Regardless of your dental needs, your comfort is always our number one priority. We’ll discuss your unique situation and determine the best way to helpyou receive the treatment you need. Few patients look forward to any minor surgical procedure, but today’s methods provide the safest, least invasive carepossible.
- Dental Care for Your baby
- The importance of baby teeth
- Oral Health Exams
- Preventative Dentistry
- Digital Dental Radiographs (X-Rays)
- Restorative Dentistry
- Composite Fillings
- Stainless Steel Crowns
- Space Maintenance
- Sedation Dentistry
- Solea Dental Laser
- Tongue and Lip Tie
- Silver Diamine Fluoride
- Emergency Dental Care
Dental Care for your baby
Congratulations on the arrival of your baby! Are you prepared for thearrival of your baby’s first tooth? Follow these guidelines and your sonor daughter will be on the way to a lifetime of healthy smiles!
Even before your baby’s first tooth appears, the gums can benefit fromyour careful attention. After breast- or bottle-feeding, wrap one fingerwith a clean, damp washcloth or piece of gauze and gently rub itacross your baby’s gum tissue. This practice both clears your littleone’s mouth of any fragments of food and begins the process forbuilding good daily oral care habits.
Baby’s First Tooth
When that first tooth makes an entrance, it’s time to upgrade to a babytoothbrush. There are usually two options: a long-handled toothbrushthat you and your baby can hold at the same time, and a finger-puppet-like brush that fits over the tip of your pointer finger. In eachcase, the bristles are soft and few.
At this stage, toothpaste isn’t necessary; just dip the brush in waterbefore brushing. If your little one doesn’t react well to the introductionof a toothbrush, don’t give up. Switch back to a damp washcloth for afew months and try the toothbrush again. During the teething process,your child will want to chew on just about anything, and a babytoothbrush with a teether can become a favorite toy during this period.
Brushing with Toothpaste
When a few more teeth appear, you can start using toothpaste withyour child’s brush. At this stage, use only a tiny amount of fluoridatedtoothpaste (the size of a grain of rice). From the beginning, have yourlittle one practice spitting the toothpaste out after brushing, whichshould not be swallowed at any age.
Don’t give your baby any sort of sweetened liquids such as flavoreddrinks or soda. Even the sugars present in fruit juice, formula, and milk(this goes for breast milk as well) can cause decay, so regular teethand gum cleaning is vital. Also, make sure your baby never goes tobed with a bottle; sugary liquids in prolonged contact with teeth are aguarantee for early-childhood decay, also called baby-bottle caries.
First Visit to the Dentist
It’s recommended that you bring your baby in for a visit within sixmonths of the first tooth’s eruption – usually around his or her firstbirthday. Since decay can occur in even the smallest of teeth, theearlier your baby visits us, the more likely he or she is to avoidproblems. We’ll look for any signs of early problems with your baby’soral heath, and check in with you about the best way to care for yourlittle one’s teeth. Remember that preparing for each dental visit with apositive attitude goes a long way toward making your childcomfortable with regular checkups.
Setting a Good Example
As part of the natural learning process, little ones are expert mimics,and you can take advantage of this talent. Brush and floss daily whileyour child is watching, and he or she will intuit at an early age theimportance of your good habits. As soon as your child shows interest,offer a toothbrush of his or her own and encourage your toddler to“brush” with you. (You’ll find toothbrushes with chunky, short handlesthat are easy to grip.) Most children don’t have the dexterity necessaryto thoroughly clean their own teeth until they’re about six or seven, soyou’ll have to do that part of the job. Try different tactics to makebrushing fun: flavored toothpaste, a toothbrush with a favoritecharacter on it, or singing songs about brushing. The primary goal isto instill healthy oral habits at an early age to set your child up for alifetime of healthy, cavity-free teeth!
Oral Health Exams
We truly believe that regular dental examinations are important in order for your child to have good dental health and a smile of which he or she can be proud. We start by doing a professional cleaning, removing all of the bad tartar and other buildup on your child’s teeth.
We then do an examination, looking to catch and fix any problems before they become bigger ones. We examine each tooth, looking for any signs of decay, damage, or any other problems, such as signs of infection. We want to correct any problems your child may have before they get any worse.request an appointment
We recommend routine dental cleanings for several reasons. When we perform a professional cleaning, we remove the buildup of plaque and tartar. We also clean the parts of your child’s teeth that are hard to reach, such as underneath the gums.
After a cleaning, we will polish your child’s teeth so that they shine! We can also apply a fluoride treatment, if necessary, to help prevent tooth decay.request an appointment
We recommend cleanings twice a year for our patients at Hawks Prairie & West Olympia Pediatric Dentistry. Cleanings improve oral health by the removal of harmful plaque and calculus. During these preventive care appointments, we also apply a fluoride treatment and take digital dental radiographs if needed. At the end of this appointment, Dr. Davidson will complete a comprehensive exam to assess your child’s oral health.
