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Metairie

3330 Kingman Street, Suite 1

(504) 207-0314

Harvey

2800 Manhattan Blvd, Suite D

(504) 207-0314

Important Info

Why See a Pediatric Dentist?

A children’s dentist has extra years of dental training after graduating from dental school. This specialized training and dedication to children’s dentistry allows children’s dentists to better serve the unique needs of their young patients.

The American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentists recommend that children have a dental check-up by one year of age and then every 6 months.

It is very important to maintain the health of the primary teeth. Neglected cavities can, and frequently do, lead to problems which affect developing permanent teeth. Primary teeth, or baby teeth are important for proper chewing and eating, providing space for the permanent teeth and guiding them into the correct position, and permitting normal development of the jaw bones and muscles. While the front four teeth last until 6-7 years of age, the back teeth (cuspids and molars) aren’t replaced until age 10-13.

One serious form of decay among young children is BABY BOTTLE TOOTH DECAY. This condition is caused by frequent and long exposures of an infant’s teeth to liquids that contain sugar: Among these liquids are milk (including breast milk), formula, fruit juice and other sweetened drinks. Putting a baby to bed for a nap or at night with a bottle other than water can cause serious and rapid tooth decay. If you must give the baby a bottle as a comforter at bedtime, it should contain only water.

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Make certain that your child continues to bite on the gauze pad for another 15 to 20 minutes after leaving the office. The biting pressure on the gauze pad stops the bleeding and allows better clotting.

Use the extra gauze we have provided when the initial gauze becomes overly wet. Fold into fourths and place over the extraction site. Have your child bite firmly.

A slight oozing of blood for a day is normal. Call the office if there is excessive bleeding.

Avoid using a straw and spitting. This will disturb the clot and may cause an infection.

Avoid rinsing for one day.

Maintain a liquid diet for the first four hours and then a soft diet for the remainder of the day (soup, pasta, eggs, oatmeal, yogurt, gelatin, pudding, apple sauce, soft cheeses, mashed potatoes, creamed spinach are all examples of soft food). Do not drink liquids through a straw, as the sucking action may disturb the clotting action.

Be very careful and watch that your child does not accidentally bite or scratch the numb cheek, tongue or lip. It can happen very quickly! The numbness generally lasts one to two hours.

If there is any discomfort after the numbness wears off, give your child appropriate dosage of Acetaminophen (Tylenol) or Ibuprofen (Motrin), if your child is not allergic.

**DO NOT take ASPIRIN**

Gentle brushing and rinsing with warm salt water (1 Tsp. to 8 oz. glass of water) can begin the morning following extraction. A clean mouth will heal more quickly. Continue rinsing for several days or longer if there is a problem keeping the area clean.

Please call the office (504) 207-0314 if you have any questions or concerns.


Our main concerns are to provide high quality care and a positive dental experience for your child. Sedation is recommended in order to help accomplish these goals as easily and as comfortable as possible. Sedation involves the use of several medications together, and the particular combination and dosage of medications selected is individually tailored to your child’s needs. Though we do not “put children to sleep”, the use of sedative medications will generally help your child to relax, relieve fear and anxiety, and sometimes even nap lightly. To help insure a successful sedation appointment, your understanding and cooperation of the following is important.

Before the Appointment

Eating and Drinking

Do not give your child anything to eat or drink for at least 6 hours prior to the appointment. This will allow the medication to work well and will help to avoid vomiting and resulting complications during sedation. Even WATER!

– No milk or solid food 6 hours prior to the scheduled procedure.

– No breast milk 4 hours prior to the scheduled procedure.

– Clear liquids up to 2 hours before the procedure.

Change in Health

Any change in the child’s health, especially the development of a cold or fever, within 7 days prior to the day of treatment, is very important. For the child’s safety, a new appointment may be made for another day. If possible, inform the office of any changes in health prior to the appointment.

Medications

Do not give your child any medicines before or after the appointment unless Dr. Cao has prescribed them or agreed previously. You may give your child medications they take routinely, such as seizure medications or antibiotics.

Arriving

A responsible adult must accompany the child to the office and must remain until the treatment is completed. Please plan to arrive on time for the appointment.

