1406 N US Highway 71 | Carroll, Iowa 51401

Pediatric Dentistry

Children start out with 20 primary or baby teeth, 10 on top and 10 on the bottom. These teeth will begin erupting around age 6 mo, and are generally all erupted around age 3. Children begin to loose their primary teeth around age 6, and all adult teeth, except the wisdom teeth are usually erupted around age 12-13.

Regular dental cleanings and exams are important to detect and screen for dental health problems before they become serious. The American Academy of pediatric dentistry recommends finding a dental home for your child by their first birthday, or within 6 mo of eruption of their first tooth.

How to prevent early childhood caries?

  • Weaning of breastfeeding or bottle feeding around age 12-14 mo.
  • Children should not be put to sleep with a bottle containing anything other than water.
  • Limit juice to a cup, and serve it only at meal or snack times.
  • Avoid frequent snacking, and allow only water in a sippy cup between meals and snacks.
  • Assist your child with brushing two times daily, and flossing once per day.
  • Routine dental exams and cleanings, are recommended every 6 months for most children.

Home Care for Children:

Starting at birth clean your infants gums with a soft infant toothbrush, or washcloth and water. When the first teeth begin to erupt start brushing your child’s teeth twice daily using only a smear of toothpaste for children under 2, and a pea sized amount for children 2 and up. Young children often need parental assistance to effectively brush and floss their teeth.


Dental Sealants: A sealant is a protective plastic or resin coating applied to the chewing surfaces of the back teeth. They are most commonly applied to 6 and 12-year molars. The sealant prevents food and plaque from causing decay in the deep grooves of these back teeth.

How are Sealants applied? The teeth are first cleaned and the chewing surfaces are prepared to help the sealant material stick to the grooves of the teeth. The sealant is painted onto the tooth and a special light is used to set up or harden the material.

How long do sealants last? Sealants can last several years depending on the bite and home care, and your dentist will regularly evaluate them at your recall appointments to see if sealants need to be reapplied.

Pediatric Care After Fillings and Extractions

The following is a listing of some common concerns after your child has had dental treatment completed.

Numbness Associated with Local Anesthetic

Local anesthetic is the most effective way of eliminating any discomfort that may accompany dental treatment.

  • The duration of numbness varies and can last from 1-4 hours.
  • Some children become very upset (even crying) and complain of pain when they realize their mouth feels ''different." Please do not be alarmed! Many children are unfamiliar with this numb sensation and associate this with pain. Reassure your child that the "funny feeling" will go away in approximately 2 hours.
  • Many children will want to suck or bite or scratch their lip, cheek, or tongue while it is numb because it feels "funny."
  • Try your best to watch your child carefully following dental treatment. It only takes a second for a child to damage soft tissues by chewing on them or by sucking on lips or cheeks.

The signs of soft tissue trauma from biting are:

  • A swollen lip, tongue or cheek
  • A raw lip, tongue, or cheek surface
  • The lip, tongue or cheek surface will be covered by a white membranous "scab"
  • This "scab" may tum a yellowish color as it continues to heal, do not be alarmed, this is normal.
  • The affected area will be tender and sensitive to acidic and hot or spicy foods

What to do:

  • Call the office and inform us of the incident
  • If we feel it is necessary to see your child you will not be charged, we want you to be comfortable and understand the injury and care.
  • Keep your child well fed and hydrated, popsicles, cold liquids and other frozen items will be comforting
  • Acidic and spicy juices or foods should be avoided
  • Infection is extremely rare in cases of these self-inflicted wounds. Usually antibiotics are not necessary
  • The affected area should heal within about 1 week 

After Dental Fillings

After the placement of dental fillings (white or silver), teeth may often be sensitive to bo4 cold and pressure for a brief period of time. It is not uncommon for recently filled teeth to require several weeks to feel "normal" again.