Baby teeth and their replacement by permanent teeth must be monitored and maintained by a professional in order to ensure long-term tooth preservation and to prevent gingivitis and tooth decay.
In Germany, statutory health insurance companies pay for individual prophylaxis (IP1 – IP4) every 6 months or twice a year from the time children reach the age of 6. Private health insurance companies even cover the costs for cleaning children’s teeth up to four times a year.
In addition to professional dental cleaning for children, making sure that children understand why it’s important to brush their teeth and keep their mouths healthy and clean is an important part of professional paediatric dental cleaning.
Children need a child-oriented, gentle, and playful approach to prophylaxis. “In addition to a prophylaxis philosophy that must be lived by all employees, the standard requirements include competent and trained specialists as well as appropriate technical equipment and the target group-oriented design of the practice and treatment rooms. “ (https://www.zwp-online.info/fachgebiete/parodontologie/prophylaxe/fruehwarnsystem-fuer-zahngesunde-kinder-und-jugendliche-prophylaxe-mit-konzept)
Before starting treatment, it’s advisable to explain the treatment to the child. At first, the instruments seem strange and scary to most children, as they usually don’t come into contact with them in their everyday lives. In order to keep children from getting frightened or anxious, it’s advisable to briefly explain and perhaps even demonstrate which devices are used during individual prophylaxis. In this case, it can be vitally important to use prophylaxis products designed specifically for paediatric dental cleaning. They ensure a positive and relaxed atmosphere during professional dental cleaning and make teeth cleaning and polishing easier for little patients and thus for the practitioner as well.
With patient bibs especially designed for children, each dental visit starts off on a playful footing, while the bib also serves as effective patient protection. For example, each paediatric bib from our Zooby brand features one of 5 animal designs. The patient bibs act as a costume and let children enjoy transforming into different characters.
Treatment usually begins by examining the oral cavity and temporarily dyeing the teeth with a disclosing solution. Suitable treatments include a solution that is applied with an applicator or, alternatively, a staining tablet that the child chews. After the mouth has been rinsed out, the dyed teeth reveal where plaque is still present on the teeth. Use a hand mirror to explain and discuss what the different colours mean, where the teeth have been brushed well and which areas need extra cleaning attention. Dental disclosing solutions with a two-colour formula are available – like our Zooby disclosing tablets or Young’s 2Tone disclosing solution. These highlight older and newer plaque in two different colours.
Using a disclosing solution at the beginning of paediatric teeth cleaning is a fun way to illustrate the child’s toothbrushing routine for them and is a good motivator to keep up their toothbrushing regimen. When teaching a child how to brush, it helps if the child brings their toothbrush and toothpaste from home. After the patient has demonstrated how they clean their teeth, you can help by giving tips for improvement. A particularly illustrative method as part of paediatric prophylaxis also involves demonstrating the correct toothbrushing technique on a tooth model.
After the brushing training, the teeth cleaning and polishing begins. First, tartar is mechanically removed using dental instruments. Then, the teeth are polished with a polisher and a polishing paste to remove staining.
Individual prophylaxis should include the maximum possible level of patient comfort. The type of polishing tool used is of vital importance. In terms of its size and firmness, the tool should minimise the risk of injury to the gingiva. The disposable prophy angles from our Zooby brand have a polishing cup made of our own special rubber, which adapts accurately even to very small teeth. The prophy angles are colourfully printed with a selection of different animal designs, making dental cleaning even more fun for little patients.
Even when choosing the polishing paste for professional dental cleaning for children, products should be used that are tailored to children’s specific need. So it’s good to use a fine prophylaxis paste that’s not too pungent. The taste of the tooth polishing paste also determines the patient’s acceptance of the polish. Ideally, the little patient can choose his or her favourite from a selection of different flavours. If a filling is planned, a fluoride-free prophy paste should be selected, as fluoride-containing tooth polish pastes impair the quality of the filling with a chemical reaction between the fluoride and the adhesive if used before the restoration is completed. Polish pastes that are packaged in individual doses are extremely hygienic and reduce the risk of cross-contamination.
Ideally, the teeth are fluoridated at the end of the individual prophylaxis. Fissure sealing can also be very useful as effective protection against caries in children and adolescents, as their teeth are more prone to caries.