Expert Care for Children
Pediatric dentistry is dental care just for kids. At our pediatric dental practice, everything we do is designed for the betterment of your child’s oral health and getting them set for a lifetime of beautiful smiles. Children have dental requirements, issues, and challenges that are unique, and your child needs a dental team that is specially trained and dedicated to pediatric care. Dr. Jeff and his team are committed to providing patient, gentle, and high-quality dental care to the children in our community.
You will find information on our most common dental services below. You may recognize many of these treatments from your own dental care, but we deliver these services specifically for our young patients. Every treatment and procedure is always performed with compassion and friendliness at our office.
We also welcome questions. If you’d like to know more about a treatment or have a question about your child’s dental care, please ask! We’re always happy to explain any procedure or dental issue.
Along with home care and avoidance of bad habits, professional cleanings are one of the top ways to prevent tooth decay and gum disease in your child. Most kids need to brush twice daily and floss at least once per day. It is an excellent idea to supervise younger kids while they are brushing or flossing to ensure they’re doing a thorough job. However, even the most dedicated home oral care will inevitably leave behind some tiny particles of food from time to time.
These particles serve as fuel for harmful bacteria in your child’s mouth. The bacteria grow and multiply, secreting acid along the way. This acid works to break down the protective enamel of your child’s teeth, leading to cavities. Cavities can result in pain, the need for extensive dental treatment, or even tooth loss.
Furthermore, bacteria can infect the structures surrounding the teeth, including the gums, ligaments, and bone. Known as periodontitis, this infection often presents as red and puffy inflamed gums, and sore or bleeding gums. Periodontitis may be unnoticeable in the early stages except on a professional evaluation. Other than trauma from accidents, periodontitis is the top cause of tooth loss in the United States.
Our team is extremely diligent and gentle when cleaning your child’s teeth. We have the training and equipment necessary to ensure that their mouth is free of debris. While cleaning every hard-to-reach nook and cranny, we can also remove the tough tartar that builds up over time and is impossible to clean with just a toothbrush and dental floss.
Your child’s regular cleaning is also an excellent opportunity for a full evaluation of their oral health. Dr. Jeff will check for any apparent problems and also use this time to identify any emerging issues so that we can plan ahead. Naturally, we will keep you apprised of your child’s dental situation and make sure that you are a huge part of the decision-making process. After all, we’re partners in your child’s oral health.
You may hear cavities referred to as dental caries. Whichever term you use, a cavity is something to be avoided. Cavities are also another reason why it is so important that your child has regular cleanings and professional evaluations at our office. If caught early, a cavity can be stopped with a filling, and we can often avoid more extensive procedures such as crowns or pulp therapy.
A cavity is simply an area of tooth decay. Cavities form when bacterial action erodes tooth material. Although deep or large cavities can cause discomfort, most cavities are not painful. In fact, the majority of cavities are only identified during an in-office evaluation.
Daily brushing and flossing are the best ways to prevent cavities, but there are also other measures you can take. Limit the number of sugary foods and treats that your child consumes. Also, remember that once they are weaned from breast milk or formula, water is the healthiest beverage for your kid. Fruit juice and soda contain huge amounts of sugar and can quickly lead to tooth decay.
Do not allow your toddler to sleep with a bottle or sippy cup filled with milk, soda, or juice. This practice can contribute to tooth decay and lead to cavities. If they need a drink during the night, choose water instead.
Cavities are not uncommon among children, and a cavity does not represent a failure in your parenting. However, once a cavity forms, a filling is needed to stop it from growing. Our team understands that receiving a filling can be an intimidating prospect for any kid, but we go to great lengths to keep your child comfortable and relaxed.
After introducing anesthetic, Dr. Jeff will clean out the cavity. Next, he will use a special material to fill the cavity, preventing further decay. This process also reinforces the area of the tooth that has been damaged by the cavity formation.
Baby teeth are not expendable even though they will be replaced later in life with adult teeth. These milk teeth are important to your child’s development, nutrition, and appearance. Help keep them healthy with good dental care at home and by keeping regular cleaning appointments at our office.
