Children’s Dental Care and Prevention

It is important for children to prevent tooth decay and gum disease as much as possible since their teeth are in development. We provide oral hygiene instruction and services to meet your child’s unique dental needs.

? When should a child’s first dental appointment be?

Your child should see the dentist sooner rather than later. It is recommended that children should have their first dental appointment by the age of two. Our dentists can examine your child’s teeth and gums at this early age to make sure dental problems haven’t started early on.

Your child’s first appointment can get them comfortable with being at the dentist’s office, or he or she can get a quick examination.

Oral care needs for infants and babies

Excellent oral care starts before the baby has any visible teeth. Parents should get into the habit of wiping the infant’s gums with a soft, damp washcloth after every meal and before bedtime.

When the teeth begin to emerge, a soft toothbrush can be used to brush. It is very important to prevent tooth decay by not allowing your child to take a bottle of anything (other than water) to bed at night.

If your child is reaching his or her second birthday and hasn’t been to the dentist yet, call Washington Smiles today.

Excellent dental care practices for kids

  • Limit high-sugar foods and beverages as much as possible.
  • Teach your child at an early age how to properly brush and floss.
  • Children should brush with a fluoride toothpaste as least two times per day, especially before bedtime and after meals. Help your younger child brush until they can do so themselves.
  • Children should use a soft bristled toothbrush that is small enough to reach all areas of the mouth. Buy a new toothbrush when the bristles begin to wear down.
  • Minimize the amount of toothpaste he or she swallows. Only use a pea-sized amount of toothpaste each time they brush, and teach them how to rinse and spit properly.
  • Children should receive professional cleanings and a thorough examination two times per year (once every six months).
  • Children should floss their teeth every night before bed to remove plaque that cannot be removed with normal brushing.
  • Once your child is a teen, we will discuss the possibility of braces or extractions, if necessary.
  • If necessary, we can provide fluoride supplements for children who do not receive an adequate amount of fluoride.
  • Washington Smiles can place dental sealants on the teeth (especially the molars) to help prevent tooth decay.

? Why is prevention and care important for children and teens?

If you allow dental problems to go on and on without proper treatment, you’ll probably end up with major dental issues. Major dental issues can cost you a significant amount of time and money in the long run.

To avoid this, come to our office for routine checkup and cleaning appointments (2 times per year). These appointments allow our dentists to keep a close eye on your dental health, and to catch any small problems before they turn into big problems. Just remember: it costs much more to have teeth repaired and replaced than it does for routine cleanings and exams.

Gentle children’s dentistry at Washington Smiles

If your child has a fear of the dentist or doesn’t like being around strangers, just know that he or she is not alone in feeling this way. Unfortunately, many children feel this way. Here are some ways to help ease your child’s apprehension and fears of the dentist:

  • Bring him or her to your dental appointments. They can see how the process works and you can show them how to be brave!
  • Do what it takes to make them feel comfortable–bring their favorite teddy bear, etc.
  • Know that our dentists and staff members have a lot of experience working with children. We will do everything we can to ease your child’s fears and anxieties.
  • Sedation dentistry is an option for more severe cases of dental anxiety and fear. Our dentists can discuss sedation options with you, if needed.

If your son or daughter needs to get his or her teeth professionally cleaned, call us today. We can schedule the consultation appointment so your child can have healthy, clean teeth very soon.