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For healthy teeth, choose healthy, whole food snacks, like fruit vegetables, and cheese.  As your child gets older, raw or roasted nuts are also great options for a healthy smile.

If brushing is a struggle for your infant or toddler, four hands can be better than two.  Have one person place the child’s legs around their torso, while the child lies back into the partner’s lap for brushing teeth.   If a partner is unavailable to assist you, we recommend sitting on the floor, with your child’s head in your lap to achieve the best access.

For brushing the teeth of children less than 2 years old, use a rice grain amount of fluoride toothpaste; even though the child will likely swallow the paste, this is a safe and helpful dose of fluoride for your child.  For children over the age of 2, a small pea-sized amount of toothpaste is recommended.

Remember to keep toothpaste out of your child’s reach, and always have an adult dispense toothpaste for children less than eight years old.  

Although your child may seem independent at five years old, it is best to supervise brushing at least before bedtime until your child is 8 years old, to ensure that proper cleaning is taking place.

Introduce flossing as soon as you notice that child’s teeth are touching.  We recommend floss sticks as the simplest means of cleaning between young teeth.  If flossing is a struggle for your child, concentrate on cleaning between the molars in the back of the mouth.

Feel free to click here to print off this coloring page to promote healthy eating and dental habits!


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A few terms you might hear at the dentist:

 

Abscess: A pocket or sack of pus and gas produced by an infection

 

Caries: tooth decay, also known as a cavity

 

Endodontist: a dentist who specializes in root canals and treating disease and infection of tooth pulp

 

Gingiva: also called gums

 

Local anesthesia: numbs a specific part of the body to prevent pain during a procedure

 

Occlusion: the alignment of the teeth of the lower jaw with the corresponding teeth of the upper jaw when closed

 

Malocclusion: a defect in the normal position of the upper and lower teeth when the mouth is closed

 

Orthodontist: a dentist who specializes in the diagnosis, prevention and correction of malocclusion

 

Overbite: a type of malocclusion where the upper and lower teeth overlap when they close together

 

Overjet: a type of malocclusion where the upper front teeth angle horizontally outwards; also called horizontal overlap or “buck teeth”

 

Pedodontist: a dentist who specializes in the care and treatment of children’s teeth; also called pediatric dentist

 

General anesthesia: renders patient unconscious so they will not feel or remember a procedure

 

Primary teeth: a child’s temporary or “baby” teeth, which include four incisors, two canines, and four molars in each jaw

 

Permanent teeth: replacing a child’s primary teeth, this second set of teeth—32 in all—includes two canines and 10 premolars and molars in each jaw

 


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Preparing for Your First Visit?

Happy Smiles Start Here

There are many things you can do to help prepare your child for their first dental visit.   Reading books about going to the dentist is a great way to introduce your child dentistry.  Speak about the dental office using positive terms, and PLEASE DO NOT use words such as, “hurt,” “needle,” “shot,” “drill,” and “pain,” to refer to dental care.  We like to set a positive tone to encourage your child to have a successful visit.

The first visit is a chance for us to get to know your child and for your child to get to know us. A new environment and new people can be a lot for a child to take in. It’s important to make sure their first experience at Eversmiles is positive.
Let your child know that she/he is growing up, and part of becoming a “big kid” is making sure that their teeth are healthy with a visit to the dentist.

 

On the day of your child’s visit, we ask that one guardian come with your child so that we can focus on his or her needs, and thoroughly review your child’s oral care with you.  We ask that siblings without an appointment remain at home, or in the waiting area with a responsible adult. If your child is comfortable, she or he is welcome to come back to treatment area by themselves, and we can review our visit with you at the end of the appointment.

Depending on the age and tolerance of your child, the first visit will consist of an oral examination, cleaning, x-rays, and fluoride varnish.  If your child is an infant or toddler, or requires some extra hand-holding, the exam will likely take place in a private consultation room. Preschool-aged children through adolescents typically receive their exam and complete cleaning in our kid-friendly dental chairs.

If you were referred to our office specifically for dental treatment, your child’s first visit will be a consultation so that we may meet you and your child, assess the treatment required, and determine the best and safest means of providing dental care for your child.  Restorative treatment will NOT be completed at your child’s first dental visit with us.

We will discuss a treatment plan with you should your child need additional services, but we do not provide treatment on the first visit.

 

Before your child’s appointment, we will send you a patient registration and medical history form, which are also available on our downloadable forms. We ask that you arrive 15 minutes before the appointment to allow time to register and for your child to get comfortable.

If you have any questions about our services or policies, please don’t hesitate to contact us or take a look at our frequently asked questions.


