Dental Health Services
Parents should take their children to the dentist regularly, beginning with the eruption of the first tooth. Then, the dentist can recommend a specific program of brushing, flossing, and other treatments for parents to supervise and teach to their children. These home treatments, when added to regular dental visits and a balanced diet, will help give your child a lifetime of healthy habits.
What should I use to clean my baby's teeth?
A toothbrush will remove plaque bacteria that can lead to decay. Any soft-bristled toothbrush with a small head, preferably one designed specifically for infants, should be used at least once a day at bedtime.
When should I take my child to the dentist for the first check-up?
In order to prevent dental problems, your child should see a pediatric dentist when the first tooth appears, or no later than his/her first birthday.
What is the difference between a pediatric dentist and a family dentist?
Pediatric dentists are the pediatricians of dentistry. A pediatric dentist has two to three years specialty training following dental school and limits his/her practice to treating children only. Pediatric dentists are primary and specialty oral care providers for infants and children through adolescence, including those with special health needs.
How often does my child need to see the pediatric dentist?
A check-up every six months is recommended in order prevent cavities and other dental problems. However, your pediatric dentist can tell you when and how often your child should visit based on their personal oral health.
Are baby teeth really that important to my child?
Primary, or "baby," teeth are important for many reasons. Not only do they help children speak clearly and chew naturally, they also aid in forming a path that permanent teeth can follow when they are ready to erupt.
What should I do if my child has a toothache?
First, rinse the irritated area with warm salt water and place a cold compress on the face if it is swollen. Give the child acetaminophen for any pain, rather than placing aspirin on the teeth or gums. Finally, see a dentist as soon as possible.
Are thumbsucking and pacifier habits harmful for a child's teeth?
Thumb and pacifier sucking habits will generally only become a problem if they go on for a very long period of time. Most children stop these habits on their own, but if they are still sucking their thumbs or fingers when the permanent teeth arrive, a mouth appliance may be recommended by your pediatric dentist.
How can I prevent decay caused by nursing?
Avoid nursing children to sleep or putting anything other than water in their bed-time bottle. Also, learn the proper way to brush and floss your child's teeth. Take your child to a pediatric dentist regularly to have his/her teeth and gums checked. The first dental visit should be scheduled by your child's first birthday.
Toothpaste: when should we begin using it and how much should we use?
Fluoridated toothpaste should be introduced when a child is 2-3 years of age. Prior to that, parents should clean the child's teeth with water and a soft-bristled toothbrush. When toothpaste is used after age 2-3, parents should supervise brushing and make sure the child uses no more than a pea-sized amount on the brush. Children should spit out and not swallow excess toothpaste after brushing.
How do I make my child's diet safe for his teeth?
Make sure your child has a balanced diet, including one serving each of: fruits and vegetables, breads and cereals, milk and dairy products, and meat fish and eggs. Limiting the servings of sugars and starches will also aid in protecting your child's teeth from decay. You can also ask your pediatric dentist to help you select foods that protect your children's teeth.
How do I know if my child is getting enough fluoride?
Have your pediatric dentist evaluate the fluoride level of your child's primary source of drinking water. If your child is not getting enough fluoride internally through water (especially if the fluoride level is deficient or if your child drinks bottled water without fluoride), then your pediatric dentist may prescribe fluoride supplements.
How often should a child have dental X-ray films?
Since every child is unique, the need for dental X-ray films varies from child to child. Films are taken only after a complete review of your child's health, and only when they are likely to yield information that a visual exam cannot.
In general, children need X-rays more often than adults. Their mouths grow and change rapidly. They are more susceptible to tooth decay than adults. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends X-ray examinations every six months for children with a high risk of tooth decay. Children with a low risk of tooth decay require X-rays less frequently.
Why should X-ray films be taken if my child has never had a cavity?
