Caring For Your Child’s Teeth in Auburn, IN


Proactive Preventive Care Starts Here

As you can imagine, caring for your child’s teeth requires a different approach than caring for adults. When your child is first introduced to the dentist during their fundamental years, we can work as a team to encourage healthy oral hygiene habits at a young age to ensure they’re set up for a lifetime of healthy smiles. 

Some parents find the nightly routine of teeth brushing to be as daunting for them as it can be for their children, but when it’s made out to be a game, it can be fun for everyone. Children typically want to impress their parents or mimic their behaviors, so leading by example has been proved to be effective. 

If you’re struggling to find ways to get your kids to brush their teeth, ask any of our friendly team members and we’ll be happy to offer strategies we’ve come across over the years. Remember it’s important to teach kids to be proactive about their dental hygiene to ensure their oral health is in excellent condition.


Pediatric Dental Checkups 

Similar to adults, kids require biannual checkups to ensure their oral health is on track. During these checkups, we’ll examine their oral health and look for signs of tooth decay and gum disease. We’ll perform any necessary treatments to restore their oral health such as fillings. We’ll also take X-rays and perform a professional cleaning.

During your child’s biannual dental checkups, we’ll provide any tips on ways they can improve their oral hygiene routine at home. Baby teeth, also called primary teeth, are like a rough draft that can have an impact on the health of their adult teeth, also known as secondary teeth, so it’s vital to set a healthy foundation for what’s to come.

Protecting and Improving Your Child’s Teeth

During your child’s formative years their bodies are rapidly changing. This makes it easier to address any issues with their bite, also called occlusion early on. Addressing occlusal issues at a young age makes it easier to perform oral hygiene and improves the functionality of teeth. 

In addition to checking for alignment issues, we may also recommend a fluoride treatment to help prevent tooth decay. If your child is at a higher risk for cavities, we may suggest dental sealants be applied to their back molars to shield against decay. With proper care, dental sealants can protect your child’s teeth for ten years or more.

Preparing for Your Child’s Dental Exam

Prior to your child’s dental appointment, there are a few ways you can help set them up for success, including:

    • Speak positively about dentist appointments – Your impression is likely the one that matters most. So avoid using words like hurt, pain, and needles. Instead, explain that special tools will be used to make sure their teeth are healthy.
    • Choose a time of day when they’re well-rested – This will help ensure that they’re ready for what’s ahead.
    • Bring their favorite toys
    • Introduce them to books or television shows that show their favorite characters visiting the dentist
    • Use positive reinforcement or provide a reward





Frequently Asked Questions

Are baby teeth really that important to my child?

Primary, or “baby,” teeth serve various purposes. They help your child speak and chew with ease, but they also facilitate the normal growth of their permanent teeth. Cavities can still affect the primary teeth and tooth decay can spread to other teeth and even other parts of the body.

At Smile for Life, we focus on prevention to clear up any issues before they become problematic, especially when it comes to tooth decay. If your child has persistent tooth pain and you notice discoloration or a small pit, they may have a cavity. 

We recommend contacting our dental office right away by calling (260) 925-4290. We’ll be sure to restore their health and discuss ways to prevent cavities in the future.

How can I prevent my children from getting cavities?

Focusing on your children’s oral health routine is of the utmost importance. Not only will it rid their mouths of harmful bacteria that eventually lead to cavities, but it will also form healthy habits that improve the longevity of their smile. A good oral health routine consists of brushing twice a day, flossing daily, and rinsing between meals. 

Children need guidance until they develop the motor skills needed to carry out their routine on their own. Other ways you can prevent cavities include:

  • Use oral care products that contain fluoride
  • Avoid frequent snacking
  • Avoid acidic and sugary foods
  • Consider dental sealants
  • Eat tooth-healthy foods

In addition to the above tips, you’ll want to visit our Auburn dental office for biannual checkups and professional cleanings. During these visits, we’ll remove any plaque and tartar to leave your child’s smile healthy and feeling good.

How do dental sealants work?

Dental sealants help protect against cavities by creating a barrier between your children’s teeth and harmful bacteria that can lead to cavities. They’re typically applied to molars and can protect your child’s teeth from decay for 10 years or more.

It’s a simple, painless procedure that only takes a few minutes:

  1. Teeth will be thoroughly cleaned and dried
  2. An acidic solution is applied to improve the strength of the bond
  3. Teeth are rinsed and dried
  4. The clear-coated dental sealants are applied 

If your child’s sealants fall off, their teeth will no longer be protected against decay. It’s important to contact our office right away to schedule an appointment by calling (260) 925-4290. During the appointment, Dr. Heffelfinger will examine your child’s oral health and may recommend new sealants or determine if they’re no longer needed.

At what age should my child go to a dentist?

Your child should begin seeing a dentist soon after their first tooth erupts, according to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD). Many parents don’t realize how early dental visits can be beneficial to a child’s oral health.

A dentist can help protect your child’s earliest teeth against oral disease, as well as help you learn how to care for your child’s oral health when they’re very young. Oral disease can affect teeth as soon as they grow in, so protecting them is important. Even though children will lose their primary teeth, diseases that affect them can create problems for their secondary teeth.

Caring for Your Child’s Teeth From the Beginning

Caring for your child’s teeth requires careful planning and words of encouragement. Together we can build a strong foundation for your child’s oral health. Contact our office to schedule an appointment with Dr. Heffelfinger by calling (260) 925-4290 and we’ll start the journey of your child’s dental wellness.