4 Things Your Pediatric Dental Team Wishes All Parents Knew

Healthy teeth tips from a pediatric dentist

We’re going to put it out there. Taking your kid to the dentist can sometimes be a challenging experience. Though we do everything we can to provide a safe, fun, and comfortable environment for you and your child… let’s face it, having someone poke metal tools around in your mouth is a strange and invasive situation! Add to the fact that you can never entirely judge your child’s mood when it comes to dentist day, and the actual appointment-to-come can feel like a bit of a strenuous mystery laden with anxiety. 

But your pediatric dental team at Omaha Pediatric Dental Specialists wants parents to know that we’ve seen it all. So let your guard down a bit and let those anxieties fall to the wayside. We honestly can’t wait to see you and your child.

Here’s what your pediatric dentist wishes you knew!

Pediatric dentists like those at Omaha Pediatric Dental Specialists receive special training and take extra coursework to learn how to work with children. And this doesn’t just mean learning how to work with the unique dental needs of children aged from infancy through adolescence. Working with kids requires patience, perseverance, and persistence – whether the child has special needs, dental anxiety, or a disability. Not only that, but pediatric dentists love working with kids and make every effort, whether it be big or small, to provide a loving, safe, and warm environment for you and your child. 

Your pediatric dentist wants you to know these four things that can help improve your child’s oral health and make that next dentist trip just a bit easier.

1. Timing and technique for kids’ toothbrushing really does matter!

We all know that brushing your teeth twice a day is recommended by the American Dental Association. But parents should also know that timing matters too. For example, brushing after breakfast and before bed can help keep teeth cleaner for longer. Brushing for two minutes a day using the right brushing techniques for kids can help make sure that as much of that nasty dental plaque gets brushed away as possible. 

When shopping for toothbrushes, download this kids’ shopping list from the ADA or look for the ADA Seal of Acceptance. Finally, pay attention to how much toothpaste your child puts on the brush. For example, children aged three to six should use a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste.

2. Fluoride is safe for your kids (and recommended too).

Parents often ask us about the benefits and risks associated with fluoride consumption and treatments. And we want to make one thing clear – fluoride is both vital and safe for your child. Kids under six months rarely need fluoride supplements, but those over six months usually do. At that point, your child’s doctor may recommend fluoride supplements if you live in an area with inadequate fluoride in the water or your child only consumes bottled water. Another popular option is fluoride treatment at the dentist’s office. This is usually applied as a gel or varnish on your child’s teeth at their dental cleaning and oral evaluation every six months.

3. Parents shouldn’t be afraid to ask questions.

It’s imperative that parents feel comfortable and understand that they have a voice when at the dentist’s office with their child. We want to know what questions parents have, and we believe that all questions are good questions. If you’re curious, do not hesitate to ask how things are done, or why things are done a certain way.

Further, if you feel your child needs accommodation for any certain reason, be sure to ask. After all, you are your child’s best advocate and we need to lean on you to help be their voice. Also, your questions help spark a great conversation between dentists and parents and are one of the ways we partner with parents to create positive dental appointments.

4. We understand that children’s behavior isn’t predictable.

At Omaha Pediatric Dental Specialists, we’ve seen it all. We’ve seen kids on their best days and on their worst. So please know that we aren’t judging your child’s behavior at the dentist and in no way does their behavior at their appointment reflect your parenting. Many of our staff and dentists are parents too and know what you are going through, because our kids do it too!

Please know that we also understand that every child has unique needs and that those needs can vary from appointment to appointment. So the key to a successful dentist’s appointment is an open mind and the ability to go with the flow. In fact, keeping an open mind is just one of many healthy habits that all of us need to remember from time to time.

Request your child’s next appointment with Omaha Pediatric Dental Specialists.

We know that you have various competing priorities in life but you also want what is best for your child. Our team has tried to make it easy for you by offering the best pediatric dentistry for children in Omaha at four convenient locations: Omaha, Grand Island, Hastings, and North Platte. If your child is overdue for a dental appointment or you are searching for the best pediatric dentist for your child with unique or special needs, request an appointment today. We can’t wait to meet you and your child.