Pediatric Dental Cleanings & Preventive Care
Did you know that smiling is one of the first and most natural ways to express yourself? Even babies are born with the ability to smile. While there are plenty of important reasons to keep your child’s teeth and gums healthy, seeing them enjoy a sparkling smile is one of the most fulfilling moments you can experience as a parent. So, what does it take to make sure your child’s teeth and gums remain healthy? Preventive care provided by an experienced pediatric dental office, like the dedicated team at Wee Care Dental.
At our Northern Phoenix dental office, Dr. “Rick” J. Meyers has been catering to the unique needs of children’s smiles since 1989. Our pediatric dentist protects the dental health of young smiles through preventive services that include everything from routine cleanings and examinations to education, cavity detection, and gentle extractions.
We take the time to build trusting relationships with our young patients and their parents. Through our specialized preventive care, we can help your child maintain good oral health for a lifetime. Contact our friendly team today to schedule your child’s first visit or routine checkup.
CALL US: (602) 867-7880 REQUEST APPOINTMENT
Our Preventive Dental Services for Children
At Wee Care Dental, we provide the following services tailored to the smiles of infants, children, and teens:
Gentle Dental Cleanings & Examinations: Our team first checks your child’s teeth and gums, making sure their smile is developing correctly. Next, we’ll remove any excess plaque and tartar from teeth, including the hard-to-reach areas in between.
Patient & Parent Education: Our team shows your child the best ways to brush their teeth, how to use floss correctly, and how to care for their smile at home. For parents, our team provides helpful tips and essential information on how to work with their kids for proper brushing and flossing.
Sealants & Fluoride Treatments: We offer these treatments to help protect young teeth from developing cavities that could lead to advanced decay. Fluoride helps bolster weakened tooth enamel through remineralization. Sealants are thin coatings applied to the chewing surfaces of teeth with grooves like molars and premolars. They help protect vulnerable teeth by sealing the areas where cavities are more likely to develop.
Dental X-Rays: Regular dental x-rays help us obtain precise images of your child’s teeth, gums, jaw, head, and neck. These images are vital for monitoring the healthy development of their smile as well as looking for signs of potential oral health issues.
Emergency Dental Care: We offer efficient and effective care when your child has experienced a dental injury. We provide treatment solutions for tooth pain, infection, a knocked-out tooth, and much more!
Pediatric Sedation: Our pediatric dentist is trained and certified in sedation options for children. Whether helping your child sit still during procedures, or alleviating anxiety during visits, we offer options that include nitrous oxide and oral conscious sedation.
Mouthguards: We offer customized treatment for helping protect your child’s smile with mouthguards.
Composite Fillings: We provide body-safe restorations to help repair your child’s teeth after we’ve gently removed decay. We also offer white fillings to restore damaged enamel on any tooth in their smile.
Stainless Steel Crowns: We offer reliable crowns to protect teeth after large areas of decay is removed.
Our pediatric dentist works with parents to help break unhealthy oral habits such as baby bottle decay, teeth grinding, swallowing toothpaste, thumb sucking, and more. He’ll also educate both you and your children on good oral hygiene and a proper diet.
How Often Should Children Visit a Pediatric Dentist?
Dr. Rick recommends children visit our pediatric office as soon as their first tooth erupts - no later than their first birthday. After the first visit, children should have dental cleanings and exams every six months.
Your Child’s First Visit: What to Expect
First dental visits are usually an introductory appointment and can involve very little treatment. Dr. Rick uses these visits to help your child become familiar with the dental office environment and getting to know him and our staff. This appointment is an opportunity for your young one to meet our pediatric dentist without any pressure. This helps eliminate dental fears and anxieties, allowing children to understand there is nothing to fear when visiting us for preventive dental care.
Our team is patient, kind, and always uses child-friendly language, which is especially beneficial for nervous children. We make sure children are completely comfortable first before we move on to the examination. Parents are always welcome to be in the room with their child during the exam. Our team talks to you about good oral-hygiene habits and gives you the chance to ask any questions you may have.
How Dental Exams & Cleanings Benefit Your Child’s Smile
We provide dental exams and cleanings to help your child’s smile stay healthy and strong well into adulthood. Dental cleanings include removing plaque build-up, reducing the risk of cavities while helping keep their smile stay fresh, healthy, and functional.
