Pediatric dentistry

Set up your child for a lifetime of excellent oral health. Finding the right dentist is crucial when it comes to your little one. At Harlan Dental, we work to ensure your child has a fun, comfortable, and positive experience. From teethers to teenagers, we provide exceptional care for your exceptional child.

Start good habits

Regular visits help to establish good oral hygiene habits for life

Fix problems early

Prevent and repair small problems before they become painful and costly

Prevent dental anxiety

Let us create a fun and positive experience from their first visit

When should I bring my child to see the dentist?

To reduce fear and anxiety, it’s best to schedule your child’s first appointment well before there might be problem. The American Dental Association recommends that children should see a dentist by their 1st birthday, or within 6 months of their first tooth erupting.  If you think your child will be apprehensive or anxious for their first official appointment, let us know; you can bring your child by the office for a friendly visit – we’ll show your little one around, let them climb in a chair, and provide a prize to show them that visiting the dentist is something to look forward to!

Why are baby teeth important?

A child’s first baby teeth (usually the lower central incisors) erupt around 6 months of age. All 20 baby teeth have typically erupted by 2 or 3 years of age, and those will need to last until your child’s permanent teeth come in – which won’t be complete until they are around 11 to 13 years old! These baby teeth have several important functions:
   – For children to learn to speak clearly
   – For chewing food, good nutrition, and overall health
   – To save space for permanent teeth and guide them into place
   – To aid in jaw and face formation
   – To build confidence and self esteem.

How should I care for my child's teeth?

Even before your child has teeth, you can start good establishing good habits by wiping the gums with a wet washcloth. As soon as the first tooth appears, brush your child’s teeth daily with toothpaste containing fluoride. Use the proper amount of toothpaste for your child’s age:
   – Smear amount for children <2 years old
   – Half a pea-sized amount for children 2 – 3 years old
   – Pea-sized amount for children >3 year old

Children do not have the dexterity to brush their teeth completely by themselves until around age 7 or 8, or until they are able to tie their own shoes, so be sure to supervise and revise their brushing. You can start gentle flossing if their teeth touch together.

What should I be looking for? What do cavities look like?

Because baby teeth have a thinner outer layer of enamel than permanent teeth, your child’s teeth can quickly be eaten away by cavities. Without early prevention and treatment, the resulting holes and decay may be painful. Cavities start out with a chalky white appearance, typically in areas that collect food and plaque (along the gumline and in the grooves and pits of the back teeth). Within a matter of months, these white spots can quickly progress to areas of softened, decayed tooth, and they will darken in color. At Harlan Dental, we handle these appointments with great care and compassion. In many cases, our team will use a needle-free approach to repair small cavities – no shot and no tears! 

We treat your children like they are our own.

Our expert staff will do our best to ensure your little one has the best care and best experience possible.

Did your child lose a tooth? This is a perfect printable note for them to sign and leave for the Tooth Fairy!

Get in touch


5013 Ridgeway Drive
Harlan, IA 51537

Our Hours

MONDAY           8AM – 5PM

TUESDAY          7AM – 5PM


THURSDAY       7AM – 5PM

FRIDAY              8AM – 4PM


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