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Gentle Pediatric Dentistry in Urbandale & Des Moines, IA

Making Dentistry Fun for Children

Visiting the dentist isn’t usually high on most children’s lists of fun things to do. Nevertheless, it is one of the most important things you can do for your children. As a mother, Dr. Lawson understands the trust our patients place in us when bringing their children to our office. As parents ourselves, our team is also especially skilled at making children feel comfortable, relaxed, and respected during every visit with singing, counting, snuggling, and knee-to-knee infant exams.

Comprehensive Children’s Dentistry

Helping children grow accustomed to visiting the dentist is an essential part of their growth and development. Therefore, Dr. Lawson advises bringing children to the office shortly after their first tooth appears, or by their first birthday. Pediatric visits make the dentist’s office more familiar to young children, and allow Dr. Lawson to teach you the principles of caring for your children’s young smiles. By the age of three, children should begin attending regular preventive visits at least once every six months, along with their parents.

Screening Children for Sleep Disordered Breathing

We can screen your children to diagnose breathing issues related to common sleep disorders. We can then offer the treatment needed for adequate sleep, growth, speech and learning. Treatment options may include: referrals to an orofacial myologist, an ENT, and help in improving their nutritional levels. In many cases, we may recommend new early orthodontic treatment with custom-made oral appliances.

Dental sealants

Dental sealants are thin layers of biocompatible plastic that stop oral bacteria and food particles from collecting in hard-to-clean crevices on the chewing surfaces of children’s teeth. Sealants help prevent cavities by protecting your child’s teeth from harmful plaque and tartar—the driving forces behind cavity development.

Fluoride treatment

The enamel that surrounds healthy teeth is highly mineralized, made mostly of highly resilient calcium and phosphate crystals. When food and oral bacteria weaken enamel, it can be strengthened with carefully applied fluoride treatment. As a mineral, fluoride bonds to weakened layers of enamel, preventing it from becoming too weak and leading to cavity development.

Early orthodontics

Orthodontic treatment is the art of correcting crooked teeth, and for children, it can prevent a host of serious oral health issues in the future. Crooked teeth become even more out of alignment as children grow, and their condition can lead to imbalanced bite pressure, tooth damage, improper bite function, and more. The earlier crooked teeth are corrected, the better chance your child will enjoy a straighter, healthier, and more beautiful smile later in life.


Children often exhibit a prominent lingual frenum (connective muscle) along the bottom of the tongue. While this is common, it may sometimes lead to problems by limiting tongue movement. In such cases, Dr. Lawson may be able to perform a frenectomy to free the tongue and improve nursing, speech, hygiene, and range of motion, as well as create a clearer airway. With advanced soft-tissue laser technology, most cases do not require anesthesia.

Like adults, every child has a unique set of dental needs, and as an experienced family dentist, Dr. Lawson knows how to effectively address all of them. To schedule a dental appointment for your child, call our dental office in Urbandale, IA, today at 515-278-4366.

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