Dr. McGrady understands that choosing the right dentist for your child is so important. Easing your child into the dental office and dental experience can make all the difference in trying to avoid dental anxiety from which so many adults suffer. We offer kids choices and slowly introduce new sounds and smells. We continually communicate with the parents, and when needed, consult with your pediatrician or orthodontist, to develop a plan that offers the best treatment for your child.
Serving Patients in the Scripps Ranch, Poway, Sabre Springs, Rancho Penasquitos, Rancho Bernardo and Surrounding Areas
Baby teeth begin to appear between six and nine months, though in some cases it may start as early as three months or as late as fourteen months. The two lower front teeth usually erupt first, followed by the two upper ones. The first molars come in next, followed by the canines. Baby second molars take a little longer to grow and usually arrive after the second birthday.
Your infant’s gums and new teeth should be gently wiped after each feeding with a damp washcloth. When there are a few teeth in the mouth, it is important to establish a daily brushing routine with a small, soft-bristled toothbrush. Dr. McGrady can help you determine when to start using toothpaste. We suggest that you help your child with this important task until they can tie their shoes. This skill helps us determine finger dexterity and coordination for independent brushing.
As your child gets older, there are a variety of dental treatments available to prevent tooth decay or to save or repair teeth when necessary. They can include topical fluoride, sealants, white composite fillings, pulpotomies and primary crowns. If your child is ever in need of any of these treatments, Dr. McGrady will customize a plan for your child addressing both their dental needs and any nervousness or anxiety and ways to manage it.
If your child is active in sports, we highly recommend a mouthguard. According to the American Dental Association, an athlete is 60 times more likely to suffer dental harm when not wearing one of these protective devices. We can have a mouthguard custom-made for your child that will offer greater protection. Depending on your child’s age and dental development, we can help you choose the best guard for the greatest protection. Please ask us about mouthguards at your child’s next appointment.
When providing pediatric dental care, our priority is making your child feel as comfortable and relaxed as possible. We also seek to use conservative, minimally invasive techniques whenever possible.
Treating cavities traditionally involves drilling and filling the affected tooth. Even with expert care, this treatment often involves at least some level of discomfort. However, we can painlessly treat mild-to-moderate cavities in primary (baby teeth) with the Hall technique while improving your child’s overall dental experience. No drilling is needed.
The Hall technique is completely non-invasive and requires no injections. This procedure involves placing a crown over your child’s tooth to seal the cavity off. Even though the cavity isn’t removed, the Hall technique will prevent the cavity from growing any larger.
We will typically suggest the Hall technique as an alternative if your child’s cavity is small, if an emerging permanent tooth will soon replace the baby tooth, or if there are behavioral issues that outweigh the benefits of traditional techniques.
If the treatment is successful, your son or daughter can remain symptom-free until their tooth falls out naturally as they get older. It is essential to note you will have to continue to work alongside your child to keep the crown, gum tissue, and other areas of the mouth clean and free from bacteria.
The Hall technique will only work if your child’s cavity is caught in the early stages, so regular preventative checkups are always recommended. In the event of a larger cavity, it may be best for your son or daughter to undergo conventional treatment. We recommend speaking to your child’s dentist to see which treatment is best.
Unfortunately, tooth decay is the most common preventable childhood disease. Traditional methods of treating minor cavities in primary (baby) teeth typically involve drilling out the affected area and using various materials to fill the cavity. Even with the gentlest of care, some level of pain or discomfort may be experienced. Our office seeks to provide conservative and gentle treatment wherever possible, and silver Diamine Flouride (SDF) allows us to do this.
What is SDF Treatment?
SDF is a blue antimicrobial liquid used to fight tooth cavities in children. This liquid contains fluoride and silver ions, and when it’s brushed onto cavities, it kills bacteria, stopping tooth decay. SDF is FDA approved.
While there are other methods of treating cavities in children, SDF is preferable because it is a quick and easy process that involves no pain or discomfort as there’s no need for the injection of an anesthetic. For over 80% of smaller cavities, we encounter, SDF is the only treatment required. For larger cavities in younger children, SDF keeps cavities from progressing until other treatment options may be considered that would offer more permanent results. Finally, SDF helps to remineralize the natural tooth structure.
How is the Treatment Performed?
The entire process does not exceed two minutes in our rooms. One of our experienced staff members uses a brush dipped in SDF to paint the cavity. The silver in the liquid then gets to work, killing all the bacteria present, while the fluoride works to remineralize the tooth.
We would love for your child to be a part of our dental family. Take the next step and schedule your child’s appointment!