Starting school can be a fun, nerve-wracking, and exciting time for children all at once. Suddenly, they’re spending a huge portion of their day away from home, and things like homework and grades suddenly start to matter. To make sure your child always feels completely confident whether they are in or out of the classroom, Chicago Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics is ready to provide the specialized care they need to achieve and maintain a beautiful smile.
Dentistry for Children – South Loop • Chicago, IL
Gorgeous Smiles for Every School Year
Why Choose Chicago Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics for Children’s Dentistry?
- Dr. Justin: Board-certified pediatric dentist
- Custom-made sportsguards for burgeoning athletes
- Dental sealants stop cavities before they even start
Dental Checkups & Teeth Cleanings
Ideally, we’d like to see your child at least twice a year for a checkup and cleaning. This will allow our team to keep a close eye on their teeth and gums so we can treat any issues as early as possible, plus our hygienists will be able to remove harmful plaque buildup to stop pesky cavities. We can also use these appointments to discuss the basics of oral homecare with your child, specifically how their diet can affect their smile.
Dental sealants literally enable our team to put an invisible shield around your child’s teeth to protect them from cavities. We simply paint on a thin layer of clear composite resin to the back teeth (because they are the most susceptible to decay), and in a few minutes, it turns into a firm barrier that food particles, bacteria, and acids cannot cross. We can give your child a sealant at the end of their next appointment, and after that, it can provide up to a decade of round-the-clock cavity prevention.
Silver Diamine Fluoride (SDF) Treatments
With SDF, we now have a gentle, noninvasive option for preventing and treating active cavities that enables us to better preserve a child’s enamel. Applied to the surface of the teeth as a liquid, SDF actually kills the bacteria responsible for dental decay while also stopping it from affecting the nearby teeth. It is especially useful for children with excessive decay or who have numerous cavities that cannot be treated in a single appointment.
At-Home Hygiene Products
Instead of wracking your brain at the store deciding which toothbrush or toothpaste to buy your child amidst the endless variety, just ask our hygiene team which products they think would be best for your little one. They’ll make sure you choose the ones that are best suited to their unique needs. Plus, if your child is prone to cavities, we can even provide them with a prescription strength toothpaste or mouthwash you won’t be able to buy on your own.
Our team can create custom-made oral appliances just for your child to keep their smile safe whether they are on the field or…in bed? It’s true! Many children actually grind their teeth while they sleep, and a nightguard can prevent this so both you and they are able to rest easy. And, for future sports stars, we can give them a specially-made mouthguard that will be much more comfortable and provide better protection than any “one-size-fits-all” guard you’ll find at the store.
While we’ll do everything in our power to prevent your child from developing a cavity, should one pop up, we can fix it right away. Instead of a traditional gray amalgam filling, we can repair their tooth with a composite resin that’s been specially color-matched to blend in. This material enables our team to place smaller and more conservative fillings as well, meaning we can preserve more natural dental structure and maintain the strength of the tooth.
Tooth extractions are only used as a last resort in cases of severe dental damage or decay. We’ll exhaust all other restorative options before recommending one. Should your child ever need a tooth removed, you can trust we’ll do everything we can to keep them completely comfortable, including using both local anesthetic and sedation dentistry. Thanks to Dr. Justin’s skilled hands, most children don’t even feel it when their tooth comes out!
Frenuloplasties & Frenectomies
Is your child unable to eat, speak, or even breathe properly because they can’t really move their lips or tongue normally? If so, this could be because a small band of tissue, called a frenulum, is too short or thick, preventing normal oral function. We can correct this problem in just a few minutes using a painless procedure that involves a soft tissue laser, and we can also connect concerned parents with local speech and language therapists so their child is able to achieve optimal oral function.
The teeth are actually composed of three distinct layers: enamel on the outside, followed by a yellow substance called dentin, and then something called the dental pulp on the inside. This is a bit of soft tissue that contains the sensitive nerve of the tooth, and if it becomes infected (whether due to a cavity or crack in the enamel), this can easily cause the mother of all toothaches. If one of your child’s teeth has developed this kind of problem, we can use pulp therapy to remove the harmful infected tissue while leaving any healthy portion behind, relieving the pain and saving the tooth from removal.
Concerned that your child still sucks their thumb or finger even though they have most of their teeth? Continuing these habits into the school years can negatively impact both the incoming adult teeth as well as the development of the jaw, so stopping becomes very important. We can offer you strategies designed to break these habits that use positive reinforcement instead of punishment, and if necessary, we can even place a small appliance that prevents a child from putting their thumb or finger in their mouth.
Orthodontics For Children
Instead of having to tediously coordinate orthodontics with a separate practice, our dental office can seamlessly integrate both specialties of dental care in one convenient location! Our in-house orthodontist Dr. Dale recommends that children are brought in for their first screening by the age of seven. While they are typically not ready for traditional treatment at this stage, many major developmental issues can be successfully minimized or prevented altogether if they’re caught this early!