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Offering Quality Care for Growing Smiles

A little boy lying back in the dentist’s chair while preparing to have his teeth cleaned at a practice that offers children’s dentistry in Shepherdsville

At Exceptional Dentistry, Dr. Patrick Carroll and Dr. Deborah Shoemaker are pleased to provide children’s dentistry in Shepherdsville to infants, toddlers, children, and adolescents. Young smiles often come with a greater risk of developing cavities and tooth decay, which is why it is important you make sure your little one sees our team every six months for regular checkups and cleanings. This commitment to oral care from an early age will help your child to develop strong dental habits as well as learn the importance of good oral health, as it will carry with them into adulthood. To find out more about the services we offer to our youngest patients, contact our team today!

When Should Your Child First Visit the Dentist?

A young child seated in the dentist’s chair and holding a stuffed frog while a dentist prepares to examine the child’s smile

It is recommended that you schedule your child’s first dental visit by the time they reach the age of one or when their first tooth erupts. While these may seem a bit premature to start their oral health journey, the truth is that it’s really never too early to begin stressing the importance of good dental habits.

These early visits not only allow our team to get to know your child, but it also helps your little one become more familiar with the sights, sounds, and smells of a dentist’s office. With regular visits every six months, this can be incredibly beneficial as they grow older, as they are less likely to develop dental anxiety or fear.

During this first visit, Dr. Carroll or Dr. Shoemaker will perform a quick exam to check for any premature signs of decay as well as make sure the teeth, jaw, and bite are developing properly. If one or a few teeth are present, we will quickly brush these areas and place a small bit of fluoride for added protection against decay. He will then discuss positive at-home oral health tips you can begin to use that will keep your child’s smile healthy and happy year-round.

Baby Bottle Tooth Decay Prevention

A baby lying on its back and holding a bottle

When placing your baby down for a nap or bedtime, you may be accustomed to giving them a bottle to help them go to sleep. Unfortunately, this common practice can lead to serious issues with decay developing on their teeth. When formula, breastmilk, or juice remains on the teeth for an extended period, it can create a white, chalky appearance around your child’s gum line before eventually covering their teeth. Over time, it can begin to discolor or stains your child’s teeth, turning them yellow or brown.

To prevent possible damage or decay from developing, our team can provide helpful tips that will curb these issues early on, some of which include:

  • Brushing your child’s teeth after feedings. Even if one tooth is present, make sure to thoroughly clean it with a finger brush or soft-bristled toothbrush and a smear of fluoride toothpaste (the size of a grain of rice).
  • Avoiding bottles at nap time or bedtime that contain anything other than water.
  • Cleaning your baby’s gums with a clean, damp washcloth as well as their tongue to avoid bacterial accumulations that can lead to bad breath.
  • Working to wean your child from the bottle by the time they reach one-year-old and begin to transition them to a cup.

Cavity Prevention for Older Children

A young boy lying back in a dentist’s chair and smiling while his dentist prepares to provide him with a fluoride treatment

Even as children grow older, cavities can remain a substantial issue if poor oral hygiene is not practiced. To prevent these caries from developing and help your child maintain a healthy smile, it is best if you try to incorporate healthy snacks into their diet and limit the amount of sugary and starchy foods they consume. It is also necessary that they continue seeing us for regular checkups and cleanings every six months as well as practice good oral habits at home.

However, even if you are careful to make sure they are following all the necessary steps to avoid cavities, our team can offer additional treatments to better protect their smile, such as:

Dental Sealants

Children often have a difficult time reaching their molars and premolars when brushing and flossing, especially if they are very young and have not mastered the proper dental hygiene techniques. To better protect these teeth from harmful bacteria, plaque, and food particles, Dr. Carroll can place dental sealants over the chewing surfaces. Because these teeth have many pits and grooves, food can become easily trapped and turn into bad bacteria that eats away at the enamel. With a dental sealant, it creates a barrier that can stay in place for many years as long as your child maintains good oral hygiene habits at home.

Fluoride Treatments

Fluoride is a commonly used mineral found in toothpaste and tap water. Beneficial to protecting against tooth decay and strengthening tooth enamel, young children often need additional treatments to prevent cavities from developing. This quick and easy process requires that your child swish a professional-grade solution around in their mouth to ensure their teeth are properly protected against harmful bacteria that can lead to tooth decay.