Digital Dental Radiographs (X-Rays)
Dr. Davidson will request radiographs if needed for proper evaluation and diagnosis. Every child is different and the need for different types of radiographs will vary from child to child. Our office is equipped with the top of the line digital equipment, which further lowers exposure to well below recommended levels.
If you have any questions about our services, please contact us today at .
Your child brushes twice a day, flosses regularly, and visits the dentistevery six months. But did you know that rinsing with fluoride – amineral that helps prevent cavities and tooth decay – also helps keepteeth healthy and strong?
Fluoride is effective in preventing cavities and tooth decay by coatingteeth and preventing plaque from building up and hardening on thetooth’s surface.
- Systemic fluoride is ingested, usually through a public water supply. While teeth are forming under the gums, the fluoride strengthens tooth enamel, making it stronger and more resistant to cavities.
- Fluoride can also be applied topically to help prevent caries(cavities) on teeth present in the mouth. It is delivered through toothpaste, mouthwash, and professional fluoride applications. Professional application of topical fluoride foamand varnishes is also a valuable tool in cavity prevention.
Receiving a fluoride treatment from your dentist
A fluoride treatment in the dentist’s office takes just a few minutes.After the treatment, patients may be asked to not rinse, eat, or drinkfor at least 30 minutes in order to allow the teeth to absorb thefluoride. Depending on your child’s oral health or your doctor’srecommendation, your child may be required to have a fluoridetreatment every three, six, or 12 months. Your doctor may alsoprescribe at-home fluoride products such as mouthwash, gels, orantibacterial rinses.
Sometimes brushing is not enough, especially when it comes to those hard-to-reach spots in your child’s mouth. It is difficult for a toothbrush to reachbetween the small cracks and grooves on teeth. If left alone, those tiny areascan develop tooth decay. Sealants give your child’s teeth extra protectionagainst decay and help prevent cavities.
Dental sealants are plastic resins that bond and harden in the deep grooveson the tooth’s surface. When a tooth is sealed, the tiny grooves becomesmooth, and are less likely to harbor plaque. With sealants, brushing becomeseasier and more effective against tooth decay.
Sealants last from three to five years, although it is fairly common to seeadults with sealants still intact from childhood. A dental sealant only providesprotection when it is fully intact so if your child’s sealants come off, let thedentist know, and schedule an appointment for your child’s teeth to be re-sealed.
We are usually able to fill in broken teeth to make them look like normal teeth. We even use a cement that is the color of your child’s teeth. If that does not work, we offer veneers and caps to cover up any broken teeth.
We can also fix missing teeth and have many options for how we do so. Typically, we like to place implants, which will act like the tooth’s replacement root. On top of the implants, we use crowns, which are artificial teeth, to restore your child’s mouth with normal-sized and shaped teeth.request an appointment
Cavities and small fractures can cause much larger issues if left untreated. In the past, metal restorations called amalgam fillings (or silver fillings) served a need but left many teeth discolored and strained from the wedging effect of the metal. Today, tooth-colored composite resins blend into the tooth structureand are chemically bonded to the tooth providing a strong, permanent restoration.
Composites serve both functional and aesthetic roles, often at the same time. For example, a cavity invading the front of a tooth along the gum line may be visible in your smile line. By gently cleaning out the soft, discolored area and replacing it with a tooth-colored filling, the tooth is restored and looks better than ever.
Composites contain a mix of liquid resin embedded with finely ground glass particles. After being molded to the prepared tooth structure, a blue light applied directly to the composite hardens the filling material within seconds. Once it’s shaped and polished to a high shine, the restoration is complete.
When decay is large or progresses without treatment, it can extend into the nerve of the tooth, therefore requiring nerve treatment. In an adult tooth, this treatment would be a root canal, but in baby teeth it is a simpler version of a root canal called a pulpotomy (“baby root canal”). The pulpotomy involves removing part of the nerve of the tooth and placing a soothing medication in the area. The tooth will be covered with a stainless steel crown to prevent fracture or any bacterial contamination.
Stainless Steel Crowns
Stainless steel crowns are the gold-standard to which newer crowns are compared. They are a great approach for children that are highly susceptible to dental caries. Crowns are recommended when there is large tooth decay or a large portion of the tooth is missing that a traditional filling cannot restore.
When decay progresses into an infection and the tooth is not savable, or if teeth are not falling out normally and blocking permanent tooth eruption, extractions are recommended. Dr. Davidson “wiggles and dances” these teeth out for the tooth fairy in these situations. These can typically be done easily in our office; however, in complicated cases, we may refer your child out to an oral and maxillofacial surgeon if this is the case.
