Pediatric dentists are the pediatricians of dentistry. After dental school, pediatric dentists complete two to three years of specialized training focused exclusively on infants, children and adolescents, including those with special needs. Pediatric dentists have more training on things such as behavior management, growth and development and orthodontics.

Question 1: Do baby teeth really matter?

More than you know! Baby teeth help children speak clearly, chew naturally and create a path that permanent teeth can follow when they erupt. Starting at birth, gently clean the gums with a soft infant toothbrush or cloth and water. Help prevent decay by avoiding nursing children to sleep or putting anything other than water in their bedtime bottle.

Question 2: When should I start using a fluoride toothpaste?

Never use a non-fluoride toothpaste. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the(AAPD) recommend using a regular children’s fluoride toothpaste as soon as the teeth begin to appear. Start brushing twice daily with fluoride toothpaste and a soft, infant-sized toothbrush. For children 24 months and under, use a rice grain- size of toothpaste. For 3-6 year olds, use a pea-size amount of toothpaste. Brush for them or assist to ensure effective brushing.

Question 3: Do you offer white fillings and crowns?

Yes! All of our fillings are tooth colored, which means they look great and contain no mercury! Also, we offer zirconia crowns, which are also tooth colored.

Question 4: Are pacifier or thumb sucking habits harmful?

Generally, not. Thumb or pacifier sucking are habits children usually outgrow on their own. Past age three, your dentist might recommend a mouth appliance.

Anxiety relief (Anxiolysis) and Sedation 

Question 1: Is anxiety medications and laughing gas safe?

Yes! The use of laughing gas is extremely safe and is used every day in a pediatric dentist office. It is a gas and never dissolves in your blood, so when the procedure is finished you breath 100% oxygen and the medication is completely gone! You can go back to school after. Sometimes other medications are used for anxiety control and they are very safe when administered by a specialty pediatric dentist, who trained for 2-3 more years in a hospital.

Question 2: Oral Conscious Sedation.

Conscious sedation uses liquid medication to help a child relax during a lengthy procedure. The child drinks a liquid or takes a pill 15-60 minutes prior to their procedure. During the initial appointment, your doctor will explain pre-sedation instructions and review a consent form. This is NOT anesthesia and this procedure is useful for short procedures where it is deemed the child may be uncooperative and form deep negative memories due to the extent of the procedure. Children are not asleep, but are less aware of their surroundings.

Question 3: IV Sedation in-office.

IV sedation administers medicine through an intravenous injection. This form of sedation puts a child to sleep and makes them completely unaware of their surroundings. For children who require IV sedation, we are fortunate to work with a great team of pediatric anesthesiologists who specialize in working with children. They make the entire IV sedation experience pleasant and comfortable for parents and kids.

Question 4: General Anesthesia / Hospital Dentistry

General anesthesia is the administration of anesthetic agents such as intravenous drugs and inhaled gases to make a child unconscious during a procedure. Our dentists are on staff at three hospitals for patients who have special needs, are dental phobic, require extensive work or are medically compromised. Outpatient procedures allow a patient to have all required dental work completed and go home the same day. Your doctor will thoroughly review all options and answer all your questions prior to scheduling an appointment. Parents are responsible for scheduling an appointment with a pediatrician to ensure there are no contraindications to general anesthesia.