Common Procedures

Regular Exams and Cleanings

Regular exams are an important part of maintaining your child’s oral health. During your child’s regular exam at Children’s Dental Care, we will:

  • Ask YOU if you have any specific concerns regarding your child’s oral health
  • Take dental radiographs if indicated
  • Check for any problems that may not be seen or felt
  • Look for cavities or any other signs of tooth decay
  • Inspect the teeth and gums for gingivitis and signs of periodontal disease
  • Perform a thorough teeth cleaning
  • Apply professional strength topical fluoride per your preferences

Your child’s exam will take about 30-40 minutes. Each regular exam includes a detailed teeth cleaning, in which we will clean, polish, and rinse the teeth to remove any tartar and plaque that have built up on the tooth’s surface.

Visiting our office every six months gives you the chance to talk to the doctor about any questions you may have about your child’s oral health. We also have the opportunity to provide guidance for your child’s oral health particular to your child’s stage of dental development. We welcome you to contact our practice today to schedule your child’s next dental exam and teeth cleaning.

Make dental visits an adventure for your little ones!

Discover our gentle, fun-filled approach to children's dentistry.
Book an appointment today and see their smiles sparkle!

Call us: (603) 357-6385

Fluoride

Fluoride is effective in hardening and strengthening enamel, thereby preventing cavities and tooth decay. There are two ways the benefits of fluoride can be gained – systemically and topically. 

Systemic Fluoride 

Systemic fluoride causes teeth to form harder and stronger as they are developing. To provide the benefits of systemic fluoride, most larger communities add a very small amount of fluoride to the water supply. In smaller communities, or more rural communities where well water is relied upon, there often is no fluoride present, thus no benefit gained. Conversely, there can be naturally occurring fluoride in wells that can be at too high of concentration leading to side effects like discolored or pitted enamel.  At Children’s Dental Care we consider your personal opinions, your child’s risk for dental decay, and utilize resources we offer, to formulate a customized plan to manage systemic fluoride for your child.  Resources we offer include testing your water for fluoride concentration, and prescribing a systemic fluoride supplement if indicated.

Topical Fluoride

Topical fluoride strengthens the enamel of teeth that are already present, and can strengthen or recalcify teeth that have weak areas from early decay activity.  Of course the benefits of topical fluoride have been enjoyed for decades through the use of fluoride containing toothpaste, which we recommend if your child is able to spit and not swallow the toothpaste. A professionally applied fluoride varnish at dental checkups remains on teeth for hours and is particularly effective at keeping weakened areas of enamel with early decay activity (decalcification) from getting worse, and can even improve the strength of such areas.  With fluoride varnish there is no restriction with eating or drinking immediately after it is placed.

Silver Diamine Fluoride

Silver Diamine Fluoride (SDF) is a unique type of fluoride that actually stops active decay when placed on a cavity.  It is an FDA-approved topical solution treatment that both treats and prevents dental caries and reduces tooth sensitivity. It is made with two active ingredients: the silver component is an anti-microbial agent that kills bacteria and prevents the formation of new biofilm, and the fluoride prevents further demineralization (softening) of the tooth structure. Silver Diamine Fluoride can be attractive because it is non-invasive being just brushed on versus a filling or crown where the tooth has to be drilled. 

However, treatment with SDF does not eliminate the need for restorative dentistry (fillings, crowns, etc.) to repair function or esthetics, but is effective at preventing further decay for a period of time.  This treatment can be a strategic interim treatment when your child is young and unable to cooperate during treatment. One consideration is that silver diamine fluoride does stain the treated area on teeth, but we use an additional agent during SDF application to minimize staining.

How is SDF treatment performed?

  • The teeth are brushed without paste and rinsed.
  • The carious teeth are isolated, kept dry, and all excess debris is removed.
  • A micro brush is dipped in a drop of SDF and placed on the lesion(s) for two minutes.
  • Any decayed areas will stain black. A healthy tooth structure will not stain.
  • Excess SDF is removed and patients are instructed to not eat or drink for one hour.

Why use SDF?

We recommend using SDF in several situations, including:

  • Children who have extreme decay (severe early childhood caries)
  • Young children who have difficulty sitting still for treatment
  • Special needs patients
  • Children with carious lesions (cavities) that need to be treated over several visits

The Advantages of SDF

  • Provides immediate relief from tooth hypersensitivity
  • Kills the organisms that cause cavities
  • Hardens softened dentin making it more acid- and abrasion-resistant
  • Does not stain healthy dentin or enamel

Pediatric X-Rays

At Children’s Dental Care we choose carefully which and when radiographs are taken. There are many guidelines that we follow. Radiographs allow us to see everything we cannot see with our own eyes. Radiographs enable us to detect cavities in between your teeth, determine bone level, and analyze the health of your bone. We can also examine the roots and nerves of teeth, diagnose lesions such as cysts or tumors, as well as assess damage when trauma occurs.

Dental radiographs are invaluable aids in diagnosing, treating, and maintaining dental health. Exposure time for dental radiographs is extremely minimal. We utilize Digital Imaging Technologies within the office. With digital imaging, exposure time is about 50 percent less when compared to traditional radiographs. Digital imaging can also help us retrieve valuable diagnostic information. We may be able to see cavities better.

Digital imaging allows us to store patient images, and enables us to quickly and easily transfer them to specialists or insurance companies.

Digital X-rays offer more precision since we view the image on a computer monitor, instead of holding up a 35mm film up to the light. Digital X-rays results in 1/6th the radiation exposure to you.

pano xrayxray xray

Dental Sealants

Sometimes brushing is not enough, especially when it comes to those hard-to-reach spots in your child’s mouth. It is difficult for a toothbrush to get in between the small cracks and grooves on your child’s teeth. If left alone, those tiny areas can develop tooth decay. Sealants give your child’s teeth extra protection against decay and help prevent cavities.

Dental sealants are a plastic resin that bonds and hardens in the deep grooves on your child’s tooth’s surface. When a tooth is sealed, the tiny grooves become smooth and are less likely to harbor plaque. With sealants, brushing your child’s teeth becomes easier and more effective against tooth decay.

Sealants are typically applied to children’s teeth as a preventive measure against tooth decay after the permanent teeth have erupted. It is more common to seal “permanent” teeth rather than “baby” teeth, but every patient has unique needs, and we will recommend sealants on a case-by-case basis.  Placing sealants is a quick, simple, and non-invasive procedure.  

Sealants last from three to five years, but it is fairly common to see adults with sealants still intact from their childhood. A dental sealant only provides protection when it is fully intact, so if needed we can easily maintain sealants at your child’s checkups.