Our mission is to provide a new experience for you and your child and to develop long term relationships that are built on trust and confidence. We pledge to provide the best possible care for your most valued possession...your child.
A balanced diet is crucial for the proper development of an unborn child. A child’s teeth begin to form in the second month of pregnancy and begin to harden between months 3 and 6. A diet that provides vitamins A, C, and D, protein, Calcium, and Phosphorous will help develop healthy teeth. Inadequate nutrition during development may result in weaker or poorly formed enamel resulting in a higher likelihood of developing cavities after the teeth erupt.
Keeping Mom’s Teeth and Gums Healthy During Pregnancy
It is important to have teeth free of decay during pregnancy since the bacteria that causes decay can be transmitted to the child. During pregnancy, a woman’s hormone levels rise significantly and have the tendency to increase the chances for gingivitis. Due to increase progesterone levels, gum sensitivity may result as an exaggerated response to plaque. Poor periodontal health in the mother can lead to adverse pregnancy outcomes such as premature delivery and low birth weights. More frequent dental cleaning may be necessary during pregnancy to prevent problems from occurring. Many insurance companies will cover an extra cleaning during the second or third trimester.
First Dental Exam
For some children and parents, the first dental visit can be a stressful situation. Establishing trust between the child and the dentist is extremely important because it is this relationship that helps set a positive tone for the rest of the child's life. Often times, the mother or father is more apprehensive than their child. Children can sense the discomfort of their parents and it is for this reason that we prefer to meet children away from their parents. This allows for us to relate to your child on a one-to-one basis. Although a parent's presence is intended to provide comfort while in the treatment room, it instead indicates that mom or dad is there to provide protection against these "strangers". In some cases, this can hinder treatment.
We believe that honesty is the best policy. We are against the use of nitrous oxide, sedative drugs, and general anesthesia when working with children. Using these methods may make dental treatment easier for the dentist; however it does not help to cure phobias. Temporary escape from reality encourages dependency on drugs during dental treatment and prevents the child and dentist from relating to each other in a positive way. Positive learning is important in childhood in order to develop adult patients without dental fears.
Primary "baby" teeth are important in normal development - for chewing, speaking and appearance. The primary teeth are also important in that they hold the space for the permanent "adult" teeth.
A baby's front four teeth usually erupt first, typically at around 6 months old. Some children however, don't have their first tooth until 12-14 months of age. Most children have their full set of 20 primary teeth by the time they are three years old. A child's first dental exam should be between the ages of 2 and 3 years old, sometimes earlier. By this time, all 20 primary teeth should be present.
When teeth begin erupting, babies may have sore or tender gums. Gently rubbing your child's gums with a clean finger or a wet gauze pad can be soothing. Teething rings may also be used as long as they are clean. The teething ring should never be dipped in sugar or syrup. Fever is not normal for a teething baby. If your child has an unusually high or persistent fever while teething, consult your physician.
Bottle and Breast Feeding
Breast feeding can supply the baby with the most needed nutrients early in life. Whatever you decided to feed your baby, remember that all of them contain natural sugars that can cause tooth decay over a period of time if they are allowed to remain in contact with your child's teeth. Never put your child to bed with a bottle.
Cleaning your child's teeth
Begin cleaning the baby's mouth during the first few days after birth. After every feeding, wipe the baby's gums either with a clean, wet gauze pad or with a clean washcloth or towel. This will help remove plaque and any residual food, as well as helps children become used to having their mouth checked. Decay can begin as soon as teeth appear. Frequent or prolonged exposure of a child's teeth to liquids containing sugar, such as sweetened water, fruit juices, and even milk, breast milk and formula can be a risk factor for early childhood cavities.
Once a molar appears, brush all teeth gently with a child sized soft toothbrush and water. When your child can spit and not swallow toothpaste, begin brushing with a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste. Check your child's toothbrush often and replace it when it begins to look worn. Begin using floss when adjacent teeth are touching to prevent cavities from forming between teeth.
Maintaining good oral health is the responsibility of both parents and their dentist. It is our joint duty to teach your child good dental habits. Taking poor care of your child's teeth can result in infection that may spread and adversely affect their overall dental health. The loss of baby teeth too early in life will not only cause damage to permanent teeth, but may also affect your child's eating habits and their overall health.
Sucking is a natural reflex. Young children way suck on thumbs, fingers, pacifiers and other objects. Sucking may make them feel safe and happy or provide a sense of security at difficult times. Since thumb sucking is relaxing, it may also induce sleep.