Many adults have crowns, but there are misconceptions about what a dental crown actually is. A crown is a protective “hug” for a damaged or decayed tooth. Crowns are dental restorations that envelop the entire visible portion of a tooth—everything above the gumline. A crown can provide much-needed support and reinforcement to a compromised tooth.
In children, crowns are usually called for in the case of extensive decay or trauma. For example, if a tooth has suffered many cavities or especially deep and large cavities, then it may threaten to break altogether. By placing a pediatric crown, our team can help prevent breakage from occurring. The crown will provide structural integrity to the tooth as well as protect it from further decay. Since the crown surrounds the entire tooth except for the root, it guards against harmful bacteria.
Crowns are also useful when teeth crack from accidents or other trauma. A badly cracked tooth is a disaster waiting to happen. The tooth may eventually fracture, and it also provides an opportunity for bacteria to infiltrate. If bacteria do infect the inner, living tissue of a tooth, called the pulp, then pulp therapy or even extraction may be necessary. These occurrences can also cause your child much discomfort.
Crowns for children can be made from several different materials. Our team will offer you the best choices based on durability and appearance. Crowns are intended to be permanent, and they typically last for many years. A crown on a baby tooth can easily endure for the entire life of the tooth until it is replaced by an incoming adult tooth.
We are always happy to discuss crowns or any other dental treatments with you. If your child needs a crown, we will provide you with options and go over the procedure in detail. We will make sure your child is comfortable throughout the process and that their smile looks great.
Like bones, teeth are living structures. The interior, live tissue in a bone is called the marrow. Similarly, teeth have live tissue inside known as pulp which contains the nerves and blood vessels of a tooth. Infections in other areas of the mouth, like the gums, can spread to the pulp of a tooth. The pulp can also become infected when a tooth is injured by trauma or decay.
It is crucial to address pulp infections, otherwise the tooth may need to be extracted. Additionally, the infection can migrate from the infected tooth to other areas of the body. In severe cases, an infection may spread to the bloodstream or cardiovascular system.
We offer pulp therapy, sometimes called root canals, to halt infections while saving an infected tooth. Although extractions are necessary in some cases, we can often use pulp therapy to rid the tooth of infection while preserving it. Pulp therapy can not only help us safeguard your child’s health, but this treatment also puts an end to what is often a painful condition.
A pulpotomy is one type of pulp therapy. In this procedure, Dr. Jaynes removes some of the pulp from an infected tooth. He then adds an antibacterial solution to help stop the infection and prevent further problems. Finally, Dr. Jaynes completes the process with a restoration, usually a crown, to seal and protect the tooth.
While pulp therapy may sound invasive, it is often the best way to save teeth from dangerous infections. We will take you through every step of the process, answer all your questions, and make certain that your child receives the highest level of care.
Accidents happen, and dental emergencies are often an inevitable part of childhood. You should always contact us immediately in the event your child has a dental emergency. We will get you into our office for treatment as soon as possible. In the meantime, here are some steps you can take when a dental emergency occurs.
For a toothache: Check your child’s mouth for any trapped food or foreign objects. Help them rinse their mouth with warm salt water made from half a teaspoon of table salt dissolved in one cup of water. Make sure the water is lukewarm, not hot. Have your child rinse for about 10 seconds. You can give them Children’s Tylenol, but make sure to contact us if the pain does not go away. Call us immediately if they have facial swelling, and use a cold compress on the cheek for relief.
For a chipped or broken baby tooth: Please call us right away.
For a chipped or broken adult (permanent) tooth: Please contact us immediately. Gather the tooth fragments if possible, and bring them in to our office with you. Use the warm salt water rinse as outlined above for pain or debris in the mouth, and use a cold compress if there is any swelling.
For a permanent tooth that has been knocked out: Bring the tooth with you into our office. Only handle it by the crown (the white part), and avoid touching the root. You may rinse it with water. Attempt to place the tooth back into the socket if the tooth is unbroken. If this is not possible, then place the tooth in a cup of milk. Call us right away!
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