Clothing

So that we may monitor your child properly, do not cover their fingernails or toenails with polish and have your child wear loose-fitting, comfortable clothing.

Getting Home

The patient must be accompanied by at least one adult, but we prefer two. The child should be closely watched for signs of difficulty in breathing. You must use a car seat or seat belt for your child on the ride home. Do not take a bus!

Activities

Do not plan or permit activities for the child after treatment. Allow the child to rest. Closely supervise any activity for the remainder of the day.

Following the Appointment

Symptoms:

For the next 3-4 hours, the symptoms that your child can exhibit may include:

– Lack of coordination or dizziness (please do not let them engage in physical activity)

– Crankiness or irritability

– Tiredness, sleepiness, lethargy or trance-like appearance

Napping after Activities

Most children tend to go home and take a nap. After about 2 hours gently wake them, but do not be alarmed if your child returns to nap for 4-5 more hours.

If your child goes home and doesn’t take a nap, do not be concerned as each individual child acts differently. Closely supervise his activities and do not allow them to engage in active play (running, jumping etc…), but make the day quiet and relaxed. Do not send your child to school.

Drinking and Eating

Since we requested you not to feed your child before the appointment, they may be hungry. Please delay the consumption of solid foods until the numbness from the local anesthesia wears off. Cool liquids and soft foods that do not have to be chewed are better during the numb period. Rich and heavy foods are to be avoided for the rest of the day.

Temperature Elevation

The child’s temperature may be elevated to 101°F/38°C for the first 24 hours after treatment. Tylenol every 3-4 hours and fluids will help alleviate this condition. Temperature above this is cause to notify the office.

Seek Advice

– If vomiting persists beyond 4 hours

– If the temperature remains elevated beyond 24 hours or goes above

101°F/38°C- If there is any difficulty in breathing

– If there is any other matter that causes you concern

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to call.

(504) 207-0314



FAQ’s


“First visit by first birthday” sums it up. Your child should visit a pediatric dentist when the first tooth comes in, usually between 6 and 12 months of age. This visit will establish a dental home for your child. Early examination and preventive care will protect your child’s smile now and in the future.

The most important reason is to begin a thorough prevention program. Dental problems can begin early. A big concern is Early Childhood Caries (formerly known as baby bottle tooth decay or nursing caries). Once a child’s diet includes anything besides breast-milk, erupted teeth are at risk for decay. The earlier the dental visit, the better the chance of preventing dental problems. Children with healthy teeth chew food easily and smile with confidence. Start your child now on a lifetime of good dental habits.

Children should be weaned from the bottle at 12-14 months of age. After that, parents put their child at high risk for developing caries.

Thumb sucking is perfectly normal for infants; many stop by age 2. Prolonged thumb sucking can create crooked teeth or bite problems. If the habit continues beyond age 3, a professional evaluation is recommended. Your pediatric dentist will be glad to suggest ways to address a prolonged thumb sucking habit.

The sooner the better! Starting at birth, clean your child’s gums with a soft infant toothbrush or cloth and water. As soon as the teeth begin to appear, start brushing twice daily using fluoridated toothpaste and a soft, age-appropriate sized toothbrush. Use a “smear” of toothpaste to brush the teeth of a child less than 2 years of age. For the 2-5 year old, dispense a “pea-size” amount of toothpaste and perform or assist your child’s tooth brushing. Remember that young children do not have the ability to brush their teeth effectively.

Children can begin to brush independently once they demonstrate the ability to do an adequate job by themselves. This varies from child to child. Most children require “hands-on” assistance until age 7 and need close supervision until age 8 or 9. By age 10, most children can do a good job but require the occasional “spot check” just to make sure. Most parents let their kids brush independently too soon.

The primary teeth (baby teeth) play an important role in the growth and development of the jaw, face and whole child. Tooth decay is much more common in the primary dentition, and untreated tooth decay can lead to serious, painful and even life-threatening infections. Untreated tooth decay in the primary teeth will increase the probability of problems in the permanent dentition. These problems include inadequate space for permanent teeth, speech problems, chewing and nutritional problems.

This type of sucking is completely normal for babies and young children. It provides security. For young babies, it is a way to make contact with and learn about the world. In fact, babies begin to suck on their fingers or thumbs even before they are born.

