Hygiene & Exams

Maintaining your child's teeth for a lifetime of sparking smiles!

The Importance of Hygiene and Exams

At Smile Surfers, we place a big emphasis on preventive care, which is why we encourage routine exams and cleanings – even if your little surfer is the best at brushing and flossing! No matter how well your kiddos 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.

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 they become bigger, painful, and expensive ones.

By maintaining routine exams and cleanings, your child will grow up understanding the importance of combining at-home hygiene with dentist appointments, which they will LOVE, by the way!

Our goal is to prevent dental problems and establish healthy habits that help your little surfers for the rest of their lives!

What to Expect During a Dental Exam & Cleaning

Child Brushing

Preventive Exam

One of our pediatric dentists 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.


A 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 little surfer will be able to choose from a variety of yummy polish flavors (strawberry, anyone?).
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 dentists and hygienists will:

Infant Dental Care

Our pediatric dentists have all the answers about dental hygiene!

Dental Exams and Cleanings F.A.Q.

How often does my child need to see the pediatric dentist?

It is recommended by the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry that your child has a dental check-up every six months in order to prevent cavities and other dental problems.

This time frame can vary based on what your provider thinks is best for your little surfer’s personal needs.

When should I take my child to the dentist for their first check-up?

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends your children see a pediatric dentist when their first tooth appears or no later than their first birthday.

Click here to schedule your children’s first appointments at our Richland, WA dental office.

How safe are dental x-rays?

At Smile Surfers, your child’s health is our top priority.

To protect your little surfer, we utilize digital x-rays. These reduce exposure to radiation by 90% in comparison to traditional x-rays, making them much safer.

What other dental services do you offer?

Smile Surfers Kids Dentistry is proud to offer pediatric dental services to communities throughout Washington, including Sumner, Puyallup, Tacoma, and the Tri-Cities (Richland, Kennewick, and Pasco).

In addition to hygiene and exams, we offer:

Click here to learn more about each of these services.

Have more questions?

We’d love to answer them! Click here to read more FAQs and answers about pediatric dentistry.

Or call our office to ask us a question directly: 509-946-9999


Give Your Children Their Best Smiles

Contact us to schedule your little surfers' next appointments!