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Text or Call Us!

(480) 888-9596

We Have Extended Hours

We're open Saturdays, too!

Request an Appointment

Book your dream smile!

Pediatric Dentistry

If your child has more than 1 tooth or is at least 1 years old, they need to see a dentist! A healthy smile starts with the right dental care at a young age.

We know that their first experiences in a dental setting will significantly influence the way they view and practices oral health in the future. It’s important that your child has a comfortable experience early on so they aren’t afraid or anxious going to the dentist in the future.

Cleaning & Prevention

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) advocates that parents should schedule a dental visit for their child within six months of the first tooth breaking through or by the age of one. Rest assured that we will help your child age with healthy oral hygiene from infancy to adulthood by:

  • Scheduling semi-annual checkups which, include dental exams, cleaning, and x-rays that will anticipate and quickly treat and incoming issues
  • Establishing healthy habits to prevent cavities and foster clean gums
  • Working to help phase out unhealthy habits like thumb-sucking
  • Finding out what additional treatments are necessary preventative methods your child may need such as fluoride or sealants

How can you get your child to brush their teeth?

Make it fun! Children like to imitate their parents, so if you are enthusiastic about your oral hygiene routine, they will be too.
Ask the dentist for other creative ways to get children to brush their teeth.
Getting your children to brush starts with taking them to the dentist at an early age. All children should be seen by their first birthday or 6 months after the eruption of the first tooth.
There are two major components to pediatric oral care: preventative care at the pediatric dentist’s office and preventative care at home. A good dental strategy will eliminate the risk of cavities and tooth decay in your infant or toddler. The American Dental Association recommends that pediatric visits start at young as 12 months old and continue every 6 months.
Good oral care includes many factors, such as:

 

  • Diet – Parents should provide children with a healthy, balanced diet, and should space out snacks where possible.

 

  • Oral habits – Thumbsucking and use of a pacifier can cause the teeth to misalign. Although use typically ceases over time, if the child must use a pacifier, choose an “orthodontically” correct model.

 

  • Sippy cups – It is recommended to discontinue use of sippy cups between the ages of 12-14 months, or as soon as the child’s motor skills are developed enough to hold a drinking glass.

 

  • Brushing – It is important to monitor your child’s brushing to ensure proper technique, duration, and frequency until they are able to do so themselves. Be sure not to use fluoridated toothpaste for children under the age of 2.

 

  • Flossing – There are many hard-to-reach areas in your mouth that your toothbrush cannot get to. Flossing gets rid of plaque that eventually hardens into tartar that only your dentist can remove.

 

  • Fluoride – Prevent mineral loss and promote remineralization of tooth enamel with a fluoride treatment. Your dentist will determine how much your child is receiving and will prescribe supplements if necessary.
Your child’s first dental visit happens around their first birthday. It can be very stressful for parents, particularly those with dental phobias themselves. It’s important for parents to communicate positive messages to their child about dental visits, to help them be happy and calm.
Pediatric dentists are trained, especially, in child psychology. We aim to make your child as comfortable as possible during every visit.
Here are some things that we suggest and find helpful when bringing children to the dentist:

 

  • Take another adult with you – Some children become fussy when the dentist is examining your mouth. By bringing another adult, you are able to speak with and listen to the dentist, while the other soothes the child.

 

  • Leave other children at home – When possible, we recommend leaving your other children at home as they can be a distraction to you, the parent, but can also cause more stress for the child being treated.

 

  • Avoid threatening language – It’s important to use positive language when talking about dental treatments with your kids. Our dentists avoid using threatening language like, “blood”, “needles”, “drills”, and “injections”.

 

  • Provide positive explanations – Teach your children that going to the dentist “helps keep teeth healthy”, instead of telling them that the dentist is “checking for tooth decay and might have to drill into the tooth if decay is found”. Always enforce positive messages to your children about visiting the dentist.

 

  • Explain what will happen – Anxiety often stems from the fear of the unknown. By explaining to your child what to expect, you can drastically decrease stress levels. Age-appropriate books about visiting the dentist can be very useful in creating a fun, happy visit.

 

Here are some books to try:

 

  • The Berenstain Bears Visit the Dentist – by Stan and Jan Berenstain
  • Show Me Your Smile: A Visit to the Dentist – “Dora the Explorer” series
  • Going to the Dentist – by Anne Civardi
  • Elmo Visits the Dentist – “Sesame Street” series
Although thumb sucking and pacifiers seem like a harmless habit that provides your child with a sense of comfort, relaxation, and security, the damage can be extensive. According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, most infants stop using a sucking aid around the age of 4, but for many, breaking the habit can be very difficult. Children beyond the age of 5 who continue the habit are at a greater risk of developing dental complications.
Some of the associated risks are:

 

  • Jaw misalignment – The shapes in which pacifiers come are very unnatural for the mouth to hold. Over time and prolonged use, pacifiers and thumbs can guide developing jaw out of correct alignment.

 

  • Tooth decay – In order to soothe their child, some parents dip the pacifier in honey or other sugary substances. Oral bacteria feed on sugar and emit harmful acids that attack tooth enamel and can lead to pediatric tooth decay and childhood caries.

 

  • Roof narrowing – While your child’s teeth are growing, the use of sucking aids can cause them to protrude or slant, leading to poor aesthetic and increases the need for orthodontic treatments.

 

  • Slanting teeth – Teach your children that going to the dentist “helps keep teeth healthy”, instead of telling them that the dentist is “checking for tooth decay and might have to drill into the tooth if decay is found”. Always enforce positive messages to your children about visiting the dentist.

 

  • Mouth sores – Aggressive sucking (popping sound when the child sucks) may cause ulcers to develop. Passive sucking is much less harmful than aggressive sucking but is still discouraged.

 

Here are some tips to try to encourage your child to stop using a sucking aid:

 

  • Ask the pediatric dentist to speak to your child about it. Often times, messages are heard more clearly when coming from a medical professional.
  • Buy an ADA recommended specialized dental appliance to make it difficult for your child to engage in sucking behaviors.
  • Implement a reward system, instead of punishment, where the child can earn “points” towards something they want for not using a suck aid.
  • Wrap thumbs in soft cloths or mittens at nighttime.
Mouth guards, also known as athletic mouth protectors, are an essential piece of equipment for any child participating in any potentially injurious recreational or sporting activities.
Mouth guards fit snuggly over your child’s teeth and protect the entire oral region from traumatic injury, maintaining both the aesthetic and health of the smile. Mouth guards can also be used to prevent tooth damage in children who grind their teeth at night.
Types of mouth guards available:
  • Stock mouth guards – Parents should provide children with a healthy, balanced diet, and should space out snacks where possible.
  • Boil & bite mouthguards – Thumbsucking and use of a pacifier can cause the teeth to misalign. Although use typically ceases over time, if the child must use a pacifier, choose an “orthodontically” correct model.
  • Customized mouthguards – It is recommended to discontinue use of sippy cups between the ages of 12-14 months, or as soon as the child’s motor skills are developed enough to hold a drinking glass.
Mouth guards can also reduce the prevalence of the following injuries:
  • Cheek lesions
  • Concussions
  • Gum and soft tissue injuries
  • Jawbone fractures
  • Lip lesions
  • Neck injuries
  • Tongue lesions
  • Tooth fractures

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