Preventing Dental Anxiety With Sedation and Anesthesia

Anesthesia Procedures at Wilson Pediatric Dentistry

If your child is apprehensive about the dentist even before they’re asked to open wide, then it’s worth knowing what kind of anesthesia procedures your dentist offers. The most common anesthetic used in dentistry is nitrous oxide, sometimes called laughing gas. It works quickly and leaves the body before your child is out of the chair.

At Wilson Pediatric Dentistry, we want all of our patients to feel at ease. You’ll find an explanation of when and how we use anesthesia below.

When General Anesthesia Is the Best Option

The professionals at Wilson Pediatric Dentistry can use nitrous oxide for a dental exam, a cavity fill, and other procedures.

Bigger procedures such as filling multiple cavities, placing a crown, or emergency dental work require more time and may require general anesthesia for your child’s relaxation and safety. It’s very difficult for a child to sit in a dental chair for hours, even if they don’t have anxiety. Your dentist can do more work quickly without the risk of your child jerking or becoming inconsolable.

If we agree that anesthesia is the best option for your child, we will do a physical evaluation, discuss any medications your child takes and make sure they don’t have breathing issues. We’ll also give you a clear understanding of how to prepare your child, what happens during the procedure and what to expect after.

Important Facts About Anesthesia at Wilson Pediatric Dentistry

Before using anesthesia for your child, we’ll answer all your questions. These are a few things to know upfront:

  • General anesthesia is administered via IV in our office.
  • A parent or guardian must be present for the entire procedure.
  • You’ll receive detailed instructions about food and liquids prior to the procedure.
  • We’ll watch your child in the office until the effects are minimal.
  • Your child will need close observation at home until all effects have passed.

If you’d like to discuss sedation or general anesthesia before coming in, please call us. You can also schedule an appointment at our office in Wilson, NC, serving Greenville & Rocky Mount, and we’ll determine what best meets your child’s needs.

Prepare your Child for a Cavity Filling With These 5 Tips

Child getting cavity filled

Having a cavity filled can be a scary experience for an adult, let alone a small child. But with the right guidance, your little one can leave the dentist showing off their new smile.

Below are five tips to help prepare your child for a cavity filling.

How to Prepare Your Child For a Cavity Filling

Downplay it

By now you’ve probably figured out that children take a lot of their emotional cues from you. When you play something up as really fun and exciting — like their first day of school — it can be infectious to them. So when it comes to their first cavity filling, downplay it in front of them and act like it’s no big deal.

Mind your words

Your child may ask you some questions about what will happen at the appointment and if it will hurt. Explain what a cavity is, but avoid using words like “drill,” “needle,” “poke,” or anything else that can sound scary to a young one. You can even use a phrase like “sugar spot” or “candy bugs” instead of saying “cavity.”

Talk about your cavity fillings

If you had any cavities filled during childhood or as an adult, tell your child about it. If mom or dad has done it, it can’t be all that bad, right? If you have any current fillings, you can even let them look inside your mouth to see how “cool” they look.

Don’t frame it as punishment

Of course, you want your kids to understand the importance of taking care of their teeth. But be careful not to frame a cavity filling as “punishment” for them not brushing well enough. Explain how sugary foods can affect your teeth and how a cavity happens. If a child thinks they are being punished, it can affect the way they feel about dentists going forward. Emphasize that the dentist is there to help them, not punish them.

Bring comfort items

On the day of the appointment, let your child wear whatever they want (within reason of course). Allow them to bring their favorite stuffed animal or toy. Have their favorite TV show cued up on your smartphone or tablet with some headphones so they can watch in the waiting room and take their mind off the appointment. Do anything you can to set a positive tone.

Schedule Your Child’s Appointment in Wilson, NC

Now that your child is properly prepared for their cavity filling, the next step is to schedule their appointment at Wilson Pediatric Dentistry. A pediatric dentist has additional training, experience, and skills specific to treating young patients and can be a better option than a general dentist in this regard.

Make an appointment for a gentle cavity filling treatment today and let us a bring a smile to your child’s face.

  

Learn 4 Tips to Care for Your Child’s Teeth in the New Year

As the year winds down and the holidays are upon us, it’s a great time to think about your child’s teeth. With the focus on get-togethers, presents, and family time, it can be easy to overlook dental health. That’s why we’re happy to offer four helpful tips for starting — or revisiting — good dental habits as we head into the new year.

