Your Baby's First Dental Visit

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that your child’s first dental visit be before his or her first birthday. You may be wondering what we do at a first visit and why it’s so important to start early.

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ORAL DEVELOPMENT - It’s important for us to let parents know what to expect. We will talk about timing of new teeth coming in, what to expect when they are coming in, and how many of them are left to come in. The dentist will show you if your child has any variations of normal with their teeth and what that means for your child. By starting early, we can let you know if we see any early signs of decay. Many times, when we see very early changes, we can suggest changes that can prevent having to do treatment on these teeth. Aside from his or her teeth, we will be checking the tongue, cheeks, jaws, and tonsils. We want to make sure every aspect of your child’s mouth, bite, and jaws look healthy!

ORAL HYGIENE - Parents often ask when to start brushing and how to brush their little ones. We will review when to start, how to position them, and toothpaste use.  At our office, we rate oral hygiene on a scale from 1-5 with 5 being the best. That way, you can see how you’re doing in terms of hygiene.

DIET – Diet plays a major component in cavity formation. For babies, we’ll review bottle use. For toddlers, we talk about gummy snacks, sippy cups, and juices. For older kids, we’ll review the types of foods (ooey, gooey, sticky) to try to avoid. Sippy cups, juices, and candy are just a few of the topics we’ll cover.

HABITS - We will talk about habits that your little one may have like thumb sucking, a pacifier, or nail biting. Although a lot of these habits are age appropriate, we will review what long term changes that they can cause in terms of his or her bite.

TRAUMA - We will review what to do if and when your child ever has any trauma. It’s very common and we want parents to know what to look for, when to call us, or when to come see us in the office.

Most of all, we want you and your child to be very comfortable here. The more the child visits, the more likely that they will realize that coming to the dentist is fun! The Smiles for Kids Pediatric Dentistry team cannot wait to meet your little one!

Dr. Jadav

Smiles for Kids Pediatric Dentistry

 

HOW TO CARE FOR A CHEWED LIP, CHEEK OR TONGUE

 

One of the most common complications of numbing for dental procedures for children is lip biting. Some kids also chew on their tongues or cheeks. It’s a really foreign feeling when the tissues “wake up” from anesthesia and some kids will confuse this feeling with itchiness. At Smiles for Kids Pediatric Dentistry, we offer OraVerse, which helps reduce the time the patient is numb significantly.  However, if you child does bite himself, here’s what to do!

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Remember that the cheek or tongue will be swollen, red/white, hot, and painful.  Sometimes parents mistake the chewed up area for infection. It is injured tissue that will heal without antibiotics.

 

Follow these steps if you notice a bite:

 

  • Apply ice packs for first 3 days. Ice packs should be placed for 15 minutes on, 15 minutes off, for 1 hour, 3 times a day.
  • Rinse with salt water two times a day for 3 days.
  • Give your child Tylenol or Motrin for pain.
  • Apply topical numbing ointments available over-the-counter at any pharmacy.

 

If the wound does not heal within a week, call us at 713-461-1509.

 

Dr. Jadav

Smiles for Kids Pediatric Dentistry

IS MY CHILD READY FOR MOUTHWASH?

Many parents encourage their little ones to use mouthwash starting from an early age. Though it can be a beneficial part of his or her oral hygiene routine, you want to make sure your child is ready for it.

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At Smiles for Kids Pediatric Dentistry, we stress that if your child hasn’t mastered the “swish and spit”, they are not ready for mouthwash. We don’t want them to accidently swallow it so please make sure to always supervise. This is especially true for mouthwash with alcohol in it. Always purchase alcohol-free mouthwash for children. If you’re not sure if they’re ready, have them practice with water until their confidence grows.

All mouthwashes are not the same. They can serve several different purposes. Some are simply to freshen breath and others to have the added anti-cavity effect of fluoride. Kids with braces can highly benefit from an anti-cavity rinse in addition to their regular brushing and flossing. To get the optimal anti-cavity effect, always follow the instructions on the back of the bottle. With fluoride mouthwash, don’t eat, drink or rinse after.  It’s best to do the rinse at night so that the active ingredients can stay in contact with the teeth longer.

