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Pediatric Dentistry

Pediatric Dentistry in Lincoln, NE:
8 Easy-to-Follow Tips to Calm Your Child’s Dental Fears

Image of a NFD banner for Children's Dentistry in Lincoln, NE.

The thought of finding quality pediatric dentistry in Lincoln, NE can bring up fear not only in a child, but parents as well. Many grown-ups who had painful experiences while visiting the dentist in their younger years will genuinely express their concerns.

Ultimately, this fear ends up rubbing off on their little ones. In turn, they will also do their very best to avoid a trip to the dentist.


In this article, our kid-friendly dentist at Nebraska Family Dentistry answers the following commonly asked questions and more.

  • Do sealants prevent tooth decay? 
  • Are sealants safe for your child?
  • Are sealants the same as fillings? 
  • When is it safe to get sealants?
  • What causes bad breath even after brushing?

If your child is afraid or scared of visiting the dentist, you’ll have a rather tough time trying to convince them otherwise. Do know, however, it’s not impossible. Ultimately, your goal should be to reduce your child’s anxiety by explaining the importance of good oral health. This would include defining the role of excellent oral hygiene at home and ensuring that they have perfectly healthy teeth by seeing a dentist regularly.

In a 2011 study called Children’s Perception of their Dentists, 583 children were asked about their feelings towards visiting a kid-friendly dentist. The results showed that 12% were afraid of the visit, and 11% stated they didn’t like visiting the dentist. If your child falls under these groups, you know that you might wonder how to make them comfortable with a visit to the dentist.

Image of happy young children with healthy smiles after seeking pediatric dentistry in Lincoln, NE  with a family dentist at Nebraska Family Dentistry.

Listed Below are Eight Different Ways to Help Ease Your Child’s Fear of the Dentist:

1. Teach Your Child(ren) The Importance of Proper Dental Health

In short, children will respond better to a dental visit with a kid-friendly dentist if they understand the importance of the visit. Also, as a parent, you should frequently explain the importance of brushing and flossing regularly. Over time, your child will likely begin to look forward to their dental visits.

2. Let Your Child Become Familiar with Dental Visits

Before taking your child for a dental checkup, begin by watching a video or reading a book. Reading a book or watching a video will help ease fear and anxiety once you have to take them to the dental office for their dental checkup. One of the best books for children about dental health is the Little Critter Series: Just Going to the dentist.

Image of Dr. Jon Isaacson. Dr. Isaacson is a family dentist that offers pediatric dentistry for children in Lincoln, NE.

3. Avoid Sharing Your Fears with Your Child(ren)

Nobody enjoys a visit to the dentist. As a parent, you should always avoid expressing the fears and dental anxiety you had as a child regarding visits to the dentist. Unfortunately, those fears do tend to rub off onto your children, which inevitably will create new fears and worries for them.

4. Find a Dentist that Loves Kids

It’s truly vital to find a dentist that genuinely loves seeing kids. More importantly, be sure to find a dentist that knows how to educate and treat your child(ren) in such a manner that will make them enjoy their dental visits. 

Jokes are a great way to help break the ice. Telling jokes doesn’t just lighten the mood, but it can also be a great way for dental professionals to engage with your child. Here are a handful of our favorite jokes!


Eyeball Secrets

What did the left eye say to the right eye?
Between us something smells.

Smartphone at the Dentist

Why did the smartphone go to the dentist?
It had bluetooth.

Toothless Bear

What do you call a bear with no teeth?
A gummy bear.

The Hospitalized Banana

What did the bananna go to the hospital?
He was peeling really bad.

Mickey Mouse

Why did Mickey Mouse visit space?
He wanted to see Pluto.

Angry Monkey

What do you call a monkey when you take away his banana?
Furious George.

Cookie Feeling Ill

Why did the cookie go to the nurse?
Because it felt crummy.

5. Visit Your Kid-Friendly Dentist for Pediatric Dentistry in Lincoln, NE Regularly

It is recommended that you take your child for a dental checkup biannually or every six months, which comes out to two times per year. Regular visits for pediatric dentistry in Lincoln, NE, will help remove any anxiety or fear and it will help your child(ren) become familiar with the routine of visiting the dentist.

6. Use the Right Words When Explaining Dental Health

The wrong words can reinforce your child’s fear of the dentist. Even a simple word such as “hurt” or “pain” could make your child even more determined not to visit the dentist. Rather than using “scary” words, you can help reduce their fear by focusing on the benefits. Instill in your child that good comes from visiting the dentist and let them know that they will have healthy teeth and gums.

