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.