Pediatric Dentistry

If your child is between the ages of three and 18, Dr. Valerie Barba and our team would love to welcome him or her into our practice’s family. Regular checkups develop a lifetime of good oral health habits, and starting a child off with positive dental experiences can make a big difference when it comes to maintaining good oral health as an adult.

Why choose Dr. Barba for your child’s dental care?

Dr. Barba and our team love kids — we think going to the dentist should be easy for them! We instill a positive dental impression in children even before they’re old enough to be a patient. We have moms bring their infants in strollers or car seats, and they sit with mom in the room and get to know us long before they can become a patient. We let them take a ride in the chair and experience our office as a great place. By the time they are three years old, they are begging for their turn!

We want you and your child to feel at ease from the moment your family arrives at our Manasquan, NJ dental office. The more you and your child know about the first visit, the better you both will feel.

Getting to know your teeth is fun! Download our Dynamite Dental Fun Kit!

About Your Child’s Teeth

Your child's first primary or baby teeth will begin to erupt between the ages of six and 12 months, and will continue to erupt until about age three. During this time, your child's gums may feel tender and sore. To help alleviate this discomfort, we recommend that you soothe the gums by rubbing a clean finger or a cool, wet cloth across them. You may also choose to make use of a teething ring. When your child has finished teething, you can expect a total of 20 primary teeth.

Your child's primary teeth are shed at various times throughout childhood. Permanent teeth begin erupting at age six, and continue until age 21. Adults have 28 permanent teeth (32, including wisdom teeth).

Taking Care of Your Child’s Teeth

As your child's teeth erupt, be sure to examine them every two weeks, looking for lines and discoloration that may be caused by decay. Remember that sugary foods and liquids can attack a new tooth, so take care that your child brushes after feeding or eating. We recommend brushing four times a day for optimal oral hygiene: after breakfast, after lunch, after dinner, and at bedtime.

Brushing can be fun, and your child should brush as soon as the first tooth arrives. When a baby's tooth erupts, parents should brush the tooth with a soft-bristled toothbrush and a pea-sized amount of toothpaste. For children younger than two, do not use fluoride toothpaste unless advised to do so by Dr. Barba or other healthcare professional. We suggest reviewing proper tooth brushing procedures with your child.

Flossing is also a part of good oral hygiene habits, and Dr. Barba will discuss with you the right time to start flossing. If you notice signs of decay, contact our Manasquan dental office immediately.

Preventing Tooth Decay with Regular Checkups

Tooth decay is caused by sugars left in your mouth that turn into an acid, which can break down your teeth. Children are at high risk for tooth decay for a simple reason: many children and adolescents do not practice regular, good oral hygiene habits. Proper brushing and flossing routines combined with regular dental visits help keep tooth decay away.

Your child should visit Dr. Barba every six months for regular dental cleanings and checkups. We recommend fluoride treatments twice a year along with cleanings to keep teeth their strongest. Tooth sealants are also recommended because they “seal” the deep grooves in your child's teeth, preventing decay from forming in these hard-to-reach areas. Sealants last for several years, but will be monitored at your child's regular checkups.