Don’t forget that mouthwash is just an addition to your hygiene routine. Brushing twice a day and flossing will help keep teeth strong and beautiful!

Dr. Jadav

KNOCKED OUT PERMANENT TEETH

Certain trauma from falling, accidents or hits by flying objects especially while playing sports, can cause a permanent tooth to be completely “knocked out” or AVULSED.

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If this happens, in many cases, the tooth can be saved by quick, careful action. Quickly replacing the tooth back into its place or socket is crucial to the success of that tooth. If the tooth is replaced within the first ½ hour it has a better chance of survival. You may want to buy at a drug store a “Save a Tooth” kit, which contains solutions and instructions to prolong the lifetime of an avulsed tooth if you cannot place it back in the socket. To save the tooth, immediately follow these important steps at the site of injury:

  1. Immediately call our office.  If the emergency is during our regular hours, head to the office and call on the way.  If this is an after-hours emergency the doctor will meet you there as soon as possible.
  2. If the tooth appears dirty, plug sink, rinse the tooth gently under tap water. DO NOT SCRUB, TOUCH THE ROOT, OR PUT SOAP ON THE TOOTH!
  3. Have your child rinse his or her mouth with warm water only.
  4. If possible, immediately insert the tooth back into the socket, position like the tooth next to it as best as you can, and hold the tooth in position with finger pressure or by biting firmly on cotton gauze.
  5. If you cannot insert the tooth, place it in a container filled with your child’s spit or in milk. If you have a “Save a Tooth” kit, place the tooth in it.
  6. Take the tooth and go IMMEDIATELY to your dentist or hospital emergency room. Call when you are on the way, but do not wait.
  7. Within 48 hours call your child’s physician to make sure your child is up to date with tetanus vaccinations.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to call us at (713) 461-1509.

Dr. Jadav

Smiles for Kids Pediatric Dentistry

HOW ARE SEALANTS PLACED?

At Smiles for Kids Pediatric Dentistry, Dr. Lindhorst and Dr. Jadav strongly believe in placing sealants. It’s a protective layer that we place on teeth that goes deep into the “nooks and crannies” of teeth. This layer helps keep food and bacteria out of these vulnerable areas. This, in turn, helps prevent against cavities from forming.

You may wonder how exactly we place sealants. Here’s a step by step rundown of how we place them.

We first prepare the tooth by brushing it. Once it is clean, it is very important that it stays dry during this process so that the material can adhere to the tooth. We often use an Isolite to help with this. It’s a plastic piece that goes into your child’s mouth to help keep them open and allow the dentist to visualize that area. It also helps dry the area with the suction and protect your child’s cheeks and tongue. 

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Once we have the tooth isolated, we place a solution that etches the tooth to prepare it for the sealant. The tooth is then rinsed off and dried again. The sealant is then placed on with a small brush and hardened with a curing light. We then carefully rinse the tooth and surrounding areas.

 

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Patients can eat or drink right away after the sealant placement. We always warn patients not to chew on ice or hard candy because the sealants can break. Once they break, they no longer can fully protect the tooth from cavity formation. Also, patients still have to practice good oral hygiene and floss. These sealants do not protect against cavities that form between teeth. Dr. Lindhorst or Dr. Jadav will check the sealants at every six month check-up.

If you have any other questions or concerns about sealants, please don’t hesitate to ask!

Dr. Jadav

Smiles for Kids Pediatric Dentistry

ENAMEL HYPOPLASIA

What is enamel hypoplasia?

It is a tooth defect that results in less quality of enamel than normal. It ranges from

very small areas to an enre tooth being discolored or disfigured. Sometimes, it is only

an esthetic concern. Other times, these teeth can be sensitive and may be more

susceptible to cavities.

What does it look like?

It can change the color, size, shape or texture of the tooth. All or part of the tooth may

look more white or brown as compared to other teeth.

 

 Hypoplasia on front permanent teeth

Hypoplasia on front permanent teeth

 

What causes it?