How Do I Care For My Child After The Procedure?
Fortunately, there isn’t too much your child needs to do after the tooth extraction. Here are a few tips:
- Place gauze against the area of the extraction to prevent bleeding.
- Use an ice pack against any swollen or sore areas.
- Eat soft foods like mashed potatoes or soup.
- Do not use straws because straws can dislodge blood clots.
- Brush and floss gently around the missing tooth.
If you have any other questions, feel free to reach out! We’re always happy to help.
Baby teeth have a very important role. In addition to providing daily function, they save the space for the permanent teeth and serve as a guide for proper eruption. When a tooth is lost prematurely, the surrounding baby teeth will begin to shift and can close the space. This could prevent permanent teeth from erupting, leading to more complicated orthodontic needs. If a tooth is lostearly, a small, custom-made appliance called a space maintainer can be put in its place. The spacer remains seated until the adult tooth is near eruption and then is removed.
What is Sedation Dentistry?
Sedation dentistry refers to the use of sedation during dentaltreatment. Children with high anxiety, major dental treatment needs, ofa very young age, physical handicaps or strong gag reflexes mayrequire sedation. Procedures like fillings, crowns, pulpotomies, andextractions, often require sedation in young children. Sedation canrange from the use of nitrous oxide to calm a patient to IVsedation/general anesthetics used to put patients to sleep.
Dr. Davidson has received extensive training in sedating children andstrictly follows clinical guidelines set forth by the American Academy ofPediatric Dentistry when sedating a child for dental treatment. Beforeusing any sedative or anesthetic, it is important to tell your pediatricdentist about any medications or medical treatments your child isreceiving. Before administering any sedative or anesthetic, we will talkto you about the process of sedation and pre-and post-sedationinstructions.
Nitrous oxide, or “laughing gas” as it is commonly known, is acommon sedative used during dental procedures. It is administered ina mixture with oxygen and inhaled through a mask placed over thenose. When inhaled, it has a calming effect that helps anxiouspatients relax during a procedure, yet since it is a mild sedative,patients are still conscious and can talk to their pediatric dentist duringtheir visit. Once treatment is completed, oxygen is administered for 5-10 minutes to help flush out any remaining gas. The sedative effectswear off almost immediately and side effects are rare, although someindividuals may experience minor nausea or constipation. If it is determined nitrous oxide is appropriate for your child, we will go overpre- and post-sedation instructions with you.
IV sedation/General Anesthesia
IV Sedation/General Anesthesia, or being “put to sleep” is a controlledstate of unconsciousness. It is performed by a trainedanesthesiologist, who monitors your child while they are “asleep”, astheir pediatric dentist completes their dental work. IVsedation/General Anesthesia can be completed in both a hospitalsetting or in the office. Dr. Davidson is on staff at St. Peter’s Hospitalin Olympia, Wa where he has operating room (OR) privileges in boththe hospital OR as well as the outpatient OR. Most dental proceduresare performed in the outpatient OR (ie you go home within 1-2 hoursafter the surgery). We also offer in-office IV sedation/generalanesthesia where we bring in a trained, licensed, board-certifiedanesthesiologist (Dream Team Anesthesia) to treat your child.
If IV sedation/general anesthesia is deemed appropriate for your child,Dr. Davidson and his staff will go over DETAILED instructions for theprocedure leading up to the sedation appointment as well as what toexpect when you go home after the surgery. The anesthesia team willalso provide similar instructions.
Solea Dental Laser
Dr. Bo Davidson and our experienced team of professionals want the very best for our young patients. We combine gentle care with advanced education and extensive training in the safe use of the latest state-of-the-art technology. Laser dentistry is a high-tech way to provide gentle care and treat a broad range of childhood oral health conditions comfortably and efficiently.
What Is a Dental Laser?
ust like lasers used for medical procedures, a dental laser focuses a beam of light directly on the area we’re treating. Using lasers, we can pinpoint and treat the problem without affecting surrounding tissue.
Laser dentistry results in less bleeding, minimal swelling and post-procedure discomfort for your child. We find that, in many cases, we can complete laser treatment without the need for any anesthetic.
At Hawks Prairie Pediatric Pediatric Dentistry, we are dedicated to staying on the cuttingedge of emerging dental technology that improves your child’s oral health and ensures their overall well-being.
Would you like to learn more about how our gentle laser dentistry treatments can benefityour child? Please call our office. A friendly member of our team will be glad to arrange a convenient consultation with Dr. Davidson.
What Is a Solea Laser?