Most children stop sucking on thumbs, pacifiers or other objects on their own between 2 and 4 years of age. However, some children continue these habits over long periods of time. In these children, the upper front teeth may tip toward the lip or not come in properly. Frequent or intense habits over a prolonged period of time can affect the way the child’s teeth bite together, as well as the growth of the jaws and bones that support the teeth.

Your pediatric dentist will carefully watch the way your child’s teeth erupt and jaws develop, keeping the sucking habit in mind at all times. Because persistent habits may cause long term problems, intervention may be recommended for children beyond 3 years of age.

Most children stop sucking habits on their own, but some children need the help of their parents and their pediatric dentist. When your child is old enough to understand the possible results of a sucking habit, your pediatric dentist can encourage your child to stop, as well as talk about what happens to the teeth and jaws if your child does not stop. This advice, coupled with support from parents, helps most children quit. If this approach does not work, your pediatric dentist may recommend ways to change the behavior, including a mouth appliance that interferes with sucking habits.

Thumb, finger and pacifier sucking affect the teeth and jaws in essentially the same way. However, a pacifier habit often is easier to break.

Bringing your child to the dentist from infancy helps him or her become accustomed to the sights, smells and sounds of the dental office from an early age. Many parents project their personal fears onto their children, and children are very good at noticing this. We recommend reading some children’s books about going to the dentist so that you can introduce your child to the idea of their first dental visit as a positive experience. Explain to your child that the dentist will clean and count the teeth and that it will be easy and fun. Do not spend too much time preparing your child, however, since dwelling on the subject may cause the child to wonder why you are making such a big deal out of it. It should be as matter-of-fact as going to the grocery store.

Grinding of the teeth, especially at night during sleep, is a very common habit. At least 80% of children do it at some point. Some children even do it while they are awake. The sound can be very disturbing, but in most cases, there is little cause for concern and most children grow out of it. If the grinding continues into the full permanent dentition, a night guard can be fabricated to protect the teeth from extensive wear. However because a night guard functions much like a retainer, inhibiting a development of the jaws and occlusion, they are not usually used prior to the establishment of the mature adult occlusion. This typically is at around 14 or 15 years of age.

Gingivitis is inflammation of the gums due to chronic build-up of plaque. It is easy to recognize: the gums will be puffy and red and will bleed when you brush and floss your child’s teeth. It is usually painless and should not cause fever. For a variety of reasons, children are more resistant to gingival problems than adults, including gingivitis. If you notice blood on your child’s toothbrush after brushing, don’t be alarmed. The more thoroughly you brush your child’s gums and teeth, the more quickly the gingivitis will resolve. If the bleeding continues for a couple of weeks, in spite of consistent better hygiene, bring your child to see a dentist. A few problems that are more serious can mimic the symptoms of gingivitis.

A checkup every six months is recommended in order to prevent cavities and other dental problems. However, your pediatric dentist can tell you when and how often your child should visit based on their personal oral health.

There is very little risk in dental X-rays. Pediatric dentists are especially careful to limit the amount of radiation to which children are exposed. Lead aprons and high-speed film are used to ensure safety and minimize the amount of radiation.

Lead body aprons and shields help protect your child. Today’s equipment filters out unnecessary X-rays and restricts the X-ray beam to the area of interest. High-speed film, digital X-rays, and proper shielding assure that your child receives a minimal amount of radiation exposure.

Tooth-colored fillings are made from durable plastics called composite resins. Similar in color and texture to natural teeth, the fillings are less noticeable, and much more attractive, than other types of fillings.

Because composite resins are tooth-colored, they look more natural than other filling materials. Your child can smile, talk, and eat with confidence. In addition, tooth-colored fillings are compatible with dental sealants. A tooth can be filled and sealed at the same time to prevent further decay.

First, tooth-colored fillings are not for every tooth. They work best in small restorations and low-stress areas. For example, your pediatric dentist may not recommend a tooth-colored filling for a large cavity or for the chewing surface of a back tooth. Second, tooth-colored fillings may cost a bit more than silver fillings because they take longer to place.

Talk to your pediatric dentist. Together you will decide what type of filling is best for your child.

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