It is difficult to pinpoint the cause but it is thought that environmental and genetic

factors during tooth formation cause this condition. This includes trauma to the tooth

during formation, infections during pregnancy or infancy, hypoxia, and genetic

conditions.

 

 Hypoplasia on erupting six year molar

Hypoplasia on erupting six year molar

 

What needs to be done about it?

Treatment depends on the severity of the hypoplasia and if the patient is having

symptoms. In some cases, careful observation is enough. In minor cases, we can place

sealants. Dr. Lindhorst or Dr. Jadav may need to do a filling or place a stainless steel

crown to help protect the tooth. When the patient is older, he or she may need a full

coverage porcelain crown or veneers.

 

Dr. Jadav

Smiles for Kids Pediatric Dentistry

How to Care for your Child after a Filling

Ever wonder how to care for your child after he or she has a filling or multiple fillings completed?

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Below is a list of what to do and what not to do.

  1. Your child’s lip, cheek, and tongue will be numb or “asleep” for about 2-3 hours. During this time make sure your child does not bite, scratch, or pick at these numb areas.
  2. Restrict diet to liquids (milkshake or smoothie) for the first 3 hours, and then eat soft foods for the rest of the day such as soup, yogurt, Carnation Instant Breakfast, eggs, jello etc.
  3. Normal brushing and flossing should resume tonight.
  4. Give Tylenol or Motrin in case of any discomfort of the tooth or gums.
  5. If your child complains of discomfort when chewing after a few days, please come in to the office for adjustments to the height of the filling, which is a short, painless procedure.

Your child should heal normally if you follow these instructions. Please feel free to call our office at (713) 461-1509 if you have any questions.

Dr. Jadav

Smiles for Kids Pediatric Dentistry

Valentine's Day Contest

Valentine’s Day is around the corner! Don’t forget to enter our contest when you’re here. You could be the big winner!

We have Crayons ready to help design and decorate your heart! We’ve already started hanging them up around the office.

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We will announce the lucky winner on February 9th so come on by! We can’t wait to see your creativity and talent!

Dr. Jadav

Smiles for Kids Pediatric Dentistry

White Spots with Braces

As anyone who has had braces knows, keeping them clean requires more time, diligence, and attention. At Smiles for Kids Pediatric Dentistry, we stress good oral hygiene during orthodontics.

During hygiene appointments, we review brushing techniques and flossing. We answer any questions and give specific recommendations for every patient. We formulate an individualized preventive plan for every patient so that they not only come out with an amazing smile, but a very healthy one! If we notice a patient is having difficulty keeping their teeth clean, we will recommend a cleaning only appointment in 3 months before the next 6 month appointment. This way, we can assess how they are doing and help keep those smiles healthy! Some patients may also need fluoride rinses and/or fluoride gels as part of their plan.

Poor oral hygiene during braces can have a serious and lasting effect on a patient’s teeth and gums. Without optimal brushing and flossing, plaque tends to sit on the teeth. As the bacteria accumulate, it creates acid. This forms white spots and even cavities on the teeth. The gums become red and inflamed, which can cause gingivitis and bad breath. As plaque accumulates around the brackets, we can see breakdown of the tooth.  It starts out as faint white lines (permanent white spots) and can progress all the way to brown cavitations. This cannot be reversed!

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We recommend using a “Spotless Brush” as an adjunct to help access the hard to reach areas between the brackets and the gumline. If you want to learn more about it, ask our hygienist and the dentist at your child’s next cleaning.

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At Smiles for Kids, Dr. Lindhorst and Dr. Jadav are dedicated to keeping your child’s teeth and gums healthy during orthodontics!

Smiles for Kids Pediatric Dentistry

Dr. Jadav

Holiday Toy Drive

Smiles for Kids Pediatric Dentistry is kicking off the holiday season with a local toy drive and we need your help!

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We’ll be collecting new, unwrapped toys and clothing through Friday, December 22nd at our office. These items will be shared with the children at the Oncology Ward at the Texas Children’s Hospital in Katy. Below is a list of the items on the “wish list”.

