Children's Dentistry in Lacey, Tacoma, and Tumwater
At Tranquility Dental Wellness, we have a special place in our hearts for our youngest patients. Many of us have children and understand that they are not little adults, but individuals with their own unique personalities and needs. Our team loves providing care for children and helping them discover that dental visits can be relaxing, soothing, and even fun!
From the moment your child walks through the front door at one of our three locations, we can assure you that we treat them like our special guests. Our team is here to support excellent oral health for your child starting the moment the first baby tooth makes its appearance. That includes providing guidance and answering your questions, many of which may be listed below.
Please take a moment to learn how children’s dentistry at our Lacey, Tacoma, and Olympia offices can make a difference to your child’s long-term oral health, then call us to arrange a convenient appointment.
- When should my child first see the dentist?
- What do you do to put my child at ease?
- What happens during my child’s first appointment?
- I’m worried my child won’t behave during a dental exam. What should I do?
- Will my child need dental sealants or fluoride supplements?
- What happens if my child gets a cavity in a baby tooth?
- What’s the best way to teach my child how to brush?
- How do I arrange my child’s first visit?
When should my child first see the dentist?
Tranquility Dental Wellness, we agree with the recommendation of the American Dental Association that children see the dentist within six months of the first tooth erupting, but no later than age one.
Many parents question the need for such early visits since baby teeth will fall out anyway. The mistake is thinking that these teeth don’t serve any real purpose, and this couldn’t be further from the truth.
Baby teeth have a close relationship with permanent teeth, so if one comes out before it’s ready, it can directly affect the health of permanent teeth that will follow. This is because baby teeth act as a placeholder that keeps a space open until permanent teeth are ready to make their appearance.
If a baby tooth comes out before the permanent tooth is ready to emerge, neighboring teeth will drift into the open space and can cause the permanent tooth to come in at odd angles, leading to tooth misalignment.
What do you do to put my child at ease?
We know that children have different sensory needs, and we are dedicated to customizing their experience to their precise comfort level. We’ve taken great care to remove the more "clinical" aspects of most dental offices that can make kids anxious.
Your child will get to enjoy all the same amenities as you, from movies on our patient monitors to our warm towels and massaging dental chairs. Parents tell us that their children actually look forward to the pampering they receive at their dental appointments in Lacey, Olympia, and Tacoma!
You won’t smell the typical "dental" smells here, either, and we keep our instruments out of sight. Our treatment suites are private – in most cases, we can even close the doors and dim the lights to help your child feel more comfortable and relaxed.
What happens during my child’s first appointment?
As we introduce your child to dental care, we will keep things simple and move at their own pace. During the first few appointments, our team will help your child become acclimated to our office and discuss any concerns you might have about their dental development. Our doctors will also offer advice and recommendations to help you give your child the healthiest start possible.
As your child becomes more comfortable and confident, we’ll start incorporating cleanings and treatments. If we spot anything concerning about your child’s development, we’ll let you know right away and partner with you to create an appropriate treatment plan.
I’m worried my child won’t behave during a dental exam. What should I do?
Please put your concerns to rest because, at Tranquility Dental Wellness, we will never attempt to examine or treat a child until we know that they feel comfortable and secure with us! There’s no cookie-cutter formula when approaching a child’s first visit, and we understand that each will respond differently.
For this reason, the goal of the first few visits at this early age is to let your child get accustomed to all the new people, sights and sounds of our dental practice. We’ll count their teeth, show them the little mirror, and let them take a ride in the dental chair. If they allow it, we’ll take a look in their mouth; if not, we’ll give them a toothbrush to hold.
In this way, we build up their confidence during each visit so that when it’s time for their first cleaning, they will already know and trust us. The last thing you want to do is put off the first visit until your child is having a problem and risk discomfort being the only association your child has with dentistry. If you have concerns, please call us so we can discuss them.
Will my child need dental sealants or fluoride supplements?
Most children can benefit from the protection provided by both dental sealants and fluoride. Here’s how they protect your child’s oral health:
Dental sealants are a thin layer of protective plastic coating that we apply to the rough chewing surfaces of molars and premolars. Since these teeth have deep grooves and pits that can trap bacteria and cause cavities, a sealant creates a protective barrier and smooths the surface of the tooth.
Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral that strengthens and protects teeth against decay. Your child may already receive sufficient fluoride, but if not, we will apply a fluoride varnish to make sure their teeth stay healthy.
What happens if my child gets a cavity in a baby tooth?
It is not uncommon for a child to get a cavity in a baby tooth, but we do need to treat it as soon as possible to preserve the tooth. An untreated cavity not only threatens the baby tooth but also puts the unerupted permanent tooth at risk.
If it’s small, we’ll remove the cavity and fill the tooth. More advanced decay may require a crown, pulpotomy (baby root canal), or even extraction to protect surrounding teeth and your child’s general oral health. That’s why it’s best for us to see your child early and often, so we can help your child stay a step ahead of decay and discomfort.
What’s the best way to teach my child how to brush?
One of the most valuable lessons you can teach your child is how to brush correctly because it’s a habit that will benefit their oral health for the rest of their life. Until they are old enough to tie their shoes, however, most kids won’t have the ability to handle a brush, so it’s up to you to show them how it’s done and encourage the habit, so oral hygiene becomes second nature to them as they develop and grow.
Start in infancy by wiping down their gums with a soft cloth to get them used to the idea of having their mouth cleaned. As soon as baby teeth start to appear, brush them with a soft brush and a tiny smear of toothpaste. One of our dentists will advise whether or not you should use fluoride toothpaste.
One excellent way to help your child understand how to brush is by letting them watch you or older siblings. The idea is to help them get used to the process at their own pace. The last thing you want to do is force them or make it stressful because it’s essential that they develop a positive association with oral hygiene.
We are always more than happy to provide helpful tips, so please call Tranquility Dental Wellness to learn about children’s dentistry in Lacey, Tumwater, or Tacoma.
How do I arrange my child’s first visit?
If your child is ready for their first appointment, and you are looking for a children’s dentist in Lacey, Olympia, or Tacoma, we invite you to come for a visit and see what we’re all about. We are in-network with most major insurance plans that cover preventive visits for children, offer in-house payment plans, and accept CareCredit third-party financing.
Please call one of our locations today to schedule your child’s first appointment with one of the caring, compassionate dentists at Tranquility Dental Wellness.