Preventive dental care is important for smiles of all ages, but especially those that are still growing! Children’s enamel doesn’t fully harden until age 14, meaning they are much more susceptible to developing cavities. Our team will work to protect your child from decay and guide their oral development at every appointment, all the while doing everything we can to ensure their comfort from check-in to checkout. We recommend that your child should come to see us at least once every six months to keep their smile in tip-top shape, so if it’s time for their next checkup, be sure to give us a call today!
In order to keep your child’s mouth healthy before their teeth come in, be sure to clean their gums, cheeks, and tongue with a damp cloth after each feeding. Once their first tooth emerges, schedule an appointment at Barefield Pediatric Dentistry. At this appointment, we’ll give your child a gentle exam, make sure their teeth and jaw are developing correctly, while also providing oral hygiene and diet tips you can use at home to ensure their oral health.
Teething can be a stressful time for baby and parents alike, leading to even less sleep and sore mouths. Gently massaging your child’s gums with a clean finger can soothe any pain, and giving them a plastic teething toy to gnaw on can help as well. One thing you should avoid, however, is giving your child a teething cracker or candy, as these are usually packed with sugar that can lead to decay. Of course, if you ever want any tips to help make teething easier for your household, you can always give us a call.
The majority of small children will suck their thumb or finger at one point or another, and many will simply grow out of it. However, some children may continue these habits even as their teeth start to come in, which can lead to serious alignment and development problems. We’ve helped countless children break this habit over the years, and we can offer you the same strategies that focus more on positive reinforcement and reward rather than punishment. If you’re having trouble getting your child to stop these behaviors, just let our team know, and we’ll be happy to share a number of proven methods.
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that most children should see a pediatric dentist at least twice a year for a check-up. More frequent visits may be recommended if your child has poor oral hygiene, unusual growth patterns, or an increased risk for tooth decay.
These regular visits are valuable even if your child has never had a cavity. Regular visits aid them in remaining cavity-free! Professional cleanings remove plaque and debris that can build up on the teeth and lead to gum irritation and decay. Regular checkups provide an opportunity for the dentist and hygienist to evaluate your child’s oral hygiene and make suggestions for improvement. Regular visits also allow us to track your child’s growth and development, assess fluoride exposure, suggest dietary changes, and recommend sealant placement at the proper time.
Dental sealants give the most vulnerable areas of your child’s teeth extra protection from decay and cavities. A thin, clear layer of composite resin is applied to the chewing surfaces of the back teeth in order to prevent plaque, acids, and bacteria from damaging the enamel. They only take a few minutes to apply, the procedure is completely painless, and they can easily last for about 10 years. This is an excellent way to keep your child’s smile safe while they are still learning to properly brush.
While no parent likes to think about it, it’s not unheard of for someone to develop oral cancer in their teens. Early detection is absolutely essential to successfully treating the disease, which is why we’ll give your child a thorough oral cancer screening at every checkup. Our trained eyes will be able to spot any suspicious areas in the mouth as soon as they appear, and if needed, we can arrange for a proper biopsy.
Fluoride is a proven cavity fighter. When applied directly to the teeth, fluoride bonds with other minerals to strengthen the enamel against decay. Silver, on the other hand, is a natural antimicrobial agent. When combined, they create a substance that’s able to stop active cavities as well as help lessen dental sensitivity. Silver diamine fluoride provides a safe, gentle, and effective way to treat tooth decay that doesn’t involve a drill or needle, ensuring a child gets what they need and remains comfortable at the same time.
Is your child using the right toothpaste, toothbrush, and floss? It can be hard to tell because every product you see at the store claims to be “the best.” Instead of relying on marketing, our team would be happy to let you know which oral healthcare products are actually best for your son or daughter. Just be sure to ask at their next appointment, and we’ll help you save a lot of confusion the next time you go down the toothpaste aisle!
Are your child’s teeth becoming worn down? When you check on your child at night, do you see jaw movement or hear a grating noise? The cause may be bruxism, which is also known as teeth grinding. Dr. Barefield or one of our gentle pediatric dentists will examine your child’s smile and suggest safe, effective therapy to eliminate this condition. The exact cause of bruxism varies, although stress, a misaligned bite, or an inner ear problem can contribute to it. Most cases of pediatric bruxism require no medical intervention, but our doctors may prescribe a nightguard if extreme tooth wear is present and the child is old enough to safely tolerate the appliance. Your child will wear this comfortable, custom-made oral appliance at night to prevent bruxism and protect their teeth. As a concerned parent, rest assured that most kids outgrow this bad habit!
Made of flexible, easy-to-clean acrylic, an athletic mouthguard covers the teeth and protects the gums, lips, and jaws from injury. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends mouthguards for a variety of sports, including football, basketball, cycling, tennis, and gymnastics. Our mouthguards are custom-made. Why is this important? A precision fit ensures comfort and doesn’t hinder speech, which means kids are more likely to wear their mouthguards instead of tossing them in a gym bag or locker! Your child’s smile is important, and an athletic mouthguard is an inexpensive way to protect their oral health and keep their teeth intact.