Enjoying the benefits of a vibrant smile in tip-top condition is not something to be taken for granted. To maintain optimal oral health requires establishing an effective oral hygiene regimen at home along with making periodic visits to your dentist for a program of preventive care.
The following are helpful recommendations:
As part of a pediatric dental program of preventive care, the dentist may recommend the application of dental sealants. These thin, plastic-like coatings painted onto the biting surfaces of the newly erupted permanent back teeth provide your child with an added level of protection through the cavity-prone years. Covering the pits, fissures and grooves in the hard to reach back teeth, dental sealants prevent decay-causing bacteria and food particles from accumulating in these vulnerable areas. Sealants may also be useful in areas of incipient dental decay to stop further damage from occurring.
The value of dental sealants is well documented. According to the American Dental Association, they reduce the risk of cavities in school-age children by approximately 80%. Furthermore, children who do not receive dental sealants develop almost three times more cavities than children who do have them.
Having a healthy smile is essential for your child’s comfort, function, self-image and overall well being. Good dental routines established in youngsters provide a strong foundation for maintaining a lifetime of optimal oral health.
All parents want the best for their children. By partnering with a children’s dentist at Neon Kids Dental, you can help ensure your kids enjoy the benefits of optimal oral health and a beautiful smile.
Once the baby teeth start to appear, it is time to start taking care of your child’s smile. When periodic checkups begin at an early age and continue as recommended, a pediatric dentist can follow a child’s dental growth and development and effectively treat any emerging issues to maintain optimal dental health.
It’s important to keep in mind that routine checkups in conjunction with early instruction in the fundamentals of proper oral hygiene and a nutritious diet that is low in sweets benefit more than just the health of your child’s smile These steps also support your kid’s overall well-being! Moreover, effective dental routines established when your child is young provide a strong foundation for maintaining a lifetime of good oral health.
While tooth decay is the single most common chronic childhood disease, it is also highly preventable. For this reason, a comprehensive program of routine preventive care is essential. To provide an added level of protection against the development of cavities, our office may also recommend periodic fluoride therapy and the application of dental sealants as indicated to strengthen and shield the teeth. Both procedures have been demonstrated to significantly reduce a child’s risk of tooth decay.
In addition to the detection and treatment of cavities, by monitoring your child’s ongoing oral health and development, any significant changes in diet, the emergence of harmful oral habits, unfavorable jaw growth, poorly aligned teeth, or oral trauma that can rapidly alter the function and health of a young smile can be detected and addressed as required. And, because accidents while playing sports account for a high percentage of dental injuries in school-age children, it’s is a good idea to inform our office of the sports activities your child will be joining throughout the year. In this way, a custom mouthguard to protect your child’s smile can be fabricated.
At Neon Kids Dental, we’re dedicated to providing the highest quality of skilled and compassionate care. For more information on our office and the many services that we provide, give us a call today.
Your Child's First Dental Visit
Our goal is to make your child's first visit a positive one and create a comfortable, caring dental home that provides the resources your little one needs to establish good oral health.
When your baby's teeth start to come in
The eruption of your baby's first tooth represents an important milestone in their development and an excellent time to establish a strong foundation for a lifetime of good oral health. For this reason, The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends scheduling a visit with a pediatric dentist "by age one or within six months after the first tooth erupts." However, as things stand, many babies do not get brought to the dentist until they are a bit older, or a problem arises.
The importance of baby teeth
Beyond the apparent functions of helping your child chew and speak, baby teeth also play an essential role in the future development of your little one's smile. Acting as placeholders, this first set of primary teeth helps to guide the permanent ones into their proper positions as they erupt into place. Because your child's baby teeth are immediately susceptible to tooth decay, you must start keeping your child's smile clean and healthy from the moment they appear in the mouth.
Excellent Oral Health Begins With Good Oral Care
All parents want what’s best for their families. When good oral care, including routine dental checkups, start at an early age, our office can closely monitor the development and health of your child’s smile as they grow. It’s essential to keep in mind that preventive care and timely treatment for any emerging dental issues help to ensure ongoing oral health and supports overall well-being while contributing to a positive self-image.
Our office takes a proactive approach and emphasizes the importance of dental prevention as the key to good oral health. We provide you and your child with the resources as well as the tools to establish an effective brushing and flossing routine while offering nutritional guidance and advice on potentially harmful oral habits. In addition to understanding children’s dental and physical development, we’re also attuned to their emotional needs. With that said, our entire team strives to make each visit with your child a positive, informative, and beneficial experience.
