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Kids First

When you walk in the office, you can tell right away that kids are our priority. We welcome our patients into a bright, calm space with a fun ocean theme. They are greeted by finny friends in a giant saltwater tank, whimsical model fish “swimming” along a bright blue wall, and a “kids only” game center that looks like a coral reef.

Gentle, compassionate care.
All of us are in this field because we love kids. We understand that going to the dentist can seem a little scary to a child, and we do our best to put our patients at ease. Many of them now like visiting us so much they’re disappointed when the visit is over!

We focus on your child’s well being and work
closely with you to discuss and explain all treatment options.

Fluoride

Fluoride is nature’s cavity fighter. Like any natural nutrient, it is safe and effective when used properly. Fluoride incorporates itself into tooth enamel and strengthens it, making it more resistant to cavities.

There are two methods that protect teeth with fluoride:
Topical: toothpaste, mouth rinses, and professionally applied fluoride treatments  are examples of topical fluoride. Topical fluoride strengthens and protects teeth that have already erupted.
Systematic: fluoridated drinking water and fluoride supplements (tablets or liquid drops)  are examples of systematic fluoride. Systematic fluoride protects tooth structures as they are forming.

Eating Right

Bacteria thrive on sugars and carbohydrates, which provide the energy bacteria need to grow, reproduce, and create the enamel- eating acid that causes cavities. Foods that tend to stick to teeth (peanut butter, caramel, chips and crackers) provide long-lasting food sources for cavity-causing bacteria.

Encourage your child to choose snacks that promote a
healthy smile, such as:

  • fruit slices
  • vegetable sticks
  • string cheese
  • yogurt

Flossing

Flossing every day is also important in preventing cavities, because floss reaches between teeth where a toothbrush cannot go. It’s time to start flossing your child’s teeth once any two of them touch each other. Most children are ready to begin flossing on their own at about the age of seven. We can help demonstrate proper flossing techniques.

Brushing

Good oral hygiene significantly reduces your child’s risk of developing cavities. Brushing helps remove the food sources that feed the bacteria that cause cavities. It is important to gently brush all tooth surfaces [and gums] for 2-3 minutes, using a circular motion and holding the brush so the bristles are at a 45 degree angle toward the gumline. To make sure they do a good job, help your child brush until they are at least six years old. Brush your child’s teeth after each meal or at least twice a day, especially at bedtime.

Dental Anxiety

How do you help a child with dental anxiety?
We have special training in helping anxious children feel secure during dental treatment, ensuring that most children feel calm, comfortable and confident when they’re here.

What methods might you use to help my child feel comfortable?
We have expertise in many methods to help children feel comfortable with dental treatment. For example, when using the “Tell-Show-Do” technique, we might name a dental instrument, demonstrate the instrument by using it to count your child’s fingers and then apply the instrument in treatment.

Other techniques include modeling, coaching, distraction and parent participation. But by far the best technique is praise. Every child does something right during a dental visit and we let them know that with warm, sincere praise.

Should I accompany my child into treatment?
Infants and some young children may feel more confident when parents stay close during treatment. However, with older children, doctor-child communication is often enhanced if parents remain in the main reception room.

What if my child misbehaves during treatment?
Occasionally a child’s behavior during treatment requires assertive management to protect him or her from possible injury. Voice control (speaking calmly but firmly) usually takes care of it. If a child is especially fearful, sedation techniques or general anesthesia may be recommended.

Is sedation an option if my child is especially anxious?
If your child has a high level of anxiety, is very young, has a strong gag reflex, or has low pain tolerance, then sedation might be called for. Special needs children or patients who undergo extensive dental treatment may also benefit from sedation. We use these safe, proven methods: nitrous oxide [laughing gas], oral conscious sedation, and general anesthesia in a hospital setting.

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry endorses sedation as an effective way to make children feel safe and comfortable during dental procedures. We are happy to discuss with you the plan that best fits your child’s needs.