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Please keep in mind they kindly asked us NOT to gift gently used stuffed animals or beanie babies, sporting equipment, toy guns, makeup/lotion, religious items, edible or glass items.

We thank you for teaming with Smiles for Kids Pediatric Dentistry to make a child’s holiday season brighter! Please don’t forget that we’re open the week before the holidays when the kiddos are out of school. Call soon to make your appointment. These spots are filling up fast! We can’t wait to catch up with all of you!

Dr. Jadav

Smiles for Kids Pediatric Dentistry

 

Silver Crown versus White Crown

When teeth have large decay, they often cannot be restored with a filling. When that is the case, Smiles for Kids Pediatric Dentistry has choices as to what type of crown can be placed.

The gold standard is the stainless steel crown. They have a proven track record and are very durable. Due to their malleable metal, we can shape them to fit almost any tooth. They are more cost-effective than the white crowns. On the other hand, they are not esthetic as white crowns.

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White crowns are a newer material that is now available. Their most obvious advantage is the esthetics. Unfortunately, because of the hard material, we cannot get them to fit every tooth. We have to remove more of the tooth to fit this thicker crown.  Also, due to the nature of the material, it is more likely to break.  They cost more than stainless steel crowns.

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There is no right or wrong choice in most cases. If Dr. Lindhorst or Dr. Jadav feels that one will be better for your child than another, they will specify. Otherwise, it is up to the parents to decide which one they prefer.  

We hope this helps explains some of the pros and cons of silver versus white crowns!

Dr. Jadav

Smiles for Kids Pediatric Dentistry

Halloween Candy Buy Back

It's time for Smiles for Kids Pediatric Dentistry's annual Halloween Candy Buy Back tradition! We are joining with Operation Gratitude in donating candy and toothbrushes to our troops.

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Every child is eligible to receive $1 per pound for all unopened, uneaten Halloween candy. We encourage all of our participants to also write a nice note or letter to the troops so that we can deliver them alongside toothbrushes and the candy.  The program starts on Wednesday, November 1st and ends on Wednesday, November 15th.

Halloween is just around the corner and we’ve already heard some of your creative and fun costume ideas. We hope you have a safe and fun time trick or treating!

Dr. Jadav

Smiles for Kids Pediatric Dentistry

 

How to Choose Toothpaste for your Child

At Smiles for Kids Pediatric Dentistry, we often get asked what type of toothpaste is best. The answer is that is all depends. Here’s why.

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AGE

For infants that are less than 2 years old, the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends using a tiny smear of fluoride toothpaste to brush baby teeth.  The smear of toothpaste amounts to the size of a grain of rice. At about 3 years old, you can start using a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste. Kids (and adults) never really need to use more toothpaste than that.

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TASTE

Most kids have a preference when it comes to flavor. Most fluoride toothpastes are available in kid-friendly flavors like bubble gum. Where it gets more challenging is if you child complains about the flavor. Fortunately, there’s quite a few options on the market these days. You may have to experiment with them until you find the right one. For those that have trouble with all flavoring, there’s toothpaste called OraNurse which is flavorless but still has the benefit of fluoride.

The main thing to remember is that Dr. Lindhorst and Dr. Jadav recommend using fluoride toothpaste. As long as you have that active ingredient in there, we’re happy with any brand of toothpaste that you choose to use.

RISK FOR CAVITIES

Some of our patients are at higher risk for cavities. This could be due to enamel hypoplasia, crowding, history of cavities, oral hygiene, or having braces. For these patients, we may recommend toothpaste with a higher concentration of fluoride. We have these available at our office for the patients that need them. Using this specific toothpaste can help strengthen areas that may be weaker or help prevent cavities on those teeth that are just more prone to them.

Please let us know if you have any questions at drkasia@smiles-for-kids.com.

Dr. Jadav

Smiles for Kids Pediatric Dentistry

Helping your child stop sucking his thumb

Thumb sucking is one habit that is always hard to break until your child is ready to quit. Here are a few ideas from Smiles for Kids Pediatric Dentistry for when your little one decides he is ready.