By following these simple guidelines, you can help your child maintain optimal oral health and develop a positive attitude towards dental care:
A time of growth and change
Remember, childhood is a time of incredible physical and emotional changes. As kids go through several stages of development, so do their teeth. Many things, including both genetic and environmental factors, contribute to the health and appearance of your child’s smile. While some issues cannot be prevented, there’s still a lot you can do to help ensure your child experiences optimal oral health and develops an attractive, functional smile.
You can rest assured your child’s smile is in the best of hands. We monitor your little one’s smile as they grow, helping to prevent dental disease while keeping a watchful eye on dental health, tooth eruption, oral function, swallowing, speech, and jaw development.
About Restorative Dentistry
At Neon Kids Dental, we’re dedicated to helping every child enjoy optimal oral health. We’re sensitive to the unique needs of children and understand the critical importance of making their visits comfortable, fun, and engaging. If your child develops a cavity, injures, or fractures a baby or permanent tooth, we provide the skilled and compassionate care that’s needed.
Why restore baby teeth?
It’s a common misconception that restoring a damaged baby tooth is not always necessary. Beyond the apparent functions of helping your child chew and speak, baby teeth also play an essential role in the future development of your little one’s smile. Acting as placeholders, this first set of primary teeth helps to guide the permanent ones into their proper positions as they erupt into place. Because your child’s baby teeth are immediately susceptible to tooth decay, it’s essential from the moment they appear in the mouth that you start keeping your child’s smile clean and healthy.
Depending on the damage to the tooth, the extent of a cavity, if the dental nerve is involved, or an infection is present, we’ll recommend what’s best for your child’s health and overall well-being. While many times all that’s needed is a white filling, sometimes a crown, nerve treatment, or an extraction (with or without space maintenance) is indicated.
Whatever the case may be, you can rest assured your child’s smile is in the best of hands at our office. Our skilled pediatric dentists will evaluate the involved tooth and discuss the best options to maintain the health and appearance of your child’s smile.
Your child’s care and comfort are our top priorities!
We provide precise and gentle care and are sensitive to children’s needs. Our warm and friendly pediatric dentist and office team do their utmost to ensure your child feels comfortable throughout each visit. Whether it’s your little one or your teen having a procedure performed, we’re well equipped to help children of all ages feel at ease and secure. If indicated, we also offer N2O and other forms of in-office sedation to enable a child to feel more relaxed while dental care is being performed.
Dental emergencies in children
Recognizing that children have active lifestyles means there is always a chance an accident involving a hit or blow to the mouth or teeth can occur. Traumatic oral injuries can happen at home, in the playground, or on the playing field. Common injuries to the teeth and oral cavity seen by pediatric dentists include everything from soft tissue lacerations of the lips, cheeks, or tongue to chipped, fractured, dislodged, or “knocked out” teeth.
Of course, equally frequent reasons children require urgent dental care are painful toothaches, dental infections, and mouth ulcerations. It follows that the type of dental emergency that your child is experiencing determines the care that’s needed. Although many toothaches can be relieved by treating the cavity and placing a restoration, some may require additional care to address nerve involvement or an active infection.
Prompt, compassionate care you can depend on
Our goal is to relieve your child’s discomfort and protect their overall well-being while providing the care that’s needed to ensure the long-term health and function of your child’s smile.
If your child has sustained a dental injury, is complaining of a toothache, experiencing swelling, or any other unusual and uncomfortable oral symptoms, contact our office immediately for care. If not diagnosed and treated in a timely fashion, many dental problems can significantly worsen, producing more damage and consequences for the involved tooth along with a child’s oral health and overall well-being.
Whatever the source of your child’s dental emergency, you can depend on our office for the prompt attention, skilled guidance, precise diagnostics, and care your child requires. We offer same-day appointments for dental emergencies and provide timely treatment to get your child back on the road to oral health.
What should I expect from my emergency dental appointment?
Upon arrival, our pediatric dentist will gather some initial information on your child's dental emergency, including how it occurred and the symptoms surrounding the problem. You will also get asked to provide information on your child's medical and dental history. The dentist will then perform a gentle and thorough clinical exam and take select diagnostic radiographs as needed. Once we have all the information in hand, we'll recommend and provide the necessary care. We understand the stress and discomfort surrounding dental emergencies and provide prompt treatment to get your child back on the road to oral health.
