Pediatric Dentistry

We introduce children to various aspects of the practice in a fun manner that coincides with their age and comfort level. For very young children, this may be a short, comprehensive exam done sitting in the dental chair, or while sitting on their parents lap (knee to knee exam).

For older kids, this typically consists of taking a few x-rays, performing a cleaning (prophy), applying a topical Fluoride, and completing a comprehensive exam. Feel free to ask questions throughout the process. We specialize in children, however, we also specialize in making each visit a personal experience.

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About Pediatric Dentistry

Pediatric dentists are the pediatricians of dentistry. A pediatric dentist has two to three years of specialty training following dental school and focuses on treating children only. Pediatric dentists are primary and specialty oral care providers for infants and children through adolescence, including those with special health needs. Additionally, pediatric dentists not only promote the dental health of children, but also serve as educational resources for parents.

According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), a dental visit should occur within six months after the eruption of the first tooth or by a child's first birthday. The AAPD recommends establishing a comprehensive and accessible ongoing relationship between the dentist and patient, also referred to as the "dental home." This is because early oral examination aids in the detection of the early stage of tooth decay, abnormalities in growth and development, and airway issues which can lead to breathing difficulties later in life. Early detection is essential to maintain oral health, modify aberrant habits, and treat as simply as possible.

While there have been many advances in dental treatment and comfort, parents have turned increasingly to pediatric dentist because of their expertise in dealing with children's dental issues, and their emphasis on comfort and enjoying their trip to the dentist. Parents are seeking a positive experience with their children's dental practitioner in order to set the stage for a lifetime of positive dental experiences and exceptional oral health.

What if my kid totally freaks out

There's an old saying, “The apple doesn't fall far from the tree”, if you are calm and don't act like visiting the dentist is more scary than staying the weekend at Dracula's mansion, your kids probably won't run screaming. But if they do.... We have a few tricks up our sleeve, like having the children perform the same procedure on their parents, just to show how it's done. Well, not really, but they do make this wonderful stuff called Nitrous Oxide (Laughing Gas), that calms people down. It's so effective, you'll probably ask for a bottle to go. For kids that require an extensive amount of dental work or where Nitrous Oxide simply isn’t enough, we offer in office Oral Sedation, General Anesthesia, or treatment in a hospital setting as necessary. We’ve got you covered.

I'm paranoid about RADIATION, how worried should I be

Do you ever go outside of a shielded bunker? Well, bad news, the universe blasts you with, you guessed it, RADIATION! Modern dental X-rays expose a patient to around 0.150 mSv of radiation, or about the same extra amount as a cross country flight. You won't set off any radiation sensors at the border until you get a CT scan that pumps you up with 10 mSv. According to Scientists, no increase in cancer has ever been found in groups of humans who have received effective doses below 100 mSv. That's like, 650 dental X-ray series all at once.

What's the deal with Fluoride

Fluoride is a highly reactive element that bonds tightly to other compounds in your tooth enamel. Basically, think of your tooth like the quarterback, he needs to be protected. Fluoride is like a bunch of 400 lb linebackers making sure nothing can get to him. The AAPD recommends starting prescription Fluoride drops or tablets between the ages of 6 months to 1 year and Fluoridated toothpaste starting in limited amounts between 2-3 years of age. Dr. Swisher will hook you up with what's right for your child. Not into Fluoride? That’s okay. There are other options, such as Xylitol, which shows promising results in helping prevent decay in children and adults.

What makes you pediatric dentists so special anyway

We're like a dentist, but with superpowers, or at least another degree. Adult teeth are pretty boring, they just kind of maintain the status quo. Children's teeth on the other hand, are awesome. They jump up right through the gums, push and shove each other around, then finally get the boot from their younger, but bigger brother or sister. Dealing with all that crazy action takes special schooling, hands on training and advanced techniques, AKA: superpowers.

If baby teeth are going to fall out anyway, what's the big deal

You don't tell your child it's ok to mess up their piano practice because it's not the recital do you? Baby teeth are like practice for the real thing. They reserve room in the jawbone for adult teeth, allowing them to come in more straight, which equals less need for braces. Also, contrary to what you may think, adult teeth don't just magically appear one night as a gift from the tooth fairy, they grow underneath the baby tooth. So if the baby tooth is rotten, it can infect the adult tooth before it even has a chance.

I'm a proactive parent, how many days after birth should we come in

Glad to see you're planning ahead. Generally, you'll want to make a first visit when your child actually gets a tooth, or around their first birthday.

How are cavities formed, and how can I wipe them from existence

There are 2 possible explanations, the scientific, boring one, or the allegorical version with castles, knights, witches and so on.

Cavity prevention starts with the primary caregivers. Not only does consistent cleaning and avoiding large amounts of sugar affect the teeth...cavity causing bacteria are nearly absent in the mouth until babies begin teething. At this point, bacteria begin to transfer from main caregivers to the child. So, consistently cleaning YOUR teeth now will help avoid cavities for your children. Now for the fun version. Enjoy.

Once upon a time, there was a good king who lived in a white castle on the top of a red hill. There was also an evil witch, who hated the gleam of the castle in the sunshine. Her minions would go out every night and attack the castle by smearing acidic swamp mud anywhere they could on the walls. Now, every morning, the good king would send out his knights to scrub the mud off the walls. And every evening, he would send them out again, to rub on a protective coating, so the mud wouldn't damage the stones.

Time passed, and the witch, being very crafty, decided she needed to switch tactics. Her minions slowly cut back on the amount of mud they put on the walls, and the knights, used to hard work, slowly became lazy, and didn't do such a good job on even the little bit of mud there was. The mud slowly built up, especially in the corners and back of the castle. Soon, the walls, which had once been so gleaming white, became dull and pitted, with small holes appearing here and there. The witch was VERY pleased. She made plans to step up the attack and destroy the castle once and for all.

Now, it happened that a Paladin, Sir Swisher, heard of the decay at the castle. He said to himself, “I must travel there at once!” He traveled many days, and when he saw the castle from afar, he knew he was just in time. In the royal hall he addressed the king and all his knights “Good King, the evil witch's cunning has almost overthrown your kingdom! You must act at once, scrub the walls, polish them every day, and I myself will fill in the holes she has created.” The kingdom was galvanized, seeing the danger anew, the knights roused themselves and cleaned like they had never cleaned before. Sir Swisher repaired the damage, and before he left for other realms, he promised, “I will come each spring and fall, for the evil witch is crafty, and will never give up.”