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Frequently Asked Questions

Do you allow parents to stay with their child during the visit?

We welcome parents to accompany their children while touring the office, and during their first appointment.  On subsequent visits while your child is having their treatment, we encourage parents to relax in our front office while enjoying use of our complimentary wifi.  Doing so builds a relationship of trust between our patients and team.  Should your child need your comfort, we will gladly invite you into the treatment room where your presence can be reassuring.  We kindly request that parents act as a silent support system, this again allows for the patient to interact with Dr. Patel and her team in a trusting manner with clear instructions and encouragement.

How should I prepare for my child's visit?

Be enthusiastic about the appointment to prime your child for a positive experience and if you have any dental anxiety, please do not share that with your child. Allow our staff to talk through any procedures during the appointment instead of trying to explain it to them yourself - we use kid friendly terminology that helps them understand. Brief us on any of your child's specific fears or concerns so we can be prepared. Tour our office to familiarize yourself and your child with the space before their appointment. As always, call us if  you have any particular concerns or requests for your child's visit! 

When should I bring my child for their visit?

The AAPD recommeds establishing a dental home for your child once the first tooth appears or no later his/her first birthday in order to prevent dental problems.

What is your cancellation policy?

We require 24-hours notice to cancel all scheduled appointments.  There will be a $50 fee for those appointments cancelled with inadequate notice.

What happens at the first visit?

Our staff will greet you and get to know you and your child so we know how to approach their individualized care. Usually the first visit will involve getting your child acquainted with the office, take any necessary x-rays, complete a cleaning and do a full head and neck examination. If any treatment is needed we will then give you an estimate of insurance coverage and discuss options for treatment. You will definitely have the opportunity to ask any questions so please bring in a list so we can be sure to address all of them! Please understand that an infant or toddler first dental visit is very different than what an adult is accustomed to at the dentist.  Much of the appointment is a comfortable conversation between the dentist and child’s parent or guardian discussing the oral hygiene routine at home and patient’s diet.

How long before our appointment time should we arrive?

For routine appointments, we kindly request you arrive 10 minutes prior to the scheduled appointment time. There is plenty of room for your child to play and enjoy the reception area and for you to take a break from your busy day! We understand traffic and life can cause unexpected delays; please notify our office if you are running late for your appointment.  We reserve the right to reschedule if the patient arrives 15 minutes or more beyond their scheduled appointment time.

Are baby teeth really that important to treat?

Primary, or "baby", teeth are important for many reasons. Not only do they help children speak clearly and chew naturally, they also aid in forming a path that permanent teeth can follow when they are ready to erupt.

How should I care for my infant's teeth?

Starting at birth, clean your child's gums with a soft, infant toothbrush or cloth and water. Parents should use a tiny smear/grain of rice sized amount of fluoride toothpaste to brush baby teeth twice daily as soon as they erupt with a soft, age-appropriate sized toothbrush.

Dental Emergencies

Emergency Care

If your child has large swelling causing difficulty with breathing or swallowing, take them to the nearest emergency room or call 911. For concerns following a dental procedure completed at our office please contact our office or after hours number. 

Teething Tips

Post-Operative Instructions


Local Anesthesia / Numb Feeling

What to Expect: If your child’s mouth, tongue and/or cheeks have been numbed, the effect my last up to 4 hours. Please see that your child does not bite, scratch, suck the lips, or pull / rub the face. This may result in swelling and/or pain (see image below). If this does occur, apply an ice pack to the affected area. Pain may be relieved by Tylenol and it may take a few days for the swelling to go down. Watch your child carefully to avoid injuries. Young children especially do not understand the effects of local anesthesia and need to be monitored closely for 4 hours. They may be cranky or upset as the feeling comes back since they have not experienced that sensation before.

