At Woodland Family Dental, kids dentistry is about more than bright, healthy smiles. Dr. Sunnshine Welton wants to make sure your child’s visit is rewarding and fun, so there’s no fear of “next time”. Dr. Sunnshine takes the extra time to earn the trust of both you and your child, to make sure each trip to the dentist is a pleasant, calm experience.
We encourage you and your child to ask questions and are always happy to address any concerns you have as a parent. We offer empathetic oral health education and use simple explanations to answer your child’s questions and reassure them. If your child is anxious, ask us about our sedation dentistry options that could make their appointment more relaxing.
Your Child’s First Visit
As parents of two small children, Dr. Sunnshine and Dr. David understand how scary new experiences, especially medical ones, can be for little ones. It’s completely normal for a child to be unsure or nervous about their first dental visit, but at our Post Falls dental practice, they don’t have to be. At Woodland Family Dental, we take special care to turn your child’s visit into a memory they will look back on fondly—so they can look forward to their visits in the future!
We offer a warm, kid-friendly waiting area, stocked with storybooks and toys for all ages. Our team will also offer your little one a fun face painting, and an exciting balloon animal of their choice! We give children all the time they need to build rapport with our dentists and adjust to the dental environment. Dr. Sunnshine has a natural way with children, and our whole staff is trained to be gentle and engaging.
We recommend your child’s first dental appointment be schedule as soon as possible after they cut their first tooth. That way we can ensure their smile stays healthy from the very beginning!
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentists (AAPD) advises that children be seen for a checkup every 6 months. These visits allow Dr. Welton to closely monitor new changes in your child’s mouth and ensure that you, as a parent, have the information you need to promote continued oral health in your child. Dr. Welton may suggest additional checkups if your child is more susceptible to cavities, or if your child is showing signs of orthodontic problems.
Does your child suck his or her thumb? Has early tooth loss made their bite begin to shift or change? Our early bite assessments allow us to help your child avoid bite complications later on, such as impacted teeth or overbites. This can prevent the need to wear braces for an extended period of time later on.
Baby teeth are not as strong as adult teeth. If your child’s tooth suffers a large cavity, the bacteria can damage the pulp inside the tooth, causing pain and inflammation. When the soft tissue inside the pulp chamber becomes infected or inflamed, Dr. Welton might recommend a pulpotomy.
Instead of removing the entire tooth, Dr. Welton will put a medicated filling into the pulp chamber to try to keep the remaining pulp inside the tooth alive and healthy.
Treatment for cavities in children depends on how severe the decay is as well as each child’s age and risk of future cavities. At Woodland Family Dental we typically treat cavities with discreet, effective tooth-colored fillings.
Protective Dental Sealants
Protective dental sealants are thin coats of plastic painted onto your child’s back teeth to protect their deep grooves and depressions from accumulating bacteria and food particles. Studies show that 88% of cavities in American school-aged children are caused by food and bacteria being caught in rear molars.
Dr. Welton will typically apply a protective sealant to your child’s back teeth, premolars and molars. The sealant will last for several years, but we will continue to check it during your child’s regular dental appointments.
Dental crowns are tooth-shaped coverings cemented to a badly damaged tooth to restore the shape and functionality of the tooth. Dr. Welton may recommend a crown for your child’s tooth if it has a large cavity, was broken or chipped due to trauma, or if the tooth hasn’t developed correctly.
Gentle Tooth Extractions
Unfortunately, sometimes a child’s tooth may be too badly decayed to save. In this case, Dr. Welton will perform an extraction. An extraction may also be recommended if the tooth is severely fractured or is crowding other healthy teeth.
If your child is anxious, has special needs, or just needs extra help staying calm and comfortable, Dr. Welton may recommend nitrous oxide. Also known as laughing gas, nitrous oxide is a completely safe way to help children receive the dental care they need without anxiety or fear.
Once the dental treatment is over, the gas will be completely out of their system after just a few minutes. Nitrous oxide is widely considered to be low risk. At Woodland Family Dental our goal is to always care for your child’s dental health in the safest way possible.
Your child might need a space maintainer if they lose a tooth early or have a baby tooth extracted. If your child needs a space maintainer, Dr. Welton will have it custom made it to fit your child’s mouth. It will keep the space where the baby tooth was lost open in order to allow the permanent tooth to come into place.
Baby teeth are vital to the healthy development of adult teeth and facial structure. If a space maintainer is not used, your child’s other teeth can shift into the open space and more invasive orthodontic treatment might be needed.
Dental fluoride treatments are safe and effective in decreasing the amount of cavities in children. Dr. Welton often recommends fluoride treatments along with dental sealants to protect your child’s teeth. Fluoride acts as a shield for the tooth’s outer enamel and can actually reverse early dental decay in some children.
Not all wisdom teeth need to be extracted – but some do. In many situations, it’s best to pull the wisdom teeth before they jeopardize your smile as a whole. If the growth of your child’s wisdom teeth can cause damage to neighboring teeth, or cannot fully erupt, Dr. Welton may consider extraction.
We will take a panoramic radiograph of your entire jaw, so we can see the size, location, and developmental stage of the wisdom teeth in consideration. At the earliest, wisdom teeth are removed in the mid-teen years, but 3rd molars do not finish developing until closer to about 30 years of age.
Is your child due for a preventive checkup? Give Woodland Family Dental a call to schedule their appointment with Dr. Sunnshine Welton today!