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Pediatric Dentistry

young girl at the dentist smiling

Our youngest patients are treated with the same friendly, professional care we offer to all our patients, but we also take extra steps to make our youngest patients feel welcome and comfortable. We want them to have only good memories of visiting the dentist as they visit our office through the years and become part of our adult dental practice.

Age 3+: Dental Hygiene/Exams

We recommend scheduling the first visit at about age 3 to establish a rapport with our dental team. This also gives us a starting point as we watch your child’s baby teeth give way to adult teeth. A typical pediatric dental visit includes:

  • A professional cleaning
  • Examination of the teeth for fractures or decay
  • Reinforcing the good habits you are building at home by talking to your child about the importance of brushing and flossing

At your child’s first dental visit, we may talk to you about pacifier use or finger-sucking habits, if those are still an issue, and develop a plan to ease away from these habits before your child’s alignment is impacted.

As your child gets older, we’ll add X-rays to the visits. We’ll monitor the movement of baby teeth and watch as molars start to appear. They will be able to sit in the room on their own during procedures. 

Sealants, Fluoride and Preventive Care

Between the ages of 6-12, your child’s permanent first molars will emerge and that’s when we recommend the addition of sealants to prevent decay in those teeth. Sealants are thin plastic coatings applied to the teeth during a dental visit with a material that penetrates the enamel and provides protection for several years. Sealants are a great tool in the pediatric dental care toolbox to prevent cavities and give teeth the best chance of staying healthy for decades to come. 

Fluoride treatments provided in our office when needed also strengthen your child’s teeth and build a defense barrier against decay. Fluoride in public water systems provides some protection, but we also apply a gel to teeth that is rinsed away after a few minutes, giving teeth an extra layer of protection. 

Flossing, good brushing habits, and a healthy diet are also critically important ways to ensure good oral health for your child.

Age 7+: Preparing for Orthodontics

Your child may not be ready for braces or other orthodontic interventions at age 7, but we recommend a screening at this age to begin to plan for the future. Our goal is to advise the right treatment at the right time in your child’s development. Your child’s bite may be out of alignment and adult teeth coming in may be showing signs of crowding or spacing issues. We are a full-service dental office, and our treatment plans take into account your child’s long-term dental needs. We’ll know when the time is right to start with orthodontic appliances and work with you and your child to find the solution that suits your child, including:

  •  Self-ligating (metal) braces, which require fewer adjustments and are lighter than metal braces from the past.
  • Invisalign® for Teens, clear aligners that are worn about 23 hours a day and gradually straighten teeth through a series of trays that are changed about once a week.
  • Retainers, which help maintain the alignment and straightening after your child’s braces are removed, or Invisalign® trays are complete.
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