7. Explain in Words that are Understood by Your Child(ren)

If your child is anxious about a visit to the dentist, you can help calm them down by explaining what they should expect. Be mindful when doing so, however, and be sure to use simple words that your child can relate to and understand. Another step you can take to help your child is to ask the dentist if they would mind explaining the various stages of their exam to your child. Just like anyone, if your child knows exactly what’s going on, the amount of anxiety can be reduced significantly. 

8. Team Up with A Kid-Friendly Dentist for Pediatric Dentistry in Lincoln, NE

A kid-friendly dentist works with children every day. They fully understand how to handle a child’s anxiety and fear when it comes to dental visits. If your child has trouble coping with a visit to the dentist, be sure to explain this to the dentist. More often than not, your kid-friendly dentist near me will know precisely how to help your child.

Essential hallmarks of a kid-friendly dentist include kindness, patience, quality service delivery, and safety. Dr. Jon Isaacson has the necessary know-how and a better understanding of how to help your child ease their dental fears.


Image of a happy mother with her two young children that found pediatric dentistry in Lincoln, NE.

Frequently Asked Questions about Pediatric Dentistry in Lincoln, NE to our Kid-Friendly Dentist

PEDIATRIC DENTISTRY IN LINCOLN, NE: CHILDREN AND DENTAL SEALANTS
Do sealants prevent tooth decay?
Sealants are essentially a clear coating applied to the chewing surfaces of permanent molars and can be applied by a kid-friendly dentist in Lincoln, NE. Sealants help prevent cavities from forming by creating a smooth surface, which is easier to clean when brushing. Some brands of sealants do contain trace amounts of fluoride, which can slowly be absorbed, thus potentially preventing early signs of demineralization from progressing deeper into the tooth.
Are sealants safe for children?
Some brands of sealant material do contain BPA, which in certain concentrations can be harmful to human health. The amount of BPA typically present in dental sealants is approximately 0.09 nanograms. This number is well below the limit of exposure for a 40 lb six-year-old child. The ADA recognizes sealants as both effective and safe for preventing cavities on the chewing surfaces of permanent molars. As your kid-friendly dentist in Lincoln, NE, I select teeth for sealants based on a thorough evaluation of the dental anatomy. In addition I take into account any medical history that may be a contraindication for the use of sealant material.
When should my child get sealants?
Sealants can be applied by your kid-friendly dentist in Lincoln, NE to six-year molars after they have fully erupted. Typically, they have adequately erupted by age seven or eight. Later, when the twelve-year molars have finished erupting, approximately age thirteen or fourteen, the twelve-year molars can be sealed as well.
What are dental sealants for children?
Sealants are a flowable resin material bonded to the chewing surfaces of permanent molars where the natural tooth anatomy often has deep pits and grooves. In some children, these grooves are very deep, thus making it very difficult to remove plaque entirely when brushing. But, your kid-friendly dentist near me in Lincoln, NE, can use sealants to help alleviate these concerns and create a smooth surface that will be easier to clean at home.
Are sealants worth it?
Every child should be evaluated for deep pits and grooves that may be very difficult to clean. As a kid-friendly dentist in Lincoln, NE I will consistently educate parents so that they are aware that some children do not need sealants to prevent decay strictly because of the way the teeth developed naturally. Should your child need sealants, however, they have been shown to be an extremely effective method of cavity prevention especially for children who have molars with deep pits and fissures. Sealants for children are low in cost and oftentimes, insurance companies offer coverage for this service.
Can dental sealants come off?
Sealants can last for several years, but it is important to know that the lifespan of a dental sealant varies. This life span depends on whether the patient grinds or clenches their teeth or chew ice or hard candy.
Are sealants the same as fillings?
Sealants are a bit different from fillings in that they do not require any of the tooth structure to be removed. In addition, sealants cannot be used to treat cavities. Sealants can only be applied to healthy tooth enamel that is free of decay. On the other hand, fillings are used to replace decayed tooth structure, which is removed through the process of treating cavities.

Dr. Jon Isaacson explains the difference between dental sealants and dental fillings for children.

