Children’s Dentistry in Columbus, IN
As parents ourselves, we understand how precious your child’s smile is to you. We think there are few sights that can lift your spirits more than the smile of a child. That’s why our skilled team goes above and beyond to provide the highest quality care for your little one. Children may feel nervous or fearful about visiting the dentist, but we aim to show them that taking care of their smile is rewarding and fun, too. We want your child to have a positive, stress-free dental experience every time they visit us!
Choosing a Dental Home For Your Child
When it comes to choosing a dentist for your child and your family, here are some things to consider when picking a dentist:
Comfort. We have years of experience treating children. We work hard to help them feel at ease in our office and comfortable during their treatment. Our team works with a gentle touch and uses kid-friendly terms so that your little one can understand what we’re doing.
Understanding. Everyone has hard days, but we know that children have different ways of coping than adults. We are more than willing to make accommodations to help your little one feel safe and relaxed. We tailor each child’s dental visit to meet their unique needs whether that be adding in a little more playfulness, working at a slower pace, or taking more time to explain what’s going on using props and interactive methods.
Knowledge. Children are like sponges, soaking up knowledge as they experience the world. When pediatric patients visit us, we take the time to recognize learning opportunities. Knowledge empowers any patient, and it especially helps children feel a part of their own dental care. By teaching children the importance of taking care of their smiles early on, they will have the tools they need to enjoy a lifetime of great oral health.
Family. Children’s dentistry shouldn’t just focus on the child. The needs of the parents and guardians are important, too! Instead of taking your family to different dentists across town, we can see the entire family under one roof! We treat patients in every stage of life and would love to be your family’s dental home.
Your Child’s First Visit
To help your child grow up feeling brave about visiting the dentist, it’s best to schedule the first appointment early on. According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, children should visit the dentist when their first tooth comes in and preferably no later than their first birthday. We understand that doesn’t always happen for every family, so don’t feel embarrassed if you are late in making your child’s first appointment. We’re happy to have you whenever you come in!
Orthotropics for Better Health & Better Smiles
Did you know that jaw position can affect not only someone’s appearance but their health, too? If you notice that your child’s jaw is growing down and back rather than forward, it’s important to remedy this as soon as possible (preferably before the age of 10!). Left untreated, it can result in a number of issues with jaw joints, breathing, and facial structure in the future. We offer orthotropics as a solution and natural alternative to jaw surgery!
Facial Growth & Development
Most people experience significant growth and developmental milestones during the first 18 months of their life. In fact, 60% of a child’s facial development takes place by age six, and 90% by age 12. As children grow and develop, proper breathing is essential to their overall health, development, and even their educational success. Early detection and correction of airway problems can be integral to optimizing this crucial and fundamental physiology.
Children with a condition called ankyloglossia have a larger frenulum (fold of tissue that keeps the tongue from moving too much or overextending). This disorder restricts tongue movement and can make eating and talking difficult. Because of this, ankyloglossia is often referred to as being tongue-tied. While this condition may not cause any issues, it can sometimes affect a baby’s ability to breastfeed, the future alignment of their teeth, and even cause speech and eating problems. When this is the case, a frenectomy may be required to give your child full functionality of their tongue. The procedure is simple and utilizes laser technology (for infants) to prevent the frenulum from continuing to constrict the tongue. For patients past infancy, Dr. Sitaram uses a scalpel to complete the process. The good news is that the procedure is incredibly short (typically around 20 minutes) and stress-free. Dr. Sitaram is proud to announce that he is a Breathe Associate and Ambassador at the Breathe Institute in Los Angeles with Soroush Zaghi, MD, ENT. If your child is tongue tied, schedule a consultation with us today!
When children develop proper swallowing habits early on, they will translate into adulthood. If the orofacial structure, muscles, and physiological responses aren’t working together as they should, it can lead to issues such as mouth breathing, improper swallowing techniques, bite malocclusion (misalignment), and more. With myofunctional therapy, we can help improve your child’s breathing, bite, and orofacial posture so that they can enjoy a lifetime of great oral health.
Frequently Asked Questions
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry advises semiannual dental checkups for most children (every six months). Some children need appointments more often due to increased tooth decay risk, growth or developmental abnormalities that affect oral health, and/or dental hygiene concerns. We will consult with you about the ideal frequency of dental visits for your child. We also want to find appointment times that fit into your family’s busy life.
Regular dental checkups will help keep your child cavity-free! Our gentle teeth cleanings are meant to remove buildup on teeth before it can cause lasting damage, and fluoride treatments are meant to renew the fluoride in your child’s tooth enamel. Our engaging, kid-friendly instructions about brushing off those pesky “cavity bugs” will reinforce what you’re teaching at home by encouraging good brushing and flossing habits.
During your little one’s appointment, we will review your child’s dental and medical history, plus get any updates from you. We will carefully examine your child’s teeth, mouth tissues, and jaws. A gentle teeth cleaning will be performed, followed by a fluoride treatment. With each visit, we’ll provide an ongoing assessment of any changes in your child’s oral health. For example, your child may benefit from more fluoride, protective sealants, or dietary adjustments for ideal dental health. We might identify orthodontic issues, as well.
Yes! Sedation dentistry is completely safe for children and has no long-term side effects. If you have a anxious kiddo or one that has trouble sitting still during treatment, we offer sedation options that will help your little one feel relaxed and comfortable throughout their dental visit.
Plaque wears away at tooth enamel in a process known as “demineralization.” Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral that promotes remineralization of enamel, which strengthens teeth and helps protect them against cavities. Fluoride has even been shown to help reverse tooth decay in its early stages.
- Brushed on a cavity to stop decay
- Can prevent the need for more invasive cavity-removal procedures
- Kills bad bacteria
- Hardens softened dentin & enamel (remineralization)
- Relieves hypersensitivity in dentin
Despite their best efforts, toothbrushes can’t always reach into the deepest grooves of teeth. Sealants fill in deep grooves on the chewing surfaces of back teeth where food particles tend to get caught and cause decay. The application is fast and comfortable, and we think the treatment is worth it. Sealants can provide added protection for your child’s teeth for many years.
“Comfort sucking” is normal for infants and toddlers. Many kiddos give it up by age two, but some don’t. If prolonged, a finger sucking habit or constant pressure from a pacifier could cause crooked teeth or bite problems. We understand that such matters must be treated with patience, and we will gladly suggest ways to sensitively, yet successfully address a child’s finger sucking habit.