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7 Easy Tips for Keeping your Baby Cavity-Free

Oral bacteria is passed from caregiver to infant. For this reason, avoid sharing food (pre-chewing), oral items, or rinsing dropped pacifiers in your own mouth, especially if you have dental restorations or a history of decay. Advise other caregivers that your child may encounter to do the same.

Keep your mouth healthy – chronic inflammation is linked to other systemic health risk factors, which can affect fetal health.

Chew sugar free gum, ideally xylitol based (e.g. Ice Breakers Ice Cubes, Spry)

Make it a goal to wean off night feedings prior to the eruption of your baby’s first tooth, should your child’s health permit it.

As your child grows, should you choose to offer juice, time the juice to coincide with a meal. Avoid offering juice if possible, especially between meals, and reserve it as a treat for special occasions.

Use infant bottles for water, breast milk or formula only. When traveling, we recommend bringing water, breast milk, or formula, as needed for your child’s age.

Fluoride toothpaste is recommended for all children, even those who cannot spit. Use a small amount (about the size of a grain of rice), smushed onto the toothbrush, and store toothpaste out of reach of children. Start off slowly, with nighttime brushing, and gradually build daily brushing into your child’s routine.

If your child has special dietary requirements (e.g. Pediasure, nasogastric tube) or medications (e.g. albuterol, vyvanse), we can help you manage oral health and talk about how best to deliver supplemental nutrition and medication to prevent decay.

Our goal is to instill healthy habits early on, to help every child remain cavity-free for life. Ultimately, if your child has decay, do not feel guilty. We are here to work with you as a member of your child’s healthcare team. Together, we can give your child a fresh start, and manage his or her disease going forward.

For more information about the role of pediatric dentists and ideas for better oral health, please visit “Mouth Monsters” where they have plenty of Parent Resources.


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Answers to some of your Questions


  • What is a pediatric dentist?
  • What is a board certified pediatric dentist?
  • What age patients do you see?
  • When should my child first visit a dentist?
  • Why are baby teeth so important?
  • Why does my child need dental x-rays?
  • What are sealants, fillings, and crowns?
  • What can I do about my child’s toothache?
  • My child knocked out her/his permanent tooth. What should we do?
  • My child broke her/his tooth. What should we do?
  • My child has bad breath. What can I do?
  • My child gets canker sores (apthous ulcers) all the time. What can I do?
  • Why does my insurance cover amalgam and not composite?
  • Will my insurance pay for braces?
  • Does Eversmiles participate in my insurance company’s plan?
What is a pediatric dentist?

Pediatric dentists at Eversmiles have an extra two years of specialized training after dental school and are dedicated to the oral health of children from infancy through the teenage years. The very young, pre-teens, and teenagers all need different approaches in dealing with behavior, guiding their growth and development, and helping them avoid future dental problems. With the additional education, pediatric dentists have the training which allows them to offer the most up-to-date and thorough treatment for a wide variety of pediatric dental problems.

What is a board certified pediatric dentist?

When a Pediatric Dentist is Board Certified, it means that the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry or ABPD certifies that the dental care being provided is based on standards of excellence that lead to high quality oral health care for infants, children, adolescents and patients with special health care needs. Certification by the ABPD provides assurance to the public that a Pediatric Dentist has successfully completed accredited training and a voluntary examination process designed to continually validate the knowledge, skills and experience necessary for the delivery of quality patient care.

What age patients do you see?

We see patients from infant through adolescence, and individuals with special health care needs.  

When should my child first visit a dentist?

According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD), your child should visit the dentist by his/her 1st birthday or at least 6 months after the eruption of the first tooth. Beginning dental care at an early age allows guidance for caring for your child’s teeth and opportunities to address preventive issues that are important for healthy teeth and a pleasing smile. Early visits also help establish a positive relationship between the dentist and your child.

Why are baby teeth so important?

It is very important to maintain the health of primary teeth (baby teeth). Neglected cavities can cause pain and infection, and it can also lead to problems which affect the developing permanent teeth. Primary teeth are important for (1) proper chewing and eating, (2) providing space for permanent teeth and guiding them into position, and (3) permitting normal development of the jaw bones and muscles.

Why does my child need dental x-rays?

Radiographs (x-rays) are a necessary part of your child’s dental diagnostic process.  Without them, certain cavities will be missed. They also help survey developing teeth, evaluate results of an injury, or plan for orthodontic treatment.  If dental problems are found and treated early, dental care is more comfortable for your child, and more affordable for you.

Starting around age 4, our office will request bitewing radiographs approximately once a year and panoramic radiographs every 3-5 years.

