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Pediatric Dentistry

 

Preventative Care/ Dental Health Education

 

We know you never want your child to suffer from tooth pain, gum disease, tooth loss, or any of the bodily diseases that are connected to poor oral health. You need a dental team that will help you protect your child throughout every stage of his or her life.

With preventive care and dental health education, our dental team can help your child enjoy a comfortable and happy life. What’s the best way to keep your child optimally healthy and to keep treatment expenses low? By avoiding dental problems in the first place!

Preventative Care

What parent doesn’t want a child who has and always will enjoy a beautiful, healthy smile? Instead of treating dental problems, preventive care focuses on preventing issues before they happen.

Our dental team will help your child avoid tooth decay, gum disease, and enamel wear. We keep the price of perfect health low with our fun and sensitivity-free dental cleanings.

In order to prevent dental problems, your child should brush and floss regularly. They should also see a dentist at least twice yearly for oral examinations. If there is a problem, it should be treated immediately to prevent the issue from worsening.

Our hygienists administer cleanings that will keep your child’s smile fresh, white, and healthy. They will make the process easy and enjoyable for your children. They can also place BPA-free sealants over molars in order to ward off cavities.

Dental Health Education

Every child needs to learn how to properly care for their teeth. Dr. Osafi and his staff are highly experienced in teaching children about at-home care. They will help your child see brushing, flossing, and visiting the dentist as comfortable and beneficial.

You can trust our dental professionals with your child’s dental future. Call us today to schedule an exam or cleaning for your child.

BPA-Free Sealants

Dental sealants are an inexpensive way to fortify your child’s teeth against decay. Sealants can effectively prevent your child from experiencing cavities and toothaches, or from needing extensive dental work. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry reports that with appropriate follow-up care and maintenance, sealants can be 80-90% effective in reducing cavity formation.

Dental sealants are placed into the fissures of the chewing surfaces of the teeth, especially in the molar area.

Why BPA-Free?

BPA, or bisphenol A, is a harmful industrial chemical. Research has shown that BPA can affect the brain, behavior, blood pressure, and more.

Our top priority here at our pediatric dental office is to keep your child safe. The best way you can protect your child from BPA is by using BPA-free products. Our BPA-free sealants will fortify your child’s teeth without posing any kind of health risk.

Does my child need dental sealants?

Our pediatric dentists can help you determine whether or not your child needs dental sealants. Many young patients can benefit from our sealants because they often miss the pockets in the back of the mouth while brushing their teeth.

Kids frequently miss these hard-to-reach areas with their toothbrush, leading to a buildup in bacteria and eventual decay. Even when reaching those back teeth, the grooves are often so deep that the toothbrush bristles can’t adequately clean them. Our BPA-free dental sealants protect these problem areas from bacteria.

How do dental sealants work?

Dental sealants fill in the grooves of the teeth that often hide food and bacteria. Sealants make it impossible for the food to build up in the fissures of the teeth by “sealing” it out.

Now, with the option of BPA-free dental sealants, all parents should consider this protective measure for their children.

Our pediatric dentists would be happy to help you decide if dental sealants are a good idea for your child. To learn more about our BPA-free sealants, call us to schedule a consultation today!

Diagnostic Services

Oral Examinations 

Visiting the dentist’s office is necessary for your child, so we want them to think of our office as a fun and exciting place! Our team of specialists explains dental hygiene in a way that is exciting and easy for children to understand. During each oral exam, we will create an environment where your child will feel safe, welcome, and happy.

Here are the basic steps of a pediatric oral exam:

  1. Visual Exam | Your pediatric dentist will first look at your child’s teeth and gums. While he assesses your child’s oral health, he will tell your child how great his or her teeth look and give his recommendations.

  2. Low-Radiation Digital X-Rays |The next step of an oral exam is to take x-rays to learn more about the structures inside your child’s mouth. At our practice, we utilize low-radiation x-rays to ensure optimal safety for your child. The doctor will make sure your child is comfortable and explain to your child that he is using the x-ray machine to take pictures of your child’s beautiful teeth.

  3. Treatment Assessment |Following the x-rays, your pediatric dentist can help you and your kid learn more about your child’s health needs. He will be able to detect any decay or crookedness that may need attention and prescribe the best treatment.

What if treatment is necessary?

