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Pediatric Dentistry

Dental experiences in childhood will have a lasting effect on your children. Get them started early with good habits and healthy attitudes.

Above all, don’t wait until your child has a problem before taking them to the dentist. If those first visits are fun, low-key checkups, where nothing is wrong, that will help your child feel comfortable in the dentist’s office. Dr. Callan recommends that you bring your child in as soon as all their baby teeth have erupted—around age two or three. At that age, those early visits are easy and fun for the children.

Dental Tips for Parents with Younger Children

  • Begin by letting your children see you brushing and flossing because they want to imitate you.
  • As soon as their teeth start to come in, begin by wiping them with a soft cloth. As your child gets older, graduate to a small, soft brush, and start letting them do more and more of the brushing.
  • Make this time fun. You can have a two-minute song for them to brush to, encouraging them to brush thoroughly. You could also play a brushing game or put a calendar in the bathroom with a sticker for each day.
  • Use a very small amount of toothpaste, about the size of a pea, because children tend to swallow most of the paste they use, and it could be unhealthy to swallow larger amounts.
  • Don’t try to instill oral hygiene habits with threats of needing dental work. Some parents make this mistake, and when those children end up needing even simple fillings, they can become very difficult to manage in our office. It can lead to a traumatic experience for the child which will end up having the opposite effect from what you intended.
  • A motivator that works is to ask your child to let you smell their breath after they have brushed and then compliment them on how it smells. Parents who have done this report that their children come to enjoy brushing.
  • Choose a dentist who really likes working with children. Studies have shown that nearly half of adults in America have some form of dental phobia, usually due to a bad early experience with a dentist that ignored their feelings or pain level.

Tips for Older Children

  • Begin flossing your children’s teeth around the age of two or three, when the baby molars have come in, and gradually let them take over more of the responsibility.
  • By the age of nine or ten, most children will be capable of getting between each tooth, so they can do their own flossing.
  • Fluoride treatments can be very helpful for children once their adult teeth have come in because the treatment helps teeth resist decay.

When your child is ready for their first visit, give us a call to make an appointment, or you can complete our online request an appointment form.