Hygiene & Exams

Keeping your child's smile out of harm's way!

The Importance of Hygiene & Exams

Four kids standing on a surf board smiling with palm trees in the background

At Smile Surfers, we place a big emphasis on preventative care, which is why we encourage routine exams and cleanings – no matter how well your little surfer brushes or flosses.

Comprehensive exams allow us to detect cavities, gum disease, and other dental problems at an early stage, well before it is visible to the naked eye.

Our pediatric dentists will also monitor the growth and development of your child’s face and jaw as well as the eruption of permanent teeth and loss of baby teeth. In doing so, we can anticipate, intervene, and treat dental problems before becoming bigger, painful, and expensive ones.

And no matter how well your little surfers take care of their teeth, they still need regular cleanings. It’s nearly impossible to remove all the plaque-building bacteria while brushing and flossing. As it hardens into tartar, it must be removed by a dentist or dental hygienist.

This is a vital step in preventing gum disease and cavities. By maintaining routine exams and cleanings, your child will grow up understanding the importance of combining at-home hygiene with going to the dentist, which they will LOVE by the way.

What to Expect During an Exam & Cleaning

Our goal is to prevent dental problems and establish healthy habits that help your children for the rest of their lives.
One of our pediatric dentists showing a young girl how to brush properly with a stuffed animal
  • Preventative Exam

    Our pediatric dentist, Dr. Jared Lothyan, will thoroughly examine your child’s teeth and gums for signs of cavities, gum disease, and other dental problems.

    The dentist may recommend digital x-rays to take a closer look at what’s happening in-between the teeth, under the gums, and in the surrounding bone. X-rays can also show us the future growth of your child’s teeth and anticipate their needs.

    Digital x-rays are safe, reducing exposure to radiation by 90%. Plus, they are very effective in the early detection of dental problems.

    If your child would benefit from sealants and time allows, we can often complete this treatment in tandem with their cleaning.

  • Periodontal Exam

    Our dentist or a dental hygienist will perform a periodontal exam to determine the health of your child’s gum tissue.

    Oral health, particularly gum disease, has been linked to overall health issues, including heart disease, diabetes, and strokes.

    By routinely checking the health of your child’s gums, we can better keep them out of harm’s way.

  • Cleaning

    A dental hygienist (AKA Surf Instructor) will thoroughly clean your child’s teeth of any plaque build-up (tartar or calculus). This will help prevent gum disease and cavities.

    Next, we will floss and polish the teeth to remove plaque and stains. Your child will be able to choose from a variety of yummy polish flavors.

    Lastly, we will apply a topical fluoride varnish on their teeth to prevent cavities. With this type of fluoride, your child can eat and drink right away.

  • Education & Treatment

    Knowledge is power, and that’s what we aim to give you.

    Our dentist and hygienist will:

    • Discuss total wellness, including diet, hygiene, and breaking habits (like thumb sucking)
    • Discuss treatment recommendations based on their findings
    • Share tips on how to prevent dental problems
    • Demonstrate how to brush and floss properly (always in a fun, age-appropriate manner)
    • Answer any questions you or your children have

    When you leave an exam and cleaning, we want you to feel informed and educated on your child’s health.

    And as always, we want your child to leave with a positive association of their oral health and going to the dentist.

One of our pediatric dentists showing a young girl how to brush properly with a stuffed animal

Our kiddos can't wait to go to the dentist. From the fun beach theme to the movies for kiddos, they are happy as clams. As parents, we appreciate the stellar staff. Our dentist names the teeth with princess or superhero names depending on who he's working with! We have cavity-free teeth because of brushing and flossing AND our amazing dentistry team at Smile Surfers. THANK YOU!

Philip S. (5-Star Google Review)

Why Choose Smile Surfers Kids Dentistry?

Because we make going to the dentist FUN!

Inside our pediatric dental office in Richland, WA with a fun, coastal theme

We get it. As adults, the phrase “I love going to the dentist” might seem far fetched. But imagine if Smile Surfers Kids Dentistry was around when you were a kid… Wouldn’t you love going to the dentist too?

We hope by teaching your child about preventative care and creating positive dental experiences today, they will continue to maintain their oral health for the rest of their lives.

So, how do we make dentistry fun?

  • We speak kid: Our pediatric dental team is trained to communicate with children of all ages. We steer away from fearful words and use positive language.

  • Fun environment: From TVs on ceilings to video games and a play area, your kids are going to LOVE it here. Our coastal beach theme keeps our office relaxed and entertaining.

  • We can “read” kids: We are good at analyzing situations, for example, if your child is becoming anxious. If that’s the case, we do not push them beyond their limits. We can work at their pace to slowly introduce them to new things.

  • Putting parents at ease: Kids are good at sensing when something is up. In an attempt to help parents feel confident in their child’s dental care, we encourage open communication (ask us anything!), financial options, convenient appointment times, and more!

FAQs About Exams and Cleanings

Get the answers from our kids' dentists.

Give Your Children Their Best Smiles

Contact us to schedule your little surfers' first appointments!