Proper pediatric dental care is essential for your little one’s smile. At Lakeside Dental, Dr. Joseph Blalock treats kids of all ages with informative, caring, and gentle dental treatment. Contact us now for a consultation. We proudly serve Lenoir City, Loudon, and Tellico Village.
Depending on the age of your child, you may be able to hold them in your lap for their appointment. To begin the appointment, one of our dental hygienists will thoroughly clean your little one’s mouth. Then, Dr. Blalock will provide them with a comprehensive oral exam. We may recommend x-rays if we think they are necessary, and you approve.
After your child’s appointment, Dr. Blalock will discuss their oral health, any issues he may have found, and follow-up treatment that your child may need. At this time, he can also answer your questions about caring for your child’s teeth as they grow.
Silver Diamine Fluoride (SDF) is a non-invasive filling alternative. It uses a special blend of water, ammonia, silver, and fluoride that kills tooth decay-causing bacteria, and halts the progression of minor cavities. It’s typically only used in baby teeth that will fall out naturally, since the SDF compound permanently causes a dark gray/black stain on the treatment area.
Stainless steel crowns are the best way to restore moderate tooth decay for kids. Dr. Blalock will simply clean the tooth area, choose a crown that fits, and cement it into place to cover up their decayed baby tooth. The process is fast, minimally-invasive, and affordable.
If your child loses a baby tooth early, a space maintainer will be placed in the area where their tooth used to be. This treatment ensures their permanent teeth erupt properly, and their baby teeth do not shift or move due to premature tooth loss.
A frenectomy is used to treat tongue and lip ties (tethered oral tissues, or TOTs). In this condition, the “frenulum” that connects the tongue or lips to the mouth is overdeveloped, restricting proper tongue or lip movement. This can interfere with feeding, speech, and more. In a frenectomy, this frenulum is snipped to remove the restriction, and restore proper tongue or lip movement.
A pulpotomy is also called a “baby root canal,” and is used to treat infected baby teeth. Dr. Blalock will clean away decayed material, open up the tooth, and remove infected pulp from the inside. Then, he will clean the interior of the tooth and apply a special healing dressing that will help restore the tooth, and the tooth will be covered up using a filling or a crown.
If you’re bringing your child to Lakeside Dental for the first time, you may not know what to expect. So let’s discuss the basics, and what will happen when your child sees Dr. Blalock for the first time.
Depending on your child’s age, you can either hold them in your lap, or they will sit on their own in the dentist’s chair. You’re allowed to be in the room for the whole appointment, which helps them stay comfortable.
To begin their first appointment, one of our dental hygienists will gently clean your child’s erupted teeth and their gums, scraping away any plaque and tartar from their teeth, polishing each tooth, and flossing them to remove any further buildup.
We may also recommend x-rays for older kids, usually around the age of 3 or 4. Dental x-rays are safe for kids, and are the most effective way to check for hidden signs of tooth decay and other oral health and development issues.
Finally, Dr. Blalock will come into the operating room to examine your child’s mouth. He will check for signs of cavities and identify any potential areas of concern. Once his exam is over, he will discuss the results with you.
At this time, you can also ask any questions you may have about caring for your child’s mouth, such as how to brush their teeth properly, how to maintain a tooth-healthy diet, and other such topics.
Then, you will schedule your child’s next six-month teeth cleaning and oral exam, and any other follow-ups necessary based on the results of their oral exam, and you and your little one will be able to head home.
First, we recommend finding a dentist who serves kids of all ages with age-appropriate, gentle, and kind care. Dr. Blalock loves treating kids, and we can treat toddlers, older kids, pre-teens, teenagers, and young adults at our office.
You also may find it helpful to look at online reviews and testimonials from the dentist’s past patients. This helps you learn more about their approach to children’s dental care, and determine whether or not they may be right for your little one.
A convenient location in Lenoir City is also helpful, especially if you have multiple children and will be visiting the dentist quite a bit. We recommend looking for a dentist who is located near your home or your child’s school, as this will save you a lot of time in the long run.
You may think that baby teeth are not that important. After all, they are meant to fall out eventually, right? Well, that’s true, but they are still important, and you need to make sure your child’s baby teeth stay in good shape.
Why? Well, the most obvious reason is that your child will keep at least some of their baby teeth until the age of 12-13. Their baby teeth need to stay healthy to ensure they can eat properly, smile brightly, and avoid things like infected teeth and premature tooth loss.
Also, the baby teeth are essential for the eruption of your child’s adult teeth. Basically, they form the “paths” that your child’s adult teeth will follow then they begin to grow. If your child loses some of their baby teeth prematurely, this could lead to oral development problems when their adult teeth start to emerge.
That the American Academy of Pediatric Dentists recommends kids see a dentist at the age of 1, or whenever their first tooth erupts? It’s never too early to see the dentist.
A “dental home” is the dental practice where your child gets most of their dental care as they grow. By seeing a dentist like Dr. Blalock regularly for preventive care, your child will get used to coming to Lakeside Dental, and will become familiar and comfortable with our team.
Dr. Blalock can learn more about your child’s unique dental needs and development, which leads to a higher overall level of patient care.
By seeing your dentist routinely, any issues with your child’s smile (such as cavities) can be identified and treated right away, which helps you save both time and money in the long run.