According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, every child should see a dentist by the their first birthday. Helping your child get into the habit of regular dental visits early in life will set positive dental habits that will extend into adulthood. The doctor will provide a thorough examination and take radiographs if necessary following a routine cleaning appointment. The exam will include exploration of the child’s mouth and gums and a discussion regarding at-home dental hygiene. If the child’s teeth exhibit decay or other problems requiring further treatment, the dentist will discuss them with you at this time.
Routine dental cleanings and exams are necessary to help ensure that your child maintains a healthy mouth and good oral hygiene. Although care at home is also important, professional dental cleanings will help remove plaque build-up that can occur despite the best brushing and flossing methods.
During a routine check-up, the teeth of your child will be polished to remove any plaque build-up or tartar. Your child will be get to choose a fun toothpaste flavor and allowed to watch a kid-friendly movie during the entire cleaning process. Our staff will also spend time going over the dietary needs of your child along with daily brushing and flossing routines.
Fluoride helps prevent tooth decay by making the tooth more resistant to acid attacks from plaque bacteria and sugars in the mouth. It also reverses early decay.
In children under 6 years of age, fluoride becomes incorporated into the development of permanent teeth, making it difficult for acids to demineralize the teeth. Fluoride also helps speed remineralization as well as disrupts acid production in already erupted teeth of both children and adults.
We recommend placement of a topical fluoride gel or varnish at your child’s 6 month cleaning visits to help keep the teeth strong, healthy, and cavity-free.
Dental sealants are a form of preventative treatment that is used to help prevent or slow down the development of caries.
They are coatings that are placed on the chewing surface of posterior teeth. These teeth are the most susceptible to caries due to the anatomy of the tooth, as food particles can get stuck in the grooves. When food accumulates in these areas, plaque forms and attacks the enamel, causing a cavity to form. The coating of the dental sealant helps prevent the food from being stuck in these teeth.
Sealants are routinely placed on the permanent molars when they are fully erupted.
As children become more and more involved in physical sports, protecting teeth from physical damage becomes critical. We recommend custom mouth guards children taking part in an activity that might cause tooth damage.
A long-term habit such as sucking on a finger or thumb can be difficult to break. These habits past the age of 3 can have long term effects on the positioning of the teeth and surrounding bone.
The purpose of the Habit Appliance is to help break a thumb or finger habit. The appliance will work if your child wants to stop this habit and if parents help reinforce the treatment.
We use only BPA-free, mercury-free, white composite fillings. These white fillings are safe for children and aesthetically pleasing.
Crowns are sometimes recommended following a baby root canal or if posterior tooth suffers from severe decay or hypoplasia. Because most baby molars do not fall out until ages 10-12, crowns are recommended when traditional fillings are insufficient to protect the tooth from further damage until it falls out.
A cavity involving the nerve, or pulp, of a tooth may cause excruciating pain for your child. When the nerve of a child’s tooth has been infected, it must be treated to restore health to the child’s mouth.
Pediatric root canal therapy is designed to maintain the integrity of the affected tooth to prevent premature loss. The early loss of posterior (back) teeth can lead to future problems with the placement and eruption of adult teeth. Dental caries and traumatic injury are the primary reasons for pulp therapy in children.
Extractions are commonly performed on pediatric patients to address extensively decayed non-restorable teeth or orthodontic problems.
If your child is experiencing a true dental emergency after hours, please call the office and follow the instructions left on the voicemail. We are available to handle emergency situations for our patients 24/7.
Baby teeth are not reinserted into the gums as this can cause harm to the permanent teeth.
Many children sustain facial and dental trauma from sports-related injuries and other accidents such as riding into a stationary object on a bicycle. If your child has sustained an injury, remain calm. If your child has knocked out a permanent tooth, prompt attention is necessary to maintain the life of the tooth. We may be able to treat the injury at our office, although less severe cases may be able to be treated at home until you can find time to come in. If your child is suffering from an injury that goes beyond the extent of the mouth or other oral structures, call 911 or take your child to the emergency room.
Nitrous oxide is a mild anti-anxiety agent that helps to decrease anxiety and apprehension and lowers pain sensation, thereby enabling children to remain relaxed for dental treatment. It does NOT put a child “to sleep”.
The gas is administered with a comfortable mask placed over the nose. The patient begins to feel a pleasant level of sedation anywhere from 30 seconds to three or four minutes. Your child will be awake during the procedure and is able to hear and respond to any requests or directions the dentist may have. After the treatment is completed the patient is given pure oxygen to breath, and the effects of the sedation are reversed.
We know that some patients get more nervous than others do at the mere sight of a needle and syringe. That's why this office performs anesthetic injections with a revolutionary system called The WAND™.
The source of discomfort for most injections, however, isn't the needle, it's the flow of the anesthetic into your tissue. The WAND™ delivers the anesthetic at an optimal flow rate for a comfortable injection.
The WAND™ allows injections that do not numb the lips, face and muscles of expression. Your child will be more comfortable throughout the procedure, and they won't experience the lingering numbness of the tongue, lips and face, eliminating the worry for post-anesthesia lip biting or injury.
If a baby tooth is lost prematurely, we may recommend a space retainer to preserve the gap for the adult tooth. Space retainers help prevent shifting of the teeth and the crowding of adult teeth.
Interceptive orthodontics provides treatment for minor orthodontic problems in growing children. Problems such as space loss, harmful habits, severe crowding, and cross-bites can be addressed to improve function and appearance while allowing normal growth and dental development.