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Children’s Dentistry – Crystal River, FL

Forming the Foundation of a Healthy Smile

Your child’s smile is one of your favorite sights in the world, which is why you want to keep it as healthy as possible. While brushing and flossing at home are absolutely vital, that’s only half the battle of ensuring a healthy smile. Your son or daughter also needs to visit a children’s dentist at least twice a year in order to set a foundation for lifelong oral health. Luckily, our very own Dr. Lisa Schnell is more than happy to treat patients of all ages, including little ones! At Signature Dental Care, we provide a whole host of services to give your child the happy, healthy smile they deserve. Contact us to learn more!

little girl high fiving her children’s dentist in Crystal River

Why Choose Signature Dental Care for Children’s Dentistry?

  • Patient Comfort Always Comes First
  • No Wait Time – Ever!
  • Dentist with More Than 30 Years of Experience

When Should My Child Start Visiting the Dentist?

little girl pointing to her teeth

Although your child’s primary teeth will eventually fall out, they still serve an important purpose. In addition to allowing them to speak, eat, and smile with confidence, they also hold space in the jaw for their permanent teeth. For this reason, it’s massively important to take proper care of them. One easy way to do this is by bringing your little one in to see Dr. Schnell by their first birthday or when their first tooth peeks past their gums – whichever comes first.

What to Expect During Your Child’s First Dental Visit

little boy holding teddy bear in dental chair

At your child’s first dental appointment, our team will work to create a warm, welcoming environment so that your son or daughter feels comfortable in the office. Depending on how old they are, we might take digital x-rays to get a picture of their developing teeth and other oral structures. Next, we gently clean their teeth and discuss their brushing and flossing habits at home. Dr. Schnell closely examines their mouth for problem areas, like cavities, and discusses her findings with you so that we can develop a customized and comfortable treatment plan to get your little one’s smile on the right track.

Child-Friendly Dental Care

little girl brushing her teeth against yellow-orange background

Kids have unique oral health needs that are constantly evolving. The largest threat to their smile is tooth decay, which is why we offer an array of preventive services to keep cavities at bay. Some of these services include:

Dental Sealants

Dental sealants form a protective barrier against decay, especially when applied to the back teeth that are particularly cavity-prone. Having this plastic-like coating painted onto the molars significantly reduces your child’s risk of tooth decay. It’s best to receive sealants around the age of six, but it’s never too late to benefit from their added protection.

Fluoride Treatments

The naturally occurring mineral fluoride is also known as “nature’s cavity fighter.” By applying a topical fluoride varnish to your child’s pearly whites, their enamel is strengthened against future cavities while also repairing areas where it may have weakened.

At-Home Tips for Healthy Smiles

In between your child’s twice-a-year dental checkups, here are a few things you can do to ensure their budding smile stays healthy:

  • Brush twice a day using a fluoridated toothpaste and a brush with soft bristles and a small head.
  • Floss between their teeth every night.
  • Limit their consumption of sugary snacks and beverages.
  • Ensure they drink plenty of water.
  • Have them wear a mouthguard during sports games and practices.

Children’s Dentistry FAQs

When it comes to your child’s dental care, chances are you have plenty of questions. That’s what Dr. Schnell and the rest of our team are here for! Below, you’ll find the answers to some of the questions that your Crystal River kids’ dentist get asked the most often. Of course, if you don’t find the information that you’re looking for, feel free to call us and ask!

Should I Be Worried If My Child Sucks Their Thumb?

It depends on how old your son or daughter is. Thumb-sucking is a natural habit for young children that can bring them comfort. Most kids grow out of this habit by around age four, but if your child still sucks their thumb by age six or so, you may need to take them to see a family dentist. If thumb-sucking persists for too long, the permanent teeth can become crowded or crooked, and your child may have bite problems. Dr. Schnell can provide tips for helping your child break this habit if need be.

How Safe Are Dental X-Rays?

We use completely digital X-rays that are perfectly safe for your little one. Compared to the traditional X-rays of the past, today’s X-rays emit as much as 90% less radiation. Even though there is very little risk, your children’s dentist takes extra precautions to limit radiation, including using lead aprons and high-speed film. In fact, our X-rays present a much smaller risk than an undetected oral health problem.

What Should I Do If My Child Has a Toothache?

To help relieve your child’s discomfort, have them rinse their mouth with salt water. If they are experiencing any facial swelling, wrap an ice pack in a cloth towel and have them hold it to their face in ten-minute intervals. Do not apply heat or aspirin directly to the area. Instead, give them acetaminophen (such as Children’s Tylenol) for pain. After that, call us as soon as possible. Our dentist and team can get to the bottom of your child’s toothache and get their smile back on the right track in no time at all!

When Should My Child Start Using Toothpaste?

In general, kids should not use toothpaste with fluoride until at least age three. Before then, clean your child’s teeth twice a day with water and a soft-bristled toothbrush. Once your son or daughter has turned three, you should supervise them as they brush. They should only use a dab of toothpaste the size of a pea. Make sure they do not accidentally swallow any excess toothpaste.