we’ll take low-dose, quick and painless digital x-rays. Your friendly assistant will also take a look at your child’s teeth and make note of anything Dr. Hayes should know. 

c) Tartar and plaque removal:

We’ll gently remove any plaque or tartar that at-home cleaning has missed.

d) Teeth polishing:

We then buff away stains and microscopic plaque with a polishing paste. This creates a smooth, shiny surface for more effective at-home cleaning. 

e) Flossing and rinsing:

A floss and rinse and the cleaning is done!

f) Dental Sealants:

We’re all about preventative pediatric dentistry. Dental sealants applied to your kids’ back teeth offer extra cavity prevention — a thin layer of BPA-free coating is painted on as a protective barrier.

g) Oral health education:

Hayes looks at your child’s teeth and checks in on their oral development. We’ll also talk about at-home cavity prevention and any tips or tricks for sparkling, healthy teeth.

h) Prize time:

None of our dental cleanings for kids (especially for the younger ones!) are complete without a prize, a reward for their patience and great attitude!

  1. What If My Child Has Some Dental Anxiety?

As your pediatric dentist in San Diego, we understand that kids can get dental anxiety. That’s why we’re trained in tried-and-true behavior techniques and certified in sedation dentistry. Let us know in advance if your child has dental anxiety.

And how about kids with special needs? Dr. Hayes is trained and experienced in special  needs pediatric dentistry. Every child deserves healthy, happy teeth and we’ll go above and beyond to help your child achieve that.

  1. What Happens During a Dental Exam for Babies?

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends a first pediatric dental check up happen at age one. We keep first appointments short and sweet and you’re welcome to have your child sit on your lap in the dentist chair so they feel more relaxed. The goal of early exams is to familiarize your child with the dental environment and get to know us.

We’ll introduce the dental tools we use, examine your child’s teeth, gums, and jaw, and do a quick cleaning if possible. We’ll also talk about at-home dental care and let your child choose a prize! 

  1. How Much Does A Dental Exam For Kids Cost?

The answer to, “How much does a dental exam for kids cost?” will vary. But if you have insurance, kids’ dental exams and cleanings are typically considered preventative care and are fully or mostly covered. We offer a variety of payment options and third party financing options through CareCredit.

We want to help you prioritize your family’s dental care in a way that works for your budget. Don’t hesitate to ask us about costs, your insurance coverage, and your payment plan options.

Your Pediatric Dentist in San Diego for Fun and Comfortable Cleanings and Exams

Time for your child’s next (or first) pediatric dental check up and cleaning? We’ve got you! Board-certified pediatric dentist, Dr. Kristy Hayes, offers exceptional dental care for kids, with a focus on ensuring her patients are comfortable, have fun, and grow up with clean, healthy smiles. We also provide orthodontics with our board-certified orthodontist, Dr. Matthew Durschlag, for a seamless experience between dental health and braces or Invisalign®.

Schedule a visit to your San Diego pediatric dentist today!

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