If thumb sucking persists past the eruption of permanent teeth, problem can occur with tooth alignment and proper growth in the mouth. Children who rest their thumbs passively in their mouths are less likely to have difficulty than those who vigorously suck their thumbs. Usually children stop between ages two and four.
Your Child's Diet
Good diet is essential for a child's growth and development. Just like the rest of the body, the teeth, bones and soft tissue of the mouth require a well balanced diet. Children should eat a variety of foods from the five major food groups:
- Breads, cereals or other grains
- Milk, cheese, and yogurt
- Meat, poultry, fish, and alternatives, such as dry beans, peas, eggs and nuts
Candy and other sweets are most typically associated with dental decay. This however is a common misconception. There are 3 factors that determine whether your child will develop cavities: heredity, what they eat, and the frequency with which they eat it. Processed or refines foods like bread, chips and cereal are transformed into the same sugars as those in a piece of candy. The body then uses those sugars to produce an acid that over a period of time will cause decay. When these foods are eaten frequently throughout the day, you'll be more likely to develop cavities. For example, there is a huge difference between eating 5 cookies all at once and eating 1 cookie at five different times throughout the day. Each time your child eats a cookie, the acid level in their mouth increases and attacks the teeth again.
Limit the amount of snacking. If your child needs a snack between regular meals, offer nutritious foods from the main food groups. Frequent snacking with foods containing sugar or processed carbohydrates can elevate the risk of oral decay. Frequent and prolonged exposure to soda and other sugar-filled beverages should always be avoided.
By age six or seven, children should be able to brush their own teeth twice per day. Supervision for good technique until age ten or eleven is recommended, however each child is different. Choosing a child sized toothbrush is important for ease of use.
Fluoride is a mineral that naturally occurs in all water sources. Research has shown that fluoride not only prevents cavities, it also can help repair early stages of tooth decay even before decay is visible.
During childhood, when teeth are still developing, fluoride works by making tooth enamel more resistant to the acid that causes tooth decay. Fluoride also helps to repair, or remineralize, areas where the acid attacks have already begun.
Topical fluoride can be found in toothpastes and mouth rinses. Fluoride can also be applied during regular dental office visits. Fluoride can also be found in water and in tablets, drops or lozenges. This type of fluoride treatment is considered systemic, meaning it is swallowed. Before giving your child any vitamin or supplement that contains fluoride, check with your dentist or pediatrician to determine their need for it. Depending on your family's oral health, the use of additional fluoride-containing products may not be needed.
At about age six, children begin to lose their front teeth on top and bottom. During the next six or so years, permanent teeth will gradually begin to replace all primary teeth. The first permanent molars usually erupt between ages five and six. They are among the "extra" permanent teeth, meaning that they do not replace an existing baby tooth. The six-year molars are especially important, because they help determine the shape of the lower face.
A sealant is a material that is applied to the chewing surfaces of the back teeth, the molars and premolars. These areas are where decay occurs most often. Sealants act as a barrier to prevent plaque from accumulating in the deeper pits and fissures, or grooves, in the surfaces of teeth. These areas are difficult to keep clean because toothbrush bristles cannot reach into them.
Sealing teeth is a fast process and there is virtually no discomfort. Sealants hold up well against normal chewing and can last several years before reapplication is needed.
Sometimes a primary tooth is lost before the permanent tooth beneath it is ready to come in. If the tooth is lost too early, nearby teeth can shift or move into the open space. When the permanent tooth is finally ready to erupt, there may not be enough room for it. A space maintainer may be recommended for teeth lost prematurely. A space maintainer is a plastic or metal appliance that holds open the space left by the missing tooth.
While participating in sports and recreational activities, injuries can occur. Mouth protectors, or mouthguards, are an important piece of protective gear. Contact sports such as hockey, football, and boxing pose a greater risk for dental injuries. Mouthguards help provide a cushion against blows that would otherwise cause broken teeth, trauma to the lips and face, and sometimes even jaw bone fractures. Even non contact sports like soccer, volleyball, and skateboarding can result in dental injuries.
Dental Treatment - Why we do what we do
When a child's teeth have been damaged by trauma, dental decay, or congenital defects, we consider several factors before making a decision about the treatment for those teeth. These factors include the age of your child, how severely the tooth is damaged, and in the case of primary teeth, how long that tooth must continue to function before the permanent teeth come in. Our decisions for your child's care are never based on finances or insurance, especially when it compromises the quality of treatment provided. We will always discuss all treatment options with you.
Thank you for choosing us to care for you and your family
1000 E Dimond Blvd Ste 205
Anchorage, AK 99515
Phone: (907) 344-5544
Fax: (907) 344-5564