X-ray films detect much more than cavities. For example, X-rays may be needed to survey erupting teeth, diagnose bone diseases, evaluate the results of an injury, or plan orthodontic treatment. X-rays allow dentists to diagnose and treat health conditions that cannot be detected during a clinical examination. If dental problems are found and treated early, dental care is more comfortable and affordable.
Will X-ray films be taken routinely?
No. X-ray films are recommended only when necessary to protect your child's dental health. The frequency of X-ray films is determined by your child's individual needs.
How safe are dental X-rays?
Pediatric dentists are particularly careful to minimize the exposure of child patients to radiation. With contemporary safeguards, the amount of radiation received in a dental X-ray examination is extremely small. The risk is negligible. In fact, dental X-rays represent a far smaller risk than an undetected and untreated dental problem.
How will my child be protected from X-ray exposure?
Lead body aprons and shields will protect your child. Today's equipment filters out unnecessary X-rays and restricts the X-ray beam to the area of interest. High-speed film and proper shielding assure that your child receives a minimal amount of radiation exposure.
When your child needs urgent dental treatment, your pediatric dentist stands ready to help. Please keep the emergency number available and convenient.
What should I do if my child's baby tooth is knocked out?
Contact your pediatric dentist as soon as possible.
What should I do if my child's permanent tooth is knocked out?
Find the tooth and rinse it gently in cool water. (Do not scrub it or clean it with soap -- use just water!) If possible, replace the tooth in the socket and hold it there with clean gauze or a wash cloth. If you can't put the tooth back in the socket, place the tooth in a clean container with milk, saliva, or water. Get to the pediatric dental office immediately. (Call the emergency number if it's after hours.) The faster you act, the better your chances of saving the tooth.
What if a tooth is chipped or fractured?
Contact your pediatric dentist immediately. Quick action can save the tooth, prevent infection and reduce the need for extensive dental treatment. Rinse the mouth with water and apply cold compresses to reduce swelling. If you can find the broken tooth fragment, bring it with you to the dentist.
What about a severe blow to the head or jaw fracture?
Go immediately to the emergency room of your local hospital. A blow to the head can be life threatening.
What if my child has a toothache?
Call your pediatric dentist and visit the office promptly. To comfort your child, rinse the mouth with water. Apply a cold compress or ice wrapped in a cloth. Do not put heat or aspirin on the sore area.
Can dental injuries be prevented?
Absolutely! First, reduce oral injury in sports by wearing mouth guards. Second, always use a car seat for young children. Require seat belts for everyone else in the car. Third, child-proof your home to prevent falls, electrical injuries, and choking on small objects. Fourth, protect your child from unnecessary toothaches with regular dental visits and preventive care.
What is a healthy diet for my child?
A healthy diet is a balanced diet that naturally supplies all the nutrients your child needs to grow. And what's a balanced diet? One that includes the following major food groups every day: Fruits and Vegetables; Breads and Cereals; Milk and Dairy Products; Meat, Fish and Eggs.
How does my child's diet affect her dental health?
She must have a balanced diet for her teeth to develop properly. She also needs a balanced diet for healthy gum tissue around the teeth. Equally important, a diet high in certain kinds of carbohydrates, such as sugar and starches, may place your child at extra risk of tooth decay.
How do I make my child's diet safe for his teeth?
First, be sure he has a balanced diet. Then, check how frequently he eats foods with sugar or starch in them. Foods with starch include breads, crackers, pasta and such snacks as pretzels and potato chips. When checking for sugar, look beyond the sugar bowl and candy dish. A variety of foods contain one or more types of sugar, and all types of sugars can promote dental decay. Fruits, a few vegetables and most milk products have at least one type of sugar.
Sugar can be found in many processed foods, even some that do not taste sweet. For example, a peanut butter and jelly sandwich not only has sugar in the jelly, but may have sugar added to the peanut butter. Sugar is also added to such condiments as catsup and salad dressings.
Should my child give up all foods with sugar or starch?
