WHAT IS A PEDIATRIC DENTIST?

DOES THE OFFICE ACCEPT MY DENTAL INSURANCE?

WHY ARE PRIMARY TEETH SO IMPORTANT?

ERUPTION OF YOUR CHILD'S TEETH

WHAT IS THE BEST TOOTHPASTE FOR MY CHILD?

WHEN SHOULD A CHILD HAVE HIS FIRST DENTAL EXAM?

WHEN WILL MY BABY START GETTING TEETH?

WHY DOES MY CHILD GRIND HIS TEETH AT NIGHT? (BRUXISM)

WHAT IS A SEALANT?

WHAT IS NITROUS OXIDE?

WHAT IS CONSCIOUS SEDATION?

WHEN IS IV SEDATION RECOMMENDED?

WHEN SHOULD MY CHILD BE TREATED IN THE HOSPITAL?


WHAT IS A PEDIATRIC DENTIST?

A pediatric dentist is a dentist who has an extra two to three years of specialized training dedicated to the oral health of children from infancy through the teenage years. Pediatric dentists also see adults with special needs. Back to top

DOES THE OFFICE ACCEPT MY DENTAL INSURANCE?

Please contact our office to see if we are providers for your insurance. Every effort will be made to provide a treatment plan which fits your timetable and budget and gives your child the best possible care. We accept cash, personal checks, debit cards, Visa, Mastercard, and CareCredit. We are happy to file your dental insurance if we have verified your coverage prior to the appointment. If you need more information about CareCredit, you can speak to our office staff or visit their website at www.carecredit.com. Back to top

WHY ARE PRIMARY TEETH SO IMPORTANT?

Primary teeth, also commonly known as "baby teeth", are important for:
(1) Proper chewing and eating.
(2) Providing space for the permanent teeth and guiding them into the correct position.
(3) Adding to an attractive appearance of the face and mouth. While the front four primary teeth last until 6 to 7 years of age, many of the molars aren't replaced until age 10-11.
Neglected cavities can frequently lead to problems which affect developing permanent teeth.
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ERUPTION OF YOUR CHILD'S TEETH

Children's teeth begin forming before birth. Therefore, a mother's health and nutrition during pregnancy are vital to the formation of healthy primary teeth. As early as 4 months, the first primary teeth to erupt through the gums are the lower central incisors, followed closely by the upper central incisors. By the age of 3 children should have 20 primary teeth. Permanent teeth begin appearing around age 6, starting with the first molars and lower central incisors. This process continues until approximately age 18 when the "wisdom teeth" come in. Adults have up to 32 teeth. Back to top

WHAT IS THE BEST TOOTHPASTE FOR MY CHILD?

Tooth brushing is one of the most important tasks for good oral health. Many toothpastes, and/or tooth polishes, however, can damage young smiles. They contain harsh abrasives, which can wear away young tooth enamel. When looking for toothpaste for your child, make sure to pick one that is recommended by the American Dental Association, as shown on the box and tube. These toothpastes have undergone testing to insure they are safe to use. Remember, children should spit out toothpaste after brushing to avoid getting too much fluoride. If too much fluoride is ingested, a condition known as fluorosis of the developing permanent teeth can occur. If your child is too young or unable to spit out toothpaste, consider providing them with a fluoride free toothpaste, using no toothpaste, or using only a "pea size" amount of toothpaste. Back to top

WHEN SHOULD A CHILD HAVE HIS FIRST DENTAL EXAM?

According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, your child should visit the dentist by his/her 1st birthday. Usually, the first visit for a one year old would include parent education and an oral exam. You can make the first visit for the older child enjoyable and positive. Your child should be informed of the visit and told that the dentist and staff will explain all procedures and answer any questions. It is best if you refrain from using words around your child that might cause unnecessary fear, such as needle, pull, drill, or hurt. For the older child, in addition to parent and patient education and exam, x-rays are often taken and a cleaning is done. Our office policy is to proceed at the child's comfort level and not force a child to do anything they are not ready for. Back to top

WHEN WILL MY BABY START GETTING TEETH?

Teething, the process of baby (primary) teeth coming through the gums into the mouth, is variable among individual babies. Some babies get their teeth early and some get them late. In general the first baby teeth to appear are usually the lower front teeth, and they usually begin erupting between the ages of 6 to 8 months. Back to top

WHY DOES MY CHILD GRIND HIS TEETH AT NIGHT? (BRUXISM)

Parents are often concerned about their children grinding their teeth at night. This is called "bruxism". Often the first indication is the noise created by the child's grinding of their teeth during sleep, or the parent may notice wearing of the teeth. There are several theories as to why children grind their teeth. One theory relates to pressure in the inner ear at night. If there is pressure changes, the child will grind by moving his jaw to relieve pressure. (This is like being in an airplane during take-off and landing when people chew gum to equalize pressure.) Another possible cause of bruxism is enlarged tonsils and/or adenoids. The majority of cases of pediatric bruxism does not require any treatment. Although adults may wear a mouth guard at night to protect their teeth, they are not made for children because of the possibility of choking if the appliance becomes dislodged during sleep and it may interfere with growth of the jaw. The good news is most children outgrow bruxism. The grinding decreases between the ages of 6-9 and children tend to stop grinding between the ages of 9-12. If you suspect brusixm, discuss this with your pediatrician or pediatric dentist. Back to top

WHAT IS A SEALANT?

A sealant is a white plastic material that is applied to the chewing surfaces (grooves) of the back teeth (premolars and molars), where the majority of cavities in children are found. This sealant acts as a barrier to food, plaque, and acid, thus protecting the decay prone areas of the teeth. After sealants are applied, your child should refrain from eating ice or hard candy, which tends to fracture the sealants. Sticky candy and gum will pull off the sealant. Usually, sealants need to be replaced on an average of every three years. Back to top

WHAT IS NITROUS OXIDE?