Taking Care of Your Child’s Teeth

Chit chat about the chompers

If your child has been to the dentist before or will be going for the first time, having an open talk about what to expect is a great way to prepare them for the visit. Presenting everything in a positive light will help alleviate any concerns your child might have. You can even read a story of someone having a good dental visit.

When you arrive at the office, allow the dentist to lead the conversation with your child to build a relationship. You can also ask your child questions like, “What color toothbrush do you like?” to give them some control over the appointment.

After the visit, you can discuss any concerns you have, such as thumb sucking, crowded teeth, losing teeth, and more.

Make healthy choices

When healthy food and drink choices are made, your child’s teeth will benefit. Adding foods that clean while being consumed, such as carrots, apples, and celery, helps scrub away plaque buildup and strengthens the tooth enamel.

Explain to your child that when sugary foods and drinks are consumed, the sugar can cause decay if left on the teeth and that having strong teeth allows us to enjoy the foods we love.

Be a role model

It’s important to brush at least twice a day and floss regularly to prevent the buildup of plaque and tartar. Help your child build healthy brushing and flossing habits by performing the tasks right along with them. This way you’ll be able to show them the correct way to brush and floss and treat it as a daily routine, rather than a chore.

Make and keep appointments

By making and keeping appointments to see your pediatric dentist twice a year, you’ll establish good dental habits with your child. Your child will also receive frequent cleanings and exams, which will allow the dentist to keep you aware of any issues that could arise in the future.

Care for Your Child’s Teeth at Wilson Pediatric Dentistry

When your child is due for teeth cleaning, contact us at (252) 291-4300 or schedule an appointment online.

5 Questions to Ask When Choosing a Pediatric Dentist

A pediatric dentist talking to a child patient.

Taking a child to the dentist for the first time can be just as nerve-racking for the parent as it is for the child. That’s why choosing the right pediatric dentist is so important.

Below are five questions to ask when choosing a pediatric dentist so that you may know what to expect at your kid’s first dentist appointment.   

Ask Your Pediatric Dentist These Questions

What should I expect out of my child’s first visit?

A child’s first visit to the dentist can set the tone for years to come. A negative experience can set them up with a fear of the dentist that can prove detrimental to their oral — and emotional — health. Consider the following:

  • What kind of measures will be taken to ease your child’s fears?
  • Are you allowed to hold your child during the examination?
  • How intrusive is the first exam?  

Are your staff members pediatrics?

There are pediatric dentists, and then there are simply general dentists that treat children. The difference is that pediatric dentists have undergone years of additional training to learn how to administer care to the small, delicate, and sensitive mouths of children who may be frightened, shy or unable to remain still throughout the process.

What type of insurance do you take?

Of course, you’ll want to choose a pediatric dentist that accepts your insurance. And don’t hesitate to ask about payment plans or other pricing structures that can make things more affordable for your budget.  

Do you offer sedation?

Sedation or anesthesia are ways to help an anxious patient relax while proper treatment is administered proper treatment. They also alleviate any discomfort that the patient may feel. Not all pediatric dentists offer these options, and even if you don’t think you would choose it for your child, it never hurts to know if it’s available if needed.

What about sealants?

Dental sealants are thin layers of plastic that are applied to the surfaces of teeth and offer protection against the harmful bacteria in food that causes cavities. When choosing a pediatric dentist, ask if they offer this preventive measure as an option.

Wilson Pediatric Dentistry

If you’re looking for a pediatric dentist in Wilson, North Carolina, consider Wilson Pediatric Dentistry. Everything from our welcoming lobby to our friendly staff creates a relaxing atmosphere for young new patients. Our team will develop a dental health plan specific to your child’s needs that will set them up for a lifetime of smiles. Drop in to see our facility, meet our staff, and ask any questions about our practice.  

Is Your Child Having a Dental Emergency? Here’s What to Do

A tooth, dentist tool, and first aid kit, denoting a dental emergency.

A dental emergency can be a scary situation, but the good news is that most of them can be resolved with a visit to the dentist.

There are steps you can take before you arrive to ensure your child’s health and safety. If your child is experiencing a dental emergency right now, contact us immediately at (252) 291-4300.

