What is a pediatric dentist?
Pediatric dentists are dentists who specialize in caring for young children and are dedicated to providing the highest quality care and guidance to help children grow up cavity-free with beautiful smiles. We are sort of like pediatricians for teeth! Our job certainly involves treating cavities but we also focus on prevention while monitoring their growing smiles. Our offices are tailored for children only. We also have special training in treating children with special medical or behavioral conditions.
For more information, please visit the American Association of Pediatric Dentistry website at aapd.org.
At what age should a child see a dentist?
The AAPD recommends a dental visit by age one. The earlier preventive measures are implemented, the more likely a child will remain cavity-free during their lifetime. With proper fluoride exposure, a good brushing, a balanced healthy diet, and regular check-ups—children have a great start for a lifetime of healthy teeth and gums If you want more information on taking care of your infant’s teeth please come by for a consultation or check out the FAQ page on the AAPD website.
What can I do to help my child have healthy teeth?
- Early and regular check-ups
- Proper brushing (2-3 times a day) and flossing (once a day)
- Set a routine with a healthy diet and limit the frequency of sugary snacks
- Proper fluoride exposure through water, toothpaste, and supplements
- Have sealants applied when recommended
Why are baby teeth important?
Many people wonder why baby teeth are important since they’ll eventually be replaced by permanent teeth. Primary or “baby” teeth are important for many reasons. Not only do they help children speak clearly, and chew naturally, but they also aid in forming a path the permanent teeth can follow when they erupt. Children keep some of their back baby teeth up to age 12 and 13, and a few keep them until age 14!
Untreated tooth decay can lead to pain, fever, abscess, infection, premature tooth loss, and damage to permanent teeth. If baby teeth are extracted prematurely significant crowding and space loss for the permanent teeth can occur. Additionally, facial appearance can be affected by early tooth loss. Whether your child has 1 tooth or 20, we are here to help!
What causes tooth decay?
Four things are necessary for cavities to form: a tooth, bacteria, sugars (or other carbohydrates), and time. Dental plaque is a thin, sticky, colorless deposit of bacteria that constantly forms on everyone’s teeth. When you eat, the sugars in your food cause the bacteria in plaque to produce acids that attack the tooth enamel. With time and repeated acid attacks, the enamel breaks down and a cavity develops. Simply stated, the more times per day sugar hits your child’s teeth, the higher chance for tooth decay!
Do you allow parents back with their children?
We invite you to accompany your child during the initial visit. This is a great way for you to see our office and team in action. We want to build trust with your child through age-appropriate terminology, friendliness, compassion, and consistency. Depending on the child’s age and needs, sometimes we ask the child to come back by themselves. Similar to school settings, most children do better when our team has their attention. We ask for your cooperation with this philosophy. We realize there are exceptions and we will work with those individuals. We want you to be comfortable with our recommendations, and we will clarify any questions regarding your child’s care.
Do you accept insurance?
Yes. We file for all insurance benefits even if we are not an in-network provider. After verification of benefits, we will file your insurance claims and ask you to pay any fees not covered by your insurance. For more information please visit our insurance page.
What are dental sealants?
These coatings fill up the grooves of our back teeth which are the easiest places to get decay. They are usually easy to apply and do not require numbing of the teeth. With regular maintenance, these coatings seal out cavities in our back teeth.
If you have questions about fillings, crowns, root canals, extractions, or other treatments please visit our services page.
What if my child’s permanent tooth is coming in and the baby tooth is not out yet?
One of the most common concerns we see involves a ‘double’ row of teeth. This is a common occurrence in children that sometimes warrants attention. Usually, if we give the teeth a bit of time (maybe even 8-10 weeks), and encourage the child to wiggle them, the baby tooth falls out and the new permanent tooth erupts just fine. Sometimes, we do have to pull the baby teeth. However, usually, the permanent tooth erupts into a good position once the baby tooth is gone.
Toothache: Try to clean the area gently but thoroughly. Remove any impacted food with floss or a toothpick or toothbrush. If pain persists, please call our office for further guidance.
Dislodged Permanent Tooth: If a permanent tooth is knocked out, please try to find it, and handle it by the crown (not the long root portion) – if the tooth is clean and you can reinsert it in your child’s mouth, please do so immediately; then have your child bite on a washcloth or small piece of gauze to hold the tooth in place. If you are unsure, place the tooth in a glass of milk and call our office immediately for further guidance. If for some reason you cannot reach us, take your child to the East Tennessee Children’s Hospital Emergency Room immediately.