Children’s Dentistry

Our practice believes in caring for the entire family, including children. Having specific dental needs, children will receive our undivided attention and will be made to feel very special while visiting us. We have TV monitors in each room and have found this especially helpful while treating our younger patients. We like to begin seeing children by age two. Six month appointments will help your child learn about proper dental hygiene and start forming good habits that will last a lifetime. It is very important that children have enjoyable dental appointments and we enjoy creating a fun environment for them.

A child’s first visit to the dentist should fall around his or her first birthday. This is the time when many of the baby teeth have erupted into the gums, and it is approximately six months following the breakthrough of the first baby tooth. Parents should speak with children openly about an upcoming dental appointment and answer any questions a child may have about the experience.

Children, like adults, should visit the dentist on a regular 6-month basis to maintain a cavity-free smile. A professional cleaning and fluoride treatment will help in the prevention program. If problems such as cavities arise, it can be detected earlier if a child has regular dental visits. Addressing dental problems early on can prevent oral disease and discomfort. Together, home and professional care will help in the prevention of oral problems and result in a great smile for your child.

We provide dental care and instruction in a fun, relaxing environment. We treat children with respect and explain every step of their dental care in age-appropriate, child-friendly terms. We also provide orthodontic assessment and other age-appropriate evaluation and care services. Our goal is that your child develops and maintains a positive association with dental care, and we do everything we can to create a pleasant, supportive, and fun environment for them and you. On your child’s first visit, they will have any necessary x-rays, cleanings, oral hygiene instruction, fluoride treatment, and a complete orthodontic assessment. Treatment recommendations and service is always based on age appropriateness. We recommend that children begin routine dental exams starting around 4 years old. If they are experiencing any type of dental problem, you may need to bring them in sooner.

During a dental exam for your child, you can expect the following: Our hygienists will clean your child's teeth & evaluate their risk of tooth decay. The exam may also include the application of protective measures, such as sealants or fluoride treatments. If necessary, we may also need to take dental x-rays. We will also discuss your child's diet and oral hygiene habits and demonstrate proper brushing and flossing techniques.

Our favorite part of the cleaning and the exam is celebrating with your child at the end of the appointment of a cavity free check up.
The goal of filling cavities is to prevent tooth loss, prevent tooth fracture and prevent pain and infection. When decay is close to the nerve, a dentist has a few treatment options.

So when a patient has a deep filling and there is deep decay, the dentist can:
  1. Remove all the decay, possibly resulting in the need of a root canal or pulpotomy
  2. Remove the decay and if the nerve is alive place medicine over the top of the infection
  3. Leave a small area of affected tissue and treat it with medicine, called an indirect pulp cap
Pulp caps are a great choice when the tooth is injured. If no medicine is placed, the chance of infection and pain greatly increase. By placing medicines that soothe the nerve, a deep filling can remain comfortable and prevent infection.
A pulpotomy is a procedure performed on a tooth with an infection in the outer layers. Diseased tissue is removed and a medicine is placed to keep the remaining nerve tissue healthy. A pulpotomy is the removal of the pulp tissue to allow normal root development and remove infection and pain.
When a young child has multiple cavities in a baby tooth, one of the best treatments available is a stainless steel crown. A stainless steel crown is customized for your child’s tooth.

This treatment has resulted in the best chance to retain the baby tooth until the permanent tooth is ready to come into the patient's mouth. Stainless steel crowns are made of a softer metal that can easily adjust to a child’s bite.

Stainless steel crowns are a wise choice when a parent is concerned about decay, the loss of a tooth and preventing crowding.
If a baby tooth is lost too soon, the teeth beside it may drift or tilt into the empty space. Teeth in the other jaw may move up or down to also fill the gap. It is used to hold space in the jaw for the future permanent tooth when a primary tooth has been lost prematurely. If this space is not maintained the permanent tooth may not have sufficient room to erupt properly and extensive orthodontics may be necessary. A space maintainer is usually a metal appliance that is specially fabricated for your child’s mouth. Childhood dental habits establish the foundation for oral health during adulthood. By training children about proper hygienic habits at an early age, parents and caregivers can set them up for a lifetime of good oral health.

By the age of three, most children have 20 teeth often referred to as “baby teeth.” Children are born with these teeth, although they do not appear until several months of age. Although these teeth will eventually fall out – usually beginning around the child’s sixth birthday – they are still susceptible to decay until that time. During childhood, the dentist will inspect the baby teeth for cavities and signs of decay, as well as ensure the teeth are erupting normally. The baby teeth are very important as they guide the adult teeth into the proper position. We begin to examine the occlusion (bite) very early to prevent bigger problems in the future. 

Early orthodontic treatment can be extremely important and can begin as early as age six. Dr. Krempa will assess when it is time for your child to see an orthodontist.
Parents are also instructed on proper home dental care and advised of day-to-day habits that could cause early decay. At-home dental care is equally important as visiting the dentist on a regular basis. Even before the teeth erupt in a child’s mouth, the gums should be gently washed each day. Twice-daily brushing should begin as soon as the teeth break through the gums, although the teeth may initially be cleansed using water, rather than toothpaste. As the child gets older, it is safe to begin using children’s toothpaste as recommended by Dr. Krempa.
  Caution may be given about pacifier usage, sending children to bed with bottles or sugary beverages, and using fluoridated toothpastes prior to age two.
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