Dental Care for Kids

The current recommendation for a child’s first dental visit is by age 1.  By age one, most children will already have 8 teeth, four on top and four on the bottom.  Many will also have their first year molars beginning to erupt.  During this first exam your dentist will look in your child’s mouth in a “knee-to-knee” position, meaning you will be able to hold your child and comfort them during what may seem like a scary first encounter for them.

Don’t worry if they cry or seem upset.  It is startling to have a stranger in their personal space.  Besides, as long as their mouth is open we can get a good quick look.  Your child’s visit will also include tips on brushing techniques, a fluoride treatment, and time to answer any questions you may have about your child’s oral health.

As kids get older we help them transition into checkups that look and feel more and more like a grown-up checkup.  When they are ready we will work with them to take x-rays and perform a full cleaning.  Every child is different and our team knows how to gauge when your child is ready to make the transition to a “big kid” appointment.

Fluoride Treatment:

Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral that helps protect against cavities. When placed as a topical fluoride (rinse, varnish or foam) the teeth absorb it and become stronger against tooth decay.

Children’s Home Care:

  • Brush your child’s teeth 1-2 times per day with a soft toothbrush and smear of fluoridated toothpaste.
  • Do not give your baby soda. If you give your child juice, dilute it with some water.
  • If you put your child to bed with a bottle, give them water. Giving a child milk or formula at bedtime will increase the likelihood of decay, known as baby bottle decay.
  • Eliminate the use of a pacifier or thumb between age 2- 3 to give the best chance for adequate jaw growth and development

Age 4 – 10:

  • Remind your children to brush and floss regularly.
  • Spot check their teeth after they brush. Children do not usually have the dexterity to properly clean all surfaces of their teeth and flossing is tricking until the preteen years.
  • Buy and use oral care products that contain fluoride.
  • Take your child to see the dentist every 6 months.
  • Replace your child’s toothbrush every 3 months.
  • Ask about sealants for adult molars to prevent cavities as they come in

Ages 10 & up:

  • Now that your child is making more decisions for themselves, encourage them to eat right: limit starchy and sugary snacks (including pop), eat more fruits and vegetables, and drink plenty of water.
  • Offer treats as part of a meal other than “stand alone” snacks. Frequent snacking or grazing creates an oral environment that is more prone to cavities. At mealtime, increased saliva flow will help wash away plaque acids and food particles.
  • If you like gum choose a sugar free variety. Gums with Xylitol sweetener are the best for preventing cavities.
  • If your child is active in sports, protect their teeth with a mouth guard.
  • If you are concerned about crowding or spacing of your child’s teeth and think they might need braces ask your dentist.

Children learn through what they see, so set good examples!

Visit Our Le Mars Dental Office

Dentist LeMars

Le Mars Location

29 Plymouth Street Northeast,
Le Mars, IA 51031

(712) 546-8823

p14279184455297

Our Dental News

Dentist LeMars

Protect Your Oral Health: Recognizing the Signs of Periodontal Disease | Dentist in 51031

Periodontal disease, commonly referred to as gum disease, is a serious oral health condition that affects the tissues surrounding and supporting the teeth. It’s caused by the accumulation of bacteria and plaque on the teeth and gums, which can lead […]

Learn More

How Long Does a Temporary Crown Last? | Dentist in 51031

If you have recently seen Dr. Elizabeth Munch for root canal therapy, you likely have a temporary crown placed over the tooth until the permanent crown is molded and created for your unique mouth. While some patients are eager to […]

Learn More

Is Gum Good for Your Oral Health? The Surprising Answer! | Dentist in 51031

Chewing gum is a popular habit for many people, and it has been around for centuries. While some people chew gum for the flavor, others do it to freshen their breath or simply to pass the time. But the question […]

Learn More