Dental Cleanings

Daily brushing and flossing at home is important to remove plaque from your child’s teeth and to prevent the accumulation of calculus. However, even the most oral hygiene conscientious patients don’t routinely remove all of the bacteria from their teeth. Regular professional dental cleanings are recommended to thoroughly remove plaque and calculus accumulation.

At Children’s Dentistry of Charlottesville, we provide thorough dental cleanings for children of all ages, as well as education and information about oral hygiene, proper brushing and flossing techniques, and more.

We recognize that every child’s dental needs are unique, especially those with Special Needs. Our dentists are gentle, compassionate, and regularly work with children with Special Needs. Keep reading to learn more about our deep dental cleanings and how they can help your child.

How Do Dental Cleanings Work?

Prophylaxis (commonly referred to as dental cleanings) is a process that:

  • Removes buildup of plaque from teeth to prevent cavities
  • Polishes teeth to remove stains and make teeth smooth

What is plaque?

Plaque is a sticky substance that forms on teeth from a combination of food, saliva, and bacteria. Even with proper at-home oral care, it is very difficult to fully prevent the build-up of plaque, and some plaque is routinely left behind. If plaque sits on your child’s teeth for an extended period of time it will harden onto the tooth surface into calculus. This can require extensive instrumentation to remove.

A deep dental cleaning with professional instruments is the only way to safely and completely remove calculus in hard-to-reach places, like between teeth and along the gumline.

What Our Patients Say


kara b testimonialI absolutely love this place! The staff is outstanding with my children, always goes above and beyond to make sure that they’re happy and comfortable. We’ve never left there without smiles on all of our faces! Couldn’t ask for a better dental office! Highly recommend them.

— Kara B.


Call Children’s Dentistry of Charlottesville at (434) 817-1817 or contact us online to learn more about how a dental cleaning can help your child.

Frequently Asked Questions

How often do children need dental cleanings?

We recommend most children get a dental cleaning every 6 months; however, if your child needs more extensive treatment he or she may need more frequent cleanings. We can talk it through with you and offer specific advice at your child’s next dental exam.

My child has Special Needs and has difficulty tolerating dental appointments. Can you still do a cleaning?

In many cases, yes. Every child’s situation and background is unique, so each child with Special Needs will be need to be evaluated individually. If your child has Special Needs, please alert our front desk staff when making an appointment, we may set aside some additional time to accommodate your child’s needs. Our dentists at Children’s Dentistry of Charlottesville are very experienced and enjoy working with kids who have Special Needs, including kids on the Autism Spectrum, kids with Down Syndrome, and those who suffer from dental anxiety.

We want to make sure all children can get the care they need. In some cases, we may recommend nitrous oxide (laughing gas), sedation dentistry, or general anesthesia to help your child relax. If you have any questions or concerns about a child with Special Needs, please give us a call or contact us online.

Do you recommend doing both a cleaning and an exam in a single visit?

Usually, we do! Fewer dental visits can mean less stress for kids and fewer trips for you. Occasionally, some children may find a few shorter visits to be easier and less stressful than one longer one. If you think this is the case with your child, please let us know and we’ll work with you to find the best schedule for you and your child.

What should we do between dental cleanings?

Though we recommend 2 dental exams a year, there are several things you can do to maintain a healthy mouth between visits. For most kids we recommend brushing twice a day for two minutes (after breakfast and at bedtime) and flossing once each day. You can also watch out for these common signs of cavities or other dental problems:

  • Discoloration of teeth
  • Teeth that are unusually sensitive to hot or cold
  • Damage to fillings, crowns, or other dental restorations
  • Chronic bad breath
  • Swollen or bleeding gums
  • Pain anywhere in the mouth, teeth, jaw, or tongue
  • Difficulty swallowing or chewing

If you’re not sure whether your child needs to come in for an extra exam, just ask. We’re here to help.

Dental Exam Testimonial


Children’s Dentistry of Charlottesville is a fantastic dental practice. Very nice and friendly staff. I’m super picky when choosing places to take my child and I definitely think they’re top notch!

–Julie R.

Do you accept insurance or Medicaid?

Yes! We accept Medicaid and many other insurance plans, including those from:

  • Anthem
  • Guardian
  • Metlife
  • Cigna
  • Delta Dental
  • United Concordia

What should I do to prepare for my child’s dental cleaning?

Preparing for a dental cleaning is pretty simple. This is what we recommend for any cleaning:

  • Let us know about any sudden changes in your child’s health (such as developing a cold or flu)
  • Come with a list of any questions and concerns you may have about your child’s health

If your child may need nitrous oxide or another form of sedation dentistry, please:

  • Be ready to discuss your child’s complete medical history with his or her dentist
  • Provide a list of all prescription and over-the-counter medications your child is taking
  • Bring a favorite toy or blanket for your child to help relieve anxiety

Call (434) 817-1817 to Schedule Your Appointment

Contact Us Online