Image snippet of a YouTube video by Dr. Isaacson about pediatric dentistry in Lincoln, NE at Nebraska Family Dentistry.
PEDIATRIC DENTISTRY IN LINCOLN, NE: BAD BREATH IN CHILDREN
What causes bad breath in kids?
Untreated tooth decay, poor oral hygiene, dental infections, gingivitis, tonsillitis, dehydration, allergies, or acid reflux can all contribute to bad breath in both adults and children. Therefore, it is always a good idea to have regular cleanings and exams with your kid-friendly dentist near me in Lincoln, NE, to check for potential dental problems and avoid bad breath.
What causes bad breath in toddlers?
Plaque bacteria that is not completely removed every day can, in turn, cause tooth decay and inflammation of the gums in toddlers, older children, and adults. These conditions can lead to infections and contribute to other inflammatory conditions such as asthma and allergies. Toddlers should have assistance from their parents when brushing and flossing every day, in addition to regular checkups twice per year with their kid-friendly dentist in Lincoln, NE. Biannual dental visits will allow parents to address any dental problems that require might treatment before they need more extensive treatment.
What causes bad breath even after brushing?
Even if a child has good oral hygiene and brushes twice daily, it is still possible to have bad breath. Please help your child brush their tongue thoroughly and floss. Flossing, brushing, and cleaning the tongue along with drinking enough water will help reduce the number of bacteria that are present within the mouth. Cavities that are left untreated can cause an overgrowth of bacteria in the mouth, thus contributing to bad breath. See your a kid-friendly dentist in Lincoln, NE regularly for checkups to ensure dental conditions are treated early.
What can bad breath be a sign of?
Brushing teeth thoroughly along the gum line, flossing once daily, rinsing with an antimicrobial mouth rinse, and cleaning the tongue every day can help reduce bacteria within the mouth. Eating a healthy diet with plenty of Omega 3 fatty acids, Vitamin C, and Vitamin D will also help promote a healthy immune system, which will help reduce inflammation within the body. Also, staying hydrated will help reduce bad breath. In this case, be sure to have your child evaluated by a medical doctor or a kid-friendly dentist in Lincoln, NE if all else has failed and bad breath in your toddler is still present.
Can bad breath be cured permanently in children?
A majority of the time, good oral hygiene and regular dental cleanings and exams with your kid-friendly dentist in Lincoln, NE, can help prevent dental problems that often contribute to bad breath. However, for some children, asthma or allergies can cause soft tissues in the mouth to become inflamed. Other causes could be related to acid reflux issues or even chronic tonsillitis. Children should be examined by a kid-friendly dentist in Lincoln, NE, to help rule out any dental related causes of bad breath. If there is no finding at your dental office, have your dentist refer your child to a medical doctor.
What is the best way to get rid of bad breath in toddlers?
Practicing good oral hygiene and having regular dental visits with your kid-friendly dentist in Lincoln, NE, to address cavities or gum problems is the number one step in getting rid of bad breath in your toddler. If your child has an underlying medical condition such as allergies, acid reflux, sinus infections, or tonsillitis, treating these conditions can help prevent chronic bad breath.
PEDIATRIC DENTISTRY IN LINCOLN, NE: BEST TOOTHPASTE FOR CHILDREN
What’s the best toothpaste for bad breath in kids?
Toothpaste is a great way to freshen breath temporarily. The brand of toothpaste used is not essential. However, what is important is how thoroughly the plaque is removed with a toothbrush and dental floss. Brushing for at least two minutes twice daily and flossing once daily to help remove plaque bacteria is ideal.
Which toothpaste kills the most bacteria in kids?
Some toothpaste brands contain antimicrobial ingredients like stannous fluoride or triclosan, which can help kill bacteria. However, the most effective way to control bacteria in the mouth is to brush and floss thoroughly. Equally important is to remember to brush the tongue. Older kids can benefit from using an antimicrobial mouthwash but do so at an age when kids are old enough to learn the “swish and spit” routine and won’t chance swallowing any of the mouth rinse.
Are children who grind their teeth in danger?
Children can suffer from teeth grinding at night, just like adults. Roughly 15-33% of children grind their teeth, which is a significant statistic! Grinding of “baby” teeth isn’t known to cause as many problems in children as grinding permanent teeth. After the adult teeth have erupted, the problem is that if a child still grinds their teeth, which will result in the same problems that adults experience. The child could develop the need for crowns or a nightguard to help with grinding, which you should consider doing sooner rather than later. Any of our skilled, gentle family dentists in Lincoln, NE, would be more than happy to help answer your questions.

Image of Dr. Jon Isaacson. Dr. Isaacson offers gentle pediatric dentistry in Lincoln, NE at Nebraska Family Dentistry.

This article was written by Dr. Jon Isaacson.

Dr. Jon Isaacson is passionate about teaching children the importance of dental health. In addition, Dr. Isaacson is equally as passionate about helping parents prevent and treat dental conditions in children. Learn more about this gentle, compassionate Lincoln, NE dentist.

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