Dr. Frank believes that every person, young and old, deserves and can achieve a healthy, cavity-free, disease-free mouth. What parent wouldn’t wish for their child to go their whole life and NEVER have a cavity?
FREE Prevention Visits for Children 0-3 Years of Age
Imagine how your child will perceive dental visits and caring for their teeth if that’s been a routine part of life from the very beginning! For this reason, Dr. Frank offers FREE prevention visits for children from the ages of 0-3. Dr. Frank will check your child’s teeth, screen for normal development, perform an assessment of caries risk, give you tips and information on cleaning, and apply a protective fluoride varnish if you desire. As your child learns and grows comfortable visiting us, we can polish and clean the teeth. You can take advantage of these free benefits every 6 months for the first 3 years or at an even more frequent interval for children who are at a high risk for cavities as Dr. Frank prescribes. We will not bill your insurance, it’s completely free up until your child’s 4th birthday. So bring your children in EARLY and get started preventing cavities BEFORE they start.
At Whitney M Frank DDS we create a fun atmosphere that makes children’s dentistry a positive experience. Parents often unnecessarily pass on anxieties about dental visits because of traumatic experiences the parent remembers in their own past. Dental care has become much more gentle and much more focused on prevention that it may have been when you were growing up. If your child starts on the path of prevention from a very early age, he or she will have no reason to carry this anxiety. See more dental care services.
Children’s Teeth Cleaning
With appropriate prevention and understanding of how cavities and oral diseases occur, every child can have an opportunity to have a happy, healthy smile. Baby teeth, though they come out eventually, need cleaning and fluoride to maintain them until they are lost. Early loss of a baby tooth can effect the way the permanent teeth develop and erupt which can lead to discoloration, damage or crowding of the permanent teeth.
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that all children have their first dental visit within 6 months of the first tooth eruption or by their first birthday and that every child have a “dental home.” The “dental home” is the idea that your child’s oral health care is delivered in a comprehensive, continuously accessible, coordinated and family-centered way from a very early age. Dr. Frank believes this is incredibly important and can put your child on an early track for dental health their entire life.
Dental Fillings for Baby Teeth
Even though baby teeth are temporary and will be replaced with permanent teeth as your child grows up, that does not mean that taking care of them isn’t important. Fixing cavities in baby teeth prevents the cavity from growing and reaching the nerve in the tooth which will cause a toothache. Cavities in baby teeth spread very fast! If baby teeth are lost too early, shifting of the baby teeth can occur and the permanent teeth can be prevented from growing in or even damaged permanently, leaving a permanent discoloration of the tooth throughout adulthood. Dr. Whitney Frank places tooth colored fillings in baby teeth.
The most common place that cavities start is between the teeth. Most baby teeth have spaces in between them which reduces the risk of decay in between the teeth and also allows the dentist to clearly see if this part of the tooth is decayed. If your child’s teeth do not have spaces and you do not or cannot floss these teeth, then x-rays must be taken to screen for cavities between the teeth. At Whitney Frank DDS, we want to make children’s dentistry as safe and comfortable as possible. Digital X-rays emit 90% less radiation than traditional radiography and are significantly safer for people of all ages. For little mouths and little wigglers, we can also take x-rays to check between the teeth with a machine that rests outside the mouth. It’s much more comfortable and not such a mouth-full.
Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral that incorporates into and strengthens the enamel on your teeth. Typical snacks for kids are often sticky and high in simple sugars. When those foods “stick around” and bacteria in our mouth are allowed to “eat” that sugar, the bacteria make an acid that leeches minerals out of the tooth surface. This mineral removal from the teeth is how cavities start! That’s why we offer fluoride treatments as a regular part of children’s dentistry. Rinsing with fluoride and having topical fluoride treatments can significantly strengthen teeth and improve your child’s chances of preventing decay.
Dental sealants are placed in the grooves and pits of back teeth as soon after eruption as possible. These grooves and pits are a natural place for sticky snacks to be trapped, putting these areas at a high risk for decay. Dental sealants are an easy and effective way to prevent decay. They are placed quickly and without numbing.
If a baby tooth is lost early due to decay, Dr. Frank will fit your child with a space maintainer that cements onto a nearby tooth and holds the space that would have been occupied by the lost tooth. This allows for the permanent tooth to erupt properly. These space maintainers can be difficult to eat with and to clean around. It is a necessary solution to saving space and protecting the permanent tooth, but it is much more preferrable to keep your child’s natural baby teeth.
Baby Root Canals and Crowns
If decay grows too large and reaches the nerve on the inside of the tooth, the baby tooth may have a treatment to remove the decay from the nerve area and fix the lost tooth structure with a crown. We hope to avoid this procedure with appropriate prevention and screening. If you can see a hole in your child’s tooth, the decay is likely too large to fill and the tooth may need a crown. Call our office with questions.