Rediscover Your Smile

Affordable Family & Implant Dentistry

Free Exam & Digital X-Rays

for All New Patients

*Limited Time Only

Call Us Now

Free Exam & Digital X-Rays for All New Patients

*Limited Time Only


Banner Image

Request Your Appointment Now!

    Pediatric Dentistry        


    All PPO Insurance Accepted


    Free Dental Exams & X-Rays


    Financing Available

    Parents seeking comprehensive dental care for their children, especially those facing dental issues, should consult experienced pediatric dentists. Pediatric dentistry is a specialized field that addresses children’s dental needs from infancy through adolescence. It encompasses various aspects of dental care, including preventative measures, dental disease treatment, and oral health.

    The necessity of pediatric dentistry is emphasized by data highlighting the prevalence and impact of dental issues in children. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), cavities, also called caries or tooth decay, are the most common chronic disease among children in the United States. More than half of children aged 6 to 8 have had a cavity in at least one of their baby teeth, and the same is true for over half of adolescents aged 12 to 19 in their permanent teeth.

    Cavities can cause significant problems if untreated, leading to pain, infections, and difficulties in eating, speaking, and learning, which may affect a child’s school performance and overall well-being​​. Regular dental care is vital for children’s oral health. At The Lakewood Dentist, we are experienced pediatric dentists who prevent and treat dental issues, guide families in maintaining proper oral hygiene, and ensure the overall well-being of their young patients.

    Dental Cleaning

    In pediatric dentistry, dental cleaning has a role in maintaining children’s oral health. The importance of dental cleaning for children cannot be understated, given the high prevalence of dental caries (cavities) in young children and the long-term implications of poor oral health. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 13.2% of children aged 5–19 years have untreated dental caries.

    Regular dental cleanings are essential for children, especially in their first decade, when they are at a high risk for cavities. Cleanings help remove plaque, prevent cavities, and identify existing cavities. Without regular cleanings, cavities can worsen, leading to more serious issues. Moreover, toothbrushes and floss alone often cannot reach all areas of the mouth, making professional cleanings necessary for a thorough oral hygiene routine​​.

    The American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommend that children see a pediatric dentist and establish a dental home by age one. Regular dental checkups ensure that a child’s teeth and gums are healthy and developing normally, and they allow the dentist to apply preventive measures like fluoride treatments. These checkups and cleanings are crucial for the early detection and prevention of dental issues​​.

    Digital Imaging

    Digital imaging in pediatric dentistry is an advanced technological approach that has significantly enhanced the diagnosis and treatment of dental issues in children. Integrating digital radiography in dental practices offers numerous benefits and is increasingly vital to pediatric dental care.

    It eliminates the need for a darkroom, chemical solutions, and concerns related to their disposal. The systems available for intraoral and extraoral imaging are designed to be user-friendly and accommodate the patient population, making them suitable for pediatric dentistry​​.

    One of the primary benefits of digital radiography is patient safety, particularly in reducing radiation exposure for children. It is crucial for pediatric dentistry, as the younger the child, the more potential damage can be caused by excessive radiation.

    Additionally, digital X-rays enhance patient education, making children and their parents more comfortable and understanding of the recommended treatment. The ability to manipulate and present digital X-ray images in various ways helps engage children in their dental care, making them more comfortable with the diagnosis and treatment process​​.

    The instant-image capability of digital radiography is highly beneficial in dealing with traumatic dental injuries, where time is of the essence. In such cases, digital X-rays save crucial time, aiding in rapid response and potentially saving a tooth that has been dislocated or avulsed​​.

    Digital X-rays provide accurate and detailed images of a child’s teeth and bones, crucial for identifying cavities, tooth decay, gum disease, and other concerns. Their ability to offer clearer imaging with reduced radiation exposure makes them indispensable for children’s dental care. Moreover, digital radiographs are environmentally friendly, and their electronic storage allows for easy sharing and tracking of dental health over time​​.

    Dental Sealants

    Dental sealants are a significant preventive intervention in pediatric dentistry, particularly for protecting the back teeth (molars) against cavities. They are thin coatings applied to the chewing surfaces of these teeth. Dental sealants have been shown to prevent 80% of cavities in the back teeth over two years, where most cavities (9 in 10) occur. This high level of effectiveness underscores the value of sealants as a preventive measure against tooth decay​​.

    Despite their effectiveness, dental sealants are underused. Less than half of children and adolescents have dental sealants. Among children aged 6 to 11 years, 42% have dental sealants on their permanent teeth, which rises to 48% among adolescents aged 12 to 19. There has been a significant increase in the use of sealants among children from low-income families, but disparities still exist​​.

    School-age children without sealants have almost three times as many cavities in their first molars as those with sealants. This statistic highlights the substantial role of dental sealants in reducing the incidence of cavities among children​​.

    Implementing sealant programs in schools for children from low-income families who lack access to sealants could save up to $300 million in dental treatment costs. These programs are an effective method to provide sealants and prevent cavities on a larger scale​​.

    Do Sealants have BPA?

    The question of bisphenol A (BPA) in dental sealants concerns many parents considering this treatment for their children. BPA is a chemical used in various plastic products and has potential health concerns.