During the examination, your pediatric dentist will discuss the available treatment options with you and your child. Together, you can decide which form of treatment will best suit your child’s needs. Whether your child needs a filling, crown, or a sports mouth guard, we will make the treatment process efficient and simple.

Stay up-to-date on your kid’s health by visiting frequently for oral examinations. We promise to make your child’s visit with us as entertaining and relaxing as possible. Give us a call today to schedule your little one’s appointment.

Low-Radiation Digital X-Rays

At our office, you and your children can feel confident in our up-to-date dental technology and treatments. At Shoreline, we are proud to offer one of the greatest recent advancements in dental technology with our low-radiation digital x-ray machine.

If you’re worried about the radiation levels that affect your child when they have x-rays taken, you don’t have to worry anymore. We can put those fears at ease with our digital x-ray machine, which is the safest and most efficient type of x-ray on the market.

Benefits of low-radiation digital X-rays

At our office, your child can take advantage of the following benefits of our state-of-the-art digital x-rays:

  • Less exposure to radiation for a safer x-ray experience

  • Rapid transfer of information so you can see results fast

  • Early detection of dental disease or decay for more effective treatment

  • Ability to ensure the proper growth of baby and permanent teeth

  • Visibility of potential orthodontic issues that should be treated

  • Opportunity to identify impacted or problematic wisdom teeth

Digital x-rays help our dentist identify all kinds of things about your child’s smile that can’t be seen with the naked eye. The sooner a potential problem is detected, the more successful and inexpensive the treatment will be. If no problems are identified, you can feel confident knowing that your child has been examined with top-quality equipment.

How often should my child’s mouth be x-rayed?

The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends that children should receive dental x-rays at least once annually. For children with tooth decay or other dental health problems, x-rays should be completed twice a year or more. To learn more about how often your child needs dental x-rays, come talk with one of our pediatric dentists about your family’s dental health history.

Has it been awhile since your child’s teeth have been x-rayed? Come enjoy the safest and most reliable x-ray technology available at our practice. Give us a call today.

Dental Restorations

Our state-of-the-art dental restorations can be used to return your child’s grin to its best state. If the function or appearance of your loved one’s smile has been altered, one of our pediatric dentists can restore it with a quick and simple restorative procedure.

Tooth-colored fillings and crowns

The type of dental restorations we use most frequently are tooth-colored fillings and crowns. Both methods will protect and build up your child’s teeth.

Tooth-colored fillings are typically used as a remedy for tooth decay. Some children are prone to cavities, which can lead to toothaches and other dental problems. Our pediatric dentists can protect your child’s comfort and health by using a tooth-colored filling to restore the affected area.

Tooth-colored crowns are used to cover up the visible portion of a tooth that is weak or damaged due to decay, disease, or physical trauma. Crowns will strengthen the tooth and give it an appealing look. Dental crowns are frequently used to cover discoloration, breakage, large fillings, and poorly shaped teeth.

Restoring broken and chipped teeth

Accidents are common while children are becoming more stable on their legs and gaining control of their growing bodies. Falls or other small accidents frequently lead to broken and chipped teeth. You can learn more about handling dental emergencies on our Emergency Dental Care page.

Fortunately, your child’s broken or chipped tooth can be easily repaired with restorative dentistry. When you come in for a consultation, your dentist can determine the most efficient way to restore the health and the look of the tooth.

We are confident that our tooth-colored restorative options will give your child the confidence to smile on. Call us today to find out more or to schedule an appointment. Our friendly personnel will be happy to assist you.

Sports Mouth Guards

Look at your little athlete go! Wait–a tumble could be just around the corner! While you watch your active child engage in sports, do you ever worry about the accidents that might occur?

You can sit back and relax when your child is wearing one of our custom-designed sports mouth guards. A sports mouthguard will minimize the possibility of tooth loss and even traumatic brain injury.

Teeth cost thousands and thousands of dollars to replace. You can help your child avoid needing a costly tooth replacement by getting them a comfortable, affordable, and functional sports mouthguard.

Sports mouthguards don’t just protect your child’s teeth from injury. Our mouthguards also greatly reduce the force that can be transmitted from the jaw to the central nervous system in the brain. Mouthguards significantly decrease the chance of your child suffering from concussions or brain damage.

Sports mouthguards can also protect your child against cuts in the lips and cheeks, neck injuries, gum and soft tissue injuries, jawbone fractures, and tongue injuries.

