Gulfshore Pediatric Dentistry

Dental Services
in Estero, FL

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) recommends you find your child’s “Dental Home” by age one or when the first tooth emerges, whichever occurs first. It has been shown that establishing your child’s Dental Home provides the opportunity to implement preventive dental health habits that keep a child free from dental/oral disease. At Gulfshore Pediatric Dentistry we agree, and we focus on dental services like prevention and treatment to help maintain your child’s healthy smile. We are also here in cases of dental emergencies or if your child requires sedation due to anxiety or other issues.

The goal at Gulfshore Pediatric Dentistry is to educate children on how to care for their oral health in a fun and safe environment. From our exciting office designs to our communication style, our main concern is what is best for your child.
Thumbs Up - Gulfshore Pediatric Dentistry

Prevention

There are actually specific bacteria that cause cavities.  This bacteria can be transferred from person to person when sharing saliva, so we recommend your child not eat or drink after anyone.  Cavity-causing bacteria love to eat sugar and then they produce acid, which causes holes or cavities in the teeth.  Cavities can then lead to pain, missed school, and malnutrition among other things if left untreated.

Cavities are the number one childhood disease in the United States.  Therefore, we feel it is most important to teach and practice prevention. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) recommends your child see the dentist when the first baby tooth erupts into the mouth or by age one, whatever comes first.  Although this tends to be a quick visit it is important to review with you prevention, introduce your child to the dentist, rule out pathology and make sure nothing in your child’s mouth needs to be addressed immediately.  Adopting healthy oral hygiene habits as early as possible lends to long-term good oral health and a more positive experience at the dental office.  We recommend your child visit the pediatric dentist twice a year for regular cleanings, x-rays if prescribed, fluoride treatments, and comprehensive dental exams.  Around the age of six when your child’s permanent molars come into the mouth, we will recommend dental sealants to help protect the chewing surfaces of the permanent molars. 

At home we recommend you brush your child’s teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste.  If your child is under the age of three we recommend using a tiny amount of toothpaste the size of a grain of rice.   Ages 3-6 years old, if your child practices spitting and does not swallow the toothpaste, we recommend using a pea-size amount of toothpaste when brushing.  Fluoride is found in nature and has been proven to help prevent cavities.  Floss daily any teeth that are touching.  Also, at home minimize or eliminate access to crackers, chips, candy, soda, sports drinks, juice, and dried fruits.  If your child takes medication for any reason (including asthma inhalers) please brush or rinse with water after administering the medication.

Treatment

Cavities are the number one childhood disease in the United States.  At your child’s cleaning and exam appointment, you will be provided a detailed plan if treatment is needed.  In pediatric dentistry we have two sets of teeth to take care of; we not only fix cavities but also take into account the long-term growth and development of your child.  X-rays coupled with the visual exam are used in combination to diagnose, rule out pathology and create a specialized treatment plan for each patient.  We use digital technology and physical shielding aprons with thyroid collars to minimize any unnecessary exposure to dental x-rays.

Dental Treatment Terms:

Fillings: a material used to fill or restore missing tooth structure after a cavity is removed.   We use amalgam (silver), composite (white), and resin-modified glass ionomer (releases fluoride) fillings.

Stainless Steel Crown: A medical-grade stainless steel (silver) full coverage restoration that is cemented onto a tooth.  Used to restore large cavities.

Strip Crown:  A white composite crown bonded to the remaining tooth structure used to restore the front baby teeth.

Pulpotomy: Removal of the nerve tissue above the root canals in a baby tooth.
Dental Check up - Gulfshore Pediatric Dentistry
Fillings
Sports Mouthguard - Gulfshore Pediatric Dentistry
Athletic Mouth Guard
Extractions:  Removal of a tooth from the mouth.
Ectopic Eruption:  A tooth that erupts or comes into the mouth in the wrong position.  For example, it is common for the bottom permanent incisors to erupt behind the bottom baby teeth.
Space Maintainers:  An appliance, typically fabricated by a lab, that is cemented into the mouth to hold a space open where a tooth is missing until the new tooth comes in.
Athletic Mouth Guard:  A removable appliance to be worn during sports to protect permanent teeth from trauma.
Bruxism Mouth Guard:  A removable appliance to be worn while sleeping to prevent wear on the permanent teeth due to grinding or clenching habits.
Thumb Sucking Appliance:  A cemented appliance to help prevent or discourage a patient from sucking their thumb or other fingers.
Turtle - Gulfshore Pediatric Dentistry

Post Operative Care Instructions

Care of the Mouth After Local Anesthetic (LA)

  • Your child had local anesthetic The tongue, teeth, lips and surrounding tissue will be numb for at least 2 to 3 hours.
  • Often, children do not understand the numb feeling, and may chew, scratch, suck, or play with the numb lip, tongue, or cheek. These actions can cause irritations, swelling, scaring, severe abrasion or laceration to the tissue.  Monitor your child closely for at least 2 to 3 hours (or the duration of the LA) following the procedure.
  • Please maintain a liquid diet until the anesthetic has worn off.

