Children’s Dentist in Lancaster, CA:
Do you treat children?
Yes, we treat most of our young patients with a few exceptions, and we treat children 5 years of age and over. We refer children under 5 years of age and children who have a great fear of the dentist to a pediatric dentist (pedodontist) who is a children’s dental specialist.
Why do you refer out children under 5 years and children that are very fearful?
Our goal is to provide the best dental care that is comfortable, gentle, and affordable. Just like there are specialists in the medical field, there are specialists in dentistry that have extra training in treating children. If we feel that a child patient would be best served in the pediatric dentist’s office, we don’t hesitate to refer that patient to the specialist. We feel that parents appreciate this referral, and we have had great reviews from the parents about their children’s treatment in the pedodontist’s office.
What is a pedodontist? Why is their treatment of children so special?
A pedodontist, often called a pediatric dentist, is a specialist trained to treat children. Their whole approach to treating children is a lot different than can be found in the office of a general dentist. The décor of their office is designed to be very calming and relaxing for children, and they have animal and cartoon characters on the walls of their rooms. The reception room will usually have a nice play area, and the dental staff is specially trained to handle children. All of this greatly reduces a child’s fear level.
Can those young patients you refer come back to your office?
Of course! We have found that after a few years of treatment with the children’s dentist, these patients can come back to our office and become regular patients. By age 10-12, children have most of their permanent teeth in and do not require the services of a pedodontist.
Is the treatment you provide your young patients any different than what a pedodontist does?
The treatment is the same. The pedodontist is trained to handle real young patients and those that are fearful. The pedodontist also has the ability to treat severe dental problems with children and he/she can put children to sleep if needed.
Are the children’s dentists you refer to in-network with my insurance?
Yes. Most of the specialists we refer to are in-network providers for most of the major dental PPO plans. If we can’t handle some tough dental situations, they can.
What are some of the dental procedures done on children?
Here are some of the dental procedures with children: fillings, crowns, cleanings, root canals on baby teeth, space maintainers, extractions, and bite analysis. Some children need to be referred to an orthodontist at a young age (8-10) in order to get an early start with the correction of their teeth alignment. We also have some great orthodontists we refer to.
How early should we take our kids to the dentist?
If your children are 2-3 years old, they need to start seeing the dentist. In our office at that age we would refer you to one of our pedodontists (dental children’s specialist). If your children are already 5 and over, they can start with us.
When should I start brushing and flossing my children’s teeth?
This is a very important question. You should start brushing their teeth as soon as they come into the mouth, which is about age one. You can either use a small toothbrush or gauze. Note: do not use toothpaste in very young children as they cannot spit out excess material. Once several teeth come in, you need to start flossing their teeth. We recommend that parents be the ones who actually brush and floss their children’s teeth until about age 6-7. Before that age, the children can try to brush and floss on their own, but they usually lack the dexterity and dedication to do it well. After they try cleaning their teeth, they can come to mom or dad to be checked. The parent places the child’s head in his/her lap, and the parent checks the teeth by actually doing the brushing and flossing. By doing this, your child will have very few cavities as they grow up. This technique prevented cavities on all my children.
What are some of the other things I need to do to take care of my children’s teeth?
Besides doing the brushing and flossing mentioned above, here are a few ideas: Do not let babies sleep with a bottle of milk or juice in their mouths. The drinks will expose their teeth to sugar over several hours, which will cause a lot of tooth decay. Take your children to the dentist at an early age (2-3) so they get used to having their teeth cleaned and examined. That is a great way to reduce the fear of going to the dentist. Help your children reduce tooth decay by limiting the use of sugar drinks and candy. We often see children in their early to late teens have a lot of cavities due to drinking sodas instead of water all day long without brushing and flossing at the end of the day. If your children have orthodontic braces, they have to spend extra time cleaning their teeth each day or they will have a lot of cavities at the end of orthodontic treatment.