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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 doctors and staff love children and are specially trained to put them at ease. We teach your children the proper way to take care of their teeth; but just as important, they learn that going to the dentist can be fun.

What is a Pediatric Dentist (Pedodontist)?

In the same way that pediatricians are trained to meet a child’s medical needs, our pediatric dental specialists are uniquely qualified to 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 training at university pediatric facilities in addition to four year 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 pleasant. Also, they are trained and qualified to treat special needs patients.

What dental problems could my child have?

Some dental problems begin very early in life. One concern is early childhood caries, a serious condition caused by a child staying on the bottle, breastfeeding or sippee cup too long. Cavities between the teeth are very common. They are not visible without dental x-rays in their early stages of decay. By the time a child has pain associated with these types of cavities, the teeth require more extensive treatment or removal. Another problem is gum disease. About 40% of children two to three years old have at least mild inflammation of gum tissues. Oral habits (such as thumb-sucking) should also be checked. Many oral diseases, such as canker sores, can be treated before they become advanced and cause unnecessary pain for your child. 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 good about his or her appearance.

Why are baby teeth so important?

Primary teeth are important because they help with proper chewing and eating, help in speech development and add to an attractive appearance. A child who can chew easily, speak clearly and smile confidently is a happier child. Healthy primary teeth allow normal development of the jawbones and 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 crooked. Decayed baby teeth can cause pain, abscesses, infections, and can spread to the permanent teeth. 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 ten to fourteen, so they must last for years.

What should I tell my child about the 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 haircut 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 trip, then the less you say the better. You cannot hide your anxiety from a child (they have radar for these things). Have fun reading books about dentistry with your child and encourage play behaviors that mimic a dental visit with your child being the dentist and then the patient. Talk about how the dentist or assistant will help keep your child’s teeth healthy and how they care about children. Your child’s reaction to his first visit to the dentist may surprise you.

What about preventative 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. We use the latest in sealant technology to protect your child’s teeth. Sealants are space-age plastics that are bonded to the chewing surfaces of decay-prone back teeth. This is just one of the ways we will set the foundation for your child’s lifetime of good oral health. Continual preventive care includes regular check-ups and cleanings with oral hygiene instruction. The timing of these depends on your child’s specific needs, most commonly recommended every six months.

What about sterilization?

Your health and peace of mind are always our primary concern; therefore, we use state-of-the-art sterilization procedures. After each patient’s visit, the treatment area is thoroughly disinfected. We ultrasonically clean and heat sterilize all non-disposable instruments. Our staff members wear gloves and 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 request a tour of our sterilization area.