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Children’s Dentistry

Child getting dental exam with Tyler dentistThe Franklin Dental Center team in Tyler, TX is happy to work with your whole family to achieve everyone’s oral health care goals! We start seeing children at a young age. Our goal as a children’s dentistry is to help your child develop positive associations with the dentist, so they never dread or fear visiting the dental practice to keep their smiles healthy for a lifetime to come. We offer a wide array of services that are specifically geared toward younger patients, and our friendly, gentle team will make your child feel right at home.


When is the right time for a child’s first dental appointment?

A child can benefit from a children’s dentistry as soon as their first tooth appears! That’s why we recommend bringing them to see us at our Tyler practice around six months old (and no later than their first birthday). The earlier you bring them in, the more advice we can offer on taking care of incoming baby teeth and managing those difficult teething periods.

How important is it to keep baby teeth healthy?

If our kids are just going to lose their baby teeth in a few years anyway, does it really matter if they get cavities? A lot of parents think this way, but that’s something we discourage. Just because baby teeth are temporary doesn’t mean they’re not important. Baby teeth are essential for chewing food, learning to speak clearly, and mastering lifelong dental health habits like brushing and flossing. They also guide the adult teeth into place! That’s why it’s so important to take care of them, from daily brushing and flossing to regular professional cleanings.

What can I do if my child gets a toothache?

A good way to soothe the ache is to have your child swish (but not swallow) some warm salt water. You can also apply a cold compress to their face and give them children’s Tylenol (to ingest, not as a topical treatment). These should all be temporary measures until you can bring them in to see us.

How bad are thumbsucking and pacifiers for my child’s teeth?

They aren’t bad at all — at first. These habits can become an oral health concern in time, if they continue them beyond age three, but most children grow out of them on their own. After age three, it’s time to start thinking about strategies for discouraging the habit. If you’d like suggestions, we can help with that.

What’s the right amount of toothpaste for brushing my child’s teeth?

It’s important not to use too much toothpaste when brushing a young child’s teeth, because that can lead to fluorosis (discoloration) in the incoming adult teeth. All you need is a tiny smear of toothpaste when brushing a baby’s or toddler’s teeth, and a dab the size of a pea is enough for ages 3-6. Also make sure you’re encouraging them to spit it out instead of swallowing!


Dental Sealants

Smiling teeth with dental sealantsThe most crucial element of general dentistry is prevention, and dental sealants are one of the best treatments for keeping cavities away. We typically recommend sealants for younger patients, but adults who suffer from frequent decay can also benefit from the treatment.

A single application of dental sealants can last for years — we simply apply a thin coat of liquid sealant to the surfaces of teeth. Then, a curing light hardens the sealant into position. Dental sealants are completely clear, and place an invisible barrier between the tooth enamel and decay-causing bacteria, plaque, and tartar buildup. Dental sealants are especially effective in protecting smiles for patients who have deep pits and grooves in their teeth that are difficult to clean. Sealants seep into these areas, preventing the accumulation of bacteria and plaque that can lead to decay.


Child with mouthguard playing footballWe’re big fans of all of Tyler’s athletes — from little league to high school football and weekend warriors. To keep the teeth healthy, it’s essential that athletes wear a sportsguard during every practice, game, or match. Store bought mouthguards offer adequate protection, but patients often find them very uncomfortable and don’t wear them consistently. At Franklin Dental Center, we can custom craft sportsguards that are more comfortable and effective than those available from local sporting goods stores.