Certainly not! Many provide nutrients your child needs. You simply need to select and serve them wisely. A food with sugar or starch is safer for teeth if it's eaten with a meal, not as a snack. Sticky foods, such as dried fruit or toffee, are not easily washed away from the teeth by saliva, water or milk. So, they have more cavity-causing potential than foods more rapidly cleared from the teeth. Talk to your pediatric dentist about selecting and serving foods that protect your child's dental health.
Does a balanced diet assure that my child is getting enough fluoride?
No. A balanced diet does not guarantee the proper amount of fluoride for the development and maintenance of your child's teeth. If you do not live in a fluoridated community or have an ideal amount of naturally occurring fluoride in your well water, your child needs a fluoride supplement during the years of tooth development. Your pediatric dentist can help assess how much supplemental fluoride your child needs, based upon the amount of fluoride in your drinking water and your child's age and weight.
My youngest isn't on solid foods yet. Do you have suggestions for her?
Don't nurse your daughter to sleep or put her to bed with a bottle of milk, formula, juice, or sweetened liquid. While she sleeps, any unswallowed liquid in the mouth supports bacteria that produce acids and attack the teeth. Protect your child from severe tooth decay by putting her to bed with nothing more than a pacifier or bottle of water.
Any final advice?
Yes. Here are tips for your child's diet and dental health.
- Ask your pediatric dentist to help you assess your child's diet.
- Shop smart! Do not routinely stock your pantry with sugary or starchy snacks. Buy "fun foods" just for special times.
- Limit the number of snack times; choose nutritious snacks.
- Provide a balanced diet, and save foods with sugar or starch for mealtimes.
- Don't put your young child to bed with a bottle of milk, formula, or juice.
If your child chews gum or sips soda, choose those without sugar.
What are sealants?
Sealants protect the grooved and pitted surfaces of the teeth, especially the chewing surfaces of back teeth where most cavities in children are found. Made of clear or shaded plastic, sealants are applied to the teeth to help keep them cavity-free.
How do sealants work?
Even if your child brushes and flosses carefully, it is difficult - sometimes impossible -to clean the tiny grooves and pits on certain teeth. Food and bacteria build up in these crevices, placing your child in danger of tooth decay. Sealants "seal out" food and plaque, thus reducing the risk of decay.
How long do sealants last?
Research shows that sealants can last for many years if properly cared for. So, your child will be protected throughout the most cavity-prone years. If your child has good oral hygiene and avoids biting hard objects, sealants will last longer. Your pediatric dentist will check the sealants during routine dental visits and can recommend reapplication or repair when necessary.
What is the treatment like?
The application of a sealant is quick and comfortable. It takes only one visit. The tooth is first cleaned. It is then conditioned and dried. The sealant is then flowed onto the grooves of the tooth and allowed to harden or hardened with a special light. Your child will be able to eat right after the appointment.
How much does it cost?
The treatment is very affordable, especially in view of the valuable decay protection it offers your child. Most dental insurance companies cover sealants. Some companies, however, have age and specific tooth limitations. Check with your benefits provider about your child’s coverage and talk to your pediatric dentist about the exact cost of sealants for your child.
Which teeth should be sealed?
The natural flow of saliva usually keeps the smooth surfaces of teeth clean but does not wash out the grooves and fissures. So, the teeth most at risk of decay—and therefore most in need of sealants - are the six-year and twelve-year molars. Many times the permanent premolars and primary molars will also benefit from sealant coverage. Any tooth, however, with grooves or pits may benefit from the protection of sealants. Talk to your pediatric dentist, as each child’s situation is unique.
If my child has sealants are brushing and flossing still important?
Absolutely! Sealants are only one step in the plan to keep your child cavity-free for a lifetime. Brushing, flossing, balanced nutrition, limited snacking, and regular dental visits are still essential to a bright, healthy smile.
What are athletic mouth protectors?
Athletic mouth protectors, or mouth guards, are made of soft plastic. They are adapted to fit comfortably to the shape of the upper teeth.
Why are mouth guards important?
