Pediatric Dentistry Of Sunset Hills

"Every Child Deserves a Pediatric Dentist!"

Sunset Hills


Some of our most frequently asked questions.

Some Of Our Frequently Asked Questions

What causes tooth decay?

When your teeth are frequently exposed to foods containing carbohydrates such as starches and sugars like soda, candy, sticky snacks, and even raisins, these foods, along with improper brushing and flossing techniques will create the beginning of tooth decay. Your teeth are covered with a sticky film of bacteria called plaque. The plaque uses sugar and starch as energy to convert into harmful acids that attack tooth enamel causing tooth decay.

Tips for cavity prevention:

  • Help your child brush and floss daily.
  • Avoid sticky foods (fruit snacks – fruit roll ups – raisins).
  • Make treats part of meals.
  • Limit frequent snacking.
  • Ask your doctor about medications that may cause dry mouth.
  • Some medications are high in sugar. Brush your teeth after using them.
  • Avoid high carbohydrate/sugary sports drinks and juices. Most fruit juices are high in sugar and low in nutritional value.

Why is it so important to take care of baby teeth?

Baby teeth are important to hold space for the adult (permanent teeth). In addition, the eruption of baby teeth is not only a great benefit for your child's appearance, but a necessity for chewing, biting, and speech. Cavities in baby teeth can lead to toothache pain, jaw pain, or swelling.

At what age should a child start seeing a dentist?

We recommend that your child be seen by a dentist as soon as they start developing a few teeth (generally between the ages of 1 and 2). This first visit also introduces them to the office, the doctor and the assistants. This allows the child to become acclimated with the routine of visiting our office and meeting staff. When your child turns 3 years of age, the dentist encourages him or her to enter the treatment area on his or her own. This independent act helps provide an environment where the child can begin focusing on establishing a one on one relationship with their dentist and his assistant.

Can my child’s diet affect their dental health?

Yes! It is important that you introduce a balanced diet for your child so that their teeth develop properly. Proper nutrition is important in order for your child to grow. The basic food group chart is a great way to start. Sugar is found in more than just candy. Pasta, breads and potato chips all have some type of sugar that can promote tooth decay. Limit your portions. Regular milk and breast milk also have sugar in them. Brush your child’s teeth once they are done eating. Do not put them to bed with a bottle of milk, juice or formula. When a child sleeps, any liquid remaining in their mouth can support the bacteria that produce acid and harm teeth. A little water works great before bed to help rinse any leftover sugar.

What will happen at my child’s first dental visit?

The very first visit with a child 2 years and younger should be accompanied by the mother and or father. During this visit the dental assistant will first complete a thorough questionnaire to collect vital parent and child medical and dental history. This information will help provide the dentist a more accurate picture contributing to the child’s dental health, growth and development. Once this information is obtained, the dentist will review and discuss at length with parent. The doctor and the parent/caregiver will together help the dentist obtain a visual exam by placing the child in a “lap” position. Children over 3 years old are encouraged to come back without a parent. If this is your first visit to the office – the assistant will give you a tour so you will know where your child will be. Our goal at Pediatric Dentistry of Sunset Hills is to build a trusting relationship between child, doctor, and staff. Once the child is back, the assistant will attempt to take any necessary radiographs recommended by the dentist. Once the films are completed your child will have a cleaning and fluoride treatment. Your child can then pick out a toothbrush, floss and toothpaste so that we may provide individual oral hygiene instruction. Next, they will be able to pick a prize out of the prize box along with three stickers. After that, it’s time for some fun in the game room. Once the doctor has performed a complete comprehensive exam, the parent will then be brought back to allow the doctor to review the findings of the child’s current dental health along with any necessary treatment recommendations, as well as provide time for questions and answers. (It’s recommended for parents to prepare a list of questions or concerns prior to your child’s visit to allow the dentist to deliver optimum oral health instructions in promoting your child’s dental health.) You will then complete the visit by speaking with one of our patient coordinators who will assist you in scheduling your child’s next growth and development exam and hygiene evaluation.

dentist chairsDoes my child need a fluoride supplement?

Most tap water in the St. Louis area does contain fluoride. If you live in an area that does not provide tap water with fluoride, if you use well water or if you have a child that drinks mainly bottled water, please speak with your dentist or dental assistant.

What are sealants?

