Questions & answers
brushing & flossing
Believe it or not, any dentist can call themselves a “children’s dentist” or say they practice “children’s dentistry.” It is important to educate yourself so that you can make the best choice for your child.
You can be confident in our practice as all our dentists are Board-certified by the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry and members of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry. This means that Dr. Scott, Dr. Meg and Dr. Jason have an extra two to three years of specialized training after dental school and completed rigorous written and oral examinations of their knowledge and expertise. Furthermore, they complete hours of continuing education yearly to maintain their certification and assure that they are providing state-of-the-art pediatric dental care.
Our Pediatric Dentists elect not to treat adults in order to focus on children! They are experts in the treatment of children and adolescents as well as people with developmental disabilities. Not only are they experts in the field, but they love treating children and forming relationships with families - and it shows!
Additionally, several of the dentists in our practice teach Pediatric Dentistry locally at Carolinas Medical Center and the University of North Carolina School of Dentistry, and also nationally, in Georgia, Tennessee and Texas.
According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD), your child should have a “Dental Home” by their 1st birthday or 6 months after the eruption of the first tooth. Beginning dental care at an early age allows us to teach parents how to care for their children’s teeth. Early visits also help establish a positive relationship between the dentists and your child. We offer complimentary infant oral exams for all infants under 2 years old, so please call or message our office for an appointment today!
Primary teeth are important to the overall health of your child. Untreated decay can lead to infection that can affect a child’s overall health and well-being.
Primary teeth are important for:
(1) Proper chewing and eating.
(2) Providing space for permanent teeth and guiding them into position.
(3) Facilitating normal development of the jaw bones and muscles.
(4) A gorgeous smile!
Radiographs (x-rays) are a necessary part of your child's dental diagnostic process. They allow our Pediatric Dentists to identify cavities developing in between the teeth. Radiographs also help survey developing teeth, evaluate injuries to teeth, detect extra or missing teeth, and determine when orthodontic treatment is optimal. If these issues are discovered and treated early, dental care is potentially less invasive for your child and less costly for you.
With contemporary safeguards, the amount of radiation received in a dental x-ray examination is minimal. In fact, the dental radiographs represent a much smaller risk than an undetected and untreated dental problem. Lead body aprons and thyroid shields are always used to protect your child. We also use digital radiography and focused beams that minimize radiation exposure.
A sealant is a clear or shaded material that is applied to the grooves on the chewing surfaces of the back teeth where cavities can form in children’s teeth. This sealant acts as a barrier to food, plaque, and acid, thus protecting the decay-prone areas of the teeth. Your Pediatric Dentist will remove any stained or soft areas of the teeth before applying the sealant or filling material. If enamel is weak, stained, or soft, it will be removed and replaced with a stronger filling material. We use aesthetic white fillings in the majority of our patients.
If a cavity in a primary tooth is too large to restore with a filling, a crown may be recommend or the tooth may need to be removed. If decay extends into the nerve of the tooth, a special procedure called a pulpotomy or “nerve treatment” will be completed and a crown will be placed. A crown can either be tooth-colored or stainless steel. For front teeth, white crowns are routinely used for esthetics. For back teeth, stainless steel crowns are used for their durability. The crown provides strength and protection, so the tooth can remain in place and provide space for permanent teeth to erupt properly. The last baby tooth is not lost until approximately twelve years of age!
Small procedures in cooperative children can often be done under local anesthesia with or without nitrous oxide. The most common form of sedation we routinely use in our office is nitrous oxide (laughing gas). This is given through a small breathing mask, which is placed over the child's nose. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recognizes this technique as a very safe, effective technique to help relax your child during treatment.
Some children require an extensive amount of dental work or have medical conditions that make multiple dental visits risky. In these situations, it is difficult for children to have safe and effective treatment in the dental office. In order to provide the safest experience possible for these children, we may recommend treatment in the operating room under general anesthetic. If this is recommended for your child, we will review the risks and rationale of this method of treatment and answer all your questions so that you can make an informed decision.
Parents are welcome to accompany their children during dental treatment. We want parents to feel comfortable and well informed about our office. Our preference is to have one parent with the child for their initial visit. If the child requires treatment during another visit, the need for parental presence should be discussed between the dentist and the parent and decided on a case by case basis. Some children may actually be more cooperative during their treatment without an audience.
