Expert Pediatric Dentistry in North Phoenix
Children need professional dental care as much as adults, and at Wee Care Dental, our pediatric dentist, Dr. Rick, provides skilled and compassionate dentistry for infants, toddlers, kids, teens and patients with special needs. Since 1989, our dental office has catered to the unique smiles of children, helping to ensure maximum comfort and confidence. We’ve made sure to equip our practice with the latest technology and modern treatments so our young patients can achieve positive oral health early on.
Dr. Rick is an award-winning pediatric dentist who continues to deliver gentle care to all children. Contact our pediatric dental team in Northern Phoenix today!
CALL US: (602) 867-7880 REQUEST APPOINTMENT
Pediatric Dentistry Services from Dr. Rick
At Wee Care Dental, we proudly provide the following services tailored to the smiles of infants, children, and teens:
Why Choose a Pediatric Dentist to Care for My Child’s Smile?
Our pediatric dentist specializes in the dental care of babies, young children, and adolescents, including those with special needs. Going to the dentist can be an intimidating experience that many would prefer to avoid, especially children. However, Dr. Rick has extensive training, along with a compassionate approach to help your child become comfortable and confident in their dental care.
We work with children on an individual level to help eliminate dental fears and anxieties about receiving necessary care. Together with our team, Dr. Rick works hard to make sure each dental visit is a positive experience for every child we see. Dr. Rick is also extensively trained and certified in providing nitrous oxide and oral conscious sedation options.
At What Age Should My Child See the Dentist?
We encourage parents or guardians to bring their children to our office as soon as the first tooth appears – no later than their first birthday. The earlier children learn to take care of their smiles and become comfortable in the dental office environment, the more likely they’ll grow to be confident dental patients who make good decisions regarding their oral health.
After the first visit, we recommended you schedule routine dental check-ups every six months to help prevent cavities and other potential oral health concerns.
The Importance of Your Child’s First Dental Visit
It’s quite common for children to feel anxious when visiting a dentist. Just as healthy oral habits can develop at a young age, so can fear. For this reason and many others, scheduling young children in for the first dental visit is crucial.
Rather than diving straight into treatment, Dr. Rick likes to treat first appointments as more of an introductory visit. This typically includes him getting to know your child as an individual while helping them become familiar with our team and office. Depending on how comfortable they are during this introduction, we may continue with a gentle, yet thorough exam and possible cleaning.
The purpose of a first visit is to not only help children feel comfortable but also to help anxious parents feel confident about their child receiving care at our office. This appointment helps set the standard for routine dental care for many years to come and can significantly help reduce the chances of your child developing dental anxiety or fear which can keep them from getting the professional attention they need.
Gentle Dental Exams & Cleanings
At the forefront of pediatric dentistry is prevention. Dental exams allow our team to analyze your child’s smile gently and thoroughly. We check their teeth, gums, jaws, head, and neck for any signs of damage, infection, and other concerns. Our pediatric dentist also discusses with you about your family’s medical and dental history, so he can gain a complete understanding of any potential factors that could impact your child’s oral health.
Because the enamel of primary teeth is not as strong as permanent, adult teeth, children have a higher risk for developing cavities and even gum disease. Scheduling regular dental cleanings for your child is essential for removing plaque and tartar from teeth and the hard-to-reach places where routine brushing and flossing can’t access. Bi-annual cleanings help protect your child’s smile and preserve their oral health.
What You Can Expect During Pediatric Cleanings & Exams
Our pediatric dentist tailors routine cleanings and examinations based on your child’s age and unique needs.
For children ages six months to one year:
- Depending on their comfortability, we may place your child on a table, exam chair, or have you hold them on your lap during the exam.
- We’ll evaluate oral hygiene methods and overall health, drinking and eating habits, and asses their risk of tooth decay.
- We may remove stains or deposits on enamel by gently scrubbing with a wet toothbrush or wet, clean cloth.
- Our pediatric dentist will demonstrate proper cleaning techniques.
- We’ll evaluate how much fluoride your child needs and how much they are getting through oral hygiene products and their diet.
- We’ll check for abnormalities such as sores or bumps inside the cheeks, tongue, and roof of the mouth.
