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What is Pediatric Dentistry?

The specialty of pediatric dentistry is dedicated to the oral health of infants, children, young adults, and patients with special needs. Children get their first teeth around 6 months of age, and start to experience their first loose tooth at about 5-6 years. With proper care and attention, children can have teeth which are healthy, and free of tooth decay and oral infections.

What training is required to be a Pediatric Dentists?

A Board Certified Pediatric Dentist has completed the following:
•  4 years of dental school
•  2 years of residency focused exclusively on the dental needs of young people and children with special needs
•  Board Certification is awarded by the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry. It is a voluntary oral and written exam which endorses the knowledge, skills, and experience of the pediatric dentist.

Why visit a pediatric dentist?

Perhaps the most important role of the Pediatric Dentist is to create an environment that is safe and fun. Pediatric dentists know how to work with children in ways that make them feel comfortable and gives them the tools to establish good habits and a healthy smile.

From evaluating growth and development to managing a young patient's anxiety, pediatric dentists have the knowledge and experience to address your child's dental needs.

What preventative pediatric services do you offer?

Preventative dentistry is the best way to maintain your child’s oral health, and establish a strong foundation that will follow them into adulthood. Preventative pediatric dentistry includes treatments like:
•  Exams: We assess growth and development needs, the presence of plaque and gingivitis, and the presence or risk for caries (cavities). Infant oral exams can help us establish healthy routines and manage any conditions.
•  Cleanings: When regular brushing and flossing is not enough, professional cleanings can eliminate plaque and tartar from the surface of the tooth.
•  Fluoride: Fluoride treatments can prevent dental decay and even reverse minor cavities.
•  Sealants: Dental sealants protect the chewing surface of the tooth from plaque and acidic bacteria.
•  Habits: Thumb sucking and pacifier use can be a natural reflex for infants and toddlers. Habits that persist beyond the infant and toddler stage can create changes in a child’s bite and mouth. We can provide suggestions and guidelines to help steer your child away from these habits.
•  Diagnosis: We can diagnosis oral conditions associated with systemic diseases such as diabetes, asthma, and congenital heart defects. We also provide early assessment and treatment for improper bite alignment or spacing.
•  Mouthguards: Mouth guards are a useful appliance that protects your child’s mouth from traumatic injuries during sporting events. They can also be used to prevent excessive wear if your child grinds their teeth at night (bruxism).

What restorative pediatric treatments do you offer?

Restorative dentistry is the practice of repairing or correcting issues related to the teeth, gums, and mouths.
•  Cavities: We can help repair tooth cavities and abnormalities. If your child has a cavity, we can perform a dental filling to protect the area from future deterioration. In cases of severe decay, we can place a dental crown or perform a pulpotomy (baby root canal).
•  Emergencies: We can also assist with dental emergencies. Dental emergencies may be anything from a chipped tooth to oral lesions like those seen in Hand, Foot,and Mouth Disease. Whatever the emergency we can assess and treat quickly and compassionately.

How can I help keep my kid’s mouth healthy at home?

•  Brushing and Flossing: Make sure that your child is brushing and flossing regularly. Your child should be using toothpaste that is recommended for children by the American Dental Association.
•  Healthy Diet: A healthy diet also equates to healthy teeth. A well-balanced diet can decrease their chances of developing tooth decay. Make sure to limit their intake of foods and liquids that are high in sugar and simple carbohydrates.
•  Limit Bottle Time: Never put an infant to bed with a bottle that contains anything but water. This can lead to baby bottle tooth decay, and it can create significant complications for the growth and development of their permanent teeth.

Ready to schedule your child’s dental appointment?

At Portland Children's Dentistry, we provide the very best in pediatric dental care in the Portland area at our NW Westover and SE Woodstock locations. Dr. David Raphael and Dr. Patricia Peirano have the experience and qualifications to care for your child’s teeth, from infancy through the teen years. We perform both preventative and restorative treatments, and we can help guide your child through their dental growth and development. Call us today at (503) 477-7130 (NW Portland) or (503) 489-8355 (SE Portland) to schedule your child’s dental appointment or keep reading to find out more about what we do.
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Portland Children's Dentistry | www.portlandchildrensdentistry.com | (503) 477-7130
2323 NW Westover Road, Portland, OR 97210