    Dental sealants, being made of plastic, can contain BPA. This has raised concerns among parents about the safety of these sealants. However, the amount of BPA released from dental sealants is minimal. The American Dental Association (ADA) analyzed BPA release in different dental sealants used in the U.S. and found that the average sealant released only 0.09 nanograms of BPA. This amount is far below the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed limit of 1 million nanograms daily for a 6-year-old child​​.

    Children are exposed to higher levels of BPA through other common items, including food, drinks, and cosmetics. The exposure from dental sealants is comparatively lower​​. Despite the presence of BPA, the benefits of dental sealants for preventing cavities and maintaining oral health are substantial. The ADA reports that sealants can reduce the risk of molar decay by almost 80%. Children without sealants are nearly three times more likely to have cavities compared to those who have received this preventive treatment​​.

    Space Maintainers

    Space maintainers are dental devices used in pediatric dentistry, particularly when children lose their baby teeth prematurely. These appliances are designed to preserve the space left by the missing tooth, ensuring that permanent teeth can erupt correctly.

    Without a space maintainer, other baby teeth may shift into the space, potentially blocking the adult tooth from emerging properly and leading to malocclusions (misalignment of teeth), overcrowding, and other orthodontic issues. Generally, children adapt to them fairly quickly, though initial bleeding gums may occur​​.

    Types of Space Maintainers

    There are three main categories of space-maintaining appliances:

    1. She fixed the unilateral appliances. These include the band and loop maintainer and the distal shoe, which are glued into place and maintain space on one side of the mouth​​.
    2. Fixed bilateral appliances. Such as the Transpalatal Arch (TPA), Lingual Holding Arch, and Nance Arch. These are used when teeth are lost on both sides of the mouth to maintain overall dental arch length​​.
    3. Removable partial dentures. Typically used for esthetic reasons, especially when anterior (front) teeth are missing. They are similar to the lingual arch but include artificial teeth​​.

    Fluoride Varnish

    Fluoride varnish is a concentrated topical fluoride treatment applied to teeth using a small brush that sets upon contact with saliva. Varnish is a preventive measure in pediatric dentistry known for its efficacy in reducing tooth decay and strengthening tooth enamel.

    Studies have shown that fluoride varnish can decrease the prevalence of dental caries in baby teeth by 37% and in permanent teeth by 43%. It is particularly beneficial for children at high risk of decay and those not exposed to fluoride from other sources. Additionally, fluoride varnish can reverse early signs of tooth decay, such as white spot lesions​​.

    The procedure for applying fluoride varnish involves several steps, including:

    How Fluoride Varnish Works

    Fluoride varnish creates a protective layer over teeth that prevents new cavities from forming and helps stop tooth decay that has already started. Its protective effect can last several months. This treatment is particularly effective in reducing cavities, with studies showing a decrease in caries incidence by 18% to 59%. It is recommended for infants and children, starting when the first tooth erupts and continuing through age five​​​​.

    Aftercare Instructions and Guidelines

    After the application of fluoride varnish, certain aftercare instructions should be followed:

    Will Fluoride Varnish Discolor Your Child’s Teeth?

    Fluoride varnish may temporarily give teeth a golden yellow color, making them appear yellow shortly after application. However, this discoloration will fade after a day or two and will not stain the teeth permanently​​.

    Dental Emergencies

    Dental emergencies in children are a significant concern, encompassing a range of conditions that require prompt and effective management. Odontogenic infections and orofacial trauma are the most common types of pediatric dental emergencies. They include serious medical problems like the avulsion of a permanent tooth or the spread of an odontogenic infection, requiring expedited care for a favorable prognosis​​.

    Examples of common dental emergencies in children include the following:

    Dental Pulpotomy

    A pulpotomy is a dental procedure performed on children to remove inflamed pulp tissue from the crown of a primary or baby tooth. This treatment is necessary when a child’s tooth has decay or cavities that reach the pulp, or after a trauma or injury to the tooth.

    If left untreated, an inflamed pulp can cause abscesses, pain, and potentially spread to other body parts. A pulpotomy can prevent the need for tooth extraction or more invasive dental procedures​​.

    What to Expect During the Dental Procedure

    A pediatric dentist or an endodontist typically performs the procedure. It begins with a local anesthetic to numb the area around the affected tooth. The dentist then creates an opening in the top part of the tooth to access and remove the infected pulp. A medicated filling protects the remaining healthy pulp tissue, and the tooth is sealed with a stainless-steel crown​​.

    After the procedure, children can resume normal activities, but they may experience mild discomfort, sensitivity, or swelling. Pain medication, popsicles, and soft foods can help alleviate these symptoms. A follow-up visit is usually scheduled to ensure proper healing and to check for complications. Maintaining good oral hygiene is also essential​​.

    Your Baby’s Initial Dental Visit

    The first dental visit for your baby is a significant milestone in their oral health journey. You should schedule the first dental visit when your child’s first tooth appears. This initial appointment is primarily a preliminary visit, focusing on information exchange and guidance for parents.

