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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.