Mesa Pediatric Dentist
Dr. Stapley and Dr. Kitchen are family men, and are well aware of the time constraints placed on families in this crazy day and age. They are happy to offer the convenience of dental care for your whole family in one location.
The American Dental Association recognizes “pediatric dentistry” as an age-defined speciality, with licensed professionals that have completed two years of specialized training in both the preventative and therapeutic dental care of children from birth to adolescence. Drs. Kitchen and Stapley are general dentists, not pediatric specialists, but they are fully qualified to provide basic dental care to children. If your child has complex or special dental needs, Dr. Kitchen and Dr. Stapley will refer your child to a pediatric specialist.
Helping Your Child Establish Good Dental Habits
Get your child used to allowing you to clean their teeth at a very young age. As soon as you can see teeth, clean them with a clean, damp cloth.
Brush your child’s teeth for them until they are able to properly brush for themselves. This helps both assure that thier teeth are being brushed properly, and teaches them by example for when they take over the task.
Even when your kids can brush on their own, watch carefully that they are not using too much toothpaste. They only need a pea-sized amount. If kids swallow too much toothpaste, it can lead to a condition called fluorosis. Fluorosis is caused by too much fluoride, and causes dark discolorations on the teeth.
This may seem simplistic, but make sure they like the taste of the toothpaste. If you happen upon a flavor they don’t like, don’t force them to finish the tube. The negative association with brushing is not at all worth the few dollars spent on the toothpaste.
On this same note, don’t use scare tactics to get your kids to brush. Using scary images of dental procedures as a threat (such as saying they will have to get a cavity drilled) will make your kids dread going to the dentist.
Don’t wait for a problem to schedule your child’s first dental appointment. If you establish a pattern of low-key, routine care visits, your child will be much more prepared to tolerate a visit for an issue.
When their first molars are in (around age 2 or 3), start flossing for them. They will learn how to do it by watching you, and many kids can floss for themselves around age 8.
Perhaps the most powerful thing parents can do to help establish good dental care in their children is to practice it themselves. Kids learn by example.