With contemporary safeguards, the amount of radiation received in a dental x-ray examination is extremely small.  The risk is negligible. In fact, the dental radiographs represent a far smaller risk than an undetected and untreated dental problem.  Today’s equipment restricts the beam to the area of interest. Our office employs digital radiography which allows us to decrease the amount of radiation exposure.

What are sealants, fillings, and crowns?

A sealant is a clear white plastic material that is applied to the chewing surfaces (grooves) of the back teeth (premolars and molars), where most cavities in children can form.  The sealant acts as a barrier to food, plaque, and acid, thus protecting the decay-prone areas of the teeth. However, cavities between the teeth cannot be protected by sealants.  As long as there is no cavity in the tooth, sealants are recommended for all children.

If you child has active decay (a cavity), a filling is placed after the decay is removed.  Frequently, a sealant is placed over the filing and the remaining tooth for added protection.

If a cavity is too large to restore with a filling, a crown may be recommended or the tooth may need to be removed.  If the decay touches the nerve, but an abscess has not yet formed, it may be possible to save the tooth by performing a nerve treatment called a pulpotomy, and enclosing the whole tooth in a stainless steel crown.  A crown will wiggle out adhered to the baby tooth, when it is time for your child to lose his or her tooth.

What can I do about my child’s toothache?

Clean the area around the sore tooth thoroughly. Rinse the mouth with warm salt water or use dental floss to dislodge impacted food or debris. DO NOT place aspirin or any topical anesthetic (such as Orajel™) on the gum or on the aching tooth. If the pain is persistent, offer Ibuprofen according to appropriate dose for your child’s weight, and please call our office.  If you notice swelling or the pain still persists, contact our office as soon as possible.

My child knocked out her/his permanent tooth. What should we do?

Find the tooth. Handle the tooth by the crown, not the root portion. You may rinse the tooth, but DO NOT wipe or handle the tooth unnecessarily. Inspect the tooth for fractures, if there are no fractures, try to reinsert it into the socket. Have the patient hold the tooth in place by biting on a gauze or a paper towel.  If you cannot reinsert the tooth, transport the tooth in a cup containing milk. If there is no milk, place the tooth in a cup containing the patient’s own saliva. DO NOT place the tooth in water. Call our office immediately or go to your nearest emergency room. Time is a critical factor in saving the tooth.

My child broke her/his tooth. What should we do?

Rinse debris from injured area with warm water.  Place cold compresses over the face in the area of injury. Locate and save any broken tooth fragments in milk. If your child experiences severe pain, contact our office as soon as possible.

My child has bad breath. What can I do?

Many children have bad breath, particularly in the morning. If your child seems to exhibit bad breath even after brushing, ask to see her/his tongue.  If it appears particularly “furry,” a tongue scraper may help reduce debris that can contribute to bad breath.  Additionally, some patients find alcohol-free mouth-rinse helpful. Chewing sugar-free gum can stimulate saliva and contribute to improved breath odor.

Finally, if the foul smell persists, see your dentist or physician to ensure that there isn’t a systemic infection, tonsillitis, or oral infection contributing to the malodor.

My child gets canker sores (apthous ulcers) all the time. What can I do?

Firstly, make an appointment with the dentist to confirm that your child has canker sores, and not another type of infection.  Avoid spicy and acidic foods, which can be painful to eat when ulcers are present. Switching toothpastes to avoid certain ingredients (such as sodium lauryl sulfates) has been beneficial for some patients.  Ask your dentist about some alternative fluoride toothpastes that may aid in reducing the frequency of canker sore occurrences. For some people, however, canker sores may be recurring and persistent, and additional medical intervention may be required.

Why does my insurance cover amalgam and not composite?

An amalgam filling is generally less expensive than a composite filling, which is tooth colored. Neither filling is better or worse. That being said, most insurance companies opt to pay for treatment that carries a lower price tag.

Will my insurance pay for braces?

We offer limited orthodontic services and will refer your child to an appropriate specialist should the need arise. For procedures we do offer, we can prior authorize your treatment and let you know the approximate payment your insurance company will make and an approximate balance you will be required to pay.

Does Eversmiles participate in my insurance company’s plan?

Eversmiles participates in most insurance plans. However, you can see our practitioners even if we don’t participate in your plan. While we will submit insurance forms for you, you are responsible for providing payment. Your insurance plan may reimburse you, not our office. Please refer to our payment policy for more information.



Eversmiles Pediatric Dentistry

Our mission is to give your child happy, healthy smiles that last a lifetime. We work in partnership with our patients, their families and the health care community to provide the best treatment, while creating positive dental experiences that will set the stage for long-term oral health.

 

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