Anesthesia: Is it safe?
We have two highly experienced anesthesiologists that provide care in our office who we have trusted for many years. We also treat patients at our local hospital. Advancement in technology and methods has made general anesthesia a choice we feel comfortable offering. If appropriate, it can be an avenue for a child to receive treatment that would otherwise be impossible.
Appointments: What is the best time to schedule?
The younger patients seem to do better in the morning, but you know your child the best. We are open 5 days a week in Bremerton and 3-4 days in Port Orchard so we can hopefully accommodate a time and day that is good for you.
Baby teeth: Are they worth saving?
Primary teeth help with speaking, chewing and guiding the permanent teeth into the correct position. An untreated cavity can cause pain, infection and early loss of a tooth. Proper care of baby teeth can enhance the overall health of your child.
What causes a cavity?
There needs to be a combination of a tooth, bacteria, sugar and time. Plaque is the word used to describe the bacteria that stick to your tooth and what proper tooth brushing removes. When you eat, the sugar in your food causes the bacteria in plaque to produce acids that dissolve enamel. With time and repetitive acid delivery, the enamel will eventually break down and a hole (cavity) will form.
How do I prevent cavities from forming?
Bringing your child to a dentist every 6 months beginning at age 1 will help start things off on a good foot. We can provide preventative tips and evaluate the diet and effectiveness of oral hygiene. Proper brushing at home, regular dental visits and a balanced diet are the foundation of a life time of good oral health.
When should be my child’s first dental visit?
The age one visit, or within 6 months of the first tooth eruption is now the recommended time frame. That is when a prevention plan can be outlined and individualized for each patient and situation. Pediatric dentists are very comfortable looking at very young children and spotting potential problems early on.
Dental visits: Can I stay with my child?
We have several options for families. We have a designated dental space for adult accompaniment if desired. We also have large consult rooms that can be used for a dental evaluation with family members. Since we are very child friendly, most patients sooner or later go with our staff members independently after a consult with the caregiver. However, whether or not you stay with your child is ultimately your decision.
Dental visits: How often should they be scheduled?
Typically, every 6 months for a checkup is the standard of care. There are some we see on a more frequent basis depending of need and parent desires.
Diet and Nutrition: What foods are better of dental health?
The diet has a huge effect on oral health. A balanced diet is best for establishing and maintaining good oral health. Foods that are kindest to the teeth are protein, fruit and vegetables. Milk and water are the best liquid choices. Limiting sugars and carbohydrates is the other side of the coin. We can be more specific at your child’s visit.
Eruption of teeth: When does that start?
The first teeth to erupt are the lower incisors, generally around 6 months of age. The upper two front teeth are usually next up. The remaining 18 come over the next 24 months until you get to 20. There is a wide range of timing; both early and late so don’t panic if your child is on either side of the average.
Family dentist vs a Pediatric dentist: What is the difference?
A child specialist gets and extra 2-3 years of training and has more in depth experience with infants, children adolescents and special needs patients.
Fluoride supplements: Is it necessary?
Fluoride in the water has a proven very strong anti-cavity effect. Kitsap county and the peninsula has very limited water fluoridation. We can discuss fluoride options with each family and what their comfort level is as part of a prevention plan.
Grinding of Teeth: Is it common?
Grinding is very common. Typically you will hear is at night while your child is sleeping. Most children outgrow grinding at around 6-9 years old as more permanent teeth erupt. Occasionally, a night guard is made to wear while sleeping to prevent enamel wear.
Insurance: What do you accept?
We take most major insurance plans. We can also process credit cards and in some cases can work out a payment plan.
Mouth guards: What type is best?
We highly recommend wearing a mouth guard when playing any sport. The over the counter variety has mixed results with comfort and bulkiness. We make a basic custom made sports guard at a reasonable cost. Sometimes, if you are wearing braces, your orthodontist can make one as well.
Nitrous oxide: Is it safe?
Nitrous oxide and oxygen combined is very safe. Most children tolerate it very easily. It has a rapid onset and can be reversed or adjusted quickly. Nitrous oxide is also non-allergenic. When breathing in, your child remains fully conscious, retaining all their natural reflexes.
Nursing: Will it cause decay?
We feel that nursing throughout the day is fine as long as the teeth are getting brushed on a regular basis. Nursing throughout the night gives the bacteria a chance to feed as well without being brushed off. That is a combination that can lead to decay formation.
Permanent teeth: What if one is knocked out?
First, try to find the tooth. Time is important. Hold it by the crown, not the root. If possible, place it back in the socket. You may wash it off with milk or saline. If you cannot replace it yourself, place it in a container of milk and get to the office as soon as possible. Getting it back in place in the first 30 minutes will make a difference.
Sealants: How do they work?
Sealants work by filling in the crevasses on the chewing surface of the teeth. This shuts out food that might get lodged in the grooves, helping to cause cavities. The application is fairly straight forward and can protect the biting surface of back teeth for many years.
Spacing: Is it goods to have extra room between teeth?
For a younger child, extra space is a good sign there will be available space for the larger permanent teeth that will erupt later in life. An orthodontic screening exam is part of our 6 month checkup so will keep caregivers apprised of potential orthodontic issues if they arise.
Teething: What can I do?
Sore gums are part of the normal eruptive process. A cold chew toy is a time tested item that can help in many cases. Over the counter pain medication can be used if desired. There are mixed results with rub on products or chewing tablets.
Thumb sucking: What can be done?
Thumb and pacifier habits are not a problem unless continued for a long period of time. Most children will stop the habit on their own. However if your child’s habit persist past 5 years old, orthodontic intervention may be needed. We can make some recommendations individually during a checkup visit.
Toothache: What should I do?
Make an appointment as soon as possible so we can assess the situation. We may call in some medication initially to give some short term relief. We also will see patients very quickly for an evaluation appointment so don’t hesitate to call during normal business hours as that is when we can be the most efficient at seeing your child.
Toothbrush: Is that the best way to clean my baby’s teeth?
We favor a tooth brush over a washcloth or finger brush. We recommend brushing at the first sign that a tooth is erupting. We always give a new high quality tooth brush at each checkup visit. Generally, changing your tooth brush every 3 months is recommended by the American Dental Association.
Toothpaste: When should I start using it?
For a child below 2, water or a non-fluoride tooth paste is generally recommended. We sometimes recommend using a small amount of fluoride toothpaste for young children if no fluoride supplements are being used and there is no water fluoridation. Brushing should be done by an adult once a day until age 8 or beyond.
X-rays: Are they safe?
There are few risks with dental x-rays. We take x-rays in accordance with our academy’s recommendation and are careful to limit the amount of radiation to which children are exposed. Lead aprons and high-speed film are used to ensure safety and minimize the amount of radiation.
Bremerton, WA 98311
Mon - Fri: 8 am - 4 pm
Providing children's dental care to:
Bremerton, Silverdale, Poulsbo, Bainbridge
Port Orchard Office
Port Orchard, WA 98366
Tues - Fri: 8 am - 4 pm
Providing children's dental care to:
Port Orchard, Gig Harbor
Diplomate, American Board of Pediatric Dentistry
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