Dentistry for Children – Hillsboro, OR
Setting the Foundation for a Lifelong Healthy Smile
Children’s Checkups and Cleanings
Twice a year, or once every six months, your son or daughter should get their pearly whites examined and cleaned by one of our skilled dentists. At these regular visits, we can spot early signs of potential problems while treatment is still relatively easy and inexpensive. We can also make your child’s smile shine with regular cleanings. Rest assured we’ll make these appointments as comfortable as possible for your child, setting them up for a lifetime of having a healthy smile.
The molars and premolars, or the teeth toward the back of your child’s mouth, contain deep pits and grooves in which food particles can get trapped, attracting dangerous bacteria that causes cavities and infections. To drastically reduce your child’s risk of tooth decay, we can quickly and painlessly apply dental sealants at their next checkup. This plastic coating is painted onto their back teeth to form a protective barrier over the teeth most at risk for cavities.
Mouthguards and Sportsguards
Most parents diligently protect their child’s head during sporting events with a helmet, but neglect to protect their smile. While you can purchase a mouthguard (also known as a sportsguard) from the drugstore, it won’t fit as snugly or provide as much protection as one from our office. Each of these durable plastic teeth coverings is designed to fit your child’s unique smile, protecting them from sports-related dental injuries.
Oral Cancer Screening
Although oral cancer is incredibly rare in kids, we still take the time to conduct an oral cancer screening as part of every pediatric checkup. We carefully examine your child’s mouth, lips, throat, and neck for any suspicious signs, such as red or white patches in the mouth, sores that don’t heal, or unusual lumps. Because oral cancer can be fatal, it’s much better to be safe than sorry and catch it early enough that it’s still treatable.
Tap water as well as your child’s toothpaste contain fluoride, a naturally occurring mineral that strengthens tooth enamel and helps prevent cavities. However, sometimes this isn’t enough to completely protect your child’s smile from decay. For a boost of added cavity protection, we can apply a topical fluoride varnish during their next checkup. This brief, painless treatment fortifies the teeth, making them stronger and better able to fend off harmful bacteria.
While traditional x-rays allowed us to examine the hidden structures underneath your child’s smile, the image was often blurry. Additionally, many parents were concerned about the radiation exposure involved in taking these images. Thankfully, we now have completely digital x-ray technology. Not only are the pictures of a higher quality, allowing us to diagnose early oral health problems more easily, but they are also safer and more comfortable.
Toothpastes & Mouthwashes
Is your son or daughter brushing and flossing every day and still developing cavities? It may be time to examine their at-home oral care routine. Based on your child’s unique dental needs, which we can determine at their checkups, we can recommend or even prescribe certain mouth rinses or toothpastes to care for their budding smile.
Special Needs Dentistry
Each and every one of our patients have different smile needs, and we treat them accordingly. Please don’t hesitate to let us know if your child has special needs. Our dentists are all trained to treat young patients with special needs and make their visits with us as safe, comfortable, and pleasant as possible.
Does your little one have trouble staying calm in the dental chair? We may suggest nitrous oxide. Also known as “laughing gas,” nitrous oxide is breathed in through a nasal cannula. Within minutes, your child will be completely relaxed, enough to receive all the dental care they need without any worries. The effects of the gas wear off quickly, so they should be able to head back to school not long after their appointment is over.
For our patients with certain behavioral or cognitive impairments, sensitive teeth or gag reflex, or who need extensive dental work done in one sitting, they may need more than nitrous oxide to be properly sedated. In that case, we can administer general anesthesia through an IV. Your child will be fully unconscious and able to safely receive all the treatment they need to benefit their oral health.
If your son or daughter develops cavities, we can repair their teeth without using any metal at all. Instead, we use a putty-like material called composite resin, which can be custom-shaded to blend in with your child’s enamel. Not only is this tooth-colored material unnoticeable in their smile, but it causes less sensitivity because it doesn’t expand and contract when exposed to different temperatures like metal fillings do. Moreover, tooth-colored fillings form a tight bond with the tooth, sealing out bacteria and preventing further decay in that area.