  • Lower Teeth: If the procedure was in the lower jaw the tongue, cheek, teeth, lip and surrounding tissue will be numb or asleep for up to 4 hours.
  • Upper Teeth: If the procedure was in the upper jaw the teeth, cheek, lip and surrounding tissue will be numb or asleep for up to 4 hours.
  • Diet: It is often wise to keep your child on a liquid or soft diet (smoothies, eggs, macaroni and cheese, mashed potatoes, soup, etc) until the anesthetic has worn off. If they need to eat immediately afterwards, ensure they are chewing on the side that has not received treatment.

 Please do not hesitate to call the office if there are any questions.

Extractions
  • Keep fingers out of the mouth and brush around the extraction site to avoid infection and delayed healing.
  • Diet: Avoid giving your child anything too hot (hot tea, hot soup, hot oatmeal) the rest of the day. Cold drinks are encouraged right after the extraction to stop the bleeding and improve healing. Carbonated beverages (Coke, Sprite, carbonated water, etc.) and crunchy foods (chips, popcorn, etc) are not allowed for the remainder of the day. If it was an adult/permanent tooth that was removed, avoid use of straws or excessive spitting. Maintain a soft diet (smoothies, eggs, macaroni and cheese, mashed potatoes, soup, etc) for a day or two, or until the child feels comfortable eating normally again limiting chewing on the untreated side if possible. Cold, soft foods (yogurt, ice cream, etc) are ideal the first day. When your child is feeling better the consistency of foods can progress as tolerated. Until healing is more established, avoid foods such as nuts, sunflower seeds, rice, and popcorn that may get lodged in the surgical area should be avoided. 
  • Supervision: Do not allow your child to scratch, chew, suck, or rub the lips, tongue, or cheek while they feel numb or asleep. The child should be watched closely so he/she does not injure his/her lip, tongue, or cheek before the anesthesia wears off. Keep fingers and tongue away from the extraction area.
  • Bleeding: Some bleeding is to be expected. If prolonged bleeding occurs (greater than 30 min), place cotton gauze firmly over the extraction area and bite down or hold in place for fifteen minutes. This can also be accomplished with a moistened tea bag. Repeat if necessary. If bleeding continues please call our office. 
  • Activity Limitations: Avoid strenuous exercise or physical activity (including swimming and climbing) for the rest of the day. It may induce bleeding or a throbbing type of pain causing further discomfort to your child.
  • Medication: If child experiences pain or discomfort give acetaminophen (Tylenol®) or ibuprofen (Motrin®, Advil®) as directed. Do not give Aspirin as it may increase chance of bleeding.
  • Antibiotics: The use of antibiotics is determined on a case by case basis. If antibiotics were given, it is important to follow the instructions carefully and to finish the course as instructed.  Although it may appear that your child’s infection has subsided after a few days of antibiotic use, the course must be completed to fully eradicate the infection and avoid other associated problems, such as long term bacterial resistance to antibiotics. 
  • Swelling - Slight swelling and inflammation may occur for the next 2 days. If swelling occurs, ice packs may be used for the first 24 hours (10 minutes on, 10 minutes off) to decrease swelling and/or bruising. If swelling persists after 24 hours, warm/moist compresses (10 minutes on, 10 minutes off) may help. If swelling continues or recurs after 48 hours, please call our office. 
  • Fever - A slight fever (temperature to 100.5°F) is not uncommon in the first 48 hours following If a higher fever develops or the fever persists, call our office.
Metal Crowns and Space Maintainers
  • Do not allow your child to eat sticky and chewy foods (gum, candy, caramel, fruit snacks, Starburst) since they can pull off the crowns or space maintainers; these foods also cause cavities! Best to just avoid it.
  • If the crown or spacer falls out, call our office immediately and keep the crown/spacer with you if possible.
White Crowns
  • Avoid biting into hard surfaces like whole apples, corn on the cob, or raw carrots. The crowns may chip. Try cutting the food into smaller bite-sized portions. Do not let them chew on their toys, or chew pencils or pens. These crowns can break easily if your child hits them with any hard surface.
White Fillings
  • After the placement of dental fillings, teeth may often be slightly sensitive to hot, cold and pressure for a brief period of time. It is not uncommon for recently filled teeth to require several weeks to feel “normal” again. If your child complains of their bite feeling ‘off’ please let us know as soon as possible so we can assess it ourselves.
  • Once a filling is completed, the risk of getting a cavity on the same tooth again increases. Be sure to be vigilant about brushing, flossing, and fluoride mouthwash (if child is able to spit) regularly to avoid needing another filling placed.
Trauma / Broken Tooth
  • Hygiene: Please keep the traumatized area as clean as possible. A soft washcloth or gauze often works well during healing to aid the process. A “toothette” which is a very soft sponge type toothbrush can also aid in cleaning the site of injury.
  • Color Changes: Watch for darkening of traumatized teeth. This could be an indication of a dying nerve (pulp).
  • Swelling: If the swelling should occur, our office needs to see the patient as soon as possible. Ice should be administered during the first 24 hours to keep the swelling to a minimum.
  • Infection: Watch for white bumps, pus, or pimples on the gum in the area of trauma since that may be an infection. If infection is noticed - call the office so the patient can be seen as soon as possible.
  • Diet: It is often wise to keep your child on a liquid or soft diet (smoothies, eggs, macaroni and cheese, mashed potatoes, soup, etc) until the area has healed. Avoid foods with extreme temperature differences such as hot soup or ice cream from the freezer since that may cause discomfort.
  • Medication: If antibiotics or pain medicines are prescribed, be sure to follow the prescription as directed. Always finish the antibiotics prescribed to avoid antibiotic resistance in the future.
  • Activity: Re-injury is very common so keep a close eye on your child and limit sports/activities to allow the area to heal properly. Precautions such as use of a protective mouthguard should be encouraged to avoid re-injury in the future.