    The visit will typically involve an examination of your child’s jaw, teeth, and gums to assess their development and check for any issues like cavities or gum problems. Ensuring your child is comfortable and positively introducing them to dental care is crucial during this first experience​​​​.

    Preparing for your baby’s first dental visit involves scheduling the appointment when your child will be least fussy, ensuring they are well-rested and fed before arrival. Complete any health history forms in advance and confirm dental coverage with your insurance provider. Parents can prepare by making a list of questions regarding teething, thumb-sucking, or pacifier use​​​​.

    Things to Expect At Your Child’s Dental Visit

    During the visit, the dentist will check your child’s jaw, teeth, and gums for proper development, cavities, or other issues. The dentist or dental hygienist will clean the child’s teeth and provide education on proper oral care. For nervous children, sitting in a parent’s lap may be comforting. The dentist will address parental concerns, such as pacifier use and nutrition for healthy teeth​​​​.

    Tips For a Fulfilling Dental Visit

    For a positive experience, maintain a good outlook on the visit, as your attitude will influence your child’s perception. Schedule the appointment in the morning hours when your child is to be more cooperative. Before the appointment, feed your child a light meal and have them brush their teeth. Avoid giving snacks until after the appointment to minimize debris in the mouth​​.

    Role-playing at home can help acclimate your child to the dental visit. Pretend to be the dentist and practice with your child by having them open their mouth wide, simulating a dental examination. Imaginative play can ease the child’s apprehension and make the visit more familiar and less intimidating​​.

    You can bring a stuffed animal or an older sibling as a “friend,” which can help alleviate your child’s nervousness. The friend can go first, allowing the dental professional to demonstrate what will happen and answer any questions your child might have. This approach can provide comfort and a sense of familiarity to the child​​.

    Maintain a positive attitude; children are highly perceptive and can pick up on their parent’s anxieties. A relaxed and positive attitude towards the dentist can significantly influence your child’s comfort and cooperation during the visit​​​​.

    Patient Education on Proper Oral Hygiene Practices

    The core of pediatric dentistry is educating patients, especially the young ones, about proper oral hygiene. This involves teaching the right techniques for brushing and flossing, understanding the implications of dietary choices, and using tools like sippy cups appropriately.

    Effective patient education focuses on the mechanics of dental care and cultivating habits and attitudes toward oral health that will benefit children. This holistic approach is crucial in preventing dental problems and ensuring oral health from an early age.

    Brushing Your Child’s Teeth

    Brushing should start as soon as your child’s first tooth appears. Use a smear (size of a grain of rice) of fluoride toothpaste on a child-sized toothbrush with soft bristles. By age 3, increase the toothpaste amount to a pea-size. The brushing motion can be in any direction, but it is important to clean each tooth thoroughly. Children typically need help brushing until they are six to eight years old​​.

    Dental Flossing

    Flossing is essential for removing food particles and plaque that build up between the teeth, which brushing alone cannot reach. Start flossing your child’s teeth once they have two adjacent teeth. Since young children cannot floss properly, parents should floss their children’s teeth until they are around six or seven years old. Teaching proper flossing techniques and making it fun can encourage good flossing habits​​.

    Sippy Cup Use

    While convenient, sippy cups can negatively affect a child’s oral health. The hard spout could change the structure of the child’s jaw, palate, and oral cavity. The changes could result in orthodontic treatment needs, sleep concerns, and speech impairments.

    Sugary liquids in sippy cups can lead to tooth decay. To mitigate these risks, introduce an open cup for around six months to a year, serve only water in sippy cups, and consider using cups with straws instead​​.

    Tips on Teaching Your Baby Good Mouth Care Hygiene

    Contact a Knowledgeable General Dentist Near Me

    Pediatric dentistry plays a pivotal role in ensuring children’s lifelong oral health. Establishing good dental habits early, including brushing, flossing, and proper nutrition, is essential. Parents who observe dental issues in their children should quickly seek professional help from experienced dentists specializing in pediatric care.

    At The Lakewood Dentist, we offer comprehensive pediatric dental treatments. Thanks to our expertise in handling young patients, we can provide the necessary care and guidance for your child’s dental health. To explore our services, you can contact us at 562-423-1441.

    Get Your Confidence Back and Smile. Don’t Wait!



    Find a Dentists Near Me

    Your smile is one of your defining features, and you should trust your oral and general health to an upstanding dental practice. The experienced team at The Lakewood Dentist is happy to be your family’s primary resource for practical and gentle dental services. With the proper care, you can enjoy a healthy, beautiful, and lasting smile, and we are excited to assist you in reaching your goals! Whether your smile needs restorative care to repair damaged teeth, cosmetic care to enhance your smile’s appearance, or you are looking for a new dentist to care for your family, we have your ultimate solution.

    Our friendly dentists welcome patients throughout Lakewood to discover why many choose us to meet their oral health needs. Whether you want to establish ongoing care, are new to the area, or want to discover how state-of-the-art technology can assist you feel and look your best, our practice has the technology, personalized approach, and skills you deserve. We will ensure you are comfortable during your visit.

    Contact our friendly team today at 562-423-1441 to learn more about our broad range of services and to get started!