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Tuesday 9:00 - 5:00 Thursday 9:00 - 5:00



Toll free: 1-800-373-3330

Hermitage: 615-889-1654
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Patient Information





What Is A Pediatric Dentist?

A pediatric dentist spends an additional two years beyond the study of general dentistry. These additional years focus training in behavior management, growth and development, hospital dentistry and the psychology of children. In this same period of time, the pediatric dentist develops techniques that help children develop a more positive view of dentistry and avoid dental issues throughout life.


May I Stay With My Child During Their Visit?

You are invited to stay with your child during his/her initial examination. Once you and your child have had a chance to meet our staff, we encourage parents to do that with which they are most comfortable. If the dentist feels that your child will do better on his/her own, that decision will be made only if you, the parent, feels comfortable with it. In most cases, The Practice encourages parents to join their children for treatment and exams. Our goal is help your child overcome any anxiety he/she may have and to gain his/her trust and increase his/her comfort level. back to top »


Why Are The Primary Teeth So Important?

The importance of primary/baby teeth is that they facilitate chewing and function. These teeth also help to guide the eruption of permanent teeth. In addition, the position of the primary teeth contributes to the development of muscle and bone in and around the mouth. Even though the front teeth will be lost relatively early (6-8yrs), the back (posterior) teeth will last until 11-12 years of age. Allowing cavities to go untreated can lead to abscesses and infection. For these reasons, your child's teeth should be regularly evaluated and treated. back to top »


How are Appointments Scheduled?

The Practice will try to schedule appointments when it is convenient for you and your child. For younger children, morning appointments may be better due to the fact that they will be more rested. We also encourage parents to avoid setting appointments during or just before the child's nap time. Patients with more complex treatment plans should be seen in the morning.

Arranged appointment time has been reserved for your child and the Practice requests a 24-hour notice for any change to his/her appointment. Such notice gives other patients who need to be seen a chance to schedule their appointment. The Practice will be happy to work with you and your child to schedule appointments at times of mutual convenience. back to top »


Eruption Of Your Child's Teeth

Your child's teeth begin forming before birth and continue forming until late in the teenage years. The diagram below illustrates the AVERAGE months and/or years these teeth erupt.

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Dental Emergencies

Toothache: Use warm salt water to rinse mouth. If you believe there might be some impacted food, use dental floss to dislodge. If the pain persists, contact your child's dentist. Do not place aspirin or heat on the gum or on the aching tooth. If swelling exists, apply cold compresses and contact the Practice immediately.

Cut or Bitten Tongue, Lip or Cheek: Bleeding should be controlled by using a damp towel and pressure. If bleeding persists, contact the Practice or, if more serious, seek medical attention. Applying ice will help to decrease swelling and pain.

Knocked Out Permanent Tooth: Contact the Practice as soon as possible. The tooth/teeth should be found and kept in Hanks Balanced Solution or cold whole milk. If you feel that the child can safely keep the tooth by his/her cheek inside the mouth, he/she can. The tooth should be handled by the part of the tooth that can be seen in the mouth and not the root. If there are other injuries, the patient should seek additional medical attention.

Knocked Out Baby Tooth: A baby tooth should not be replaced. The Practice should be contacted for evaluation.

Chipped or Fractured Permanent Tooth: Contact the Practice immediately. The tooth will need to be evaluated for treatment.

Chipped or Fractured Baby Tooth: Contact the Practice, if minor may need to be smoothed.

Broken or Fractured Jaw: Seek medical attention. back to top »


Dental Radiographs (X-Rays)

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends radiographs and examinations every six months for children with a high risk of tooth decay. The Practice will keep each child's exposure to a minimum by using minimal exposure digital radiographs and only taking radiographs deemed necessary. Any questions or concerns can be addressed by your dentist. back to top »


When should my Child use Fluoride?