What is Considered a Dental Emergency?

There are many different types of dental emergencies. The most common situations include:

  • Tooth is knocked out or becomes loose due to injury
  • Tooth is cracked or chipped
  • Severe tooth pain
  • Severe bleeding, especially after an injury
  • Tooth abscess
  • Oral/facial swelling

Minor toothaches, lost fillings, and food that gets stuck between teeth are not usually considered dental emergencies, so it’s safe to wait for an appointment in those situations. If you’re not sure if your child should see a dentist right away, go ahead and give us a call just to be safe.

What to Do in the Event of a Dental Emergency

The first thing you need to do in any emergency is call the dentist’s office. Dentists reserve time in their schedule to accommodate emergency situations. Explain in full detail what happened and what symptoms your child is experiencing so the office can refer you to the best care.

If the office is closed or the dentist is not available, call first thing the next morning. If it is a life-threatening situation, such as a serious cut or infection, or your child is having trouble breathing or swallowing, head to the hospital emergency room.

Knocked-Out Tooth

If it is a baby tooth, retrieve the tooth and keep it moist in a glass of milk until you can see the dentist. They may want to implant it. If it’s a permanent tooth, follow the same steps. Avoid touching the root. Get to the dentist as soon as possible, preferably within an hour of the accident occurring.

Cracked Tooth

If a tooth is cracked, rinse out the mouth with warm water. Place an ice pack or cold compress to the face to help reduce swelling. Then, get to the dentist right away.

Bleeding

If your child’s gum, tongue, or lip is bleeding, gently clean the area with water. If the bleeding doesn’t stop, go to the dentist or emergency room as soon as possible.

Call Wilson Pediatric Dentistry

When a dental emergency happens, try to remain calm, call Wilson Pediatric Dentistry, and follow the steps listed above. Our office offers emergency dental services in Wilson, NC, to treat most conditions and help keep your child’s mouth healthy.

Back to School Tips: A Dentist’s Checklist

Girl in red glasses standing beside back-to-school chalkboard

After a summer spent relaxing on the beach, staying up late, and indulging in ice cream, it’s easy to overlook daily dental routines. Now that your child is back to school, it’s important to get back on track when it comes to their dental health. Here are a few things you can do before scheduling an appointment for a checkup at Wilson Pediatric Dental.

Dentist’s Back-to-School Checklist

Purchase a new toothbrush

With the new school year well underway, you might get your child a brand-new backpack, a stylish wardrobe, and a range of school supplies. But while you shop, you should also pick up a new toothbrush and a fresh case of dental floss for your child.

To keep their teeth healthy and strong throughout the school year, it’s important to promote a daily routine of brushing and flossing teeth. Ensure that your child brushes in the morning before hopping on the bus, and in the evening before bed. Explain to them the importance of maintaining a healthy mouth and gums, and what could happen if they don’t regularly brush their teeth, including the development of cavities and gingivitis.

Pack the right snacks

Proper diet and healthy teeth and gums go hand-in-hand, so it’s also important that your child is eating well while they’re in school. Pack healthy snacks and lunches with raw vegetables, fresh fruits, and whole-grain crackers for your child to bring to school.

Foods that are high in sugars, carbohydrates, and starches can contribute to the production of plaque acids that break down your child’s tooth enamel and cause decay and gum disease. Keep your child’s mouth healthy this school year by sending them to school with healthy foods to eat.

Protect their teeth

Back to school means your child is back to organized physical activities with their classmates, whether it’s for a recreational soccer game or everyday gym class. If your child already has sensitive teeth, has braces, or participates in contact sports, consider giving them a mouthguard to bring to school. A mouthguard can help protect your child’s teeth during physical activities to prevent their teeth from loosening, breaking, or getting knocked out (avulsed) completely.

Schedule Regular Dental Appointments at Wilson Pediatric

The best way to ensure your child has a healthy mouth this school year is by scheduling a dentist appointment at Wilson Pediatric Dentistry in Wilson, North Carolina. Our team of talented pediatric dentists will help your child feel comfortable while we treat their teeth and gums.

If you’re looking for teeth cleaning in Wilson for your child, call Wilson Pediatric Dentistry at (252) 291-4300. Schedule your appointment today.

