Children's Care

A Healthy Smile begins with the first Tooth

Welcome to our practice and thank you for the opportunity to provide dental care for your child. Our goal is to make you and your child’s visit to our practice as comfortable as possible. We strongly believe that all children should have access to dental care in an appropriate setting.

Please select from of the options to the right, or use the Children’s Care drop down menu above, to learn more about the pediatric dental services and procedures provided by the pediatric dentists at Metropolitan Pediatric Dental Associates.


Early Childhood Caries, often referred to as ‘Baby Bottle Syndrome’, is caused by prolonged exposure of the baby or toddler’s teeth to drinks that contain sugar. Tooth decay can occur when the baby or toddler is put to bed with a bottle or sippy cup with milk or juice, or when a bottle is used as a pacifier for a fussy baby. Even constant breastfeeding, sugary candies, or allowing your child to sip on milk or juice throughout the day can cause cavities in your child’s teeth.

Tooth decay can begin when cavity-causing bacteria is passed from the mother (or primary caregiver) to the infant. The bacteria is passed through the saliva. When the mother puts the baby’s feeding spoon in her mouth, cleans a pacifier in her mouth, or even blows on the baby’s food to cool it, the bacteria can be passed to the baby.

If your infant or toddler does not receive an adequate amount of fluoride, they are also at an increased risk for tooth decay.

The American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommend that your child has their first dental exam as soon as their first tooth erupts, or at least by their first birthday.  If you suspect your child has cavities, it is very important you see a dentist to have their teeth examined.  Although baby teeth eventually fall out, it is important to have the cavities repaired.  Cavities can cause your child pain and will also effect your child’s overall health and well-being.

Watch this video to learn more about Childhood Caries from Dr. Joni Richmond:

Cavities, also referred to as tooth decay or caries, are caused by the bacteria in the plaque coating that builds up on our teeth when they are not properly cared for. The bacteria release acid each time we eat or drink (especially with sugary carbohydrates, like juice) and eventually form a hole, or cavity in the tooth. Cavities can be prevented by a healthy diet, diligent home care, and regular visits to the dentist. If you suspect your child has a cavity, it is important you bring them in for an exam. Depending on the size of the cavity, it may be treated with a fillingroot canalcrown, or in some cases, an extraction.

Swelling, trauma, or a bad toothache can all be considered dental emergencies.

If your child has a permanent (adult) tooth knocked out, place the tooth back into the socket immediately. If you cannot place the tooth back into the socket, place the tooth in a container of Hank’s Balanced Salt Solution, cold milk, or even your child’s saliva. Keep the root wet and do not touch it.   The tooth has the best prognosis if the tooth is immediately replaced in the socket and the child is seen by a dentist within one hour of the tooth being knocked out.  Primary (baby) teeth should never be replanted.

If your child has a dental emergency, call our office and we will do our best to accommodate your needs.

Puffy, sore, or bleeding gums are caused by the buildup of plaque and tartar due to poor oral hygiene habits. It is important you assist and encourage meticulous home care for your child, as well as make sure they have a dental cleaning and check up every 6 months.

If left untreated, gum issues can become Gingivitis or even Periodontitis, which can lead to pain, sensitivity, loss of the permanent teeth, as well as other more serious health conditions.

Oral Habits such as finger or pacifier-sucking, tongue-thrusting, teeth-grinding, and clenching can be detrimental to the development and health of your child’s teeth. If you believe your child possesses any of these habits, it is important you mention your concerns at their next dental check-up.

If your child complains of a toothache, it is important you call a dentist right away. A toothache is a sign of decay, infection, or trauma and should be addressed as soon as possible.

Occasionally, a permanent tooth begins to erupt before your child’s baby tooth falls out. It may come in behind or in front of the baby tooth. Ectopic eruption is a fairly common condition when children are transitioning from their baby teeth to their adult teeth. Encourage your child to wiggle out his/her baby tooth. If the permanent tooth is more than halfway in while the baby tooth is still present, your child may need help in getting the baby tooth out. Please call our office for an appointment.

