At Helotes Children’s Dentistry, Dr. Renee strives to provide the best possible dental care, using up to date techniques, equipment, and materials to promote the best possible outcome.
First Visits for Infants and Toddlers
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) recommends scheduling the first dental visit within six months of the arrival of the first tooth, and no later than your toddler’s first birthday. At that time, we will check for signs of proper development and will work on establishing oral health care practices, which lays the foundation of a lifetime of oral health.
Healthy primary teeth help with speech development and proper chewing. They also act as placeholders for the permanent teeth growing under the gums. Early dental care, starting with the first dental visit, is essential if you want to keep your baby’s pearly whites and gums in a healthy condition.
Most first dental appointments are quick and straightforward. Dr. Renee will greet your little one and make sure your child is comfortable. Next, she will perform a dental exam and evaluation of your baby’s teeth and gums. Depending on your child’s needs, she may recommend taking digital x-rays to uncover any conditions not visible during the exam. Your child will also have a dental cleaning to ensure their teeth stay clean and healthy.
During the first dental visit, we will talk to you about oral hygiene practices, teething, and when to schedule your next appointment. Just like adults, kids should visit the dentist’s office twice a year. We will address any condition before it progresses, along with providing any needed preventative dentistry treatments. Our goal is to ensure your child’s smile stays bright and healthy.
Baby teeth play a significant role in speech development and also help with chewing, which ensures proper nutrition. They also maintain the space needed for the permanent teeth developing in the gums. If baby teeth go missing prematurely, your child’s long-term oral health may be compromised. Routine dental exams help us detect problems early when they’re most treatable, allowing your child to maintain a healthy smile.
As kids grow, comprehensive dental exams involve evaluating the teeth, soft tissue, and jaw for any signs of abnormalities. In some cases, digital x-rays are used to diagnose conditions or to prepare for orthodontic treatment.
After the dental examination, we will perform a professional dental cleaning and fluoride treatment to keep your child’s smile clean and healthy. We will discuss your child’s dental health, including any concerns or needed dental procedures. We will guide and encourage your child to continue improving their techniques for brushing and flossing if they are not one hundred percent efficient. We may recommend applying dental sealants to reduce the risk of tooth decay. Most importantly, we will educate your child about the importance of proper oral hygiene practices for a healthy smile.
Dental cleanings help prevent the buildup of plaque and tartar, which are the leading causes of cavities and gum disease in children. Regular dental cleanings coupled with proper dental hygiene practices at home, including brushing and flossing, help lay the foundation for a lifetime of oral health.
Dr. Renee will start with a dental exam and may take digital x-rays, if needed, to rule out any potential issues. The dental cleaning involves gently removing any plaque or tartar buildup, followed by flossing. We will polish your child’s teeth and may apply a fluoride treatment to help prevent tooth decay. The dental staff at Coppell Pediatric Dentistry are trained to provide the highest level of care and comfort for every child throughout the cleaning process.
Injuries to the teeth and gums can result in complications, so dental emergencies warrant a visit to your child’s emergency dentist. If the situation is life-threatening, dial 911 for Emergency Medical Services or take your baby, toddler, child, teen, or adolescent immediately to the nearest hospital emergency room.
Digital Dental x-rays are a component of preventative dentistry used to help uncover conditions that we cannot see during a clinical examination. They allow us to discover early gum disease and tooth decay on or in between teeth, along with examining the health of baby teeth and teeth that are yet to erupt. X-rays help us evaluate the condition of the bone and to plan for orthodontic treatment.
Digital dental x-rays deliver a vast amount of information that helps us design treatment plans for healthy smiles during a child’s critical growth and development years. Identifying and addressing dental problems early on is easier for your child, and may prevent the need for costly, complex treatments down the road.
Silver Diamine Flouride
Untreated decay in young children remains a challenge, in the U.S. and worldwide. Untreated, it can create significant poor health and quality of life, impacting children and their families.
Surgical-restorative work in young children and those individuals with special health care needs often requires advanced pharmacologic usage for behavior management such as sedation or general anesthesia. In some cases, these alternatives are not available, nor recommended. SDF is an antimicrobial and remineralizing, liquid that is simply brushed onto the cavity that can stop current decay, prevent new decay in the future and decreases dental sensitivity.
Compared to a traditional filling that requires shots of local anesthetic and drilling of tooth structure, this treatment is non-invasive and more comfortable for the patient. It buys time until the patient gains trust and becomes more comfortable in the dental chair.
