Pediatric Dentistry

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 friendly open treatment area. Pediatric dentists have an additional two to three years of training at university pediatric facilities in addition to four years of dental school and four years of college study.  They learn how to deal with the behavioral aspects of children, how to make them feel comfortable, and to make the experience pleasant. They also are trained and qualified to treat special needs patients.

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. Pediatric dental offices understand that children may need a little extra time and attention to make them feel comfortable.  Our pediatric specialists 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 and just as important, they learn that going to the dentist can be fun.

What Dental Problems Could My Child Have?

Some dental problems begin very early in life. One concern is early childhood tooth decay, a serious condition caused by a child staying on the bottle (or breast) too long. 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. 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.

Also, the greatest incidence of dental trauma to baby teeth occurs between the ages of 2 and 3 years old, when motor coordination is developing.  It’s not uncommon for a child to chip his/her tooth or even lose the tooth completely because of a fall. 

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 jaw bones 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 10-14, so they must last for years.

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

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 trip, then the less you say the better. Your child’s reaction to his first visit to the dentist may happily surprise you.

There are books or even videos available online that talk about a child’s first dental visit.  Some parents have found that these aids help their children ease into their first visit.

What About Preventative Care?

At our office, we are most concerned with all aspects of preventive care. Making sure your child visits the dentist by age one and subsequent routine check-ups will help prepare your child for a healthy dental future.  After assessing your child’s teeth, diet and home care, your pediatric dentist can make individualized recommendations to help prevent cavities for your child.  These recommendations will change as your child grows and develops.  When appropriate, we recommend dental sealants to protect your child’s teeth. Sealants are a plastic material applied to the chewing surfaces of cavity-prone teeth. This is just one of the ways we help set the foundation for your child’s oral health.

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 wears 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 a tour of our sterilization area.