Scaling and Root Planing Can Protect Your Child’s Smile


If your child has developed mild to moderate gum disease, the hygienists at Children’s Dental of Waltham can perform scaling and root planing. Also known simply as a deep cleaning, this treatment is designed to eliminate tartar and calculus from below the gum line, which can reduce inflammation and prevent future damage, including bone/tooth loss. The team at our Waltham, MA, practice is known for being great with kids. We know that dental treatment can be frightening but with our warm chairside manner and kid-friendly amenities, we know how to put young patients at ease. Most importantly, we offer ongoing, comprehensive care. Though there is no cure for gum disease, it can be managed. In addition to teaching you proper home care, we can provide regular cleanings and exams until your child reaches adulthood.

Close up picture of dental deep cleaning

Scaling and root planing consists of removing bacteria below the gum line and then smoothing the dental roots.

What Is Gum Disease?

As bacteria in the mouth multiplies, it will spread to the gums, first accumulating on the gum line. Without regular professional cleanings, the bacteria will quickly move deeper into the gums, where they will form pockets around the tooth roots. The gum tissue will start to pull away from the dental roots as the pockets grow larger. The symptoms of gum disease include:

  • Inflammation
  • Redness
  • Bad breath
  • Visible gum recession
  • Bleeding when brushing or flossing

Often, patients are unaware that they suffer from gum disease but we screen for signs during each check-up.

The Scaling and Root Planing Procedure

A routine cleaning is typically sufficient to treat the first stage of gum disease, known as gingivitis. However, once periodontal pockets form, your child will need a more comprehensive treatment. Scaling and root planing is the most common option. To begin, your hygienist will numb your child’s gums and explain a bit about the procedure to set them at ease. If your child suffers from significant dental anxiety, we can also provide nitrous oxide.

If you have noticed the symptoms of gum disease, it is important to seek treatment as soon as possible. Even if your little one still has their baby teeth, the underlying permanent teeth could also be affected.

Once they are relaxed, your hygienist will gently remove tartar and bacteria from the gums. She will also plane, or smooth, the nearby dental roots. Rough spots on the roots can harbor bacteria, making a gum disease flare-up much more likely. This means that scaling and root planing can not only eliminate current symptoms but also protect your child’s future dental health.

The Importance of Deep Cleanings

If you have noticed the symptoms of gum disease, it is important to seek treatment as soon as possible. When the gums begin to recede, your child could suffer tooth loss. Furthermore, gum disease can increase the risk of additional health problems. Though unlikely to impact your child now, untreated gum disease can raise the risk of serious health conditions, such as heart attack and stroke, in adulthood. Plus, it is important to lay a good foundation for their oral health. 

Protect Your Child’s Periodontal Health

Once we can restore your child’s periodontal wellness, it will be much easier to instill good lifelong habits and lessen the severity of oral health issues in the future. To learn more about scaling and root planing and to find out why we are an excellent choice for your child’s care, contact Children’s Dental of Waltham online. You can also call (781) 899-7070 to speak to a member of our staff.