Some children are given nitrous oxide/oxygen, or what you may know as laughing gas, to relax them for their dental treatment. Nitrous oxide/oxygen is a blend of two gases, oxygen and nitrogen. Nitrous oxide/oxygen is given through a small breathing mask that is placed over the child's nose and is used to help him relax without putting him to sleep. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recognizes this technique as a very safe and effective one to use for treating children's dental needs. This gas is mild and easily taken with normal breathing. It is quickly eliminated from the body. While inhaling nitrous oxide/oxygen, your child remains fully conscious and keeps all his or her natural reflexes.

Prior to your appointment:
• Do not give your child anything to eat or drink within 3 hours of their appointment, as nausea is a common side effect of using nitrous oxide.
• Please inform us of any change to your child's health and/or medical condition.
• Tell us about any respiratory condition that makes breathing through the nose difficult for your child. It may limit the effectiveness of the nitrous oxide/oxygen.
• Let us know if your child is taking any medication on the day of the appointment.
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WHAT IS CONSCIOUS SEDATION?

Conscious sedation is recommended for apprehensive children, very young children, and children with special needs. The sedation given is usually a liquid medication that your child will drink when he arrives at the office. It is used to calm your child and to reduce the anxiety or discomfort associated with dental treatments. Your child may be quite drowsy, and may even fall asleep, but he will not become unconscious. There are a variety of different medications, which can be used for conscious sedation. The doctor will prescribe the medication best suited for your child's overall health and dental treatment. We will be happy to answer any questions you might have concerning the specific drugs we have planned to give your child.

Prior to your child's appointment:
• Please notify us of any change in your child's health and/or medical condition. Do not bring your child for treatment with a fever, ear infection, or cold. Should you child become ill, contact us to see if it is necessary to postpone the appointment.
• You must tell the doctor of any medication that your child is currently taking and any drug reactions and/or change in his medical history.
• Please dress your child in loose fitting, comfortable clothing.
• Please make sure your child goes to the restroom immediately prior to arriving at the office.
• Your child should not have anything to eat or drink after midnight the night before the appointment.
• The child's parent or legal guardian must remain at the office during the complete procedure.
• Please watch your child closely while the medication is taking effect. Hold the child in your lap or keep him or her close to you. Do not let them run around.

After the sedation appointment:
• Your child will be drowsy for several hours after the procedure and needs to be monitored very closely.
• At first it is best to give your child sips of clear liquids or a popsicle to prevent nausea. The first meal should be light and easily digestible.
• If your child vomits, do not give solid foods but try ice chips or small sips of water. If vomiting continues for more than 6 hours, call our office.
• Because we use local anesthetic to numb your child's mouth during the procedure, your child may have the tendency to bite or chew their lips, cheeks, and/or tongue and/or rub and scratch their face after treatment. Please observe your child carefully to prevent any injury to these areas.
• Please call our office for any questions or concerns that you might have.
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WHEN IS IV SEDATION RECOMMENDED?

IV sedation is recommended for apprehensive children, very young children, and children with special needs that would not do well under conscious sedation. The dentist performs the dental treatment in our office with the child anesthetized under IV sedation, which is administered and monitored by an anesthesiologist.

Prior to your appointment:
• Please notify us of any change in your child's health and/or medical condition. Do not bring your child for treatment with a fever, ear infection, or cold. Should your child become ill, contact our office to see if it is necessary to postpone the appointment.
• You must tell the doctor of any medications that your child is currently taking and any drug reactions and/or change in medical history.
• Please dress your child in loose fitting, comfortable clothing.
• Please make sure that your child goes to the restroom immediately prior to arriving at the office.
• The child's parent or legal guardian must remain at the office during the complete procedure.

After the sedation appointment:
• Your child will be drowsy and will need to be monitored very closely. Keep your child away from areas of potential harm.
• If your child wants to sleep, place them on their side with their chin up. Wake your child every hour and encourage them to have something to drink in order to prevent dehydration. At first it is best to give your child sips of clear liquids to prevent nausea. The first meal should be light and easily digestible.
• If your child vomits, help them bend over and turn their head to the side to ensure that they do not inhale the vomit.
• Please call our office for any questions or concerns that you might have.
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WHEN SHOULD MY CHILD BE TREATED IN THE HOSPITAL?

Outpatient general anesthesia is recommended for apprehensive children, very young children, or children with special needs that would not do well under conscious sedation or IV sedation. General anesthesia renders you child completely asleep. This would be the same as if he/she was having his or her tonsils removed, ear tubes placed, or hernia repaired. This is performed in a hospital or outpatient setting only.

Prior to your appointment:
• Please notify us of any changes in your child's health. Do not bring your child for treatment with a fever, ear infection, or cold. Should your child become ill, contact our office to see if it is necessary to postpone the appointment.
• You must tell the doctor of any medications that your child is currently taking and any drug reactions and/or change in medical history.
• Please dress your child in loose fitting, comfortable clothing.
• This child's parent or legal guardian must remain at the hospital or surgical center waiting room during the complete procedure.

After the appointment:
• Your child will be drowsy and will need to be monitored very closely. Keep your child away from areas of potential harm.
• If your child wants to sleep, place them on their side with their chin up. Wake the child every hour and encourage him or her to have something to drink in order to prevent dehydration. At first it is best to give your child sips of clear liquids to prevent nausea. The first meal should be light and easily digestible.
• If you child vomits, help them bend over and turn their head to the side if lying down to ensure that they do not inhale the vomit.
• Prior to leaving the hospital outpatient center, you will be given a detailed list of "post-op instructions" and an emergency contact number if needed.
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