What is a Pediatric Dentist?
The pediatric dentist has received an extra two to three years of specialized training after dental school and is dedicated to the oral health of children from infancy through adolescence. The very young, school-aged, and teenagers all need different approaches in dealing with their behavior, guiding their dental growth and development, and helping them avoid future dental problems. The pediatric dentist is best qualified to meet these needs. We offer pediatric dentistry as a part of our main pediatric dental services.
A parent or legal guardian must accompany new patients.
As recommended by the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry and the American Academy of Pediatrics, we advise parents to schedule their child’s first dental visit at about one year of age or when the first teeth erupt into the mouth! This is now the new standard for giving your child a chance to be cavity-free. It is very important to make the first visit as positive and enjoyable for the child as possible.
We want your child to enjoy getting to know our doctors and staff and be comfortable at all times. A pleasant, comfortable first visit builds trust and helps put the child at ease during future dental visits. Let the child know that the doctors and staff will explain everything in detail and will answer any questions he/she has. Children should be encouraged to discuss any fears or anxiety they feel.
Parents should not make a big deal out of the visit and refrain from using any words that could cause unnecessary fear, such as “needle” or “drill.” We are experienced in dealing with children with anxiety and can explain treatment procedures in a positive and pleasant manner to avoid any anxious or negative feelings toward dentistry.
We will record the child’s dental and medical history, complete a comprehensive examination and discuss any findings with you. We will also review the importance of maintaining a good dental health program with you and your child to ensure a healthy and beautiful smile for life!
We anticipate age-appropriate behavior. For instance, your two-year-old child does not like to sit still for even a minute. They may be unhappy or even cry when you hold them for longer than they want to be held. Children will usually work their way through it with our compassionate encouragement. Thank you for your cooperation.
What to Expect
As soon as you enter our office, you will notice that dentistry for children has changed in many ways. Start your visit by registering at the pediatric dental front desk. You are on your way to a great first experience. Our open reception area is a welcoming room filled with activities, videos, and electronic games to engage and relax your child.
Our world-class pediatric dental and orthodontic office is designed uniquely for children and their parents. From the very first dental visit to their first birthday, we treat every child in our practice as if they are our own. You’ll definitely see “big kids” in our office, too, because most of our patients stay with us through college age!
First Visit Suggestions:
We would like to make a few suggestions to prepare your child for the initial visit:
- First, present the visit as an exciting experience (for yourself) and for your child.
- Second, tell the child that the hygienist “will count”, “brush”, and “take pictures of their teeth.” By explaining the exam and the cleaning in these terms, your child will better understand the situation.
- Try to be relaxed and at ease. Your child will sense any anxiety on your part.
- It is our job to make this the best positive experience possible. Avoid negative phrases such as “hurt”, “drill”, “pull”, and “shot”. This initial examination involves nothing uncomfortable and should be perceived by the child as non-threatening.
- Assure your child that the doctor will be gentle and friendly. Please do not tell your child that “the dentist will not hurt”, as this probably would not otherwise have been a concern.
- We ask parents to assume the role of a silent observer. Your presence is greatly enhanced if you play a passive role. If more than one person is speaking to the child, they may become confused. Cooperation and trust must be established directly between the doctor and your child and not through you.
- For the safety and privacy of all patients, other children who are not being treated should remain in the reception area with a supervising adult.
- Cell phone use is distracting to your child and others. Please refrain from using your cell phone in the office.
- Food and drinks are sources of contamination and compromise our standards of infection control. Therefore, please do not bring food or drinks into the office.
- Try not to schedule appointments at nap time. Just as you and I dislike being disturbed by our rest, so do the little ones. Bring them in the early morning before nap time.
- If you know your child is not feeling well and has an elevated temperature, bringing them here is not a good judgment for two reasons (1) Your child will be miserable and not have a very good experience, and (2) Your child will probably infect the other children in the practice.
What About Parents Present in the Dental Treatment Areas?
Our practice philosophy is child-centered. We want you to be with your child during their visits with us. In fact, we insist on your presence because we want you to be by their side while they and you learn how to care for their smile. We welcome you in the dental treatment rooms, and we encourage your participation throughout your child’s care. Let us know how we’re doing, so we can give you and your child the care you expect and deserve.
Additional Dental Services We Offer
- Adolescent Dentistry
- Dental Topics and FAQs
- Early Infant Oral Care
- Emergency Dentistry
- Post Op Care
- Prevention + Oral Wellness
- Sedation Dentistry
Pediatric Dentistry FAQs
Why are primary teeth important?
Primary teeth, more commonly known as baby teeth, play a big role in your child’s oral and overall development. As they erupt, they help babies learn to chew food and speak properly. It is also the job of the primary teeth to slowly guide the adult teeth into their proper position. They are the place holders the big teeth.
What should I do if my child has a toothache?
If your child has a toothache, it is important not to ignore it. The first thing you should do is inspect the area around the tooth to look for obvious signs that could be causing it. It could be as simple as something is stuck in their teeth. Clean the area thoroughly and use pain medication and ice to try to ease their pain. If none of this seems to work, please call our office as soon as possible and the dentist will see your child as soon as possible.
How can I prevent tooth decay in my child?
Preventing tooth decay in children involves a combination of good oral hygiene practices, a healthy diet, and regular dental care. The best thing you can do to prevent tooth decay is to start oral care habits early in life. Regular brushing and flossing and visiting a dentist on a regular basis are the best ways to avoid tooth decay. A healthy diet and the proper use of fluoride will also lower your child’s chances of tooth decay.
How do dental sealants work?
Dental sealants are a preventive dental treatment that protect the teeth, particularly the chewing surfaces of the back teeth, from tooth decay. They act as a barrier, filling in the deep grooves and pits on the chewing surfaces of the teeth. These areas are prone to collecting food particles and bacteria, making them susceptible to decay. The sealant creates a smooth and protective shield over the tooth enamel, preventing plaque and bacteria from settling in those vulnerable areas.
What is the role of fluoride in my child’s dental health?
Fluoride is a mineral that will strengthen tooth enamel to help prevent tooth decay. Children are more susceptible to decay and cavities which is why it is important for them to use fluoride and receive fluoride treatments. Your child should be using toothpaste that contains fluoride. This is the best way to help prevent acid attacks caused by bacteria and decay.
How often should my child visit the pediatric dentist?
Regular dentist appointments are just as important for your child as they are for you. They are essential for good oral health. They help prevent dental issues and catch them in the early stages. We suggest bringing your child in for a routine checkup every six months. Here, we will clean their teeth and perform other preventive care. If your child suffers from specific concerns, we may want to see them more often.
We would like to see all school-age patients after school: however, this is not possible. We are aware of school policies that make it more difficult for children to be out of school for any reason. However, MEDICAL and DENTAL appointments are EXCUSED ABSENCES with a doctor’s school pass and signature stating the child was in the office. We will be happy to provide that for you at your request. Missing school can be kept to a minimum when regular dental care is continued.
The office attempts to schedule appointments at your convenience and when time is available. Preschool children should be seen in the morning because they are fresher, and we can work more slowly with them for their comfort. Schoolchildren with a lot of work to be done should be seen in the morning for the same reason.
Since appointed times are reserved exclusively for each patient, we ask that you please notify our office 24 hours in advance of your scheduled appointment time if you are unable to keep your appointment. Another patient, who needs our care, could be scheduled if we have sufficient time to notify them. We realize that unexpected things can happen, but we ask for your assistance in this regard.