Mouth guards hold top priority as sports equipment. They protect not just the teeth, but the lips, cheeks, and tongue. They help protect children from such head and neck injuries as concussions and jaw fractures. Increasingly, organized sports are requiring mouth guards to prevent injury to their athletes. Research shows that most oral injuries occur when athletes are not wearing mouth protection.
When should my child wear a mouth guard?
Whenever he or she is in an activity with a risk of falls or of head contact with other players or equipment. This includes football, baseball, basketball, soccer, hockey, skateboarding, even gymnastics. We usually think of football and hockey as the most dangerous to the teeth, but nearly half of sports-related mouth injuries occur in basketball and baseball.
How do I choose a mouth guard for my child?
Any mouth guard works better than no mouth guard. So, choose a mouth guard that your child can wear comfortably. If a mouth guard feels bulky or interferes with speech, it will be left in the locker room. You can select from several options in mouth guards. First, preformed or "boil-to-fit" mouth guards are found in sports stores. Different types and brands vary in terms of comfort, protection, and cost. Second, customized mouth guards are provided through your pediatric dentist. They cost a bit more, but are more comfortable and more effective in preventing injuries. Your pediatric dentist can advise you on what type of mouth guard is best for your child.
What is preventive dentistry?
Preventive dentistry for children includes:
- dental development
- oral habits
- parent involvement
- proper diet
- sports safety
Your pediatric dentist practices preventive dentistry.
Why is preventive dentistry important?
Preventive dentistry means a healthy smile for your child. Children with healthy mouths chew more easily and gain more nutrients from the foods they eat. They learn to speak more quickly and clearly. They have a better chance of general health, because disease in the mouth can endanger the rest of the body. A healthy mouth is more attractive, giving children confidence in their appearance. Finally, preventive dentistry means less extensive, and less expensive, treatment for your child.
When should preventive dentistry start?
Preventive dentistry begins with the first tooth. Visit your pediatric dentist when the first tooth comes in. You will learn how to protect your infant's dental health. The earlier the dental visit, the better the chance of preventing dental disease and helping your child belong to the cavity-free generation.
What role do parents play in prevention?
After evaluating your child's dental health, your pediatric dentist will design a personalized program of home care for your child. This program will include brushing and flossing instructions, diet counseling, and if necessary, fluoride recommendations. By following these directions, you can help give your child a lifetime of healthy habits.
How do pediatric dentists help prevent dental problems?
Tooth cleaning and polishing and fluoride treatments are all part of your child's prevention program. But there's much more. For example, your pediatric dentist can apply sealants to protect your child from tooth decay, help you select a mouth guard to prevent sports injuries to the face and teeth, and provide early diagnosis and care of orthodontic problems. Your pediatric dentist is uniquely trained to develop a combination of office and home preventive care to insure your child a happy smile.
When should my child first see a dentist?
"First visit by first birthday" sums it up. Your child should visit a pediatric dentist when the first tooth comes in, usually between six and twelve months of age. Early examination and preventive care will protect your child’s smile now and in the future.
Why so early? What dental problems could a baby have?
The most important reason is to begin a thorough prevention program. Dental problems can begin early. A big concern is Early Childhood Caries (also know as baby bottle tooth decay or nursing caries). Your child risks severe decay from using a bottle during naps or at night or when they nurse continuously from the breast. The earlier the dental visit, the better the chance of preventing dental problems. Children with healthy teeth chew food easily, learn to speak clearly, and smile with confidence. Start your child now on a lifetime of good dental habits.
How can I prevent tooth decay from a bottle or nursing?
Encourage your child to drink from a cup as they approach their first birthday. Children should not fall asleep with a bottle. At-will nighttime breast-feeding should be avoided after the first primary (baby) teeth begins to erupt. Drinking juice from a bottle should be avoided. When juice is offered, it should be in a cup.
When should bottle-feeding be stopped?
Children should be weaned from the bottle at 12-14 months of age.
Should I worry about thumb and finger sucking?
