Homework: Building a Healthy Brushing Routine


Sometimes it’s a small victory just to get your kids to bed at night. We get it.

Maybe they’re sleeping in their Halloween costume (again). Maybe they didn’t brush their teeth. But that can wait until tomorrow, right?

Establishing a regular dental hygiene routine isn’t just important for your children’s oral health today, but it also builds lifelong healthy habits. Sure, we’re all going to miss or forget sometimes, but we owe it to our kids to try our best.

Here are some of the tips I typically share with parents about helping their kids establish a regular rhythm of proper dental hygiene:

  • Brush twice a day. Once after breakfast and once before bed. It’s important not to eat or drink anything after the night-time brushing to allow the fluoride to set on the teeth while sleeping.
  • Brush for two minutes. It may sound like a long time, but it’s important. Here is a trick: brush your teeth alongside your kids so you’re in this all together. (Plus, you’ll probably find you’re brushing longer and more regularly, too.)
  • Choose a soft brush and don’t brush too hard. As for the toothpaste, ask the pediatric dentist if your child should be using one with fluoride. It can fluctuate depending on your child.

It’s tough in the beginning. But know that the more you get your children to keep their healthy brushing routine, the easier it will become. And if you’re at your wit’s end, try this: go to the drugstore and let your kid pick out their favorite character toothbrush, whether it’s a Ninja Turtle or a Minnie Mouse. Now that’s something they can look forward to.

Dr. Zima’s Top Ways for Calming Nervous Patients

shutterstock_413436874We know that folks get nervous before their first dental appointment – kids and parents.

We totally get it. You’re meeting someone new in a strange office and you’re unsure what to expect. We recently wrote about everything you can expect during your first visit, just to help put our new patients at ease a bit. But we wanted to take it a bit further and explain everything we do to make kids feel comfortable and gain their trust – and even get children excited about visiting the dentist!

  • We explain things to them in a kid-friendly way so they can understand and not be scared. Words are pretty powerful, and dental jargon can be scarier than a drill for some kiddos.
  • We have TVs on the ceiling at each practice. Sometimes kids just want to blur out the dental exam and focus on something else. That’s fine! Some kid-friendly TV always does the trick.
  • We give kids a token for our toy machine. And trust me…they ALWAYS remember to get their token.

The dental hygiene habits kids form today will lay the foundation for their oral health for the rest of their lives. By getting to know our patients, and making them look forward to visiting us, we’re helping them to build a healthy relationship with the dentist for years to come.

Schedule your child’s initial consultation today for our Midlothian or Farmville office.

Your Child’s First Visit: What to Expect

shutterstock_319784153Don’t be surprised if your kids leave their first dental appointment here asking, “When can I go back!?”

I have kids. And I wouldn’t have become a pediatric dentist if I didn’t enjoy working with kids as much as I do. As much as the goal here is to ensure optimal oral health, my team and I understand the importance of making your children feel safe and comfortable – and even have fun! By building rapport with you and your kids, we lay a great foundation for providing the best possible care and treatment.

Here is a look at what you and your children can expect from my team and I during the first visit:

What we’ll do:

• We’ll review your child’s medical history and take X-rays if needed.

• We’ll perform your kid’s first dental cleaning, including a careful examination of the teeth and gums as well as a fluoride application. (You’ll be pleasantly surprised at how quick and easy this is these days.)

• If your child experiences any anxiety — which is totally normal — we may ask you, the parent, to lay down on the dental chair with your child. Alternatively, we can also try the “knee-to-knee” technique during which the parent and doctor sit facing each other, and your child lies back on the doctor’s lap. Both of these methods allow the patient to have the comfort of their parent during their dental exam.

• We’ll answer all your questions about your child’s dental health, oral hygiene habits and dietary recommendations.

How you can help the first visit go smoothly:

Print out, complete and bring the required paperwork to your first visit.

• Bring your dental insurance information.

• Please us know ahead of time if there are any special health concerns.

Expect your child to have fun! We have TVs at each dental chair and prizes to share with your kid. Plus, our new Midlothian location has a lobby arcade! So what are you waiting for? Schedule your child’s initial consultation today for our Midlothian or Farmville office.

Announcing New Midlothian Location


A peek at our new Midlothian practice location.

We are excited to announce that a new Midlothian location has been added under the name Commonwealth Pediatric Dentistry.  Dr. Zima will now have availability in the existing practice location of Dr. Jeffrey Beyer of Commonwealth Orthodontics. The office is located at 6661 Lake Harbour Drive, beside the Children’s Museum of Richmond’s Chesterfield branch.

Our new location will not affect our existing Farmville office — or our ability to see patients on time when you wish to be seen. Dr. Beyer’s practice provides orthodontic treatment for kids, teens and all ages — with services including braces, Invisalign / Invisalign Teen, retainers and mouth guards, and more.

Dr. Zima and Dr. Beyer are excited about the opportunity to collaborate on the well-being of our patients’ overall dental health.  For more information or to schedule an appointment, please call (804) 729-0792 or contact us.  If you would like more information about orthodontic services provided by Dr. Beyer, please call (804)739-6600 or visit www.commonwealthortho.com.

Midlothian 804 729-0792

farmville pediatric dentistry

Farmville 434 808-1657

farmville pediatric dentistry