At Barksdale Dental, we provide dental care in a relaxed, fun environment designed to support the needs of our youngest patients. Good hygiene habits at an early age is the best way to ensure good dental health and a smile that lasts a lifetime. We believe getting children involved in the process by showing and explaining the instruments and materials while communicating effectively to reduce anxiety. In some cases, we do refer to pediatric specialists if the treatment plan is more complex or involves the need for sedation techniques in a safe and comfortable environment.
Schedule a kid friendly exam today: (302) 731-4907.
Tooth decay is the number one preventable childhood disease. Prevention begins with good dental habits, a healthy diet and regular visits to the dentist beginning at an early age.
When should children start seeing a dentist?
The American Dental Association recommends your child’s first dental visit should take place after that first tooth appears, but no later than the first birthday. Why so early? As soon as your baby has teeth, he or she can get cavities.
Early visits help your child get familiar with the dentists and hygienists at Barksdale Dental and feel more comfortable visiting the dentist as they get older.
The first few visits will mostly involve counting your child’s teeth and observing that their teeth and jaw are developing properly. A fluoride treatment or sealant may be applied.
As your child gets older, they will begin to have a regular cleaning to remove any plaque and tartar buildup on their teeth, have their teeth polished and flossed. The hygienist will also teach them how to properly brush and floss so they develop good habits.
Tips for preparing kids for their first visit
Talk to your child about the visit early and often. Keep a positive voice while you describe, in terms they can understand, what will happen. There are books and videos that can also show your child a visit to the dentist and help them overcome their fears.
You will usually be able to accompany your child during their exam; often, younger children will be seated on your lap for the exam.
Brushing tips for infants and children
Did you know even infants benefit from good oral health habits? Using a soft damp cloth to wipe your infant’s gums removes bacteria that can harm emerging teeth. As they begin to get teeth, switch to soft-bristled toothbrush and brush their teeth and gums gently. Just use water or a rice-grain sized amount of children’s toothpaste.
By age 3, use about a pea-size amount of toothpaste. Start teaching your child how to spit out the toothpaste to minimize the amount they may swallow.
Let your child try brushing their own teeth even if they aren’t as effective as you are in removing bacteria and food. It helps them get used to brushing regularly and becomes a habit as they get older and better at brushing. It is very important to follow-up yourself to finish brushing effectively.
There are short videos and smartphone apps to make brushing fun and last the recommended 2 minutes that children should spend brushing. MouthHealthy.org has a great playlist of toothbrushing videos.
Use a fluoride toothpaste that has the ADA Seal of Acceptance. Our team at Barksdale Dental can recommend products that are appropriate for your kids.
Get more info on keeping your child’s teeth healthy at kidshealth.org.