At Neon Kids Dental, we understand that apprehension about a particular procedure or difficulties sitting for treatment create additional challenges in care. To help children who need help feeling more at ease through treatment, we provides Nitrous Oxide sedation, also known as "laughing gas".
Nitrous oxide is a mild sedative used to reduce anxiety and enable a child to enjoy improved relaxation during a procedure. Safely and painlessly delivered in combination with oxygen, nitrous oxide is inhaled through a small and comfortable mask placed over the nose. Administered for the procedure's duration and then turned off once it comes to an end, the effects wear off very quickly.
About sedation dentistry for kids
At Neon Kids Dental, we're committed to providing gentle, friendly, and comprehensive dental care to kids. We believe that good oral health is vital for a child's development, and we're here to help every step of the way.
Sedation dentistry offers children with anxiety about going to the dentist or fears about a specific dental procedure the opportunity to have a stress-free and more comfortable experience. By utilizing safe and controlled sedation techniques for dental procedures, a child can undergo dental work in a more relaxed state. With dental sedation a child typically feels more at ease post-operatively as well, having less stress associated with the procedure.
For children with dental anxiety or phobia, strong gag reflexes, medical conditions, special needs, or unable to sit comfortably for dental work, varying levels of carefully monitored sedation can induce a calming state of relaxation. Depending on the level of anxiety the child is experiencing and the nature of the procedure getting performed, our office will recommend the most appropriate option in dental sedation.
The types of sedation dentistry available for children include the following:
Inhalation sedation with N2O:
N2O (Nitrous oxide), also known as "laughing gas," is a mild sedative used to reduce anxiety and enable a child to enjoy improved relaxation during a procedure. Safely and painlessly delivered in combination with oxygen, nitrous oxide is inhaled through a small and comfortable mask placed over the nose. Administered for the procedure's duration and then turned off once it comes to an end, the effects wear off very quickly.
Oral Conscious sedation:
Oral sedation means that your child is given a sedative medication to take by mouth shortly before their appointment. As provided in liquid form, this medication allows your child to relax by the time the dental procedure gets underway. As indicated, we will give you specific instructions about limiting food and drink intake before the appointment and keeping an eye on your child as the medication wears off.
IV Sedation/General Anesthesia:
When for reasons of age, special needs, level of anxiety, or extensive procedures, a deeper level of sedation may be required. IV Sedation and general anesthesia enable a pediatric dentist to perform all the needed dental treatment efficiently and safely without causing the patient excessive stress or exceeding their ability to sit for treatment. A trained anesthesiologist will administer and monitor the type and dosage of medication needed to ensure safety and the proper level of sedation throughout the procedure.
Should I choose sedation dentistry?
Only you and the pediatric dentist can determine if sedation is suitable for your child. Your child's medical history, the dental procedures needed, and the ability to sit for treatment are all carefully considered. Depending on the child's health and type of sedation, a medical clearance from the pediatrician may be required. Our office will discuss the options in dental sedation and which one best meets your child's needs.
Did you know:
At Neon Dental, we provide precise and gentle care to treat cavities and place fillings to rebuild your child’s tooth and protect their oral health.
Although cavities can occur at any age, children are especially susceptible due to lifestyle and dietary habits. As a matter of fact, according to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, tooth decay is the single most common chronic childhood disease. Over 50 percent of 5 to 9-year-old children have at least one cavity or filling, with that proportion increasing to 78 percent among 17-year-olds.
How are cavities treated?
When decay, also known as dental caries, compromises a tooth’s structural integrity, a filling often gets placed to rebuild its natural form and restore its strength and function. As tooth decay remains one of the most prevalent chronic diseases affecting children, removing tooth decay and placing a filling are among the most common and routine procedures performed each day.
Although every child and smile are different, you can expect the visit to take about an hour. In most cases, the procedure is performed under local anesthesia, so your child doesn’t feel any discomfort. Once the tooth is numbed, our pediatric dentist will precisely and gently remove any decayed or damaged tooth structure. After excavating the decay to the point where healthy tooth structure remains, it’s time to place the filling. For mild to moderate tooth decay, we typically place a tooth-colored filling.