It is best to use only a small smear of toothpaste once per day until your child is good at spitting. The toothpaste should be kept out of reach of your child to ensure that he/she does not eat it. back to top »


My Child Grinds His/Her Teeth At Night? (Bruxism)

There are different theories for the cause of grinding; the most prevalent being stress induced, inner ear pressure or pain caused by teeth. Many times, there is no clear reason for the grinding and in these cases children most often outgrow the grinding teeth. back to top »


Thumb Sucking

Ideally, thumb sucking is discontinued prior to the eruption of permanent teeth. However, many times it is easier to eliminate the habit at an earlier age. If we are unable to eliminate the habit, it may be necessary to place an appliance in the mouth to help. It is made so that it "doesn't work" when the child tries to suck his/her thumb. If you have questions, please ask at your next appointment or call and speak with the pediatric dentist. back to top »


What is Pulp Therapy?

When a tooth has a large cavity and the nerve is exposed, medication is placed onto the nerve. This treatment will help to keep the tooth from forming an abscess. It is still possible for an abscess to form but this treatment significantly reduces the likelihood of abscess formation. A crown will be placed to help protect the tooth from breaking. The crown and medicine will be lost with the tooth. back to top »



First Dental Visit - Establishing a "Dental Home"

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the American Dental Association (ADA), and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) recommend establishing a "Dental Home" for your child by the age of one year.  By establishing a dental home, children are more likely to receive appropriate preventive and routine oral health care. With the establishment of a Dental Home, the Practice will provide parents with tools to help their kids grow up cavity free. back to top »


Early Childhood Caries

Good oral hygiene is important to start before teeth begin to erupt. Frequency of eating and snacking should be kept to a minimum. Snack choices should be kept to those items found on the good snack list. Avoid all gummy and sugary snacks. Parents should be brushing their child's teeth at least two times per day. Once teeth are touching, they should begin flossing. Drinks taken to bed or that are kept throughout the day should be pure water only. Juice and milk should be provided only at meal or snack time, and the amount kept to a minimum. back to top »


How Do I Prevent Cavities?

The first step in cavity prevention is good oral hygiene. Brushing and flossing helps to remove bacteria and plaque from around your child's teeth and gingiva. At the first sign of teeth, it is important to begin brushing. At this point, you only need to be using water on the toothbrush. The amount of time that teeth are exposed to cavity causing foods and drinks helps to determine the risk of future cavities. This is why it is important to provide juice and milk at meal times only. The rest of the time, your child should drink plain water. Once teeth have been brushed for the night, only water should be provided. Very young infants need to eat more frequently. Many may eat once or twice during the night. If this is the case, the teeth should be brushed before putting your child back into bed. As children age, they can help to brush their teeth but it is essential that you follow up after their brushing until you have determined that they are doing an adequate job. For older children, teeth should also be brushed at least twice a day. Begin flossing your child's teeth once contact between teeth is seen. Limiting snacks is essential in decreasing the chance of cavities.

It is recommended by the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry that your child visit a pediatric dentist every six months. Visits should begin at age one (1) or within 6 months of the first tooth erupting. Routine visits help you and your child become familiar with the Practice's dentists and help to prevent future tooth decay. back to top »



A sealant is a material that is applied to the chewing surfaces of the back teeth (premolars and molars). Sealants help to decrease but not eliminate the chance of cavities. The tops of the back teeth are where four out of five cavities in children are found. Sealants act as a barrier against food, plaque and acid, thus protecting the teeth against decay. back to top »


Keys to Fluoride Use

Fluoride is beneficial in the fight against cavities. Its use must be monitored in children to prevent fluorosis. Fluorosis can range from mild to moderate or slight discoloration to severe break down on eruption of the permanent teeth. A small smear of toothpaste should be used once per day until child can expectorate(spit) properly. A small pea sized amount of toothpaste can then be used two times per day. Fluoride supplementation should only be used when the child is older than 6 months and all sources of fluoride have been calculated. If you feel that your child needs fluoride, please inform the Practice at your child's next appointment or call and speak with one of the pediatric dentists. back to top »


Mouth Guards

We encourage children and teens who participate in organized sports and recreational activities to take precautions to protect their teeth. Wearing a mouth guard that is properly fitted helps protect teeth from permanent damage. Mouth guards also help protect soft tissue and facial bones from injury. Feel free to ask your pediatric dentist about what might be best for your child. back to top »


Xylitol - Reducing Cavities

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) recognizes the benefits of Xylitol for the oral health of infants, children, adolescents, and persons with special health care needs. For more information, please discuss the use of Xylitol with one of the pediatric dentists at your next visit. back to top »