Please do not hesitate to call the office if there are any questions.

Sealants
  • What is a Sealant?: By forming a thin covering over the pits and fissures, sealants keep out plaque and food, thus decreasing the risk of decay. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recognizes that sealants can play an important role in the prevention of tooth decay. When properly applied and maintained, they can successfully protect the chewing surfaces of your child's teeth.
  • Hygiene: Good oral hygiene and nutrition are still very important in preventing decay next to these sealants or in areas unable to be covered.
  • Diet: Your child should refrain from eating ice or hard candy, which tend to fracture the sealant.
  • Follow-Up Care: Regular dental appointments are recommended in order for your child's dentist to be certain the sealants remain in place or when needed, need to be replaced. A total prevention program includes regular visits to the dentist, the use of fluoride, daily brushing and flossing, and limiting the number of times sugar-rich foods are eaten. If these measures are followed and sealants are used on the child's teeth, the risk of decay can be reduced or may even be eliminated!

Please do not hesitate to call the office if there are any questions.

Discomfort After Cleaning

●      It is unusual for a child to have any adverse reactions or symptoms after a cleaning.  

●      Upset Stomach: If mild stomach irritation occurs, this may be due to the fluoride/varnish treatment that follows the cleaning. Small amounts of fluoride may be ingested and can irritate the stomach. A small meal, snack or glass or water may help relieve any discomfort. 

●      Bleeding Gums: At times, a thorough cleaning unavoidably produces some bleeding and swelling and may cause some tenderness or discomfort. This is due to removal of build up from around inflamed and tender gums. This can be avoided with good oral hygiene. We recommend the following if your child is experiencing discomfort for 2-3 days after a cleaning:

  1. A warm salt water rinse 2-3 times per day. (1 teaspoon of salt in 1 cup of warm water)

  2. For discomfort use Children's Tylenol, Advil or Motrin as directed by the age of the child.

Please do not hesitate to contact the office if the discomfort persists or if there are any questions.

Get To Know Us

Office Hours

MON 8AM - 3PM
TUE 8AM - 3PM
WED Appointment only
THU 8AM - 3PM
FRI 8AM - 3PM

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