Thumb sucking is perfectly normal for infants; most stop by age 2. If your child does not, discourage it after age 4. Prolonged thumb sucking can create crowded, crooked teeth, or bite problems. Your pediatric dentist will be glad to suggest ways to address a prolonged thumb sucking habit.
When should I start cleaning my baby’s teeth?
The sooner the better! Starting at birth, clean your child’s gums with a soft infant toothbrush and water. Remember that most small children do not have the dexterity to brush their teeth effectively. Unless it is advised by your child’s pediatric dentist, do not use fluoridated toothpaste until age 2-3.
Any advice on teething?
From six months to age 3, your child may have sore gums when teeth erupt. Many children like a clean teething ring, cool spoon, or cold wet washcloth. Some parents swear by a chilled ring; others simply rub the baby’s gums with a clean finger
Importance of Primary Teeth (Baby Teeth)
It is very important that primary teeth are kept in place until they are \lost naturally. These teeth serve a number of critical functions. Primary teeth:
- Maintain good nutrition by permitting your child to chew properly.
- Are involved in speech development.
- Help the permanent teeth by saving space for them. A healthy smile can help children feel good about the way they look to others.
Infants and Children
Getting an early start in regular dental care is an important step on the road to teaching your child healthy lifetime habits. We want to share with you the latest available methods for keeping your child healthy and safe.
The first dental visit should occur shortly after the first tooth erupts and no later than the child’s first birthday. Beginning tooth and mouth examinations early may lead to detection of early stages of tooth decay that can be easily treated. At the first visit we will present:
- A program of preventive home care including brushing, flossing, diet and the importance of fluorides.
- A caries risk assessment.
- Information about Early Childhood Caries, which may be due to inappropriate nursing habits or inappropriate use of sippy cups.
- The latest facts about finger, thumb and pacifier habits.
- What you need to know about preventing injuries to the mouth and teeth.
Adolescents have special needs. Appearance and self-image are very important to them. Decayed or poorly positioned teeth or jaws might make them more self-conscious. Teens also eat frequently, and unhealthy snack foods tend to become a major part of their regular diet. We provide a professional, sensitive and caring approach to restoring and guiding teeth, and teaching preventive dental health care through the teen’s high school years. When necessary, we will provide information on sealants, oral piercing, wisdom teeth, missing teeth and tobacco use.
Young People With Special Needs
An integral part of our education is concerned with the medical and dental health of the special patient. People with significant medical, physical, or mental disabilities often present unique challenges to dentists. Our training allows us to address their special needs and provide the best care possible.
Team Approach to Total Health
Good oral health is an important part of total health. When helping children, we often work with pediatricians, other physicians and dental specialists. All young people are served best through this team approach. We, the pediatric dentists, are an important part of your child’s health team.
How often should a child see the dentist?
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends a dental check-up at least twice a year for most children. Some children need more frequent dental visits because of increased risk of tooth decay, unusual growth patterns or poor oral hygiene. Your pediatric dentist will let you know the best appointment schedule for your child.
Why visit the dentist twice a year when my child has never had a cavity?
Regular dental visits help your child stay cavity-free. Teeth cleanings remove debris that build up on the teeth, irritate the gums and cause decay. Fluoride treatments renew the fluoride content in the enamel, strengthening teeth and preventing cavities. Hygiene instructions improve your child's brushing and flossing, leading to cleaner teeth and healthier gums. Tooth decay isn't the only reason for a dental visit. Your pediatric dentist provides an ongoing assessment of changes in your child's oral health. For example, your child may need additional fluoride, dietary changes, or sealants for ideal dental health. The pediatric dentist may identify orthodontic problems and suggest treatment to guide the teeth as they emerge in the mouth.
What happens in a dental check-up?
The pediatric dentist will review your child's medical and dental history. He or she will gently examine your child's teeth, oral tissues, and jaws. The teeth will be cleaned and polished, followed by the application of a fluoride solution.