Early Orthodontic Care? Rocky Mount Pediatric Dentist Says Yes

child visits pediatric dentist for orthodontic evaluation

It’s well known that getting a teeth cleaning on a regular schedule is a great way to catch and prevent possible dental issues from occurring in the future. But at what age should your child have an orthodontic evaluation?

Read on to learn more about when your child should see an orthodontist.

When to Seek Orthodontic Care for Your Child

Orthodontic treatments, such as braces, are procedures that many people view as something that’s done in the teenage years. While it’s true that most kids end up waiting until all of their secondary teeth have come in, performing preventive or corrective orthodontic care on children as young as 6 or 7 years old can have developmental benefits.

With interceptive orthodontics — another name for early orthodontic care — your pediatric dentist can make sure that your child’s permanent teeth are developing in the correct position.

Dr. Jasmine Elmore recommends having your child screened when his or her permanent teeth begin to emerge, usually around 6 years old. At this young age, the jaw and palate are still growing, making it the ideal time to correct anything that isn’t developing properly.

Early orthodontic care uses appliances, such as braces and palatal expanders, to make sure your child’s mouth has space for adult teeth. It can also help straighten crooked teeth, steer the growth of the palate or jaw, and correct any damage that stems from bad habits, including prolonged thumb sucking and pacifier use.

We’re committed to ensuring the health and wellness of our young patients’ teeth. We understand that kids’ developing teeth have different needs than the teeth of adults. That’s why we monitor your child’s development to ensure his or her dental health is on the right track, and we’ll advise you when they need an orthodontic evaluation.

Pediatric Dentistry Near Rocky Mount, NC

Are you looking for a pediatric dentist near Rocky Mount, NC? Wilson Pediatric Dental will make your child’s visits for routine cleanings and preventative and corrective procedures as comfortable as possible thanks to our friendly staff and colorful exam rooms. Schedule an appointment online, or call our office today.

Emergency Dental Care at Wilson Pediatric Dentistry

There are a number of ways your child can injure their mouth or damage their teeth. Whether it’s a sports injury or from biting down too hard on a piece of food, teeth can become cracked, dislodged, and broken. Plus, gums can bleed from lacerations and other damage. If these injuries are not treated immediately, they can sometimes lead to serious complications.

Wondering when your child might require emergency dental care? Read through our frequently asked questions (FAQ) below and seek assistance from Wilson Pediatric Dentistry if you’re in need of emergency dental care in Wilson, North Carolina.

FAQ: Does My Child Need Emergency Dental Care?

What do I do about a cracked or broken tooth?

Depending on the severity and the level of pain your child experiences, you can either call for an emergency appointment or schedule an appointment during normal business hours. Cracked or chipped teeth do not typically require emergency services, but if a large piece of the tooth is missing or the tooth is knocked out completely, you should seek immediate care.

Do not get rid of the tooth. Instead, store it in a container of milk or your child’s saliva until he or she can be seen by a dentist.

What if my child’s gums are bleeding?

Bleeding gums can arise for a number of reasons — especially while brushing or flossing the teeth. Gums bleed during the early stages of Gingivitis because of plaque buildup that causes receding and inflamed gums. Bleeding gums can also be due to a vitamin C or vitamin K deficiency.

These scenarios are not always emergencies but should be discussed with the dentist when you bring your child for their next appointment. Encourage your child to continue brushing and flossing, even if it does make the gums bleed.

What happens if my child has a toothache?

Toothaches can be tricky to diagnose without seeing a dentist. Causes range from a cavity to a serious infection. When chewing, biting, and even talking become painful for your child, contact a medical professional immediately.

Whether the pain is from grinding teeth or something more serious, it will likely not go away on its own. For instance, an abscess tooth can cause a tremendous amount of pain, resulting in swelling, inflamed gums, and even a fever. An abscess tooth is caused by tooth decay and can be treated by different options, including antibiotics and a root canal procedure.

Find Emergency Dental Services in Wilson, NC

Are you looking for a pediatric dentist near you that also offers emergency dental services? Wilson Pediatric Dentistry is conveniently located in Wilson — near Kenly and Rocky Mount. Schedule an appointment online today, or call our office.

Follow This Checklist When Choosing a Local Dentist

Dentist attends patient while dental assistant smiles at viewer

You might need to find a new dentist for any number of reasons. Maybe you’ve just moved to the area. Maybe you’re looking for a second opinion. Maybe your insurance policy has changed. Or maybe you’re a new patient in need of a cleaning.

