Stonewalk Family Dentistry, located in Milton, GA, provides positive, anxiety-free general dentistry for kids 7 and up in the Alpharetta area. Because we understand that many children feel anxious about dental visits, your child will meet with an experienced, comforting general dentist, who will take the time to help younger patients feel more at ease in our care. Stonewalk Family Dentistry’s team knows it is important to create positive dental experiences for younger patients, because these visits create the foundation of a lifetime of good oral habits and bright, healthy smiles.
We’ve even added some kid-friendly touches to our office to help children feel more at home:
- Cartoons above the dental chair
- Blankets and pillows
- Treasure chest with prizes
Pediatric dentistry can be easy, educational and most of all, fun! Schedule an appointment with a kid-friendly dentist in the Alpharetta area by calling (770) 777-1911 or contacting our team online. However, if your child is younger than seven years of age, we will refer these cases to Dr. Nanna Ariaban at Polkadot Pediatric Dentistry. Although we have kid-friendly dentists on staff for children over the age of seven at Stonewalk Family Dentistry, toddlers and younger patients will benefit from the specialized care of Dr. Ariaban.
Your Child’s First Visit with a Pediatric Dentist
Not sure when to bring your child in for his or her first check-up? Both the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommend that children visit a pediatric dentist by age one. We provide general dentistry for kids over the age of seven, including tweens and teens, while younger children will be referred to the compassionate care of Dr. Nanna Ariaban at Polkadot Pediatric Dentistry.
Ensuring that your child visits a dentist by age one enables problems to be detected, treated early or avoided completely. More importantly, it can help establish a positive relationship between your child and their pediatric dentist.
During your child’s first visit, your attitude is extremely important because it will influence your child’s perception of not only our office, but dental visits in general. It is best if you refrain from using words around your child that might cause unnecessary fear, such as “needle,” “pull,” “drill” or “hurt.” If you are not sure what to do, just let us do all the talking! We use vocabulary that is pleasant and easy-to-understand to explain everything we do in a fun and non-threatening manner. Your child will meet with a kid-friendly dentist who will allow them to touch many of the items that we will be using during the exam, so that they have some control and will feel empowered during their visit.
We offer comprehensive general dentistry for kids, beginning with a complete oral exam, especially if it is your child’s first visit. Many times we will clean the teeth, apply topical fluoride and may take X-rays that allow your pediatric dentist to view the structure of the jaw, the position of any teeth that have not yet erupted, malformed roots and tooth decay.
The initial visit also involves getting your child’s medical history. When you share your child’s medical history with the doctor, be sure to provide complete, up-to-date information. It is also important to inform your dentist of any fears your child may have about dentistry for kids, including treatments and procedures. The information collected in your first visit will help his or her kid-friendly dentist select the safest and most effective method of treatment for your child.
Alpharetta-Area Preventive Dentistry for Kids
Prevention is a fundamental part of general dentistry for kids, because it enables us to diagnose and treat problems early. We want to resolve issues before they get more serious and minimize the time and money you spend on dental care.
Your child’s pediatric dentist will create dental sealants by filling in grooves on the chewing surfaces of back teeth where food particles get caught and cause cavities. The application is fast and comfortable, and sealants can effectively protect your child’s teeth for many years.
Custom Athletic Mouthguards
We can create a custom-fitted soft plastic mouthguard to protect your child’s teeth, gums, lips and cheeks from sports-related childhood injuries. Athletic mouthguards can even help prevent severe injuries to the face, jaw and head.
Dental Health Habit Counseling & Appliances Available
“Comfort sucking” is perfectly normal for infants and toddlers, and many stop by the age of two. However, if these habits persist, they can create crooked teeth or bite problems. The constant pressure from a pacifier, thumb or finger can cause the upper front teeth to tip toward the lip or not come in properly, which in turn affects your child’s bite, jaw and bone growth.
If the habit continues beyond age three, professional evaluation is recommended. We understand that the topic must be treated with patience and sensitivity, and your child’s pediatric dentist will gladly suggest ways to gently address any habit.
We provide general dentistry for kids in the form of regular dental visits, which are essential to maintaining good oral health. We encourage regular check-ups at least every six months, because the dentist will examine your child’s teeth and gums, checking for decay and other problems or abnormalities in the mouth. The dentist will also check your child’s bite, proper alignment of jaws, and spacing for permanent teeth.