Exams allow us to see how your child’s smile is developing, spot potential problems, and better provide preventive treatment. Depending on your child’s age and needs, we may apply fluoride to strengthen their teeth and protect their smile.
What Do Dental Exams Accomplish?
Regular dental exams are essential to your child’s oral health. The goal is to do a comprehensive check-up and catch potential problems when they are still easy to correct. During a dental exam, our team will check their teeth, gums, tongue, cheeks, head, and neck for any signs of infection or other concerns. Dr. Rick also examines every tooth, checking for signs of damage, decay, or abnormal wear.
Common Dental & Oral Health Problems Children Face
Primary teeth are just as important as permanent teeth. Since they are not yet fully developed, the enamel is weaker, which makes them vulnerable. Because of an improper diet or lack of routine oral hygiene, older children and adolescents are also at risk for dental concerns.
Below are three examples of the most common problems children face and how our pediatric dentist can help provide solutions for them.
Problem # 1: Tooth Decay
Tooth decay is the breakdown of enamel and is commonly caused by an overabundance of plaque and bacteria from a diet high in sugar and lack of proper dental hygiene. Plaque generates acidic by-products that eat away at the enamel and gradually create holes in the teeth called cavities. Without treatment, cavities can grow larger over time and may even destroy an entire tooth.
Solution: Fluoride, Sealants, & Fillings
In most cases, tooth decay is treated with a filling. Fluoride can be used to help strengthen the enamel while sealants coat the teeth and provide protection against decay before it happens. If it’s an adult tooth or a young baby tooth, a composite filling may be needed. Composite fillings use natural-colored materials to that either fill in the areas where decay was removed or can be applied to weakened enamel to help preserve more of your child’s tooth.
Problem # 2: Accident or Injury
Young children and teenagers are often energetic and are more likely to participate in sports and other activities. While fresh air and exercise are always encouraged for their overall health, a sudden accident could lead to a painful dental emergency and potential damage.
Solution: Restorations & Emergency Dentistry
Depending on your child’s situation, we can provide relief with pediatric sedation and dental restorative treatment with composite fillings and stainless-steel crowns. Our pediatric dentist will prioritize treatment for children experiencing dental emergencies.
Problem # 3: Teeth Grinding (Bruxism) or Clenching
Teeth grinding is a condition that causes the affected person to grind, gnash, or clench their teeth. This can be conscious or unconscious. Teeth grinding is common in school grade children, both while sleeping and during the day, usually when they’re concentrating on something. Typically, the issue stops as the child grows, but if prolonged, it can cause headaches, jaw pain, and weak, worn down teeth.
Mouthguards can help prevent upper and lower teeth from touching, which helps eliminate grinding. You can also opt for custom mouthguards to protect their smile while also helping to prevent injury. Our pediatric dentist takes gentle impressions of your child’s smile to create a mouthguard that fits comfortably.
How Can I Keep My Child’s Smile Healthy at Home?
Babies don’t have teeth, but their gums require attention to remove any unwanted debris. An infant toothbrush or a clean, damp cloth that you can wrap around your finger works well. Schedule a visit to our pediatric office as soon as their first tooth erupts. Research shows that children who start dental visits early in life have fewer chances of developing tooth decay and cavities.
As they grow, show your child how and when to brush, floss, and rinse with mouthwash. Try making oral hygiene at home more enjoyable with a game or joining them during their routine. Keep in mind that children like to imitate people around them. Therefore, you can take advantage of this by demonstrating healthy habits.
Don’t forget to watch your child’s diet as it can affect their oral health. Limit sugary, sticky foods that cause tooth decay and lead to the development of cavities. If your child is involved in sporting activities, have them wear a mouthguard.
Contact Us for Expert Preventive Care for Your Child
At Wee Care Dental, Dr. Rick and his team love helping children begin a healthy life full of beautiful smiles with pediatric preventive dental care. Contact our Northern Phoenix office to schedule a professional dental cleaning and examination for your child today!
CALL US: (602) 867-7880 REQUEST APPOINTMENT