Your Child's Dental Appt: What to Expect During a 1st Teeth Cleaning | Family Health

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What to Expect at Your Child’s Dental Cleaning Visit

So What Happens at My Child’s Dental Cleaning? Regular dental cleanings play a big part in helping to keep your children’s teeth healthy. But it can be a pretty hard time if he or she is not used to going to the dentist. And if you’re not used to taking your child to a cleaning, it can seem pretty overwhelming to you too.

With that in mind, here are some simple ways to prepare for a dental visit, what you and your child can expect when you go, and what you need to remember afterwards.



  • Your child may be fidgety, so feed him or her a light snack before you go. Bring a book or quiet toy to occupy your child while you are in the waiting room.
  • Your child may be nervous. Calmly talk to him or her about what will happen during the visit to the dentist and speak positively about the experience. If you express anxiety about the dentist your child will feel that too.
  • The dentist’s office will ask you for your insurance card and Access Card. Be sure you bring them to the visit.
  • If this is your child’s first visit, talk about the people he or she will meet at the office – the receptionist, the dental hygienist, and the dentist – and what each one’s job is.
  • Read books about visiting the dentist. There are many written just for kids.



  • You will be asked about your child’s medical history. Answer honestly. If your child takes medication, bring a list so you can remember all of them.
  • The hygienist – the person who cleans the teeth – will gently clean and polish your child’s teeth and review proper brushing and flossing habits. X-rays may be taken to check the hard to see areas, like between the teeth and under the gums.
  • The dentist and hygienist will examine your child’s teeth and check for overall oral health. While you’re with the dentist, this is a good time to ask any questions you have about your child’s oral health.
  • Praise your child for a job well done, even if there were some rough moments. Focus on the positive!



  • You may be asked if you want to set the next appointment. Schedule it before you leave. Your child will need to visit the dentist at least once per year.
  • If the dentist found something wrong, you’ll need to arrange for a follow up visit. Schedule that as well before you leave.
  • You’ll need to keep up with your child’s oral health. Stay on top of it. Make sure you help out with brushing and flossing every day at least until your little one able to tie his or her shoes. Remember, tooth decay is preventable with good oral hygiene and nutrition habits.
  • Serve foods low in sugar and high in protein, like cheese, fruits and veggies, lean meats, and low-sugar yogurt.
  • Limit starchy and high-sugar foods and drinks, like crackers, pretzels, candy, juice, and soda.


You may realize that you need assistance with scheduling your child’s appointment, finding transportation to get to the appointment, and/or finding or changing a provider to care for your child. Don’t worry. Call Gateway Health at 1-800-392-1147 and a representative will be happy to help you.


Making sure your child’s teeth stay healthy is very important, but it doesn’t have to be hard. These simple tips can go a long way in making sure his or her pearly whites will last a lifetime.


Another benefit is that, with Gateway Health, your child’s dental cleaning may help you earn a Goodness Reward. Simply visit, or call the number on the back of your member ID card for more information.



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