Pediatric Dentistry

Why A Pediatric Dentist?

Has your child ever begged you not to leave the dentist? Impossible you say? Not at our office. It could be our gentle touch and special way with kids. Our pediatric specialists and staff love working with children and are specially trained to put them at ease, no matter their personality type. We teach your children the proper way to take care of their teeth and just as important, they learn that going to the dentist can be fun.

What Is A Pediatric Dentist?

In the same way that pediatricians are trained to meet a child’s medical needs, our specialist pediatric dentists are uniquely qualified to assess and protect your child’s oral health using the most advanced techniques, and all in our delightfully friendly open treatment area. Pediatric dentists have an additional two to three years of residency training at hospital or university pediatric facilities in addition to four years of dental school and four years of college study. Some pediatric dentists practice general dentistry before specializing, giving them a unique perspective. They learn how to deal with the behavioral aspects of children, how to make them feel comfortable, and to make the experience understandable and pleasant. They also are trained and qualified to treat special needs patients.

What Dental Problems Could My Child Have?

Some dental problems are developmental or begin very early in life. One concern is early childhood tooth decay, a serious condition that can begin as soon as a baby’s teeth come in and lead to dental pain or infection. Another problem is gum disease. About 40 percent of children two to three years old have at least mild inflammation of gum tissues. Oral habits (such as digit sucking) should also be checked, along with growth or development issues. The earlier the dental visit, the better the chances of preventing problems. Strong, healthy teeth help your child chew food easily, speak clearly, and feel comfortable and confident.

Why Are Baby Teeth So Important?

Good oral health is critical to good overall health. Primary teeth are important because they are necessary for proper eating and nutrition, help in speech development, and are important to orthodontic growth and development. A child who can chew easily, speak clearly, and smile confidently is a happier child. Healthy primary teeth allow normal development of the jaw bones and face muscles, save space for the permanent teeth, and guide them into place. If a baby tooth is lost too soon, permanent teeth may come in poorly aligned or be completely blocked. Decayed baby teeth can cause pain, abscesses, infections, and can spread disease to the permanent teeth or farther. Also, your child’s general health can be affected if diseased baby teeth aren’t treated. Remember, some primary molars are not replaced until age 10-14, so they must last for many years.

What Should I Tell My Child About Their First Dental Visit?

We are asked this question many times. We suggest you prepare your child the same way that you would before their first hair-cut or trip to the shoe store. This will not be the frightening experience you may remember from your youth. If you are nervous about the visit, then the less you say the better (they have a sense for your anxiety), it can instead be helpful for your child learn from seeing the positive experiences of other children. Your child’s reaction to his first visit to the pediatric dentist may pleasantly surprise you!

What About Preventive Care?

Tooth decay and children no longer have to go hand-in-hand. At our office, we are most concerned with all aspects of preventive care. Developing strong teeth through proper diet and healthy mineralization with fluoride is critical to prevention, along with regular checkups and cleanings. We also use the latest in sealant technology to protect your child’s teeth. Sealants are safe, effective resins that are bonded to the chewing surfaces of decay-prone back teeth and shielding their miniscule grooves.  We also identify early orthodontic concerns where timely intervention can prevent significant later problems, and provide custom fabricated mouth guards for contact sports. These are just some of the ways we will set the foundation for your child’s lifetime of good oral health.

What About Sterilization?

Your health and peace of mind are always our primary concern; therefore, we use state-of-the-art procedures and equipment in our transparent sterilization area. Our office has complete replacement of air every 12 minutes through medical grade MERV 13 filtration. After each patient visit, the treatment area is thoroughly disinfected. We ultrasonically clean and heat-sterilize all non-disposable instruments. Our staff wear gowns, face shields, gloves and medical treatment masks during procedures. Please feel free to ask us for information on the measures we take to ensure the safety of you and your children, or tour past the clear wall of our sterilization area.