A swelling in the gums is often caused by an infection from a nearby tooth. This infection is called an abscess. An abscessed tooth can be painful, or it may not hurt at all. In either scenario, it is important to contact a dentist right away. If left untreated, a dental abscess may damage the developing permanent teeth and in some cases, can cause a life-threatening infection of the face, neck, and brain.

Preventative care

Diligent home care is important to your child’s oral and overall health. You should assist your child with brushing their teeth at least 2 times per day and flossing at least 1 time per day. Good home care, along with regular visits to the dentist, will provide a good foundation for a healthy smile that will surely last a lifetime.

Children should be seen by a dentist at the time their first tooth erupts or at least by their first birthday to make sure everything is developing properly, and that there are no cavities or other dental conditionspresent.

Metropolitan Pediatric Dental Associates, along with the ADA, recommend children and adults have their teeth cleaned and examined every 6 months. This is especially important for children, as their teeth, gums, and bones are still changing and developing.

Our comprehensive exams include examinations of your child’s head, neck, and mouth. We evaluate the growth and development of the oral cavity, and need for orthodontic care.  We teach you and your child how to properly brush and floss,  we discuss the importance of good oral hygiene,  and we answer any questions you or your child may have and also we suggest you to have cleaning service from cypress maids at to clean your house, so that your surroundings also will be hygienic and your kids will grow in an hygienic environment.

We recommend most children have their teeth cleaned and examined every 6 months. A specific hygiene plan will be made for your child based on the findings of their examination.

Professional fluoride treatments are important to keep your child’s teeth healthy and strong. Fluoride treatments help protect your child’s teeth from cavities. We offer a variety of Fluoride flavors and techniques to suit any child’s preferences.

If you have well water, we may also recommend fluoride supplements for your child. Please let us know if your home does not have city water.

A sealant is a white coating brushed and cured to the chewing surface of your child’s teeth to prevent cavities from forming in the deep pits and grooves which are by the read more about A sealant is a non-invasive procedure that does not require any numbing agents to be used.

There are many advantages of digital X-rays over traditional dental X-rays.  We can view the images instantly, and there is less radiation. We can enhance the images in a variety of ways to improve viewing, the images can be stored electronically for instant retrieval in the future, and we can avoid the chemicals used in the traditional developing process.

If you have further questions regarding dental X-rays, please talk to your dentist or dental team.

The best way to care for your child’s teeth is through prevention. Brushing and flossing can prevent dental cavities and diseases but cannot prevent trauma or injury. If your child grinds or clenches their teeth at night, we may recommend a night guard. If your child plays contact sports, we will recommend a sports guard to prevent injury to their teeth. If you believe your child could benefit from a mouth guard, please mention it at their next dental appointment.

General Procedures

Silver (Amalgam)

Silver fillings, also known as amalgams, are placed on the back teeth where a cavity has been removed. Silver fillings have been around for many years and are a long lasting, proven option for restoring a cavity.

Tooth-Colored (Composite)

A tooth–colored filling, also known as a composite filling, is commonly used to fill a cavity on a front tooth. Composite fillings can also be used to improve the appearance of a tooth, fill undesired spaces between teeth, and repair fractures. Composite has recently become popular for use on posterior teeth (the back teeth) as well. Composite fillings are advantageous because they can restore a tooth to its natural appearance.

A crown, or cap, is placed on a baby tooth or adult tooth when the cavity is too large to warrant a filling. A crown covers and strengthens a tooth weakened from decay, trauma, or root canal treatment.

When the nerve of a baby tooth becomes infected or abscessed, a pulpotomy or pulpectomy is necessary to save the tooth. During a pulpotomy the infected part of the nerve is removed and a sedative medication is placed inside the tooth to prevent sensitivity and to promote healing. A pulpectomy , often referred to as a “root canal”, involves removal of the nerve.

If your child needs Root Canal Treatment on a permanent (adult) tooth, we will refer you to a dentist who specializes in Root Canal Treatments.

crown is often recommended after a root canal treatment to protect the weakened tooth structure.

An extraction refers to the removal of a tooth. Extractions are often performed to aid in orthodontic treatment, or when a stubborn baby tooth is not lost at the proper time. An extraction may sometimes be necessary if a tooth has abscessed or has a cavity too large to warrant a filling or crown.