Positive Reinforcement - Whenever you notice your child not sucking his thumb, you give him praise. This serves as a gentle reminder and is a good first step even if he hasn’t mentioned that he wants to quit.

Sticker Chart - This motivates kids to be consistent with the change. When your child brings his completed chart to us, we will take his picture and put it on our Wall of Winners. He can also pick out a special prize! Here’s a link to our personalized thumb sucking chart on our website: http://www.smiles-for-kids.com/charts/

Physical barrier - These come in all shapes, designs and sizes but basically, it places a cover over the digit that they suck so that he doesn’t get that same suction when it is placed in the mouth. Here are some photos of some available on the market.

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Thumb appliance – Dr. Lindhorst or Dr.  Jadav may recommended this for patients that have tried all of the above and are still having trouble stopping the habit. It’s a custom appliance that sits on the palate and serves as a barrier in the mouth.

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Dr. Jadav

Smiles for Kids Pediatric Dentistry

Patient Appreciation Party Time!

We can’t wait to see all of you on Sunday, September 17th at 3 pm for our annual patient appreciation party! We love to celebrate our wonderful families with a movie, food, and fun!

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This year, we’ll be watching Ratatouille while enjoying some delicious pizza and popcorn at Studio Movie Grill. Before the movie, we’ve planned some exciting activities for the kiddos. We’ll have face painting, Idea Lab activity, Mad Science experiment, balloons, BINGO, and tons of games with prizes!

Please don’t forget to RSVP at drkasia@smiles-for-kids.com as seating is limited. We can’t wait to see you and your family!

Dr. Jadav

Smiles for Kids Pediatric Dentistry

Coordinating Care with the Orthodontist

You’ll still want your child to come in for his or her 6 month recare appointments. The orthodontist will, of course, give you a summary of how your child is doing with their brushing. Going to a monthly orthodontist appointment does not replace seeing the pediatric dentist for recare appointments. Dr. Lindhorst or Dr. Jadav will have the hygienist clean your child’s teeth, take cavity-detecting radiographs (if they are due), check for dental decay, pathology, and do a thorough head and neck examination to screen for any abnormalities. Without coming in to Smiles for Kids Pediatric Dentistry, there may be undiagnosed decay or pathology present, which is the last thing you want to uncover as your child get his or her braces off! We will monitor your child’s bite alongside the orthodontist. Also, anytime your child has an appliance or braces in his or her mouth, his or her risk of decay or gum disease increases significantly.

Some patients even benefit from a 3 month appointment in between the 6 month appointments for thorough cleanings with the hygienist. Often, your child’s oral hygiene habits will suffer when in braces, as the increase in difficulty dissuades them from putting in the time necessary to clean around brackets, wires, and appliances.  An additional 3 month appointment allows for the hygienist to go through more oral hygiene instruction and remind the patient about how to care of his or her braces/appliances. With this, we see normally see a significant improvement in hygiene score.

When choosing an orthodontist, we’ll help you make the right choice for your family. Dr. Lindhorst and Dr. Jadav will consider many factors when referring you to the right orthodontist for your child. They consider your child’s orthodontic needs, where you live, and your child’s personality, and then choose the orthodontist that’s the right fit!

We are always happy to share our radiographs with your orthodontist. If we take a panoramic radiograph, Smiles for Kids Pediatric Dentistry can always email it to your orthodontist to help coordinate care. As long as you’ve given us permission, we will be able to accommodate.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask. We hope to see you soon!

Dr. Jadav

Smiles for Kids Pediatric Dentistry

Staying Hydrated

As the intense Houston heat is setting in, Smiles for Kids Pediatric Dentistry wants to remind everyone about staying hydrated this summer. It is super important for our kiddos to drink plenty of fluids especially with the peak of the summer heat already here. It seems like there are a million and one options these days at the grocery store when it comes to drinks for our kids. Here’s a quick guide to help you make the best choices for your little one.

