Dentistry for Kids
In 2001, the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry established the concept of the “dental home” in an attempt to increase the opportunity for infants, children, adolescents and persons with special health care needs to receive more complete oral health care. (1) In other words, by providing more than just “fix what’s broken” emergency care, our hope is to maintain healthy mouths for kids and their families through regular check-ups, which include a comprehensive evaluation for oral diseases and conditions. Also important in the dental home concept is individual guidance and counseling concerning diet, risk for decay and education from the earliest age about proper tooth and gum care. By maintaining a closer relationship with our families, the likelihood of early childhood decay and other problems can be greatly reduced. ( Click here to read the article, “Establishing the Dental Well-Baby Visit.”)
One other aspect of the dental home is interaction with local Head Start, Early Intervention and schools in order to provide education about oral health issues. Don’t be surprised if Dr. Jeter or one of his staff shows up in your child’s classroom to talk about the importance of good oral health habits. “Healthy mouths for healthy kids and families…” it’s what we’re all about.
(1) American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, “Policy on the Dental Home” 2004
*No specialty implied.
Orthodontics is the branch of dentistry which deals with restoring the natural positioning of the teeth and surrounding bone structure. Many times it's easy to think of orthodontics as just “putting braces on to straighten crooked teeth.” While a straighter smile is the most obvious result of orthodontic treatment, it is also significant to consider that proper positioning also leads to proper function.
A common misconception is that you can never begin orthodontic treatment in an adolescent until all of the permanent teeth have erupted into the mouth. Current research and most orthodontic authorities agree that there is a definite place for beginning treatment in children, sometimes as early as age 6 and younger.
In our practice, children are screened for potential orthodontic problems at as young an age as possible. Of course, adults are able to benefit from orthodontics as well. In combination with other cosmetic dentistry procedures, orthodontics can help create the dynamite smile you've always wanted. Whatever the specific reason, please feel free to contact us for an orthodontic consultation.
Dr. Jeter's training in orthodontics has been obtained from a variety of sources for over 10 years. He is a member of the American Orthodontic Society and the International Association for Orthodontics. He continues to receive updated information through continuing education each year.
Begin by cleaning around the sore tooth meticulously. Using warm salt water, rinse the mouth to displace any food trapped between teeth. UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES should you use aspirin on the aching tooth or on the gum. In the event of facial swelling, apply a cold compress to the area. For temporary pain relief, acetaminophen is recommended. See a dentist as soon as possible.
Cut or Bitten Tongue, Lip or Cheek
Ice can be applied to any bruised areas. For bleeding, apply firm (but gentle) pressure with sterile gauze or a clean cloth. If the bleeding does not stop with pressure or continues after 15 minutes, go to an emergency room.
Broken Braces and Wires
Remove a broken appliance only if it comes out easily. If it is lodged or painful to remove, cover any protruding edges with wax, cotton balls, gauze or chewing gum. DO NOT REMOVE any wire caught in the gums, cheek or tongue; see a dentist immediately. Emergency attention is usually not required for loose or broken appliances that cause no discomfort.
Rinse the area with warm water. Put a cold compress over the facial area of the injury. Recover any broken tooth fragments. Get immediate dental attention.
Knocked Out Permanent Tooth
Recover the tooth, making sure to hold it by the crown (top) and not the root end. Rinse, but do not clean or handle the tooth more than necessary. Reinsert the tooth in the socket and hold it in place using a clean piece of gauze or cloth. If the tooth cannot be reinserted, carry it in a cup containing milk or water. Because time is essential, see a dentist immediately.
Other Emergency Conditions:
Possible Broken Jaw
In the event of jaw injury, tie the mouth closed with a towel, tie or handkerchief. Go immediately to an emergency room.
Bleeding After a Baby Tooth Falls Out
Fold a piece of gauze and place it (tightly) over the bleeding area. Bite down on the gauze for 15 minutes; if bleeding continues, see a dentist.
Cold or Canker Sores
Over-the-counter medications will usually provide temporary relief. If sores persist, visit your dentist.
About Kids' Teeth
A Common Myth…
One of the most important matters related to children’s growth and development concerns the treatment of “baby” (or “primary”) teeth. Some will ask, “Why make a big deal over teeth that a child will lose anyway?” While it is true that the “baby” teeth are eventually lost in order to be replaced by “permanent” teeth, the importance of keeping them healthy cannot be overstated. Here are just a few facts:
- Baby teeth can abscess (just like permanent teeth). If left untreated, an abscess can lead to pain and illness, and possibly, death.
- Baby teeth allow the child to chew properly, helping to ensure good nutrition and growth.
- The presence and position of baby teeth helps to guide the permanent teeth into their proper positions. If a baby tooth is lost prematurely (due to decay or injury), a potential crowding problem can develop when the permanent tooth is ready to come into the mouth.
Treatment in the Dental Office
Many times, taking care of a child’s dental needs will only require regular checkups and dental cleanings. In our office, we like to see kids as early as we can (even as early as age 1 or 2). This gives us the opportunity to keep a close watch on all the teeth as they are developing and coming into the mouth. It also helps to begin our relationship with your child on a positive note.
When procedures, such as fillings or extractions, do become necessary, we make every attempt to perform treatment in as comfortable and non-threatening manner as possible. A majority of our kids respond well to a calm manner and encouragement. These techniques combined, when necessary, with nitrous oxide (laughing gas) and local anesthetic (numbing) work together to complete an efficient and virtually pain-free experience for young patients.
Treatment in the Hospital
There are situations when it is impossible to complete a child’s dental treatment in the normal office setting. These instances include children who are too young to be able to cooperate with exams and treatment, children whose needs are very extensive, behavioral and anxiety problems and children (and adults) with mental and/or developmental challenges. In these situations, dental treatment is performed under general anesthesia, utilizing the surgery department of Cabell Huntington Hospital.
With the hospital’s state-of-the-art facilities and anesthesia staff, Dr. Jeter is able to treat these “special patients” in as thorough and safe a manner as possible.
Patients are initially evaluated in our office prior to being scheduled for treatment in the hospital. A current medical history is obtained and a complete physical examination is ordered from the patient’s physician before the date of hospital treatment. Our Hospital Coordinator will help in scheduling with the hospital and is available to answer any questions about the hospital experience.
We will bill all commercial insurances and are a provider for Ohio Medicaid. Other financing options may be available through CareCredit. We also accept Visa and MasterCard.
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