Why get a mouth guard from a dentist?

Maybe you see why a sports mouth guard is important, but why get that mouth guard from your dentist when there are countless styles sold in ordinary stores? There are several advantages to obtaining your child’s sports mouthguard from your dentist.

Storebought sports mouthguards are often stiff and uncomfortable. They can make it difficult for the wearer to breathe easily and they never last for long periods of time.

Our pediatric dentists create durable and comfortable custom-fit sports mouthguards for our young athletes.Our sports mouthguards are:

  • Designed to match each tooth perfectly for an extremely comfortable wearing experience

  • Created to outlast boil-and-bite guards 5-to-1

  • Sleeker and less bulky than store-bought sports mouthguards

Sports mouthguards also:

  • Promote free and easy oxygen flow for increased endurance and performance

  • Cover each unique tooth flawlessly for the highest level of mouthguard protection

Come talk with one of our pediatric dentists about your child’s sports mouthguard needs. Call us today to schedule an appointment.

Habit Therapy

It’s certainly cute when your young one carries around his favorite pacifier or sucks contently on his thumb or finger. Although thumb or finger sucking may be a sweet and comforting habit for your little one, it can also create occlusion problems and should be monitored by your trusted dentist.

Thumb or finger sucking is no reason to immediately panic, but a visit to the dentist will help you remain aware of how the habit may be adversely affecting your child’s dental health.

The American Dental Association says that most children outgrow sucking their thumb or fingers between the ages of 2 and 4. However, some kids continue their beloved habit even after they begin preschool or even kindergarten. At this point, thumb sucking could negatively affect your child’s teeth, jaws, or face shape.

Ways to break the habit

Here are a few ways you can help your child break his or her thumb sucking habit to avoid future orthodontic work:

  • Use reminders like tape over the finger or gloves over the hands

  • Introduce reward charts to motivate your child

  • Ease your child’s anxiety by being positive and encouraging

  • Show your child examples of how their habit can negatively impact their smile

We can help

Our pediatric dentists are experienced in helping children feel great while breaking their thumb or finger sucking habit. Here at our pediatric practice, we use “habit appliances” to assist your child.

A “habit appliance” is a small metal appliance that is fixed to the inside of the mouth. It is worn on the upper teeth and prevents the thumb or finger from touching the gums behind the front teeth. When the child is unable to reach these gums with their thumb or finger, their thumbsucking enjoyment diminishes and the child finds it easier to break the habit.

We have seen some patients break a child’s thumb or finger sucking habit in just one day after wearing one of our habit devices. Want to learn more? Give us a call today to schedule an appointment. We would love to support your child and help them smile on without any distractions.

 

Laser Frenectomy for Tongue & Lip ties

We offer examination, diagnosis, and laser surgical treatment of tongue tie and lip ties (frenulum) for infants, children, and teens. We help improve the lives of children by providing conservative treatment options for correction of lip tie and tongue ties, using modern laser technology to allow rapid healing and healthy growth and development of oral structures. If your baby is struggling with breastfeeding or if your child is having difficulty with speech, allow us to work with you to help improve your child’s overall health.

We understand parenting is not easy and we’re here to help. We are very passionate about what we do so if you have any questions about any of the treatments we offer, call our practice for a free consultation and we would happily sit with you to answer any questions you may have.

Benefits of soft tissue laser dentistry

Benefits of soft tissue laser dentistry

Here are a few of the things you and your child will love about laser dentistry:

  • Skip the Numbness | Many procedures completed with the soft tissue laser will not require any local anesthetic your child will often not need any injections or have any numbness when leaving the office.

  • Higher Accuracy | Surgical procedures are more predictable and successful with higher accuracy in treatment. Lasers allow Dr. Osafi to resolve the problem without excessive trauma to surrounding tissues.

  • Faster Healing & Less Hemorrhage | Tissues heal much faster and more predictably after laser frenectomy. Your child will feel more comfortable and experience minimal or no bleeding during and after the procedure.

Laser Frenectomy (Frenulum Surgery)

In some infants, the muscles that attach the upper lip to the gum tissue or the tongue to the floor of the mouth can be excessively thick or tight. This muscles are called “frenum” and can lead to difficulty in breastfeeding due to the inability to properly latch. In a frenectomy, Dr. Osafi will release the frenum under the tongue or upper lip using a non-invasive laser system that allows for precision accuracy in surgical technique, instant healing with minimal numbing necessary and best of all, there is no to minimal bleeding. Your child can then enjoy a better range of motion and the improvement in breastfeeding is often immediate.

