For a more formal definition, the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) describes the difference briefly in this way: “Pediatric dentists are the pediatricians of dentistry. A pediatric dentist has two to three years of specialty training following dental school and limits his/her practice to treating children only. Pediatric dentists are primary and specialty oral care providers for infants and children through adolescence, including those with special health needs.”
Dr. Jon Schaack completed both his dental school training and pediatric dental residency training at Baylor College of Dentistry in Dallas, TX. Baylor College of Dentistry is widely known as one of the nation’s top training programs both in dentistry and in pediatric dentistry.
Furthermore, after completing a pediatric dental residency program, Dr. Schaack successfully completed a series of optional and further examinations in order to become a “Board Certified Pediatric Dentist.”
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) recommends that a child’s first visit to a pediatric dentist and the establishment of a “dental home” be no later than 12 months of age!
The AAPD defines a dental home as “the ongoing relationship between the dentist and the patient” which provides comprehensive oral health care. Here your child will receive preventive care, restorative treatment, evaluation of growth and development, coordination with other specialty care (orthodontics, etc) and also emergency treatment when needed.
Choosing McKinney Pediatric Dentistry as your child’s dental home will help assure his/her optimal oral health and we know there is plenty of fun to be had along the way!
Of course if there is ever an emergency or special concern, your child may be seen at any time! Please don’t wait until a 6 month check-up appointment if your child is in pain or if there is any major trauma or injury to the teeth. Dr. Schaack even takes calls on his cell phone after business hours for any with urgent questions!
Baby teeth also allow proper chewing and eating, assist in the normal development of the jawbones and muscles, affect the development of speech, and contribute to the child’s attractive appearance.
Baby teeth usually begin to be lost at age 6 and continue to be lost over the next 6 years. By age 12, kids are usually in all permanent teeth.
Despite young kids’ normal phases of crying when brushing, try to make it as fun as you can for your child! Sing the ABCs or their favorite song while brushing. If you find yourself having to brush the teeth of your crying teenager, you may want to sneak a peak at their iPod playlist to find a song they will like! And remember this about brushing teeth: You only have to brush the ones you want to keep!
When you bring your child into McKinney Pediatric Dentistry for a dental visit, Dr. Jon Schaack will spend time showing you the best ways to brush your child’s teeth. It is good to angle the bristles towards gum line and move the brush in a circular pattern. Brush each area for a good 10 seconds or more before moving on to another area of the mouth. This will help the gums to remain in good health and assure improved plaque removal.
Never scrub the teeth and gums with great force. Always use gentle pressure in a circular pattern. If you notice that the gums bleed a bit during brushing, it usually means that more time should be spent in these areas.
Don’t give up if your child cries when brushing. This only means that you can relate to every other parent out there who experience the same thing from time to time. Children normally go through phases of resistance to brushing and staying positive and consistent is important!
To avoid risk of swallowing too much fluoride, the AAPD specifies how much toothpaste to use when brushing. “A ‘smear’ of fluoridated toothpaste for children less than 2 years of age” and “a ‘pea-sized’ amount of toothpaste is appropriate for children aged 2 through 5 years.” Once they are 5 years old, most children are better able to spit and the amount is less critical.
Parents should dispense the toothpaste and perform or assist with tooth brushing of young children. To maximize the beneficial effect of fluoride in the toothpaste, rinsing after brushing should be kept to a minimum or eliminated altogether.
Help may be needed up to age 7 and beyond, depending on your observations of brushing techniques and habits at home. Dr. Schaack can evaluate your child’s hygiene and advise accordingly at regular dental check-ups.
Again, for a more formal answer, let’s cite the AAPD: “Initially, oral hygiene is the responsibility of the parent. As the child develops, home care is performed jointly by parent and child. When a child demonstrates the understanding and ability to perform personal hygiene techniques, the health care professional should counsel the child.”
Did you know that some children are even born with teeth present?!! Others don’t get their first teeth till they are a year old. The first tooth typically will erupt at about 6 months of age. All baby teeth are usually present by age 3. Establishing a “dental home” is a good way to assure that your child is on target for growth and development milestones.
If your child is on a bottle or sippy-cup, avoid putting them to bed with anything that is not water. “Frequent night time bottle-feeding, ad libitum breast-feeding, and extended and repeated use of a sippy or no-spill cup are associated with [early childhood cavities]” (AAPD).
Brushing twice-daily with fluoridated toothpaste will also decrease risk. See FAQs above for more details on when and how to brush.
Regular dental check-ups at McKinney Pediatric Dentistry will assure timely and comprehensive preventive care. Protective sealants can protect hard-to-clean grooves and tooth surfaces where cavities are commonly found.
If cavities are found in your child’s mouth, treatment options will be explained to you that address both the treatment needed as well as discussing how to make it a positive experience. A variety of techniques can be employed from simple use of nitrous oxide (laughing gas), to oral conscious sedation, to I.V. sedation, and even to out-patient general anesthesia if needed.
It is very important to Dr. Schaack that your child’s teeth be healthy and strong. But it is equally important to him that your child has a positive experience and is excited to return for future check ups! After consulting with you about needed treatment and behavior management strategies available, Dr. Schaack and you will together choose the treatment method best tailored to your child. No worries!
The AAPD states that nitrous oxide gas “has an excellent safety record….Acute and chronic adverse effects of nitrous oxide on the patient are rare. Nausea and vomiting are the most common adverse effects, occurring in 0.5% of patients.” It has a rapid onset as well a rapid recovery (2-3 minutes) thanks to how well it is absorbed by the body.
Conscious sedation in the office is mild to moderate sedation in which patients still respond purposefully to verbal instruction (eg, “please open your eyes”, or “please open your mouth wider”). No intervention is required to maintain the child’s open airway, and respiratory and cardiovascular functions are maintained.
Before a child receives sedation, a thorough health history is obtained. Consent is obtained after Dr. Schaack and his staff have answered all your questions. Your child is monitored throughout the appointment and medicines are often wearing off soon after the appointment. Instructions are provided (written and oral) for taking care of your child after the dental appointment.
With proper initial examination and case selection, oral conscious sedation is safe and effective for young children with cavities!