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These are some of the common FAQ's asked in regards to Pediatric Dentistry

A pediatric dentist is a specialist who is dedicated to the oral health of children from infancy through the teenage years. During this “growth” phase of a child, special approaches are needed in dealing with their behavior, and guiding their dental growth and development in order to avoid future dental problems. The pediatric dentist is best qualified to meet those needs. 

Children are our only patients, and all our training is devoted to meeting their specialized needs. Did you know pediatric dentists have an additional two years of training to acquaint them with the special needs and remedies available to children? That’s right! In addition to learning the most up-to-date treatments available for a wide variety of children’s dental problems, we also learn how to deal with the behavioral aspects of children, how to make them feel comfortable about the treatment they are receiving, and to make the experience pleasant. Additionally, we are trained and qualified to treat special needs children, including those with mental or physical challenges.

There are many areas of prevention and care that are unique to children which the pediatric dentist is specifically trained to identify, treat and prevent. That is why many parents wisely choose a pediatric dentist for their child’s dental needs, just as they choose a pediatrician for their medical needs.

Think of a pediatric dentist as the pediatrician of dentistry. As such, we are equipped to handle any of the oral health care needs of infants, children and adolescents. As a specialist in Pediatric Dentistry, many times we will work closely with other medical professionals (i.e. orthodontist, surgeons, pediatrician, oral surgeon, etc.t)o provide your children with the highest level of dental care possible. 

Everything in a Pediatric dental office is focused on your children-from the office décor the dental chairs and wall decorations! Your child will enjoy watching their favorite T. V. channel While we are cleaning their teeth or performing treatment. At Cade Hunzeker's Pediatric Dental Office, the children can't wait to select a toy from our toy box for being such great patients!

"First visit by first birthday/tooth" At Dr. Cade Hunzeker's we follow the recommendation set forth by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that you find a "Dental Home" for your child when their first tooth comes in and no later than one year of age. Children who have a dental home are more likely to receive appropriate preventive and routine oral health care. It may be hard to believe, but tooth decay affects children in the United States more than any other chronic infectious disease. Early tooth loss caused by dental decay can result in children having: a failure to thrive, impaired speech development, absence from and inability to concentrate in school and reduced self esteem.

Unlike adults, children are often not able to verbalize their dental pain. This is why it is very important to have them come in for routine preventative check-ups every 6 months. You can make the first visit to the dentist enjoyable and positive. If old enough, your child should be informed of the visit and told that the dentist and their staff will explain all procedures and answer any questions. The less to-do concerning the visit, the better. It is best if you refrain from using words around your child that might cause unnecessary fear, such as "needle", "shot", "pull", "drill" or "hurt". Dr. Cade's office makes a practice of using words that convey the same message, but are pleasant and non-frightening to the child. We can usually establish a closer rapport with your child when you are not present. Our purpose is to gain your child's confidence and overcome apprehension. However, if you choose, you are more than welcome to accompany your child. 

Teething patterns vary greatly from child to child—some don’t have any teeth by their first birthday, while others have a mouthful by then.

Experts, however, including our friends at the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, do recommend that children have their teeth checked by their first birthdays. Your child will have 20 baby teeth, which will later be replaced by 32 permanent teeth. A baby’s first tooth can come in as early as 3 months or as late as 1 year of age, however primary teeth usually begin to break through the gums when a child is about 6 months old. Most kids have all of their primary teeth by the time they are 3 years old.

The most important thing is not to worry if your toddler’s pearly whites don’t look perfect as they come in—baby teeth come in all shapes, sizes, and slants. Teeth generally appear one at a time over a period of months, and often—but not always—in this order: First the bottom two middle teeth, then the top two middle ones, then the ones along the sides and back. (They may not all come in straight, but don’t worry—they usually straighten out over time.) Besides crooked teeth, your child may experience crowded or spaced-out teeth, missing teeth, supernumerary (too many) teeth and even discolored teeth. 

Encourage your child to drink from a cup as they approach their first birthday. Children should not fall asleep with a bottle. At-will nighttime breast-feeding should be avoided after the first primary (baby) teeth begins to erupt. Drinking juice from a bottle should be avoided. When juice is offered, it should be in a cup.

The most important reason is to begin a thorough prevention program. Dental problems can begin early. A big concern is Early Childhood Caries (also know as baby bottle tooth decay or nursing caries). Your child risks severe decay from using a bottle during naps or at night or when they nurse continuously from the breast. The earlier the dental visit, the better the chance of preventing dental problems. Children with healthy teeth chew food easily, learn to speak clearly, and smile with confidence. Start your child now on a lifetime of good dental habits

Children should be weaned from the bottle at 12-14 months of age.

Thumb sucking is perfectly normal for infants; most stop by age 2. If your child does not, discourage it after age 4. Prolonged thumb sucking can create crowded, crooked teeth, or bite problems. Dr. Hunzeker will be glad to suggest ways to address a prolonged thumb sucking habit.

The sooner the better! Starting at birth, clean your childs gums with a soft infant toothbrush and water. Remember that most small children do not have the dexterity to brush their teeth effectively. Unless it is advised by our office, do not use fluoridated toothpaste until age 2-3.

From six months to age 3, your child may have sore gums when teeth erupt. Many children like a clean teething ring, cool spoon, or cold wet washcloth. Some parents swear by a chilled ring; others simply rub the babys gums with a clean finger.

Sealants protect the grooved and pitted surfaces of the teeth, especially the chewing surfaces of back teeth where most cavities in children are found. Made of clear or shaded plastic, sealants are applied to the teeth to help keep them cavity-free.

Even if your child brushes and flosses carefully, it is difficult - sometimes impossible -to clean the tiny grooves and pits on certain teeth. Food and bacteria build up in these crevices, placing your child in danger of tooth decay. Sealants "seal out" food and plaque, thus reducing the risk of decay.

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