Care of Your Child After a Sedation Appointment

  • Your child will be drowsy and will needs to be monitored very closely. Keep your child away from areas of potential harm. (Do not let your child walk by themselves until the sedative has worn off.)
  • If your child wants to sleep at home, make sure they are sleeping on their side with their chin up, in the same room as you, with no pillows. This is a recovery position in case of vomiting.
  • Wake your child every hour and encourage them to have something to drink in order to prevent dehydration and low-grade fever. At first, it is best to give your child sips of clear liquids to prevent nausea. The first meal should be light and easily digestible (avoid dairy and fried foods).
  • No physical activities today (no school, no sports or practices, no bicycles, no playgrounds, no swimming pools, ).
  • Tomorrow your child may go back to school and resume regular activities.
  • Although the following reactions can occur, if your child has persistent nausea, repeated vomiting, or develops a fever, office if you have any
    questions or concerns.

Care of the Mouth After Extractions

  • Do not rinse the mouth for several hours.
  • Do not spit excessively, drink carbonated beverages or use mouth rinses today
  • Do not drink through a straw for 24hrs
  • Keep fingers and tongue away from the extraction area
  • Soft food diet for 4 days (avoid foods such as nuts, seeds, and popcorn).
  • Avoid strenuous exercise or physical activity day of the procedure.
  • Some discomfort is expected.  Ibuprofen (Children's Advil or Children's Motrin) can be given for pain if no history of ibuprofen allergy (follow the instructions on the bottle for dosing based upon your child's age/weight).
  • Bleeding - Some bleeding is to be expected. Place damp cotton gauze (or cold, clean wash cloth) firmly over the extraction area to help bleeding stop. If unusual or sustained bleeding occurs contact our office or seek the nearest emergency department.
  • Teeth should be brushed and flossed gently today (avoid the surgical site). Keeping the mouth as clean as possible is essential for healing.

Care of Amalgam Restorations

  • Your child had an amalgam restoration completed today (silver filling) and should maintain a soft food diet for 24hrs (crunchy foods within the first 24hrs can cause the filling to break).

Care of Stainless Steel Crowns (SSC), Space Maintainers, Appliances

  • Liquid diet for 2hrs after appointment (no chewing) to allow the cement to completely set
  • The gum tissue may be sore in the area where the procedure was completed, give Tylenol or Children's Motrin to take care of any discomfort
  • The gum tissue around the SSC may have a gray appearance for a few days, please maintain good oral hygiene (brushing and flossing around SSC) to reduce discomfort and promote healing.
  • Sticky foods (bubblegum, taffy, caramels, gummy candies, ) that may dislodge or cause SSC/space maintainer to come off the tooth are to be AVOIDED COMPLETELY!!!
  • If a SSC or a space maintainer comes out, please save it and call our office as soon as possible.  If the SSC or space maintainer is not damaged, we should be able to re-cement it.  If the appliance or SSC is damaged or does not fit when trying it back in the mouth (usually due to prolonged time out of the mouth,) it will result in an out-of-pocket expense to re-cement it since insurance companies will only cover these procedures once.

Care of Strip Crowns (White Resin Crowns)

  • Your child cannot bite into hard or crunchy foods (apples, corn on the cob, carrots, hard candy, hard bread, etc.). You will need to cut these foods and your child can chew them with their back teeth.  The new white crowns are not hard like tooth Habits (including but not limited to chewing on pens, pencils, sucking habits, opening things with your teeth, etc.)  and trauma can also fracture these white crowns. If your child breaks their crown this can result in having to redo the dental procedure and this will be an out-of-pocket expense to you (insurance will only cover procedure once).
  • These teeth need to be brushed and flossed like These teeth tend to stain easily. To reduce the staining please brush these teeth after eating foods, condiments, and drinks that stain (chocolate, mustard, ketchup, dark soda, tea, etc.)

Care of the Mouth After Trauma

  • Please call the office if your child has experienced recent dental trauma.
  • Keep the traumatized area as clean as possible
  • For swelling ice can be applied during the first 24 hours to keep the swelling to a minimum (place a barrier between an ice pack and skin/ tissues to prevent burns).
  • Watch for infection (abscess) in the area of trauma. If an infection is noticed, call the office so the patient can be seen as soon as possible.
  • Maintain a soft diet for 1 week, or until the child feels comfortable eating normally
  • Avoid sweets, drinks, and foods that are extremely hot or cold.
  • If antibiotics are prescribed, be sure your child takes the prescription as directed.

