Shine Pediatric Dentistry

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How can we help you?

We are happy to answer questions about our services and procedures.

These are a selection of some common questions that patients have. If your question isn't answered here, please contact our office. It's important to us that our patients understand their dental care.

Emergencies & Extractions

If your son or daughter is experiencing a toothache or any other dental emergency, we encourage you to contact your pediatric dentist first. It is best for your pediatric dentist to handle most dental emergencies since hospitals and emergency rooms are not equipped to repair or restore teeth. 

If your child has a toothache, it may indicate an infection in their tooth. It is crucial for your pediatric dentist to evaluate them as soon as possible since infections won't resolve without treatment.

For a broken tooth, contact your pediatric dentist as they may be able to bond the tooth back together. Even if that is a temporary fix, it will keep your child comfortable until their tooth can be restored.

If your child's tooth has been knocked out, it is essential to see your pediatric dentist immediately. If it's a primary (baby) tooth, they will determine if treatment is needed. If it's a permanent adult tooth, there is only a short window that your pediatric dentist has to save the tooth, so time is of the essence. Placing the tooth back in its socket is best to transport it if possible, or use milk to keep it moist and carry it safely to your dentist.

Even if you're unsure that your child is experiencing an actual emergency, contact your pediatric dentist for further instruction.

Pediatric Dentistry

Years ago, orthodontic treatment was only for kids over the age of 11 or 12. But today’s orthodontists now treat children as young as eight years old. Called interceptive, or phase I orthodontics, braces in early childhood can reduce time in braces later on and correct problems before they become more serious.

Children’s baby teeth have a big impact on the health of their permanent teeth. That’s why it’s so important to catch major issues with baby teeth before permanent teeth erupt!

Since kids can start dental exams as soon as their first tooth comes in, your dentist or orthodontic specialist can track any issues that may warrant phase I orthodontics. A consultation at around age seven with an orthodontic specialist will evaluate your child for these conditions:

  • Difficulty chewing or speaking
  • Missing or diseased baby teeth
  • Wide gaps between teeth
  • Severe overcrowding
  • Mouth breathing
  • Protruding teeth
  • Severe bite issues
  • Problems with jaw, facial, or teeth symmetry

If your child needs phase I orthodontics, treatment may begin at age eight and may continue in a less invasive, phase II treatment. Dentists use a variety of treatments with young children, which may include both removable and non-removable appliances, such as space maintainers, bands, palatal expanders, and braces.

Orthodontics is the branch of dentistry focused on aligning teeth and correcting the bite. Orthodontic treatment is typically recommended for children around the ages of 10 to 13 years when all of their permanent adult teeth have come in.

However, some kids can benefit from early orthodontic treatment divided into phases called interceptive orthodontics, which takes place earlier around the ages of seven to 10 years old. This type of treatment is ideal for children who suffer from:

  • Crowded teeth or a narrow jaw
  • Severe overbite, underbite, or crossbite
  • Complications from thumb or pacifier use

Interceptive orthodontics uses a variety of different treatments that can include placing brackets and wires, using a space maintainer or other oral appliance, or a combination of both. The goal is to utilize the child's growth to make room for adult teeth or correct bite alignment issues during the ideal time. Achieving these goals can often be much harder when growth has ceased. Interceptive orthodontics also makes the following phase of orthodontic treatment, which is typically just brackets and wires to align teeth, much more simple and straightforward. 

Your pediatric dentist will watch your son or daughter's oral development so they can discuss any concerns or recommendations for interceptive orthodontics with you in a timely manner. 

Preventive Dentistry

Both your pediatric specialist and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) state that your child's dental visit should be at one year of age, or at least six months after the first tooth comes in. There are many reasons to start dental care early on such as:

  • It allows your pediatric dentist to begin monitoring your son or daughter's oral health and development so they can detect any concerns at an early stage.
  • It helps your child acclimate to visiting the dentist and to understand that it's a safe and welcoming place.
  • This is an excellent time to ask questions about your son or daughter's oral development so you can make the most of your routine at home.

You can prepare your child for his or her dental visits by talking about it beforehand in a positive way. Reading books or stories to them about visiting the dentist can also be helpful in preparing them for what's going to happen during their appointment. You might also consider bringing your child along with you to your cleaning and checkup so they can see what visiting the dentist is like. 

We are happy to help! Contact our office for more information on preparing your son or daughter for their first dental visit.

As your pediatric specialist, one of our primary goals is to partner with parents to help them understand how they can help their children with brushing, flossing, and protecting their oral health. Many of the choices you are making each day affect your son or daughter's oral health such as their nutrition and home care routine. Offering children healthy snacks, a balanced diet, and assistance in using proper techniques for brushing and flossing will help your child achieve and maintain a healthy and beautiful smile.

Good oral hygiene habits begin before your infant's teeth arrive. Use a warm washcloth to remove bacteria from their gums after feedings. When they get their first teeth, start brushing with a soft bristle brush designed for infants.

As they progress, you can begin to use a small smear of fluoride toothpaste to brush their teeth from ages one to three years, and a pea-sized amount when they reach are between the ages of three and six. If you have concerns about using fluoride toothpaste before your son or daughter can spit it out, you can look for xylitol toothpaste instead.

Consistent checkups with your pediatric dentist will also be essential for maintaining your child's oral health. They should visit the dentist every six months for a routine cleaning and checkup starting at age one. Contact our office for more information.

Sedation Dentistry

Many people feel fearful about visiting the dentist, and your child is not alone. Many adults who suffer from dental anxiety report that it's from a bad experience they had at the dentist as a child.

There are a few things you can do to help prepare your child for their dental visits:

  • Talk about the dentist in a positive way. Even if you have dental anxiety, be careful not to project your fear onto your child.
  • Read stories or color pictures about the dentist, and even role-play visiting the dentist with their stuffed animals or toys.
  • Consider bringing your son or daughter with you to the dentist when you have your next appointment. This allows them to see what it's like at the dental office.

You can also speak with your pediatric dentist about solutions they offer for relieving dental anxiety at their practice. There are options for sedation dentistry such as nitrous oxide (laughing gas) that can help your child feel at ease during most types of procedures. Be sure to discuss your concerns with your pediatric dentist before your child arrives for their appointment so you can have an effective plan in place to create a positive experience.

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We have received guidance from the Illinois Department of Public Health and can now resume routine dental care.  We have spent the time off researching all the new guidelines so that we can so that we can safely reopen. To read our reopening guidelines in full, CLICK HERE.