Your pediatric dentist won't talk just to you about dental health, he or she will talk to your child with easily understandable words, pictures, and ideas. Your child will be motivated to take responsibility for healthy smile.
Will X-rays be taken at every appointment?
No. Pediatric dentists, acting in accord with guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, recommend X-rays only when necessary to protect your child's dental health. For example, X-rays maybe needed to diagnose tooth decay or abnormalities. Or, they may be required for orthodontic treatment. Your pediatric dentist will discuss the need for X-rays with you before any are taken.
How can I help my child enjoy good dental health?
The following steps will help your child be part of the cavity-free generation:
- Beware of frequent snacking
- Brush effectively twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste
- Floss once a day
- Have sealants applied when appropriate
- Seek regular dental check-ups
- Assure proper fluoride through drinking water, fluoride products or fluoride supplements
Why do children lose their baby teeth?
A baby tooth usually stays in until a permanent tooth underneath pushes it out and takes its place. Unfortunately, some children lose a baby tooth too soon. A tooth might be knocked out accidentally or removed because of dental disease. When a tooth is lost too early, your pediatric dentist may recommend a space maintainer to prevent future space loss and dental problems.
Why all the fuss? Baby teeth fall out eventually on their own!
Baby teeth are important to your child's present and future dental health. They encourage normal development of the jaw bones and muscles. They save space for the permanent teeth and guide them into position. Remember: Some baby teeth are not replaced until a child is 12 or 14 years old.
How does a lost baby tooth cause problems for permanent teeth?
If a baby tooth is lost too soon, the teeth beside it may tilt or drift into the empty space. Teeth in the other jaw may move up or down to fill the gap. When adjacent teeth shift into the empty space, they create a lack of space in the jaw for the permanent teeth. So, permanent teeth are crowded and come in crooked. If left untreated, the condition may require extensive orthodontic treatment.
What are space maintainers?
Space maintainers are appliances made of metal or plastic that are custom fit to your child's mouth. They are small and unobtrusive in appearance. Most children easily adjust to them after the first few days.
How does a space maintainer help?
Space maintainers hold open the empty space left by a lost tooth. They steady the remaining teeth, preventing movement until the permanent tooth takes its natural position in the jaw. It's more affordable -- and easier on your child -- to keep teeth in normal positions with a space maintainer than to move them back in place with orthodontic treatment.
What special care do space maintainers need?
Pediatric dentists have four rules for space maintainer care. First, avoid sticky sweets or chewing gum. Second, don't tug or push on the space maintainer with your fingers or tongue. Third, keep it clean with conscientious brushing and flossing. Fourth, continue regular dental visits.
A bright smile fresh breath – that’s what a healthy mouth means. It also means you can talk and laugh with confidence. Here are facts, ideas and tips on keeping a healthy smile in your teenage years.
What You Need To Know about Your Dental Health:
FACT 1: You have not outgrown tooth decay. In fact, dental decay may be more of a problem for you during the teen years than it ever has been before.
FACT 2: Gum disease (gingivitis) is a risk to your dental health. It is also a threat to your appearance. Gum disease causes red and swollen gums, bleeding gums and bad breath.
FACT 3: You will have all your permanent teeth with the possible exception of your wisdom teeth (third molars). During these growing years, your face and jaws will undergo many changes. You can be healthy and attractive through these changes by taking good care of your teeth and visiting your pediatric dentist.
How You Can Keep a Healthy Smile:
It is up to you! What you do and do not do is important. Here is a checklist for a healthy smile:
- Eat intelligently! Life is going to be hectic now. Choose fresh fruits and vegetables instead of junk foods when you eat on the run.
- Snack smartly. Be careful of snack foods containing sugar; they can cause damage to the teeth and gums.
- Practice good prevention at least twice a day. Brush effectively using a fluoridated toothpaste. Floss to prevent gum disease and tooth decay on the sides of the teeth.
- Keep up with your dental checkups. Tooth cleanings, fluoride treatments and sealants are important preventive services for you.