SDF Increases access to care, improves dental health and reduces cost. Keep in mind that SDF does not restore form, nor function. Teeth may still need a restoration/filling to restore function and esthetics.
We promote the use of Flouride Treatments and Dental Sealants as a means to strengthen teeth and prevent decay.
Fluoride strengthens tooth enamel, making teeth more resistant to acid attacks. It can also help reverse any erosion or demineralization that has already occurred. Dr. Renee uses fluoride as a part of her preventative dentistry practices designed to keep dental decay and cavities at bay and to keep your child’s teeth strong and healthy.
Dental sealants provide a protective shield that helps prevent harmful substances from entering the tiny grooves and crevices of the molars and premolars. This significantly reduces the risk of tooth decay in these areas. With proper care, tooth sealants can protect your child’s teeth for many years.
Tooth Colored Fillings
We offer Tooth-colored fillings, also known as white fillings, that are made from a composite resin material. They can be matched to the color and physical appearance of your child’s teeth, with aesthetic results. These natural fillings are recommended for tooth repair, especially in the visible areas. They can also be used on molars, as long as the fillings are relatively small. Tooth-colored fillings are durable, with the potential of lasting many years with proper care.
A dental crown is a tooth-shaped restoration that fully encases an affected tooth, preventing future decay or damage. Crowns protect teeth weakened by large areas of decay and are also used to preserve teeth after root canal therapy or to support space maintainers. At Helotes Children’s Dentistry, we offer metal and porcelain crowns. Dr. Renee will help you determine the right restoration for your child.
Sedation dentistry takes the edge off dental visits, and vastly reduces the risk of injury. It is helpful for toddlers and young children who are often unable to keep still long enough to allow Dr. Renee to perform high-precision procedures safely. It also allows children needing extensive dental treatments or those with high anxiety levels to relax, cope, and feel positive about treatment. Sedation is particularly useful for kids with special needs, preventing spontaneous movement, guiding cooperative behavior, and allowing for safe and stress-free dental care.
Special Needs Dentistry
Every child needs routine dental care to maintain a healthy smile. However, children with special needs have a higher risk of developing dental conditions, including tooth decay, gum disease, or oral trauma. Quality, individualized dental care is crucial to maintain your child’s oral and overall health.
Some children with special needs are anxious about dental visits and may find it challenging to sit still during treatment. We offer sedation dentistry options to ensure safe and comfortable dental care. If your child requires extensive treatment, we may recommend general anesthesia. Dr. Renee will work with you to determine the best treatment options for your child, taking into account the age, specific health needs, and desired treatment outcomes.
Starting preventive dentistry early is particularly important for the special needs child. If dental care is started early and followed conscientiously, every child can enjoy a healthy smile. Unlike many of the health conditions faced by patients with special needs, dental disease is preventable. A special needs child will benefit from the preventive approach recommended for all children – effective brushing and flossing, limited snacking, adequate fluoride, sealants and regular visits with a pediatric dentist
Many people with disabilities have the same level of dental health as the rest of the population. Other special children and adults have special dental needs. Some are very susceptible to tooth decay, gum disease or oral trauma. Others have health conditions that require medication or diets detrimental to dental health. Still others have physical difficulty with effective dental habits at home. But whatever the special health needs of a person, preventive dentistry works to build healthy smiles.
As a parent of a child with special needs, you may have concerns about your child’s tolerance of a dental visit. Whatever your concerns, do not postpone preventive dentistry for your child. Pediatric dentists understand that each child is unique and may need extra care to feel comfortable during dental treatment. For example, one child might do great with positive communication, another might benefit from a body blanket to help control involuntary movements, and still another might need mild sedation to feel relaxed during treatment. Pediatric dentists stand ready with a variety of possible approaches; you can help select the approach that is best for the specific health and behavioral needs of your child.
There are various reasons your child may require tooth extraction. Teeth that are severely decayed or damaged or those that are impacted or stuck in the jaw may need removal. A dental extraction may also be required if a baby tooth does not fall out before the permanent tooth comes in, or as a part of an orthodontic treatment plan. Extractions in pediatric patients are quick and relatively simple to complete. After numbing the area with the help of a local anesthetic, we will gently remove the affected tooth. Children typically resume normal day-to-day activities about 24 hours after the procedure. We offer sedation dentistry options, if needed, to ensure your child is comfortable throughout the procedure.