Specialized Dentistry Just for Kids
// PEDIATRIC DENTIST
Should my child see a pediatric dentist instead of going to my general dentist?
Yes! Pediatric dentists are the best resource for the oral health care needs of your child. We have an additional two to three years of specialty training after dental school that focuses strictly on the unique qualities of children — from growth and development, emotional and psychological development including behavior management and the numerous qualities that differentiate oral health in children versus adults.
When should I bring my child in for a first dental visit, and what should we expect?
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) recommends children start going to the dentist by age one or within six months of their first tooth. We agree! Tooth decay can occur within six months of your child getting their first tooth.
At Pediatric Dental World, education and prevention are the focus of the child’s visit to our office. We evaluate the oral health and growth and development of the child while answering any questions parents may have, allowing for a great start to a lifetime of excellent oral health.
Why does my child have two rows of teeth? It looks like the permanent ones are coming in behind the baby teeth. Is this normal?
This is a common occurrence and happens when the permanent tooth does not grow in directly under the root of the baby tooth. If the baby tooth has mobility, it will likely fall out on its own, and the permanent tooth will be pushed forward by the tongue if there is enough space available. If the baby tooth is not loose, an extraction will probably be necessary to allow room for the permanent tooth to move into its intended space.
How do you handle special needs children?
We recognize all patients are unique and deserve to receive dental care that is best suited to their individual needs. Our team at Pediatric Dental World works together with the parents of our patients to determine what is best for their child and customize their experience based on their needs. Our two to three years of specialty training, in addition to our 40-plus years of combined hands-on experience, has prepared us to meet any special medical or physical needs.
Primary teeth are just replaced with permanent teeth, so are they really that important?
Primary teeth are extremely important for several reasons. They are needed for proper speech development and to maintain space and arch length within the jaw. They also act as a guide in the eruption of permanent teeth, proper chewing, and a healthy smile and self-confidence.
My child grinds his teeth while asleep. Can anything be done?
Teeth grinding, also known as bruxism, is quite common in children. There are many potential causes for teeth grinding, such as stress, anxiety, malocclusion (abnormal bite), sleep disorders. Mild bruxism may not require treatment. There are numerous treatment options if the grinding is moderate to severe, each of which is dependent upon the cause and severity of the grinding.
My child fell and banged their front baby tooth, and it turned dark. What does this mean?
Trauma to a baby tooth can cause bleeding within the tooth, the equivalent of a bruise. On occasion, the pulp (nerve and blood supply) will die, and the tooth will turn dark. In most cases, a dark baby tooth only requires close monitoring with no treatment. If the tooth does die, it can cause an infection or abscess, making an extraction necessary.
My child is becoming an aggressive thumb sucker. What can happen to the teeth due to thumb sucking?
There are numerous potential side-effects, including increased risk of trauma to anterior teeth, and teeth can be displaced, creating a malocclusion. Additionally, alteration of normal facial growth and development can cause airway issues. Some cases of thumb-sucking require little or no intervention, while others may require immediate intervention and treatment.
Can children get gum disease? Isn’t this an affliction for adults only?
Gum disease — gingivitis — is not uncommon in children. It usually causes the gum tissue to swell, turn red, and bleed easily. There is an increased understanding and awareness surrounding oral health and the effect it has on our overall health. The good news is that gingivitis is preventable and treatable with a regular routine of brushing, flossing, and professional dental care. We provide education and preventive measures to help protect our patients from getting gum disease and to help ensure their oral and overall health.
My kids refuse to brush their teeth and won’t let me help them. What should I do?
An entire book could be written on this topic. There are many reasons kids refuse to brush their teeth — it tickles, it’s uncomfortable, the taste of the toothpaste, a gag reflex. It’s best to find out why they don’t like to brush their teeth and then consider one of the following solutions.
Develop age-appropriate routines for home hygiene. Help your child brush and floss until at least age six or until they can tie their own shoes. Provide encouragement and positive reinforcement. Be a role model. Try different types of toothbrushes and toothpaste. And if sensory issues are involved, desensitization is helpful.
How do you help keep kids from being scared of the dentist?
A trip to the dentist doesn’t need to be a daunting experience. The foundation of our practice is ensuring that every child has a positive dental experience! Upon entering the office, you are greeted with a fun environment your child will love, all while he or she is getting world-class care. One of our favorite things about being pediatric dentists is the opportunity to take an anxious, apprehensive child and create an experience where they are no longer scared, but actually enjoy coming into our office.
What kind of dental care services for children do you provide?
Pediatric Dental World’s services are comprehensive. They include routine preventive care, such as cleaning and exams, restorative dental procedures, such as fillings and crowns, extractions, and it extends to more complex treatment and services, including various types of sedation. Our pediatric dentists have more than 60 years of combined experience. Call (972) 317-6997 to schedule an appointment for your child in our state-of-the-art practice. Discover the difference exceptional dental care designed just for kids and offered by specialists can make.
About the Expert
Jessica Bell, DDS
Pediatric Dental World
Dr. Jessica Bell is recognized by the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry as a board-certified pediatric dentist. She is a graduate of Baylor College of Dentistry. She completed a two-year residency in pediatric dentistry at Baylor College of Dentistry, Children’s Medical Center of Dallas, and Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children. A native Texan, Dr. Bell, received her Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Texas at Austin. She and Dr. Clapp live in the Flower Mound/Highland Village area with their children. They especially enjoy helping children in their community enjoy the benefits of a healthy smile.
Jason Clapp, DDS
Pediatric Dental World
Dr. Jason Clapp is recognized by the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry as a board-certified pediatric dentist. He is a graduate of the University of Iowa College of Dentistry. He completed a two-year residency in pediatric dentistry at Baylor College of Dentistry, Children’s Medical Center of Dallas, and Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children. Dr. Clapp, who grew up in Iowa, founded Pediatric Dental World in 2002 with Dr. Bell. The husband and wife team of pediatric dentists are active in the community and support numerous charities and organizations.
Get in Touch
PediatricDentalWorld.com // (972) 317-6997