If you’re looking for a dentist near you, make sure you keep the following tips in mind.

How to Choose Your Dentist

Cost and Insurance

When researching different dentists, your first consideration should be cost and insurance. Do they accept your insurance? Do they offer discounts to those without insurance?

Make sure to consider the varying costs of different appointments and whether or not your insurance covers them. For instance, your insurance may cover an annual dental cleaning, but not an appointment for a filling or oral surgery at that same office.

Before you commit, give your insurance provider or the dentist’s office a call to find out about insurance coverage or costs for appointments.

Convenience

When driving to your dentist appointment, do you really want to travel an hour outside of the city when a similar practice is closer? Consider the amount of time it takes to get to and from different offices, so you can fit appointments into your busy schedule.

You should also find out their hours of operation — can you fit in a quick cleaning after work or schedule an appointment for the weekend? To find a dentist’s business hours, check their website or call their office.

Qualifications and Services

Before you let someone poke around your mouth with metal instruments, you should find out if they’re qualified to do so. Ask your prospective dentist about their qualifications, certifications, or specialty, especially when looking to have more difficult oral surgeries and procedures performed.

Every dentist office is different, so one might offer more serious oral procedures while another may not. Save yourself the hassle of shuffling from one office to another to get a surgery done, and find a dentist that provides all of the oral care services you require.

Personality

You won’t know how you feel about a dentist until you meet them — call the office you’re considering and schedule a consultation. That way, you aren’t going in blind to an appointment that sounds good on paper. You want to make sure you’re entirely comfortable with the dentist you choose.

Visit Wilson Pediatric Dentistry Today

If you run through this checklist, you’ll have a clear path to choosing a dentist office near you.

For those in Wilson County, start your search at Wilson Pediatric Dentistry, a local dentist serving children and adults in Wilson, Rocky Mount, and Kenly, NC. Schedule a consultation with our office today. We look forward to hearing from you.

Why Are Fluoride Treatments Important for Young Teeth?

little girl at a pediatric dentist getting fluoride treatment

At Wilson Pediatric Dentistry, fluoride treatments are a regular part of dental exams and cleanings. Most children receive anywhere from two to four treatments a year. Why? Because fluoride plays an important role in making sure your child’s teeth are strong and healthy all throughout childhood and into adulthood.

Keep reading to learn more.

The Importance of Fluoride for Your Kids

What Are Fluoride Treatments?

Fluoride is a natural mineral found in water all around the world. It’s also used to fortify public drinking water and some foods and other beverages. But a fluoride treatment at the dentist’s office is a little different.

During a treatment, the dentist will paint a small amount of fluoride onto the child’s teeth. The fluoride will quickly harden in place, and any excess is usually brushed off later that day to ensure that almost none is swallowed by the child.

After the fluoride is applied, it becomes part of the tooth’s outer layer, the enamel, to help strengthen it. When combined with good oral hygiene practices, such as brushing and flossing, fluoride does a great deal to support dental health.

The Benefits of Fluoride Treatments

According to the American Dental Association, fluoride is a safe, effective way to prevent tooth decay. Since kids tend to consume a lot of sugar, tooth enamel erodes over time and can eventually lead to cavities.

About 27.9% of all children aged two to five and 51.17% of all kids aged six to 11 will get a cavity during childhood. However, by strengthening the tooth enamel, fluoride can help prevent, slow down, and even reverse decay.

Even though baby teeth fall out, childhood cavities can still lead to problems in adulthood. One reason why is because tooth decay may cause the baby teeth to fall out too soon, leaving an empty gap. Neighboring teeth can begin to shift, moving into the empty spot and causing misalignment of incoming adult teeth.

With regular fluoride treatments, it’s possible to minimize cavities and ensure good oral health for today and tomorrow.

Schedule a Visit at Wilson Pediatric Dentistry Today

Interested in learning more about fluoride treatments in Wilson, North Carolina? Visit Wilson Pediatric Dentistry for a consultation and meet our team.

With offices located in Wilson, Rocky Mount, and Kenly, North Carolina, our dentists are committed to instilling good oral health in kids all throughout the area. Schedule a cleaning for your child today.