When should I schedule my child's first dental visit?

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentist advises the first dental visit should be before 12 months of age or within 6 months of when the first tooth appears. First visits for children under 24 months are free at Coastal Kids Dental & Braces!

Do baby teeth really matter?

They sure do! Baby teeth help children speak clearly, chew naturally and create a path that permanent teeth can follow when they erupt. Starting at birth, gently clean the gums with a soft infant toothbrush or cloth and water. Help prevent decay by avoiding nursing children to sleep or putting anything other than water in their bedtime bottle.

Why does seeing a pediatric dentist matter?

Pediatric dentists are the pediatricians of dentistry. After dental school, pediatric dentists complete two to three years of specialized training focused exclusively on infants, children and adolescents, including those with special needs. Pediatric dentists have more training on things such as behavior management, growth and development and orthodontics.

How do I prevent cavities?

Start early, establish good habits, repeat! We will teach you and your kids how to prevent cavities with proper cleaning, healthy eating habits and nutrition. Cavities, or dental decay, are permanently damaged areas on a tooth's hard surface that develop into tiny holes. Cavities are caused when naturally occurring bacteria combine with saliva and sugary, starchy food to form plaque. When plaque is not cleaned away with brushing and flossing, it produces acid that erodes holes in the enamel and eventually much deeper layers of teeth if gone untreated.

How often does my baby need to see a dentist?

Generally, get a check-up every six months to prevent cavities and other problems.

When should we start brushing with toothpaste?

As soon as the teeth begin to appear, start brushing twice daily with fluoride toothpaste and a soft, infant-sized toothbrush. For children 24 months and under, use a rice grain- size of toothpaste. For 3-6 year olds, use a pea-size amount of toothpaste. Brush for them or assist to ensure effective brushing.

Are dental x-rays safe for kids?

Yes. We use lead aprons and digital x-rays to ensure the minimum amount of radiation to which our patients are exposed.

Are thumb sucking or a pacifier habits harmful?

Generally, not. Thumb or pacifier sucking are habits children usually outgrow on their own. Past age three, your dentist might recommend a mouth appliance.

What if my child has extensive tooth decay?

Finding out your child has extensive decay and needs dental work can be frightening. However, we will take our time to review all of your options with you and can even have a doctor/hygienist call you when you get home to discuss further. We offer many methods of treatment, and understand the importance of your opinion.

Do you offer white fillings or crowns?

Yes! All of our fillings are tooth colored, which means they are esthetically pleasing and contain no mercury! Also, we offer zirconia crowns, which are also tooth colored.

Does my child need a frenectomy? If so, what are our treatment options?

We have the ability to perform an in-house frenectomy using a soft tissue laser. This includes treatment for patients who have a speech impediment (tongue-tied), patients that need the tissue between the upper two front teeth reduced due to orthodontic needs, or if your pediatrician has recommended treatment. Our laser enables this procedure to be time-efficient and allows for a quick recovery.

NITROUS OXIDE SEDATION

Nitrous oxide, commonly called laughing gas, is a safe, mild sedative given nasally with oxygen to help a child become relaxed and receptive during a procedure. Complications are extremely rare and the effect is gone within 5 minutes after administered. Another benefit is that the nosepiece helps block their view of any dental tools being used.

CONSCIOUS SEDATION

Conscious sedation uses liquid medication to help a child relax during a lengthy procedure. The child drinks a liquid or takes a pill 15-60 minutes prior to their procedure. During the initial appointment, your doctor will explain pre-sedation instructions and review a consent form. Children are not asleep, but are less aware of their surroundings.

IV SEDATION IN-OFFICE

IV sedation administers medicine through an intravenous injection. This form of sedation puts a child to sleep and makes them completely unaware of their surroundings. For children who require IV sedation, we are fortunate to work with a great team of anesthesiologists who specialize in working with children. They make the entire IV sedation experience pleasant and comfortable for parents and kids. Read our patient reviews for IV sedation.

GENERAL ANESTHESIA / HOSPITAL DENTISTRY

General anesthesia is the administration of anesthetic agents such as intravenous drugs and inhaled gases to make a child unconscious during a procedure. Our dentists perform dental work in a local surgery center for patients who have special needs, are dental phobic, require extensive work or are medically compromised. Outpatient procedures allow a patient to have all required dental work completed and go home the same day. Your doctor will thoroughly review all options and answer all your questions prior to scheduling an appointment. Parents are responsible for scheduling an appointment with a pediatrician to ensure there are no contraindications to general anesthesia.