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Pediatric Dentistry

In any situation, children look to adults to understand how to respond to a situation. A parent’s response will let them know if they should be excited, sad, happy, or afraid. So let start by making their experience a happy one. Let your child know that cleaning your teeth is a good choice. Part of taking care of your teeth is going to the dentist. Explain, that the dentist want to teach your child how to take care of their teeth and count how many teeth they have. Your tone should be relaxed or excited. If they hear that you are anxious, they will be too.

Children are not just small adults. They are not always able to be patient and cooperative during a dental exam. Pediatric dentists know how to examine and treat children in ways that make them comfortable. In addition, pediatric dentists use specially designed equipment in offices that are arranged and decorated with children in mind. A pediatric dentist offers a wide range of treatment options, as well as expertise and training to care for your child’s teeth, gums, and mouth. When your pediatrician suggests that your child receive a dental exam, you can be assured that a pediatric dentist will provide the best possible care. Having the first dental visit in a pleasant environment before the onset of any tooth problems allows the child to establish trust and confidence in dental care that can carry over into adulthood. It both helps children feel good about visiting the dentist and encourages them to care for their own teeth. Pediatric Dentists are dedicated to the oral health of children from infancy through the teen years. They have the experience and qualifications to care for a child’s teeth, gums, and mouth throughout the various stages of childhood. Children begin to get their baby teeth during the first 6 months of life. Today, early childhood dental caries—an infectious disease—is 5 times more common in children than asthma, according to the CDC.
The American Board of Pediatric Dentistry (ABPD) is the certifying body for all Pediatric Dentists. It certifies pediatric dentists 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 requisite to the delivery of quality patient care. After the Pediatric Dentist completes his/her residency, he/she must successfully complete a two part (written and oral) examination in order to be considered a Diplomate of the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry.

Pediatric dentists have completed at least:

  • Four years of dental school
  • Two additional years of residency training in dentistry for infants, children, teens, and children with special needs
No, only those that complete the examinations after residency. NOT ALL DENTISTS WHO SEE CHILDREN ARE PEDIATRIC DENTISTS, AND NOT ALL PEDIATRIC DENTISTS ARE BOARD CERTIFIED.

General

The first dental visit is a milestone we share with many of our patients. Many parents have this question. Typically, the first few visits (for young or nervous children) are very similar. It’s all about getting your child comfortable with the surroundings first. It starts with the atmosphere: many children are more comfortable in a pediatric dental office because they can feel its catered to them. when the time comes to start the cleaning, our Registered Dental Assistants are great at explaining to the child (or parent) what’s going to happen, showing them, then gently and patiently continuing with the cleaning. The cleaning is typically accomplished with a toothbrush or soft rotating cup while the child is sitting in the parents lap. Of course if your child can and wants to sit in the chair alone, that’s great! We’ll finish with a Fluoride application and your child can then go pick out a small toy. Your child’s pediatric dentist will then complete the exam in the same way. Afterwards the dentist will review thoroughly with the parents the findings of the exam and give the parents as much information as possible in order to keep the teeth and surroundings clean and healthy. The combination of seeing the cleaning and spending time with the pediatric dentist afterwards is what our parents seem to get the most out of. The vast majority of our parents are pleasantly surprised with how well the appointment went. Of course if you only want to have a consultation for your little one, just let us know and we will make it as comfortable as possible.
Of course. Sometimes we ask only one parent to accompany the child at a time due to space limitation and the comfort of our other patients.
For cash patients, we have very competitive comprehensive fees.  Call Laura at 408-736-3500 ex 107 to find out the cash cost of the service you need.