When your little one needs a frenectomy, a laser frenectomy is a smile and comfortable procedure to choose. Some babies and children are even able to sleep throughout the treatment! Because lasers dissolve the tissue rather than cut it, there is always far less discomfort and involved.

Our Approach 

Laser frenectomies are best treated by a multi-faceted team of professionals including Lactation Consultants, Speech Pathologists/Therapists, Pediatricians, and Ear Nose and Throat specialists. At Hello Kids Dentistry, we utilize a team-approach combined with research-supported methods to allow for a more comfortable experience for the child and parent. Laser frenectomy is the most advanced method of treating a common problem that children and their families struggle with. This gives us the ability to change the lives of families for the better by providing a pain-free, safe and effective method of correction of nursing and speech issues. Call us today to find out more about our laser frenectomy procedure and how it can improve your child’s overall health.

 

Emergency Dental Care

Do you have someone you can depend on in a dental emergency? Little accidents can lead to knocked out or broken teeth for little ones. When your child is experiencing tooth pain, you can trust our team of dental professionals!

Our pediatric dentist will help you get through any kind of dental emergency. When you need us, just give us a call. We will help you until your child is happy and healthy again.

Examples of dental emergencies

  • Tooth Pain | You never want to see your child in pain! A consistent toothache could require a visit to the dentist. We will help you determine what your child needs to feel comfortable again.

  • Traumatic Dental Injuries | Did your baby take a tumble? If your child has experienced an injury, we are here for them. Save the tooth, or the pieces of tooth, if possible, and we will get to work on restoring your child’s smile.​​

  • Swelling/Abscesses | If your child is experiencing swelling or what you think may be an abscessed tooth, you should speak with a dental professional right away. We want to alleviate that discomfort and get your child back to feeling 100%. Call our office and we can help.

  • Object Stuck Between Teeth | Does your little one have an object stuck between the teeth that can’t be removed with regular flossing? There’s no need to resort to sharp tools to remove the object. Give us a call and we will take care of you.

  • Broken Dental Work | An accident can also result in broken or lost dental work. Save what pieces you can and then return the work to us. Call us and we will quickly assist you.

You already have enough on your plate. You don’t need to worry about a potential dental emergency! Leave that to us and give us a call.

We provide post-trauma information to parents after-hours in our direct area. Please call our office or come by during business hours for any questions regarding dental emergencies

 

Sedation Services

At Hello Kids Dentistry, we realize that every child is different and we want your child to feel as comfortable as possible coming to the see us.  One of our favorite things to hear is when a parent tells us how excited their child was to come to the office.  Part of making your child feel comfortable is alleviating any anxiety that they might feel about dental treatment.  Our office provides a number of different treatment methods to best meet the needs of your child.

Nitrous Oxide

Nitrous oxide, also known as laughing gas, allows patients to remain fully conscious but feel a deeper sense of calm and relaxation.  Nitrous oxide can also help in patients with severe gag reflexes and the gas itself has mild anti-pain properties.  Since the effects of nitrous oxide are very short, children can return to school after their dental treatment.

Oral Conscious Sedation

This is a form of treatment where patients come to their appointments a little early and are given a small dose of anti-anxiety medication.  When the anti-anxiety medication takes affect the patient is still conscious but may feel sleepy. The majority of the effect of the medication is over after an hour, but patients may feel tired throughout the day.

Hospital Dentistry 

If your child is very young, has special health care needs, or has severe dental anxiety with extensive treatment needs, they may benefit from either in-office IV sedation or treatment in a hospital setting.  Offering in-office sedation allows the patient to feel comfortable being treated in an environment that they are already familiar with.  During IV sedation the patient is asleep and being monitored by the anesthesiologist and an entire sedation team in order to ensure maximal safety and efficacy. When the patient awakens, all of the treatment has been completed, and they are able to return home.  Because our office also treats patients with a variety of special health care needs, there are some patients that will be best treated in a hospital setting.  Our pediatric dentists are Board Certified with hospital privileges at several local hospitals, thus allowing us to provide this treatment option to our patients.

