Children's Dentistry in White Bear Lake, MN
White Bear Smiles is a family dental practice, and that means we provide care for the entire family – including the youngest members!
We are happy to provide high-quality dental care to children, starting at ages two to three years old. Why the toddler years? This is the point where children start expressing their curiosity and have the ability to listen and follow directions (for the most part!). They will also have most of their baby teeth at this point. However, if you have a concern before age two, we always encourage parents to call us, and we're happy to provide an examination for younger children.
In these early visits, our goal is to help your child become acclimated to the dentist’s office and understand that it’s an exciting and fun place to be. By scheduling early dental visits, you can actually help your child avoid developing a fear of the dentist and give them an excellent head start on developing good health habits.
If it's time for your little one's first dental appointment, please contact White Bear Smiles at (651) 426-8998 to schedule.
- Your Child's First Dental Visit
- The Importance of Protecting Baby Teeth
- Taking Care of Your Child's Teeth at Home
- We Provide Age-Appropriate Dental Care for Children
- Special Pediatric Dental Concerns
Your Child’s First Dental Visit
At your child’s first visit, we’ll take the time to introduce him or her to the practice and our friendly team. Kids have an innate curiosity about new environments, and we’ll promote this natural curiosity by allowing them to explore (within reason, of course!) and ask questions.
We’ll take a quick tour of the office, introduce them to members of the team who will work with them, and then go for a ride in the dentist’s chair. This visit will really be more of a “look-see” visit; we aren’t going to try to do a teeth cleaning until your son or daughter is entirely ready for it. Our goal is to build trust. If your child lets us, we’ll take a quick peek in his or her mouth and just make sure everything looks healthy and count their teeth.
We’ll discuss issues with you that relate to your child’s oral health and answer any questions or concerns you might have. Some of the topics we tend to talk about at these early visits include:
- Bottle, sippy cup, and pacifier use
- Developing brushing and flossing habits
- Good nutrition habits
- Fluoride and drinking water
- What to expect as your child’s teeth develop
We believe that building a great relationship with parents is also important as we understand that we are integral members of your child's health care team. We know that parents are our partners, and we welcome your questions about your son or daughter's dental health.
The Importance of Protecting Baby Teeth
Parents often wonder why early dental care is so important since baby teeth are going to fall out eventually. This is a great question!
You may not realize that your son or daughter's baby teeth are doing a few important jobs during their short stay.
- Baby teeth help your child begin to form their first words
- They hold space for and guide adult teeth into place when they arrive
- Baby teeth help your little one experience their first solid foods
When your son or daughter loses a baby tooth too soon due to trauma or tooth decay, it can impact their oral development. Early visits with your White Bear Lake children's dentist help to protect your little one's precious smile, and we can also alert you to any concerns with their oral development as soon as possible.
Taking Care of Your Child's Teeth at Home
Creating good oral care habits at home helps set your son or daughter up for a lifetime of healthy smiles, and it begins before their first teeth even arrive. After feedings, wipe your baby's gums with a warm washcloth to remove excess plaque or bacteria.
When their first teeth arrive, you can begin brushing with a soft bristle brush designed for infants. This helps them to acclimate to the feel of a toothbrush in their mouth. You might also choose to use toothpaste that is safe to swallow during this time.
When they can spit around the age of two or three years old, you can begin to incorporate fluoride toothpaste into their brushing routine. Get them excited about their brushing routine by allowing them to choose a fun toothbrush and their own flavor or color of toothpaste.
Once they are around seven to eight years old, they can begin to brush and floss independently with your supervision. Be sure to check in regularly to ensure that they are brushing and flossing with the proper techniques to remove the most plaque.
We Provide Age-Appropriate Dental Care for Children
At White Bear Smiles, we provide all the dental services that littles ones need to maintain beautiful and healthy smiles. Some of the additional services our children's dentists in White Bear Lake may recommend as your child grows are:
- Dental sealants: This thin coating goes over your son or daughter's back teeth to fill in grooves and pits and protect their teeth from the acids and bacteria that cause tooth decay. We've found that children with sealants tend to have fewer cavities.
- Fluoride treatment: Fluoride is a mineral that helps strengthen developing teeth against tooth decay. It's a straightforward treatment to add to your child's routine teeth cleaning every six months, and it's typically covered by insurance.
- Sports guards: If your child participates in sports, a custom mouthguard offers the best protection from injuries to their teeth or mouth. Our dentists can help customize the best mouthguard for their particular sport.
Dr. Anderson and Dr. Swift will also monitor your child's tooth alignment as they grow so they can let you know if they might benefit from orthodontic treatment to straighten their teeth. Proper tooth alignment results in beautiful smiles that build self-confidence and correct bite function. We work with some of the top orthodontists in the area if or when it becomes time to straighten your son or daughter's teeth.
Special Pediatric Dental Concerns
While most kids do just fine waiting until the ages of two or three to see a dentist, some kids do begin developing dental problems at an early age. If you have a concern, don’t hesitate to give us a call. We may ask you to bring your child in so we can take a look and see what’s going on or, if needed, we can refer you to a pediatric dental specialist who has additional training in providing specialized dental care to young children.
Call for an Appointment
Dr. Anderson has years of experience providing high-quality dental care to patients of all ages. Our comfortable, welcoming environment will help you get your child off to a great start, and you’ll love the convenience of having your entire family seen in the same location!
Would you like to schedule your child’s first appointment? Are you looking for a new dentist for the entire family? We are here for every member of your family, give us a call today at (651) 426-8998, and we’ll get you started!