Care of Sealants

  • A dental sealant is applied to the grooves of the chewing surfaces of permanent molar (back) teeth. This helps to prevent bacteria and food from collecting in these grooves and allows for easier cleaning. This will decrease the risk of a cavity on a chewing surface. The tooth can still get a cavity if good oral hygiene and good dietary habits are not practiced (brushing properly with fluoride toothpaste and flossing daily).
  • Your child's bite may feel different for a few days (this is normal)
  • Do not eat ice or hard candy, as this can fracture the sealant
  • Your child may have a funny taste in his/her mouth for a few hours after sealants are placed

Care of Pedi-Partial

  • Please brush and floss the metal and acrylic as if they are natural teeth. The area around the bands/crowns on the back teeth require special attention, otherwise, the gum area can become irritated due to food collecting around it.
  • DO NOT bite into hard things with the front teeth (apples, corn on the cob, carrots, hard candy, hard bread, etc.) This can break the teeth, bend the wire, and disrupt the cement bond.
  • NO sticky candy (caramel, taffy, chewing gum, gummy candies, etc.)

Sedation Dentistry

As pediatric dental specialists, we have the necessary tools to give your child the best dental experience while providing high-quality care.  Whether your child is anxious, scared, has special needs, requires extensive treatment, or had a previous bad experience, we offer different options to safely complete treatment.

Nitrous Oxide (Laughing Gas)

Nitrous oxide/oxygen is a blend of two gases, oxygen, and nitrous oxide.  It is used as an anti-anxiety and analgesic. Nitrous oxide/oxygen is given through a nasal hood, which is placed over the child’s nose.  If your child is breathing through their nose the nitrous oxide/oxygen can help them to relax but will not put them to sleep. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recognizes nitrous oxide as very safe.  It is quickly eliminated from the body and your child remains fully conscious and keeps all natural reflexes.

Prior to your appointment:

  • Please inform us of any change to your child’s health and/or medical condition.
  • Tell us about any respiratory condition that makes breathing through the nose difficult for your child. It may limit the effectiveness of the nitrous oxide/oxygen.
  • Let us know if your child is taking any medication on the day of the appointment.

Conscious Sedation

Oral Conscious Sedation is recommended for apprehensive children, young children, and children with special needs. It is used to calm your child and to reduce the anxiety or discomfort associated with dental treatments. Your child may be quite drowsy, but will not fall asleep and will remain conscious for the entire procedure.

There are a variety of different medications, which can be used for conscious sedation.  A common medication is Versed (midazolam.) The doctor will prescribe and administer in the office the medication best suited for your child’s overall health and dental treatment recommendations. We will be happy to answer any questions you might have concerning the specific drugs we plan to give to your child.

Prior to your appointment:

  • Please notify us of any change in your child’s health and/or medical condition. Do not bring your child for treatment with a fever, ear infection, or cold. Should your child become ill, contact us to see if it is necessary to postpone the appointment.
  • You must tell the doctor of any drugs that your child is currently taking and any drug reactions and/or change in medical history.
  • Please dress your child in loose-fitting, comfortable clothing.
  • Please make sure that your child goes to the bathroom immediately prior to arriving at the office.
  • Your child should not have solid food for at least 6 hours prior to their sedation appointment and only clear liquids for up to 4 hours before the appointment.
  • The child’s parent or legal guardian must remain at the office during the complete procedure.

After the sedation appointment:

  • Your child will be drowsy and will need to be monitored very closely. Keep your child away from areas of potential harm.
  • If your child wants to sleep, place them on their side with their chin up. Wake your child every hour and encourage them to have something to drink in order to prevent dehydration. At first, it is best to give your child sips of clear liquids to prevent nausea. The first meal should be light and easily digestible.
  • Because we use a local anesthetic to numb your child’s mouth during the procedure, your child may have the tendency to bite, chew, or suck their lips, cheeks, and tongue or rub and scratch their face after treatment. Please observe your child carefully to prevent any injury to these areas.
  • Please call our office for any questions or concerns that you might have.

IV Sedation

IV Sedation is recommended for patients that are extremely anxious or apprehensive, children in need of full mouth rehabilitation, very young children, and children with special needs when conscious sedation will not work. Our goal is to complete your child’s dental work safely and provide the most pleasant dental experience for your child. IV sedation allows us to complete all of your child’s treatment needs while your child is safely and comfortably asleep.  We work with an amazing group of pediatric physician anesthesiologists, all of whom have extensive experience in caring for children. Please visit their website at www.pediatricsedation.com.

Dental Emergencies

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