A sealant is a plastic material that is applied to the chewing surface of the permanent molars. It is nearly impossible for children to clean the tiny, deep and narrow grooves on the chewing surface of their teeth. When a sealant is applied to the grooves of a molar, the biting surface of the tooth will be smooth and become somewhat flat. Sealants are guaranteed at our office and our dental assistants will examine the sealants during routine dental visits. If necessary, we will reapply the sealant. If a tooth that has a sealant applied by our office becomes decayed the office will reimburse you for your sealant at the time of treatment. It is still important for you and your child to continue brushing and flossing the teeth. Sealants are only one part of the defensive plan against tooth decay.

What should I do if my child’s baby tooth is knocked out?

Contact our office as soon as possible.

What should I do if my child’s permanent (adult) tooth is knocked out?

If possible – rinse the knocked out tooth in cool water. Hold only the top (crown) of the tooth. Do not scrub the tooth or handle the tooth more than necessary. Reinsert the tooth back in the socket and hold it there with clean gauze or towel. If you can’t replace the tooth, put it in a container of milk (water if milk is not available.) Call our office immediately. Contact our emergency number if it is after hours. Time is essential; see a dentist. The tooth has a better chance of being saved if you act immediately.

My child broke off one of his or her permanent teeth, what do I do?

Rinse the area with warm water. Put a cold compress over the facial area of the injury. Gather and save any pieces of the broken tooth and call our office immediately.

smiling girl with sharks tooth and baby toothMy child has a toothache, what should I do?

Very carefully clean around the sore tooth. Rinse the mouth out with warm salt water. If patient has swelling, apply a cold compress to the area. For temporary pain relief, acetaminophen is recommended. Call your dentist as soon as possible.

My child cut or bit his tongue, lip or cheek, what should I do? (Commonly done after fillings.)

Place ice on the bruised area. For bleeding, apply firm pressure with gauze or a clean cloth. If the bleeding does not stop after applying pressure or continues after 15 minutes, take your child to the hospital emergency room. Keep in mind, a little bit of bleeding in the mouth mixed with saliva may look like a lot of blood.

Do you have an orthodontist on staff?

No, we do not have an orthodontist within our office. We can, however, recommend someone for you. Feel free to ask the dentist for a recommendation of an orthodontist or an adult dentist.

Do you have nitrous?

Yes, our office does carry nitrous. With a recommendation from the doctor it may be used on patients to help relax them during treatments. It does not put them to sleep, and the effects of nitrous stop immediately after it is turned off.

Does your office administer sedations?

Yes, our office is equipped to administer sedations. We have our own pediatric anesthesiologists from St. Johns Mercy Hospital. Sedations are only scheduled on certain days of the week and upon recommendation of your dentist.

My child has a permanent tooth coming in behind a baby tooth,what do I do?

This is very common, mostly with the lower front teeth when the child is about six years old. This is not really an emergency, but needs to be addressed. Call to make an appointment with the dentist. In the normal course of development, the permanent teeth slowly dissolve root of the baby tooth as is moves into place behind the baby tooth. Eventually, there is not much of the root remaining and the baby tooth gets loose and falls out.

We have our own family dentist. Do you see children for treatment only?

Pediatric Dentistry of Sunset Hills is a full-service dentist. In order to give a proper diagnosis, our dentists feel that it is best if we see your child for regular checkups. Our doctors prefer to treat children based on their own diagnosis. That diagnosis is according to their specialized training and knowledge in pediatrics.

Why can’t parents go in the back with their children?

Most children are more cooperative without the parents present. It is important for your child to build a trusting relationship with the dentist and staff. We find that with parental presence, we are unable to build this relationship. There are some circumstances, like children under three or special needs patients that may require the parent to come back.

Contact Information

We Love Taking Care of Kids Teeth! Contact Us Today!

Office hours are by appointment only.

Available days are determined by the treating doctor, please call 314-822-2764 Monday thru Friday 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Selected Saturdays are available for routine six-month Exam and Cleaning. Appointments only from 8:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

To request or confirm an appointment, simply contact the office during normal business hours at 314-822-2764.

Pediatric Dentistry
Pediatric Dentistry Of Sunset Hills
3555 Sunset Office Drive
Suite #210
Sunset Hills, MO 63127
1008 Schroeder Creek Blvd
Wentzville, MO 63385
22 Arnold Mall
Arnold, MO 63010
America Pediatric Dentistry
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