The benefits of tooth-colored fillings
Fabricated of the latest and most advanced generations of dental composites, "tooth-colored or white fillings" are biocompatible, metal-free, strong, and durable. Composite fillings get adhered to natural tooth structure through a bonding process, which also serves to seal and strengthen the tooth. With shades that match natural tooth structure, white fillings invisibly restore the form and function of the involved tooth, while blending in seamlessly with the rest of your child’s smile.
When a "cap" or crown is required
While we can treat most cavities in children with a simple filling, a tooth with more extensive decay may require a "cap" or crown. In this way, it's possible to maintain a baby tooth while restoring its form and function to prevent further discomfort or problems.
Restoring primary teeth with strong and durable crowns
Full coverage crowns on baby teeth not only restore a level of function but also maintain the appearance of your child's smile and preserve sufficient space for the underlying and unerupted permanent tooth.
At Neon Kids Dental, we will recommend the type of full-coverage crown best suited to your child's needs.
Stainless Steel Crowns:
Stainless steel crowns are durable restorations that are typically used as a means of restoring primary molar teeth that have been compromised by decay, trauma, or that have had a pulpotomy procedure. These strong metal caps are permanently cemented in place, protecting what remains of the underlying tooth and preventing it from decaying further. Stainless steel crowns are individually sized and fitted to cover and seal off the affected tooth from germs and debris. And, because they have a smooth and polished surface, they are also easy to clean and maintain.
Although stainless steel crowns still offer an excellent choice for restoring a damaged back baby tooth, more attractive "tooth-colored" options are available today. Zirconia crowns, which look like porcelain crowns, can protect a broken-down back or front tooth from further damage while appearing completely natural and blending seamlessly with your child's smile. They provide a strong, durable, and cosmetically pleasing option in care.
Composite Resin Crowns:
Another option for a front baby tooth requiring a full-coverage restoration is a composite resin crown. With this type of restoration, a clear form resembling and sized to suit the involved baby tooth is filled with a compatible shade of composite resin and placed over the tooth. Once bonded and set, the clear-plastic outer shell can get removed, leaving an attractive composite crown covering the natural tooth.
Did you know every tooth contains vital tissues?
Inside every baby (deciduous) and permanent adult tooth is a central chamber containing connective tissue, a nerve supply, and blood vessels. These core tissues, known as the dental pulp, help the tooth grow and mature before it emerges into the mouth. Once a tooth erupts into place, the dental pulp provides nourishment, keeps the tooth vital, and alerts you of problems.
For pediatric teeth, “baby root canal” pulp treatment removes part of the infected nerve, and preserves the vitality of the tooth. Bio-compatible dental medication will be applied to the nerve space, and then a full-coverage crown will be placed to prevent bacteria from entering into the nerve space.
What is nerve treatment on a baby tooth?
While the phrase "nerve treatment" can sound daunting, the procedure is as routine as getting a filling. Gently performed under local anesthesia, the exposed or affected pulp tissue within the crown of the tooth (the visible portion of the tooth) gets carefully removed. Then a special medication is placed to disinfect the area and calm the remaining nerve tissue.
Restoring and maintaining the tooth
Following the completion of nerve treatment, a restoration gets placed. Our pediatric dentist will recommend the most suitable restoration depending on the amount of tooth structure remaining and how much time is left before the baby tooth is projected to fall out. A crown may offer maximum protection while optimally preserving the space, and restoring function.
At Neon Kids Dental, our top priorities are your child's care and well-being. While we do everything we can to preserve the integrity of your child's smile, it's sometimes necessary to extract a tooth to protect a child's oral health and support their overall well-being.
Some of the most common reasons our office may recommend having a tooth extracted include:
An over-retained baby or deciduous tooth:
In most cases, a baby tooth will fall out as scheduled as the underlying permanent one begins to erupt into place. However, occasionally a baby tooth remains firmly attached to the bone. Either the baby tooth's roots have failed to resorb and shrink as intended, or the baby tooth has become ankylosed and fused to the supporting bone. The problem is that over-retained baby teeth can disrupt your child's smile development and alignment. As we monitor your child's smile as they grow, we'll advise you if and when a primary tooth extraction is required to facilitate the eruption of its underlying permanent successor.