- Do not smoke or chew tobacco! The warnings you hear and read about are true. Besides lung and heart problems, tobacco can cause oral cancer. Of all cancers, 2.4 percent occur in the mouth and tobacco use has been estimated to account for over 90 percent of cancers of the oral cavity and pharynx.* If you are using tobacco and notice any changes in your mouth, contact your doctor immediately.
- Wear a mouth guard for any sport or activity in which your mouth can be hit.
- Buckle up in the car. A seat belt and shoulder harness can keep your face from striking the steering wheel, the dashboard or windshield during minor accidents.
Quiz on Eating Disorders:
You (or a friend) may have an eating disorder if you answer YES to the following questions:
- Do you weigh yourself more than once a day?
- Are you obsessed with being very thin, even while you are below a normal weight?
- Do you have a fear of not being able to stop eating?
- Do you vomit after a meal – or have the urge to do so?
- (For females only) Have you missed three consecutive menstrual periods?
All eating disorders have health risks. The worst cases can lead to death. Eating disorders associated with vomiting can damage the teeth because of stomach acid. If you suspect you have an eating disorder, please see your doctor as soon as possible.
Tips For Smart Snacking:
- Be careful of between-meal snacks.
- Clear the snack from the teeth as soon as possible. Even a simple swish and rinse with water will help.
- Do not let snacks take the place of nutritionally balanced meals.
How Your Pediatric Dentist Can Help
There are many things a pediatric dentist can do to help assure your oral health for a lifetime. Preventive dentistry techniques such as tooth cleanings, sealants and fluoride treatments are just as important as ever for you. Tips on flossing and brushing, and ideas on snacking and choosing a healthy diet, are available to you from your pediatric dentist and staff as well.
Your pediatric dentist will be glad to talk to you about how your teeth look. If you feel your teeth are too dark, there are techniques now to whiten them. If you have broken teeth, teeth with defects or spaces between your teeth, there are a number of esthetic dentistry techniques to help you look better.
If you are concerned about your bite, crooked teeth or the appearance of your smile, your pediatric dentist can give you advice about correcting such problems.
During your teen years, your wisdom teeth (third molars) will be developing. Although some third molars come into the mouth normally, others need to be removed because of poor position and lack of space. Your pediatric dentist will make sure the proper treatment is prescribed at the right time.
Dentistry for adolescents and teens is a fundamental part of the advanced training of the pediatric dentist. Your dental health and appearance are as important to you and your pediatric dentist. Let us keep your smile sparkling and healthy.
How does a pediatric dentist help with dental anxiety?
Pediatric dentists have special training in helping anxious children feel secure during dental treatment. And, pediatric dental offices are designed for children. Staff members choose to work in a pediatric dental practice because they like kids. So, most children are calm, comfortable and confident in a pediatric dental office.
How will a pediatric dentist help my child feel comfortable?
Pediatric dentists are trained in many methods to help children feel comfortable with dental treatment. For example, in the "Tell-Show-Do" technique, a pediatric dentist might name a dental instrument, demonstrate the instrument by using it to count your child's fingers, then apply the instrument in treatment. The modeling technique pairs a timid child in dental treatment with a cooperative child of similar age. Coaching, distraction, and parent participation are other possibilities to give your child confidence in dentistry. But by far the most preferred technique is praise. Every child does something right during a dental visit, and pediatric dentists let children know that.
Should I accompany my child into treatment?
Infants and some young children may feel more confident when parents stay close during treatment. With older children, doctor-child communication is often enhanced if parents remain in the reception room.
What if a child misbehaves during treatment?
Occasionally a child's behavior during treatment requires assertive management to protect him or her from possible injury. Voice control (speaking calmly but firmly) usually takes care of it. Some children need gentle restraint of the arms or legs as well. Mild sedation, such as nitrous oxide/oxygen or a sedative, may benefit an anxious child. If a child is especially fearful or requires extensive treatment, other sedative techniques or general anesthesia may be recommended.