- We also analyze the impact of pacifier use, thumb sucking, tongue thrusting, and work with you to help break these habits before they can hinder your child’s oral and dental health.
For toddlers, school-age children, and teens:
- We’ll take dental X-rays that contain low levels of radiation and may perform other diagnostic procedures if necessary.
- We can apply thin, protective plastic coatings known as sealants to permanent molars and other back teeth where developing decay is more common.
- We can also recommend fluoride treatments for helping strengthen enamel and remineralize teeth, helping lessen their chance of developing cavities.
- Our pediatric dentist may remove decay, repair cavities, and treat tooth defects if needed.
- We’ll look for any problems with how teeth and jaws meet, checking for early signs of malocclusion and other orthodontic issues.
- Dr. Rick counsels your child about jaw clenching, nail-biting, and teeth grinding (bruxism).
- We may recommend preventive treatments, such as a customized mouthguard, to help strengthen your child’s bite and protect their teeth from an injury.
As your child grows into a teen, their dental exams may also include counseling about the oral health risks of smoking, drinking sugary beverages, eating foods high in unnatural carbohydrates, and oral piercings.
Patient & Parent Education
Proactive oral care begins at birth. Dr. Rick works with parents to help break unhealthy habits that can hinder the proper development of teeth and jaws. He uses appointments to educate children using models and easy-to-understand language and inform parents about the importance of proper oral hygiene and routine visits with honest and respectful communication. Our pediatric dentist demonstrates how to keep teeth and gums healthy while also discussing common risks children can face as their smiles grow.
Helping parents and patients understand their role in the oral health journey not only makes for a more positive outlook on dental care, but it also helps them understand that there is no reason for anxiety or fear when receiving that care. This is essential for helping children make good decisions about their oral health now and in the future.
Caring for Your Child’s Smile at Every Age
No matter your child’s age, you should schedule visits for routine dental care every six months. Like preventive care, dental and oral health issues do not discriminate against age, and early intervention can help prevent these problems from developing into severe causes for concern.
Infants & Toddlers
During infancy, clean your newborn’s gums gently with a wet cloth to keep their smile fresh. When primary teeth begin to emerge, you can use a small amount of toothpaste about the size of a grain of rice, and for children age three and older, a pea-sized amount of toothpaste.
Toddlers often mimic the habits of their parents. Help them develop healthy habits early on by brushing your teeth with them. You should assist with brushing and flossing until your child is mature enough to begin caring for their teeth and gums on their own.
Between the ages of six and twelve, children are losing baby teeth and gaining their permanent adult teeth. This significant dental development can leave your child vulnerable to developing decay and cavities. In addition to scheduling bi-annual dental checkups, you can help by making sure your child remains on a nutritional diet, limiting sugary snacks and soft drinks.
By this age, children should be used to having more independence during their oral health routine, but it never hurts to make sure they are brushing their teeth twice a day and flossing daily. Our pediatric dentist offers care for dental emergencies in the event of an injury and can help protect teeth from decay with fluoride and sealant treatments.
Preteens & Adolescents
Between school, homework, sports, and trying to hang out with their friends, teens are more likely to develop cavities and gum disease due to poor nutritional habits and sporadic hygiene. Try swapping out surgery sports drinks and foods high in unnatural carbohydrates by supplying fibrous fruits, vegetables, and water in the house.
Make sure that your teen brushes twice a day and flosses once daily to help reduce their risk of developing oral health concerns in the future. If your teen is active in sports, they should always wear a mouthguard when actively participating. When necessary, we can treat their smile using composite fillings or stainless-steel crowns.
Pediatric Dentistry You Can Trust
At Wee Care Dental, we care about children! Dr. Rick and his team love helping infants, toddlers, kids, teens, and patients with special needs achieve beautiful, healthy smiles well into the future. By building trusting relationships, our pediatric dentist helps children and parents feel confident, making dental care fun while also helping to eliminate dental anxiety and fear. If you’re looking for a compassionate and highly-experienced pediatric dentist in Northern Phoenix, contact us today!
CALL US: (602) 867-7880 REQUEST APPOINTMENT