Pediatric Dentistry

Palo Alto Pediatric Dentistry

Gentle and Friendly Family Dentists in Palo Alto

Ask a group of children whether they like going to the dentist, and a large percentage will not hesitate to answer, "No." This is because for many kids, visiting the dentist is not a pleasant experience: walking into a drab office, being placed on an elevated chair under bright lights and being poked and prodded at with scary-looking metal instruments is not most children's idea of a fun time. To make matters worse, school children often share horror stories about drilling cavities and having teeth pulled. At Nidhi A Pai DMD, we understand this situation, and that is why we take a different approach in our pediatric dentistry practice. Your children will enjoy our bright and welcoming office, our friendly staff and patient comfort measures including televisions in every room where your children can watch their favorite movies during cleanings and other procedures such as tooth filling, braces, Invisalign, tooth extraction.

Pediatric dentistry is a specialized field of dentistry, similarly to how pediatric medicine is a specialized area of medicine. It is focused on the treatment of child patients, and requires a special understanding of the oral health concerns of patients whose teeth and skeletons are in a process of continual growth and development. Pediatric dentists work not only to preserve the bright and healthy smiles of their patients, but also to prevent other problems which have been linked to tooth decay, such as impaired school performance and poor social relationships.

Importance of Pediatric Dentistry

Many parents make the mistake of thinking that because their children's baby teeth will fall out anyway, it is not necessary to take excellent care of them. The fact is that if your child's baby teeth suffer decay or other problems, your child may experience enormous pain and discomfort. If they fall out or have to be extracted your child may have difficulty speaking clearly or even chewing and may suffer from malnutrition. We like to begin seeing children as soon as they have teeth, and certainly no later than the time when they reach school age. This makes it possible for us to monitor the development of their teeth and to begin teaching them good habits for dental hygiene.

Tips for Caring for Your Children's Dental Health

Start brushing your baby's first teeth with a brush that will be gentle enough not to cause pain, but strong enough to remove plaque and the bacteria that cause tooth decay.

Visit the dentist by the first birthday and no later than school age.

If your child has a toothache, you can begin with rinsing the irritated area with warm salt water and then placing a cold compress on the swollen area, followed by administering acetaminophen and then getting to the dentist if the pain persists or becomes worse.

If you give your baby or toddler a child at bedtime, only use water, since the sugar in breast milk or formula can cause tooth decay when allowed to remain on the teeth overnight.

You should get your child in to the dentist once every six months in order to diagnose any problems early and handle them before they get out of control.

Preserve your child's dental health by minimizing sugars and starches and maximizing fresh fruits and vegetables, breads and cereals, milk and dairy, meat, fish and eggs.

If your child has knocked out a permanent tooth, place it in a glass of milk, don't touch the root, and come in as soon as possible for treatment which may make it possible to reimplant the tooth without the necessity of a crown and bridge.