ANXIETY-FREE PEDIATRIC DENTAL CARE
Each child’s teeth are different. At Wheeler Pediatric Dentistry, we use one-on-one attention to create a treatment plan for each patient.
Your child’s dental health is our top priority. All of the services performed at Wheeler Pediatric Dentistry are reliable, healthy and safe for children of all ages.
Our goal is to prevent dental issues from arising before it’s too late. We recommend scheduling a check-up appointment every 6 months to ensure your child’s teeth are growing properly with no underlying problems. However, should your child need dental work as a result of cavities, called Restorative Dentistry, we will discuss the options with you to choose what’s best for your individual child.
Tips for Cavity Prevention
- Limit frequency of meals and snacks.
- Encourage brushing, flossing, and rinsing.
- Watch what you drink.
- Avoid sticky foods.
- Make treats part of meals.
- Choose nutritious snacks.
Restorative dentistry is dental work required as the result of cavities. The earlier your child learns and follows healthy oral habits, the less likely they are to need restorative dentistry. When necessary, it is our goal to make the process as safe and relaxing as possible. We offer different levels of sedation based on the individual child’s anxiety.
TYPES OF SEDATION WE OFFER
NITROUS OXIDE SEDATION
Our most popular tool for helping our patients to be more comfortable with restorative dentistry is nitrous oxide (laughing gas). The AAPD (American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry) says that “Nitrous oxide with oxygen is a safe, effective sedative agent used to calm a child’s fear of the dental visit and enhance effective communication. Additionally, it works well for children whose gag reflex interferes with dental treatment.”
ORAL CONSCIOUS SEDATION
Dr. Wheeler offers oral conscious sedation in the office. Medications are given to the child in the office that reduces anxiety and enhances cooperation. The child is not unconscious and breathes completely on their own. We monitor their vital signs before, during, and after the procedure.
Sedation may be indicated for children that have very high anxiety, children that are very young and do not understand how to be cooperative in a dental setting, children with special needs, and children who require extensive dental treatment.
WHAT AGE SHOULD MY CHILD SEE A PEDIATRIC DENTIST?
The AAPD recommends that your child should be seen no later than 6 months after their first tooth erupts from the gum. Your child’s first birthday is an excellent time for their first dental visit. Little teeth need as much attention as “big teeth” to prevent decay and encourage life-long healthy habits.
How to best prepare for your first visit:
Have fun preparing your child for their first visit, like you would their first hair cut or traveling for a trip. Setting the expectation that the experience will be a fun and positive one, will help ease any anxiety your child might feel and increase your chances of an enjoyable visit. Having your forms filled out in advance will help expedite the check-in process and give you more time to ensure your child is excited to meet the doctor versus apprehensive about what’s to come.
HOW OFTEN SHOULD MY CHILD VISIT THE DENTIST?
Generally, your child should see the dentist every 6 months. Tracking oral habits, hygiene, and growth regularly is essential to ensuring we can prevent any arising issues before restorative actions have to be taken.
DOES PEDIATRIC DENTISTRY COST MORE?
Every parent wants the best for their children, and we do too! Our office will make every effort to provide you with the finest care and the most convenient financial options. To accomplish this, we work with you to maximize your insurance reimbursement for covered procedures.Our practice accepts most insurances, including Kentucky Medicaid and KCHIP.
DO I STAY WITH MY CHILD DURING THE VISIT?
We invite you to stay with your child during the initial appointment. Beyond that, we suggest you allow our caring staff to guide your child through the dental experience. Our purpose is to gain your child’s confidence and overcome any apprehension. However, if you’d prefer to join the appointments, you are welcome to do so. For the safety and privacy of all patients, other children who are not being treated should remain in the reception room with a supervising adult.
WHEN SHOULD I START BRUSHING MY CHILD’S TEETH?
Even before your baby’s first tooth appears, we recommend you clean his gums after feedings with a damp, soft washcloth. As soon as his first tooth appears, you can start using a toothbrush. Choose a toothbrush with soft bristles and a small head. You can most likely find a toothbrush designed for infants at your local drugstore. Non-Fluoride toothpaste should be used on children under the age of 3, as fluoride can be dangerous for very young children.
Tips for toddler tooth brushing:
Let your child pick out a few toothbrushes with his favorite characters and giving him a choice of which one he wants to use each time. This will give him some feeling of control over the situation.
Let your child brush his own teeth first, you will likely have to “help out” to ensure they are thoroughly brushed.
Let your child read some children’s books about tooth brushing.
Brush your teeth along with your child. Doing it together can make it more appealing.
WHAT SHOULD I DO IF MY CHILD USES A PACIFIER OR SUCKS HIS/HER THUMB?
The large majority of children suck their thumbs or fingers as infants, and most grow out of it by the age of four, without causing any permanent damage to their teeth. If you child continues sucking after permanent teeth erupt, or sucks aggressively, let us know and we can check to see if any problems may arise from the habit.
If your child uses a pacifier, we recommend you… WAITING FOR ANSWER FROM DOCTORS
DOES YOUR CHILD NEED BRACES?
If your child is age 7 or older, it’s time to visit an orthodontist. The earlier you can get your child in for an examination with an orthodontist, the easier it will be to ensure they start treatment at the right time to obtain the best results on the easiest path.
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