These needs may include orthodontics, dental sealants, fluoride applications or home treatments, or just simply education in oral hygiene. In addition to treating existing dental problems, our office focuses on prevention through patient and parent education. We like to feel that you, and your child, do not come to our office to have their “cavities fixed” but rather to prevent them. Our office provides all of the educational tools necessary for our patients to enjoy a cavity-free future.
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry encourages parents and other care providers to help every child establish a dental home by 12 months of age. Establishing a dental home provides some key components to dental care for your child including:
• Comprehensive oral health care including acute care and preventive services.
• Individualized preventive dental health program based upon a caries-risk assessment.
• Anticipatory guidance regarding growth and development.
• Plan for acute dental trauma (emergencies).
• Dietary counseling.
• Referrals to dental specialists when care cannot directly be provided within the dental home.
• Referral at an age determined by patient, parent, and pediatric dentist.
Why choose a pediatric office?
Pediatric dentists have been specifically trained to treat children’s developing teeth. They know the unique problems that children face, such as cavities and gum problems. They also understand the complexities of how teeth grow and develop and can keep an eye out for potential problems. Importantly, pediatric practitioners have experience dealing with frightened children and can help your child feel at ease and comfortable at the dentist.
While there’s nothing wrong with using standard-sized dental equipment on children, it’s nice that pediatric dental offices use smaller equipment specifically designed for a child’s mouth. Additionally, many pediatric dentists help ease your child into dental exams by introducing one piece of equipment at a time. This can help children get used to the complex and often “scary-looking” equipment without overwhelming them.
Pediatric dentists also focus on prevention of dental problems to ensure lifetime of good dental health. Pediatric practitioners can give you advice and teach your child about developing healthy habits, like twice-a-day brushing and flossing. A pediatric dentist will also have the latest information on preventative treatments (such as topical fluoride treatments) as they pertain specifically to children. In the same way that you would take a child to visit a pediatrician, we always recommend taking your child to a pediatric dentist. As kids are what we do – the dentist and staff have unique techniques and ways of communicating with your child unique to their needs. We also love creating an environment that is inviting and comfortable so your child doesn’t fear making dental appointments part of their health care for life.
Some dental treatments require giving nitrous oxide – commonly known as ‘laughing gas’ or ‘relaxing gas’.
Nitrous oxide is given through a small breathing mask which is placed over the child’s nose, allowing them to relax, but without putting them to sleep. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, recognizes this technique as a very safe, effective technique to use for treating children’s dental needs. The gas is mild, easily taken, then with normal breathing, it is quickly eliminated from the body. It is non-addictive.
While inhaling nitrous oxide, your child remains fully conscious and keeps all natural reflexes. It is a great tool to help your child have a more pleasant treatment appointment by helping them be more cooperative, thus lessening treatment time.
You might have heard about dental sealants from other parents
These are a quick, easy, and inexpensive solution for preventing dental caries (cavities). The most important reason for getting sealants is to avoid tooth decay. Fluoride in toothpaste and in drinking water protects the smooth surfaces of teeth but back teeth need extra protection.
Sealants cover the chewing surfaces of the back teeth and keep out germs and food. Dental sealants are made of a special kind of material and are placed in the deep grooves of the tooth’s chewing surface that a normal toothbrush bristle can’t clean out.
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