Pediatric Dentistry – Essential Dental Care For Kids

Children need specialized care for their teeth and gums. From a baby’s first teeth in the infant year to their adult molars in their teen years, pediatric dentists help set them up for lifelong good oral health.


These specialists also spend a lot of time teaching kids about good dental hygiene and preventative treatments like brushing twice daily and flossing regularly. Plus, working with kids is just plain fun!

Dental X-Rays

Pediatric dental x-rays are essential tools used to examine the interior of your child’s mouth and catch decay, infection, and other issues that cannot be spotted with the naked eye. X-rays use a small amount of radiation to capture images of the internal structure of teeth and jawbones. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends children get x-rays at least once per year, though some children may require more frequent x-rays depending on their age and risk for oral conditions.

X-rays can identify tooth decay between and at the gumline, identify impacted or extra teeth, determine the status of developing permanent teeth, and help detect cysts or tumors in the jawbone. Digital X-rays utilize up to 90% less radiation than traditional x-rays and provide clearer and more detailed pictures of the mouth.

Although some parents worry about the risk of X-ray radiation, the amount of radiation received during a dental X-ray is extremely low and poses no long-term health risks. Pediatric dentists are specially trained to minimize a child’s exposure to radiation and are highly experienced in using protective shields to keep the patient’s body completely covered.

Fluoride Treatment

Fluoride is a mineral that helps prevent tooth decay and strengthens the enamel of developing teeth. It is a safe and effective treatment for kids that can reduce their susceptibility to cavities significantly. It can be applied topically in the form of a varnish or orally as a rinse, gel or foam. Professional in-office fluoride treatments offer higher concentrations of the mineral than over-the-counter products and are typically more convenient to use.

When children eat foods containing sugars, bacteria in the mouth produce acids that erode the enamel and lead to tooth decay. Fluoride works to remineralize the enamel and inhibits the acid production that leads to cavity formation. It also slows or reverses the development of bacterial colonies that produce plaque and tartar.

Sprout Pediatric Dentistry offers fluoride treatment in the form of a varnish or silver diamine fluoride (SDF). The application process is quick, easy and painless. The varnish dries quickly, and your child can eat or drink immediately after. Our team recommends a fluoride treatment every six months. In addition, we are able to provide oral health education for parents and children, advise on thumb-sucking, pacifier or smoking cessation and can apply dental sealants as needed. Our Upper East Side dental office has been committed to children’s oral healthcare for over two decades. We look forward to welcoming your child to our dental family.

Dental Sealants

Dental sealants are clear, plastic resin coatings that our Katy pediatric dentist quickly and easily applies to children’s teeth to fill in the pits and fissures that can harbor plaque. When a tooth is sealed, food and drink are less likely to get trapped in these grooves, and brushing becomes easier. In addition, the protective shield prevents bacteria from developing that causes decay. This is one of the most conservative and noninvasive treatments in dentistry, yet it’s highly effective. Studies show that sealants can reduce the risk of forming cavities by up to 90% in children’s permanent back teeth, where 9 out of 10 tooth decay cases occur.

The application of sealants is quick, painless and can be done without numbing. The tooth is cleaned and prepped using etching and conditioning solutions to ensure that the bonding materials adhere properly. After the teeth are dry, the sealant material is placed on the chewing surface of the teeth and a special curing light is used to harden the material.

Some parents are concerned that the trace amount of BPA (bisphenol A) in some sealant materials may cause health problems, but credible research discredits these concerns. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry and the American Dental Association still support the use of dental sealants, as they are more affordable and safer than fillings.

Dental Hygiene

Practicing good oral hygiene can help keep your children’s teeth healthy, even when they start losing their primary “baby” teeth. Kids need to brush and floss their teeth twice daily to prevent tooth decay, gingivitis, and other dental problems.

It’s also important to avoid sugary foods and drinks, because excess sugar can lead to cavities. It’s also a good idea to let your children drink a glass of water after eating or drinking something with sugar, because this helps wash away the acid from the food or beverage and can neutralize plaque.

Pediatric dental hygienists are licensed professionals who specialize in the prevention and education of oral disease for children. They typically spend two to three years in a dental hygiene program, which leads to an associate’s degree. In addition to cleaning patients’ teeth, they perform examinations and x-rays, and accurately record their findings in patient records. They also work closely with dentists to educate parents and children about proper tooth and gum care.

Because a pediatric dentist deals exclusively with children, their offices are designed with children in mind. This includes bright walls that feature cartoon characters, books, toys, and prizes to make visits more fun. In addition, pedodontists use tools that are smaller and less intimidating for children than those used by regular dental professionals.