All of the pediatric dentists at Metropolitan Pediatric Dental Associates have additional training in orthodontics, which allows us to offer our patients limited orthodontic treatment right in our offices.

If your child’s orthodontic needs are beyond our scope of treatment, we will refer your child to an orthodontist.

Braces are special appliances used to align and straighten teeth. The length of time the braces need to be on the teeth can differ greatly depending on your child’s needs.

A space maintainer preserves the space that results from a prematurely lost baby tooth. It prevents the surrounding teeth from drifting into this space and optimizes the available room for the future eruption of the permanent teeth.  A space maintainer is made of stainless steel and/or plastic and is usually cemented in the child’s mouth soon after the tooth is lost.

A retainer is a custom made piece of plastic and/ or metal that fits over (or is bonded to) the teeth following the completion of orthodontic treatment. Both kids and adults who have had their braces removed must wear a retainer to prevent the teeth from drifting back into their pre-orthodontic positions.

We will assess your child’s need for orthodontic treatment each time they come in for a check-up. If we feel your child could benefit from orthodontic treatment, we will work with you to create a custom orthodontic care plan for your child.

Hospital Dentistry

(General Anesthesia)

We offer hospital dentistry, as well as in-office general anesthesia, so we can complete all of your child’s dental work in one visit, while they sleep.

Hospital dentistry is performed under general anesthesia in a hospital setting or right in our office. All of the dentists at Metropolitan Pediatric Dental Associates have hospital privileges at Unity Hospital in Fridley, MN and Children’s Hospital in St. Paul, MN.

Candidates for hospital dentistry include children with special healthcare needs or very young children who require a large amount of dental work. Please consult with your dentist if you believe your child may be a candidate for hospital dentistry.


(General Anesthesia)

Our in-office general anesthesia appointments take place right in our office, under the supervision of a dentist anesthesiologist.

Candidates for in-office general anesthesia include children with special healthcare needs or very young children who require a large amount of dental work. Please consult with your dentist if you believe your child may be a candidate for in-office general anesthesia.

Behavior Management

It is often encouraging for parents to know that “we have seen it all” and your child’s behavior is nothing to be embarrassed about. All of the dentists at Metropolitan Pediatric Dental Associates have special training in the psychology of children and understand that children can be unpredictable.

Because every child is different, we offer a wide range of techniques to help manage your child’s behavior. Your child’s physical and emotional comfort is very important to us and we strive to make sure their experience at our office is positive. If we are unable to complete your child’s dental treatment using one of the methods below, we may recommend your child have their treatment completed using Hospital Dentistry.

Our pediatric dental team will always explain the treatment in words appropriate for your child’s age and level of understanding. Next, we will show your child the treatment in a simplified manner, and lastly, begin the treatment.

We are strong believers in positive reinforcement because we have seen it work well with children. We will constantly let your child know what a great job they’re doing during their dental appointments at our office.

In this technique, our pediatric dental team chooses their treatment words carefully, pass instruments out of the child’s sight, and occasionally distract the child’s attention away from the treatment with conversation or games. We also welcome your child to bring an ipod/mp3 player or a small special object to hold in their lap while we complete their dental treatment.

For Your Child's Comfort

Topical anesthetic is applied with a cotton swab on the gums to reduce the discomfort of an injection and to ensure that the child is as comfortable as possible.

Local anesthetic is the numbing agent injected into a specific area of your child’s mouth to prevent discomfort during dental procedures.

To avoid unintended worrying, we ask that you do not discuss this possibility with your child, even if you think it will help. Our expert team will ease your child through this procedure in a non-threating manner. Because our pediatric dentists are specially trained and skilled in administering local anesthetic, many children do not even know they’ve received an injection. Read more.

Nitrous oxide, also known as laughing gas, is safe for children and often used to help reduce anxiety or strong gag-reflexes in our patients. In some instances, nitrous oxide can be used in place of local anesthetic.

Note: You will be informed and asked for consent before any of the above comfort options are used during your child’s dental treatment. Avail financial support from Unsecured loans 4u.

If you believe your child is suffering from any of the dental conditions listed above, it is important you call a dentist. The explanations listed are only to inform you and not to assist you in making a diagnosis. Any suspected dental condition or problem should be assessed and diagnosed in person by a dentist.

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