Extensive Tooth Decay:
Although it starts as a simple pinpoint defect on the tooth's outermost enamel layer, if left untreated dental decay progressively compromises healthy tooth structure as it works its way to the tooth's inner layers. Without proper care, a cavity can destroy more tooth structure, cause irreversible damage to the dental nerve, lead to an infection, and result in severe consequences to a child's oral health and overall well-being. In cases where a tooth has sustained far too much structural damage and cannot get restored, a dental extraction may be required.
Many different types of chips, cracks, and fractures can affect the teeth. The extent of the damage the trauma causes will determine if there is enough intact tooth structure to save the tooth and the type of treatment required. When too much tooth structure is compromised, an extraction may be necessary.
A tooth size to jaw size discrepancy often results in a crowded and misaligned smile. More simply put, the upper and lower jaws are not large enough to accommodate all the permanent teeth. As part of an orthodontic treatment plan to align the teeth and establish an attractive, healthy, and functional bite, the extraction of select permanent teeth may be required.
Does it hurt to have a tooth extracted?
Every child and every situation is different. As the tooth and the surrounding tissues get numbed with a local anesthetic, your child should only expect to feel a bit of pressure but no pain during the procedure. For children who are apprehensive or require more extensive procedures, we offer options in dental sedation to provide the needed relaxation and reduce any sense of discomfort.
What happens when a baby tooth is prematurely lost?
Even though baby teeth eventually fall out and are replaced by permanent ones, baby teeth play a crucial role in your child's growth and development. In addition to helping your child learn to speak, eat, and chew, baby teeth also serve as placeholders for the permanent teeth slated to follow.
When a baby tooth is lost prematurely due to extensive tooth decay or a traumatic injury, the permanent teeth already in place or in the process of erupting on either side of the space can begin to drift. As a result of this unplanned movement, these teeth may limit or block the space needed for an underlying permanent tooth.
Maintaining the space for a baby tooth's permanent successor
It may be necessary to fabricate an appliance known as a space maintainer to prevent any untoward drifting that might block the place for a yet-to-erupt permanent tooth. Just as the name implies, a space maintainer acts as a placeholder for the future permanent tooth.
While not every situation requires the placement of a space maintainer, many do. Based upon the location of the lost baby tooth, the development and expected eruption of the underlying permanent tooth, and other factors, our pediatric dentist will determine if a space maintainer is required.
What type of space maintainer will my child need?
The type of appliance our office recommends all depends upon the specific requirements of your child's smile. Space maintainers can get fabricated as either a fixed or removable appliance. While some space maintainers get cemented to a tooth adjacent to the space previously occupied by the baby tooth, others are removable. A removable space maintainer is one that can get taken in and out of the mouth. Whatever space maintainer is used, it will get removed once the permanent tooth erupts into place.
As part of your child’s dental prevention program, dental sealants are often recommended to protect their permanent back teeth from developing dental decay. In fact according to the American Dental Association, dental sealants reduce the risk of cavities in molars by approximately 80%.
While establishing a good oral hygiene regimen, maintaining proper toothbrushing habits, and avoiding sticky sweets are essential for the prevention of dental decay, children’s teeth often need more protection. The reason for this is that the deeply grooved chewing surfaces of the back permanent teeth can be difficult for a child to keep free of leftover food and cavity-causing bacteria. Moreover, young children do not always brush their teeth, as often or as thoroughly as they should, making them particularly vulnerable to dental decay.
Dental sealants afford additional protection from dental decay by providing a strong plastic-like protective coating for the chewing surfaces of a child’s permanent back teeth. They basically fill in the pits, fissures and grooves on these teeth to seal out harmful bacteria and food particles. Beyond preventing the development of cavities, sealants may also be useful over areas of incipient dental decay to stop further damage from occurring.
Applying dental sealants is a relatively quick and painless process. They are simply brushed on in a series of steps during a child’s dental visit and then cured (set) with a light wand. Sealants are strong and durable and can last for several years. The condition of your child’s dental sealants will be evaluated at each checkup and reapplied if the need arises.
Did you know:
There are several reasons dental sealants are highly recommended for a child's permanent back teeth. Because of still-developing dental enamel, frequent snacking, and the fact that children can't yet brush their teeth as thoroughly as needed, their risk for cavities is greater. As a matter of fact, dental sealants offer protection at all ages and can also get placed on all molars of adults prone to cavities.