1-Year Well Baby

“First visit by first birthday” sums it up. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends your child should visit a pediatric dentist six months after the first tooth erupts. Early examination and preventive care will protect your child’s smile now and in the future. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends: “All infants receive an oral health risk assessments by 6 months of age. Infants at higher risk of early dental caries should be referred to a dentist as early as 6 months of age and no later than 6 months after the first tooth erupts or 12 months of age (whichever comes first)”
We like to say “Great Smiles Start Early!” The most important reason is to begin a thorough prevention program. Dental problems can begin early and “cavity-free by age 3″ is not an assumption. A big concern is Early Childhood Caries (also know as baby bottle tooth decay or nursing caries). Your child risks severe decay from using a bottle during naps or at night or when they nurse continuously from the breast. The earlier the dental visit, the better the chance of preventing dental problems. We can evaluate your child for any risk factors that may cause him to be more prone to cavities. Children with healthy teeth chew food easily, learn to speak clearly, and smile with confidence. Start your child now on a lifetime of good dental habits.
If your child has a sweet tooth, try to keep him/her away from any of the really sticky candy that is hard to brush off the teeth. For a treat or reward, I recommend something that can be washed off easy like a non-sticky chocolate.
Excessive juice consumption may be associated with tooth decay. To prevent fruit juice from causing a problem, the AAP recommends limiting the intake of fruit juice to 4 to 6 oz/d for children 1 to 6 years old. For children 7 to 18 years old, juice intake should be limited to 8 to 12 oz or 2 servings per day. Also, children should be encouraged to eat whole fruits to meet their recommended daily fruit intake.
The sooner the better! If a child has teeth you should begin using a toothbrush and fluoridated toothpaste. For a child who is unable to spit, a smear of toothpaste should be used. For children who can spit, use a pea-size amount of toothpaste. If you use the proper amount of toothpaste, the benefits of using a fluoridated toothpaste outweigh any risk to swallowing toothpaste.
Thumb sucking is perfectly normal for infants; most stop by age 2. If your child does not, discourage it after age 4. Prolonged thumb sucking can create crowded, crooked teeth, or bite problems. Your pediatric dentist will be glad to suggest ways to address a prolonged thumb sucking habit.

Braces for Kids

You have probably seen children as young as 9 or 10 years old, already going through orthodontic treatment. While there is nothing wrong with it; in fact, in the next subject the benefits of an early treatment will be discussed, but there are some things that you have to know. Beginning the orthodontic treatment at a young age is good and often necessary, to control further destruction, but it is best to begin actual braces for kids when all the premolars have erupted. You may start prescribing the use of a removable or fixed dental appliance, such as an expansion appliance or a splint, but it will be best to wait until the eruption of the premolars, before the brackets are adhered to the teeth. Before the premolars erupt, the jaw is still expected to grow, so some changes may still be observed. Also, since the premolars will be installed with brackets, anyway, waiting for them to erupt will ensure a shorter and more straightforward course of treatment. The best age for braces for kids to begin will be around the age of 12 to 13 years. Already old enough to have most of his teeth out and smart enough to receive proper instruction from the dentist.
A growing child is a developing child. A child who is going through the development stages will be a good patient for orthodontic treatment because the bone is growing. This makes the braces for kids, so much more favorable for both the dentist and the child. The bone is still growing, so the bone is softer and very receptive to orthodontic forces and movements. Orthodontic treatment involves breaking and building of bone. Bone is broken so that tooth can be moved, but the movement is done slowly so that new bone can form right away to hold the tooth in its position. The breaking and building process is so much faster on a younger patient. It will be easier to reposition teeth found on a developing bone than a fully-developed one, so you can expect for the treatment to go faster.
Monitor your child’s daily oral hygiene efforts. A child without braces will need some guidance. A child undergoing orthodontic treatment will all the more need your assistance. Make sure that they are able to brush thoroughly, and have removed all food particles, especially those stuck on the brackets and wires.

Ectopic Teeth

First of all, this is quite common. We refer to it as ectopic teeth and see it probably 3-4 times a week. If she can wiggle the baby teeth out by herself –Great! If a child comes to see me at the office with this, I usually give them “homework” to go home and really try to wiggle the teeth out. I normally give them 2 weeks. If it does not come out after that, then I can extract the teeth at the office.
EctopicTeeth1EctopicTeeth2

If the baby teeth eventually come out, the permanent teeth will move naturally forward. It is not important WHEN the baby teeth fall out (OR ARE REMOVED). The limiting factor is how much space is available for the permanent teeth. So, if there is enough space for the permanent teeth, then they will be straight. If there is not enough space, then the teeth will be crowded. The only thing controlling how much space she has is her growth. We(the dentist) cannot do anything about the space issue. If there is crowding, the only way to resolve that situation is orthodontics when all the front permanent teeth are fully in.
No. The permanent teeth will not be harmed. I’d love to see your child and give her the homework myself, but I hope this helps otherwise.

Yes, we offer a 10% military discount.

Military Offer

You can also learn about Dr. Radwan time in the army in the links below:
“Q&A with Yahya Radwan: Work with Iraqi children helped determine career path” Published in the April 16-29, 2014 issue of Morgan Hill Life