Because each child is different, there is no “cookie cutter” method for providing the best dental care.  At Hello Kids Dentistry, we realize that with each child comes unique opportunities and challenges in how we can best care for your child’s oral health.  Having multiple methods of treatment allows our office to formulate a treatment plan specific to your child’s individual needs.

If you have concerns about sedation dentistry or are eager to learn more, we would love to assist you. Call us today to set up a consultation.

 

Autism Dental Clinic

The right approach to treating patients with Autism

Autism diagnosis is increasing at an alarming rate, as it is in the rest of the country. Today an estimated 1 out of 150 children nationally receives the diagnosis, up from 1 in 1,000 a couple of decades ago. That is more than that of Down syndrome, juvenile diabetes, and cancer combined according to the CDC.

We understand that most parents of children with autism are overwhelmed with the care they are required to provide for their own children.  Dr. Osafi and his team are here to help make the dental visit as uneventful and relaxing as possible.

At Hello Kids Dentistry, we utilize the Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) technique to guide the dental visit and to allow the child to slowly become accustomed to the dental environment. Breaking down each desired behavior into smaller tasks and gradually teaching each small task, one at a time, using a reward system. A phone interview with the caregiver will be completed prior to the dental visit detailing specific information regarding the child’s medical history and to gain specific personality cues to allow for a smoother visit. This is a very time intensive approach and parental involvement before and after each visit is key.

The 5 steps to reaching these goals are as follows:

  1. Create a calm and comfortable dental setting

  2. Divide each skill into smaller tasks, using visual prompts.

  3. Demonstrate each skill to the child.

  4. Repeat the skills provided at home.

  5. Excite the learner with a reward system.

At the dentist, a patient with autism may experience:

  • Crying or fretting

  • Kicking, hitting, biting, and attempting to leave

  • Refusal to open the mouth for the dentist and staff

  • Tuning out and thus not registering what is being asked

  1. Fear of close contact with the dentist and dental staff

  2. Fear of dental instruments and equipment

  3. Sensitivity to sounds, touches, and tastes

  4. Confusion and uncertainty about the environment

  5. A heightened reaction to dental lights or changes in lighting

  6. Fear of being trapped or crowded room

These experiences often cause emotional reactions by the child, often expressed by:

The following techniques are utilized throughout the dental visit:

  • Eye contact: If the dentist can get your child to respond to the request “look at me”, it is a good indication that your child will eventually succeed. “Look at me” commands help your child pay attention, and helps establish a relationship between your child and the dentist.

  • Educational Modeling: This is a way our dental staff will train your child to assume certain safe positions. The dentist may give instructions such as “feet out straight, hands on your tummy” repeatedly. This is done until your child automatically assumes these positions when he or she is seated in the chair. No other position is acceptable. This is called “educational modeling”. The patient “models” the behavior, and then adopts that as a habit on future visits. Children with autism usually need a lot of repetition.

  • Modulated Praise: This is a technique that encourages good behavior and doesn’t call attention to negative behavior.

  • Counting Framework: Once the patient with autism has learned a particular request, for example, to allow a mirror to be placed in the mouth, then your child’s dentist will ask him to hold that position to a count of ten. Your child is thus trained to hold still for successively longer periods of time so that eventually he will sit long enough for routine dental treatment to be safely delivered.

Things to remember:

  • These techniques do not work for everyone.  Some children have not responded fully to our program. Often, these are children with more involved disorders or lower cognitive abilities. The key is not to presuppose an individual’s capabilities: patients will often surprise even those closest to them.  It is amazing what a child with autism can accomplish when someone takes the time to work with him at his pace.

  • Parent/caregiver involvement is the key. It is critical that you are involved and committed to this process. You need to help reinforce the skills at home and help guide the dental team as to what is working and not working.

  • Start young. Don’t avoid dental visits for your child. It is never too early.  The first dental visit is recommended for all children by their first birthday.  This is especially important for most children with autism are at high-risk for getting cavities.

  • Don’t delay dental visits. Waiting will only let smaller problems become larger ones, including pain and infection. Waiting greatly reduces the probability of successfully treating your child in a normal dental office environment.

  • Bring your child to the Autism Dental Clinic at Hello Kids Dentistry for an initial assessment with Dr. Javid Osafi.

  • Call 425.659.1200 to schedule an appointment now.