Any parent will tell you that a child doesn’t go from crawling to walking, but rather crawling to RUNNING. It can be a real task to keep up with a toddler, and as more of their teeth start to come in, their dental care becomes more involved as well. At Chicago Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics, Dr. Justin and the rest of our team are ready to do our part to ensure that your little one’s smile stays healthy and strong as they explore the world around them.
Dentistry for Toddlers – South Loop • Chicago, IL
Gentle Dental Care for Rambunctious Toddlers
Why Choose Chicago Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics for Toddler Dentistry?
- Dr. Justin: Board-certified pediatric dentist
- Make cavities disappear with tooth-colored fillings
- Painless frenectomies with a soft tissue laser
Dental Checkups & Teeth Cleanings
When you bring your toddler to come see us, we’ll perform a quick oral exam while they sit either in the dental chair or your lap, whichever one is more comfortable. Then, one of our friendly hygienists will give them a thorough cleaning and remove any harmful plaque buildup they might have. These regular visits become more and more important as your child’s teeth come in and start to touch, so we recommend bringing them in to see us at least twice a year.
Did you know that the overwhelming majority of childhood cavities develop in the back teeth? Due to their location and grooved surface, they easily accumulate a lot of food particles and plaque that is the fuel for tooth decay causing bacteria. While a child is still learning to brush, we can give these vulnerable teeth the extra protection they need by placing a dental sealant over them. We simply apply a thin layer of clear composite resin, and it quickly hardens into a barrier that prevents anything from settling on or harming the enamel.
Silver Diamine Fluoride (SDF) Treatments
Silver Diamine Fluoride is a relatively new form of fluoride treatment that has immensely changed the way we are able to prevent and repair teeth from decay and bacteria. Unlike traditional forms of fluoride treatment, SDF treatments can be used to kill the harmful bacteria that is breaking down the enamel and prevent it from spreading to the surrounding teeth. This treatment is fast, gentle, and enables us to treat dental decay without the use of a drill. Similar to traditional dental fluoride applications, it is applied directly to the teeth and then given about two minutes to cure, after which we advise parents to not let their child eat or drink anything for about an hour so it can work its “magic.”
At-Home Hygiene Products
Don’t know which toothbrush or toothpaste to get your child? Don’t even want to think about waxed or unwaxed floss? Overwhelmed by the variety of oral healthcare products at the store? If so, you’re in the same position as many other parents! At their next checkup, our team can make your life much easier by recommending which products would best suit your child’s unique dental needs. We can provide many of them for you, including some prescription strength ones you won’t find on store shelves!
Despite everyone’s best efforts both in our dental office and at home, many children still develop cavities, but thankfully, we have a quick and easy solution that’s able to repair them in just one visit. Tooth-colored fillings are made of a composite resin that can be shaded to perfectly match your child’s enamel. The restoration won’t only blend seamlessly into their smile, but because it’s metal-free, you won’t have to worry about any increase in temperature sensitivity.
Most of the time, the baby teeth will just fall out on their own, but there can often be a few stragglers who just don’t want to let go. If a baby tooth hangs around for too long, it can actually interfere with the erupting adult tooth, causing it to come in crooked. If necessary, Dr. Justin can perform a safe and painless extraction to protect the future health of your child’s smile. For any nerves they might feel, soothing sedation dentistry can help them melt away.
Frenuloplasties & Frenectomies
Frenuloplasties and frenectomies are two procedures we use to fix problems like a lip-tie and tongue-tie, in which a small band of tissue is restricting a child’s oral function. We use a soft tissue laser to perform these treatments, meaning they only take a few minutes and cause little to no discomfort. To help a child before and after, we can connect parents with local speech therapists and lactation consultants so their child can learn to speak properly and reliably feed.
If your child has a persistent or severe toothache, it may be because their tooth has developed an infection in the dental pulp. This is a small bit of soft tissue located at the center of every tooth, and problems here can cause quite a bit of pain because it contains sensitive nerve tissue. With pulp therapy, we can remove this infected tissue, relieve the pain, and leave any healthy tissue behind so the tooth is able to function normally moving forward.
Is your child still sucking their thumb or finger, and you want them to stop because you’re concerned it will affect their incoming teeth? If so, you’re right to be worried, but we can give you a number of proven strategies that have already helped countless children break these habits. For more stubborn little ones, our orthodontist, Dr. Dale, can actually place a small oral appliance in the mouth that prevents a child from sucking on their thumb/finger so they will stop on their own.