Please call our office so that we can evaluate the cause of the pain. Pain in the mouth can be something simple, like an ulcer, or can be a serious dental infection requiring treatment. Even though children have “baby teeth," problems with them can cause serious illness so ignoring dental pain is never a good idea!
Find the tooth and handle it only by the crown, not the root portion. Do not rinse the tooth with water as it may decrease the future healing of the tooth. You can rinse the tooth, if needed, by swirling it in a glass of milk. Inspect the tooth for fractures. If there are no fractures, try to reinsert it into the socket. Have the patient hold the tooth in place by biting on gauze. If you cannot reinsert the tooth, transport the tooth in a cup containing milk. If there is no milk, place the tooth in a cup containing the patient's own saliva. Again, DO NOT place the tooth in water. Call our office immediately or go to your nearest emergency room. Time is a critical factor in saving the tooth.
Rinse debris from injured area with warm water. Place cold compresses over the face in the area of injury. Locate and save any broken tooth fragments in milk. Call our office so that we can evaluate and treat the injury.
What is a Pediatric Dentist? Why should I choose
a Board-certified Pediatric Dentist?
How old should my child be to come to the dentist?
Why are baby teeth so important?
Why does my child need dental x-rays?
What are sealants, fillings, and crowns?
What about sedation?
Can parents accompany their child during dental treatment?
What can I do about my child’s toothache?
My child knocked out her permanent tooth, what should I do?
Our son has fractured his tooth. What do you suggest?
Preventative Oral Hygiene Instructions:
Preventative care at home can help prevent cavities and maintain a healthy smile! Oral hygiene instruction includes teaching proper brushing and flossing technique. Prevention also includes daily healthy eating habits, use of ideal fluoride levels and the use of pit and fissure sealants. We strive to provide a fun, educational environment where children learn about the importance of good dental hygiene.
This includes children’s fillings, crowns and prosthesis, including treatment of nursing bottle decay. Our Board-Certified Pediatric Dentists are committed to educating you on treatment options and allowing you to make informed decisions. We want to partner with you in achieving the goal of your child’s healthy, beautiful, cavity-free smile.
Our goal is to prevent dental emergencies, but we understand that the need for urgent dental care
is sometimes necessary and can be a stressful experience for both parents and children. We strive to handle dental emergencies promptly and with compassion.
Whether an accident happens during our normal business hours or not, know that you can call us and have your child treated promptly.
Call our office.
If it is after hours or on the weekend, one of our doctors or a team member will get back to you promptly.
The staff and pediatric dentists at Pediatric Dentistry Home can instruct you on proper brushing techniques. It is important to start brushing your child’s teeth as soon as they erupt or come into the mouth. This is the first time that cavity-causing bacteria can be detected. We will educate you about the amount of toothpaste to use for your child, as this can vary depending on age and decay propensity.
Teeth should be brushed at least 2 times a day (after breakfast and before bed) for 2 minutes each time. The most important time to brush is at night before bedtime because salivary flow, and its buffering effect, is diminished during sleep.
For areas between the teeth that a toothbrush can't reach, dental floss is used to remove food particles and plaque. Dental floss is
a thin thread of waxed nylon that can be used by stretching between your fingers or by using a pre-fabricated floss holder.
Our staff will let you know the correct time to begin flossing your child’s teeth. Floss before bedtime each night to make sure teeth are squeaky clean!
We’re proud of what our families have said!
We have loved everyone at Pediatric Dentistry of Matthews from the 1st day. My little 3 year old walked right in there and had the best time. They made it a wonderful experience for her and she loved it. Me too!! Every child should LOVE going to the dentist. Keep up with the great work.” – Kim W.
Cristle and I are relocating the kids back to our home town of New Bern, NC. One of the things that we will
miss about Charlotte is Pediatric Dentistry of Matthews.
You guys are the best and I love the way you have
cared for my children.” – The Gaskins Family
Emily said thank you very much for her card. Ya’ll are
the BEST!!!! Have a Blessed day!! See y’all soon.”
– The Morris Family
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