Regular check-ups include a thorough cleaning, polishing, and an oral exam by the doctor. During the oral exam, the doctor checks the health of your child’s mouth, teeth, gums, cheeks, and tongue. At each dental visit, a kid-friendly dentist will also check old fillings and restorations because constant pressure from chewing, grinding, or clenching can cause them to wear away, chip, or crack.
Depending on your child’s age, X-rays may be taken to evaluate for hidden decay, position and location of the developing permanent teeth. Your pediatric dentist will discuss potential problems, such as nursing decay, pacifier and thumb-sucking habits. Our staff will advise you on a program of preventive dentistry for kids, including brushing, flossing, proper nutrition, and the use of fluoride.
Preventive and General Dentistry for Kids: Making Appointments
Patients are seen by appointment only. Check-up appointments typically take 30 to 45 minutes. We make every effort to be on time for our patients, and ask that you extend the same courtesy to us. If you cannot keep an appointment, please notify us 24 hours before your appointment via phone or email. If it is after hours, you can always leave a message in our general mailbox.
Ten Reasons You Should Save Your Child’s Baby Teeth (Primary Teeth)
You may have questions about why you should save your child’s baby teeth. Parents often ask our kid-friendly dentists, “Why should we do this? These baby teeth are going to fall out anyway!” However, there are many reasons why children’s baby teeth are worth saving:
1. These teeth are important because they help guide proper eruption of permanent teeth.
2. They help maintain good nutrition with proper chewing.
3. They permit normal speech development.
4. They need to be repaired to avoid the pain and suffering your child can experience from an abscess that can lead to possible hospitalization.
5. To avoid damage to the developing permanent teeth.
6. To avoid inadvertent extraction of a permanent tooth bud with early extraction of permanent teeth.
7. Avoid high bacteria counts from occurring that can create possible lifetime problems.
8. Avoid decay of teeth next to the damaged tooth by direct spread of decay to the other teeth by bacteria shed into the saliva.
9. Provide formation to the shape of the mouth.
10. Your child’s smile affects their sense of self-esteem and confidence.
Dental Care for Your Baby
When should my child first see the pediatric dentist?
Your child should visit a pediatric dentist when the first tooth comes in, usually between six and 12 months of age. This visit will establish a dental home for your child. Early examination and preventive care will protect your child’s smile now and in the future.
Why so early? What dental problems could a baby have?
The most important reason is to begin a thorough prevention program, as dental problems may begin early. Younger patients can develop Early Childhood Caries (formerly known as baby bottle tooth decay or nursing caries), because erupted teeth are at risk for decay once a child’s diet no longer consists of only breast milk. Therefore, the earlier the dental visit, the better the chance of preventing dental problems. Children with healthy teeth chew food easily and smile with confidence.
How can I prevent tooth decay that can occue from nursing or using a bottle?
At-will breast-feeding should be avoided after the first primary (baby) teeth begin to erupt and other sources of nutrition have been introduced. Children should not fall asleep with a bottle containing anything other than water. Drinking juice from a bottle should be avoided and fruit juice should only be offered in a cup with meals or at snack time.
When should bottle-feeding be stopped?
Children should be weaned from the bottle at 12-14 months of age.
Should I worry about thumb and finger sucking?
Thumb-sucking is perfectly normal for infants; many stop by age two. Prolonged thumb-sucking can create crooked teeth or bite problems. If the habit continues beyond age three, a professional evaluation is recommended. Your pediatric dentist will be glad to suggest ways to address a prolonged thumb-sucking habit.
When should I start cleaning my baby's teeth?
The sooner the better! Starting at birth, clean your child’s gums with a soft infant toothbrush or cloth and water. As soon as the teeth begin to appear, start brushing twice daily using fluoridated toothpaste and a soft, age-appropriate sized toothbrush. Use a “smear” of toothpaste to brush the teeth of a child less than two years of age. For a two to five-year-old child, dispense a “pea-size” amount of toothpaste and perform or assist your child’s toothbrushing. Remember that young children do not have the ability to brush their teeth effectively.
Any advice on teething?
From six months to age three, your child may have tender 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 baby’s gums with a clean finger.