Juice

Juice is loaded with sugar, which will only accelerate the cavity process! Even 100% organic juices have lots of sugar. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends limiting juice intake to less than 4-6 oz per day for children ages 1-6. The newest recommendation is no juice for kids less than 1 year old. The constant exposure to sugar and acid can quickly break down teeth.  We recommend giving children fresh fruit slices to get their daily fruit intake. A fun idea for summer is to freeze grapes or blueberries for a fun, juicy, and healthy afternoon snack!

Sports Drinks

Sports drinks are not recommended for young children.  Having them often increases your child’s risk for obesity. They can cause dental erosion because they are acidic. The sugar will of course increase their risk for cavities, too.

Sodas

Soda, as we all know, is bad for our teeth and bodies. Drinking soda can be as bad as having battery acid in our kid’s mouth. The acidity can quickly cause breakdown and weakening of teeth.

Keep in mind that frequency is key.  It’s worse to sip on a juice drink all day than to just have it during a meal when it comes to your teeth. If it’s not for mealtime, they should be drinking water.  All in all, the best option is always water! It will keep our little ones hydrated without all the side effects of juices, sports drinks, and sodas.

Look at how much sugar these drinks have in them! We would never let our kids eat spoonfuls of sugar so why give them drinks loaded with this much sugar?

Dr. Jadav

 

Radiation Comparison

At Smiles for Kids Pediatric Dentistry, our promise is to use as little radiation as possible while still gathering all the information that we need to diagnose and treat your child safely and comprehensively.

Each dental radiograph exposes your child to 0.5 mrem of radiation. Below is a schematic that puts this number into perspective.

We often get asked about x-rays and why we need them. We strictly follow the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry’s Guidelines. We need them in order to diagnose cavities between the teeth that cannot otherwise be detected, check for abnormalities in the bone, monitor growth and development patterns, and identify missing teeth, extra teeth or infections. We evaluate each patient individually and take radiographs only when we know it will affect patient care. We take into account age, date of the last radiographs taken, patient’s specific risk for decay, oral hygiene, diet and any concerns such as trauma, pathology or infection.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to call us or email us.

Dr. Jadav

Apthous Ulcers

What is an apthous ulcer? Physically, it’s a shallow lesion that develops in the mouth.

It is quite common and it is similar to the body’s reaction to an allergen. Triggers can vary. Some common triggers are stress, acidic foods, trauma, and ingredients in mouth products. It is not known to be a viral nor a bacterial infection.  They do not occur on the outer surface of the lips and they are not contagious.

Unfortunately, they can be painful making eating and talking difficult. Most of the ulcers resolve on their own in 2 weeks. Applying a topical numbing gel can help with discomfort for children that are old enough for it. It is recommended to avoid spicy or acidic foods while the healing is in progress.

If you have any other questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to give us a call.

Dr. Jadav

Hygiene Scores

Every time you visit us at Smiles for Kids Pediatric Dentistry for a six month appointment, we provide your child with his or her hygiene score. It’s a rating system that helps you track your child’s progress with home care. Here’s a little more information to shed some light on it.

We rate from 1 to 5 with 5 being the best. Everyone should be shooting for a 5!

Our average score is a 3.5 which means that the hygienist noted some plaque with light tartar buildup. Oftentimes, she may have noticed some light bleeding of the gums, too.  She will give you a detailed report of all that she noted.

A score higher than a 3.5 is above average. Keep up the good work!

A score below 3.5 means that there are areas that your child is missing. With this, we see more bleeding, swelling, plaque and tartar buildup. The hygienist will give you specific recommendations to improve your score. This could mean focusing on a certain area, angling the toothbrush differently, or incorporating flossing to your nightly routine.  

If Dr. Lindhorst or Dr. Jadav feel that your child would benefit from a 3 month appointment with our hygienist for a cleaning in between his or her six month visit, she will let you know. This is especially useful for patients that are in braces or have appliances that are harder to keep clean.

Prevention is key at Smiles for Kids Pediatric Dentistry and a huge part of this prevention plan is hygiene. If you have any questions for us, please let us know. We can’t wait to see your smiling face soon!

Dr. Jadav