The CCDC Blog


First Visit Checklist

By Brianne Jones, RDH

First Visit - Checklist

Have a little one at home?!
Make sure establishing a Dental Home is on your list of to-do’s, especially if your child has already had their first birthday.

Because baby teeth are the blueprint for permanent teeth, caring for them is important. While tooth decay can impact children’s ability to eat and sleep, it can also impact a child’s ability to learn at school and speak clearly. Remember to schedule a visit with a pediatric dentist to ensure healthy little teeth and keep this checklist handy for an enjoyable first visit and as a refresher for check-ups.

  • Schedule your first pediatric dental visit to establish a Dental Home, or “home base,” for your child’s dental needs by your child’s first birthday. Remember, it’s never too late!
  • If you have a toddler who hasn’t seen a pediatric dentist before, consider a “get acquainted” visit so your child can get familiar with the dental office before the first appointment.
  • Answer all your child’s questions positively and be careful about using scary words. Check-ups and 90 percent of first visits do not have anything to do with “hurt,” so don’t even say the word!
  • Read your child a story about a character who had a good dental visit. 
  • Give your child some control over the dental visit. Such choices as “Will you hold your bear or should I?” or “Which color toothbrush do you like?” will make the visit more enjoyable.
  • Give center stage to the pediatric dentist and allow him and his team to do most of the talking to build a better relationship with your child. Remember, you will be able to discuss with the pediatric dentist after the examination.

Lip Biting After Treatment

By Brianne Jones, RDH

Lip Biting After Treatment

Some dental procedures use anesthetic to reduce pain for your child. As the anesthetic wears off, typically over 2-3 hours, your child will notice a tingling sensation in the mouth, tongue and/or cheek areas. Monitor your child during this time to ensure that he or she does not bite, chew, or scratch at these numbed areas.

Avoid feeding your child solid food until the numbness has subsided. Good choices include soft snacks such as Jell-o, frozen yogurt, milkshakes and/or smoothies. It is best to spoon these snacks instead of using a straw. Also, avoid acidic food and drinks including tomato based foods, sauces, and citric juices while there is an open wound.

If your child bites his or her cheek, tongue or lip, there may be swelling which can worsen for up to five days. This is typically seen in a child under the age of 8. A soft scab may form that looks like a yellowish white plaque or a large traumatic ulcer. This is a normal part of the healing process and this lesion should heal during the next 10-14 days.

Clean the area well, brush teeth as normal, and be gentle around the affected area. You may give your child children’s acetaminophen (Tylenol®) or ibuprofen (Motrin®) for pain and apply Orabase over the swollen areas.

Overall, try to watch your kiddos closely for the few hours following treatment to avoid any complications or lip/cheek biting,


Space Maintainers

What and Why?!

By Brianne Jones, RDH

Why Does My Child Need a Space Maintainer?

Your child’s primary teeth (baby teeth) play an important role in their dental health. Not only do they save space for the permanent teeth but they also help guide them into position and encourage normal development of the jaw bones and muscles.

A baby tooth usually stays in place until the permanent tooth underneath pushes it out and takes its place. If your child looses a baby tooth too early, the adjacent teeth are more likely to tilt or drift into the empty space and create limited space in the jaw for the permanent tooth to erupt. If left untreated, the permanent tooth can come in crowded or be blocked from erupting.

A space maintainer works by keeping open the empty space left by the lost tooth. Usually made of metal, this temporary, custom-fitted appliance steadies the remaining teeth and prevents movement until the permanent tooth takes its natural position in the jaw.

Space maintainers are more affordable and easier on your child to keep teeth in normal positions than to move them back into place with orthodontic treatment.


3 Surprising Sugar Sources!

By Brianne Jones, RDH

3 Surprising Sugar Sources!

Tooth decay is an ever present danger for your baby’s developing teeth. It begins with disease-causing bacteria feasting on leftover sugar, producing high levels of oral acid that slowly dissolves the teeth’s protective enamel. The softened enamel then becomes an open door for decay to infect the tooth.

Meanwhile, those bacteria continue to eat and produce acid….

So how can you stop this devastating cycle? Besides daily oral hygiene and regular dental visits, the most important thing you can do is deprive bacteria in your baby’s mouth of sugar through limiting their consumption of it. This means you’ll first need to identify the different sources of sugar available to your baby—and some of them might surprise you.

Here, then, are 3 not-so-obvious sugar sources your baby might be consuming.

During feeding. If you’re breast-feeding, you may not think this is causing a sugar problem for your baby. True, breast milk by itself doesn’t promote decay: it’s the combination of it with other sugar-rich foods and liquids the baby might be consuming as they get older. Together this could significantly increase their risk of pediatric tooth decay (also known as early childhood caries or ECC). So, be careful to limit sugar in other things they’re eating or drinking in addition to nursing.

24/7 Baby bottles and pacifiers. To calm infants at nap or sleep time, parents or caregivers often use bottles filled with sweet liquids or pacifiers dipped in jam, syrup or sugar. This practice increases decay risk from both the added sugar and its constant availability to bacteria in the mouth around the clock. Instead, avoid this practice and limit any sugary foods or liquids to mealtimes.

Medications. Some medications an infant may be taking for a chronic illness may contain small amounts of sugar. Additionally, medications like antihistamines can reduce the production of saliva that’s needed to neutralize acid after meals. If your child is on medication, ask your healthcare provider about its dental effects and if there are any sugar-free alternatives. Be sure to keep up daily brushing and flossing and regular dental visits too.

Limiting your baby’s sugar intake is critical in preventing tooth decay. It’s one of the most important things you can do to protect their dental health.



Are Parents Allowed in Treatment Rooms?


By Brianne Jones, RDH

Are Parents Allowed In Treatment Rooms?

We often get asked if parents are allowed to stay with their children during visits. YES! We always allow parents in the back to be with their children.

Some children need a parent’s gentle touch or comforting words to help them during treatment. We encourage parents and guardians to get involved by learning how proper home dental care and nutrition can help prevent tooth decay.

We ask that parents follow these guidelines so that we can develop a caring and trusting relationship with your child:

  • Please allow Dr. Jones and his team to be the only ones giving your child instructions and explanations of procedures. This helps us establish rapport and trust. You are completely welcome to offer words of praise and encouragement and help support what Dr. J is suggesting.
  • Make sure cell phones are turned off or silent.
  • Please help us by using the same "verbage" at home when discussing the dental office (i.e. "sugar bugs, Mr. Thirsty")

One of our favorite things is seeing our patients run into the office and make themselves at home. Dr. Jones feels that by providing an environment that is cheerful, welcoming, fun and cozy that the kids will not only love coming to the dentist but feel like part of our family! Having toys, movies and iPads is certainly popular, but having a team full of genuine, compassionate, fun-loving professionals is the real secret. We strive to make every interaction with our office professional, helpful and kind. We love our patients and thank you for trusting us as your pediatric dental home!