Solea is the first CO2 dental laser system cleared by the FDA for hard- and soft-tissue procedures. It offers a unique wavelength guided by sophisticated computers to deliver virtually painless dental procedures for both teeth and gums, from simple cavities to more complex surgeries. Aside from causing virtually no pain, Solea is associated with minimal noise and no vibration. Thanks to Solea, the majority of kids who come in for fillings and other restorative care do not need local anesthesia.
How Will This Laser Benefit My Child?
With Solea, we rarely need to numb our patients for routine restorative work, such as fillings. Under traditional methods of dentistry, children must be numbed using local anesthesia for these procedures. We have found that many children do not react well to having numbness, which can last for hours after the procedure. Even though they often do well for the procedure and the actual numbing, the lingering numbness and return of sensation can be quite uncomfortable. Furthermore, no kid likes the idea of getting a shot regardless of how gently it will be done. By using Solea, most children don’t feel like they’ve had dental treatment at all.
Benefits of Laser Dentistry
The benefits associated with Solea are many. Some of the most significant advantages of laser dentistry include:
- Many hard- and soft-tissue procedures are completed without local anesthesia (numbing), and soft-tissue procedures occur with virtually no bleeding.
- Laser dentistry is incredibly precise and often can achieve a more conservative restoration.
- Using the Solea laser is far less invasive than any cutting instrument, which makes healing time following a procedure much shorter.
- When patients have local anesthesia, they leave the office still feeling numb. This can cause both adults and children to bite their lip, tongue, or cheek, causing pain and tenderness after dental appointments. With Solea, your child will be able to go right to lunch or back to school without the numbness associated with dental work.
Does It Cost More to Use the Laser?
We do not charge any additional fees for using this technology. We are committed to providing the most comfortable and highest level of care possible to ourpatients.
A frenectomy is the removal of a frenum, a small fold of tissue that is present in the upper lip or underneath the tongue. When the frenum is too tight, we call it tongue tie or lip tie. Tongue and lip ties can cause issues breastfeeding in babies, encourage decay, and cause facial growth and development and orthodontic problems over time. These ties can also cause speech issues.
The Solea laser has made it possible for Dr. Davidson to quickly, safely, and effectively complete the frenectomy under the tongue or upper lip to allow for better range of motion — for healthier babies and happier parents. Immediately after a frenectomy, an infant is often fully able to latch and feed in the most efficient manner.
Simply put, a gingivectomy is the removal of gum tissue. For children, the most commonreason for a gingivectomy is for esthetic reasons after braces are removed. If oral hygiene is an issue while a child has braces, the gum tissue can become overgrown. A gingivectomy may also be done to remove excess tissue from around teeth that may be trapping food. Traditional procedures for gingivectomy can be difficult for children, but laser treatment has proven to be a very effective alternative, resulting in minimal bleeding, discomfort, and recovery time.
Contact us to learn more about laser dentistry! The team at Hawks Prairie Pediatric Dentistry is proud to offer this service at no extra charge for all of our patients — like your child! Please give us a call to set up an appointment.
What is a frenum? (also called frenulum)
Your child’s mouth contains small folds of tissue that support their speech and oral functions. These pieces of tissue, known as “frenums,” are usually considered part of standard anatomy and are harmless, necessary components of the mouth. However, in some cases, these folds of tissue in the mouth can restrict the movement of the tongue or lips. Restrictions can actually cause functional problems with breastfeeding, eating, and speaking. They can also lead to gum recession later in life, as the labial frenulum pulls gums off the bone. Frenectomy procedures are performed in an attempt to avoid issues with breastfeeding, speech problems, and orthodontic issues.
Did you know that everyone has seven frenums, also known as ties? There are typically four buccal (cheek) ties, an upper lip tie, a lower lip tie, and a tongue tie.
While most frenums function as they should, some frenums can occasionally pose problems due to their thickness, depth, size, or location they attach. Such frenums can inhibit your child’s speech, development, and ability to eat or breastfeed. A frenectomy is a surgical procedure designed to release the restriction and help restore proper function. When a child’s frenum is too restrictive, they will struggle and develop problems over time—which is why we recommend a kids frenectomy at our dental office.
At Hawks Prairie Pediatric Dentistry, we can perform a frenectomy in order to improve your child’s quality of life.
How will you perform my child’s frenectomy/functional frenuloplasty?
Dr. Davidson chooses to perform frenectomies using laser dentistry because this type of treatment is fast, safe, and efficient. We rely on the Solea Laser to help make your child’s treatment more comfortable. This laser technology means a shorter recovery time, less bleeding, and a smaller chance of postoperative infections. Your child should not feel any pain while we use the laser! For children over four, we recommend speech therapy before and after a frenectomy to get the best results!
Does my child need a frenectomy?
If your child has a tongue tie, you’ve likely already noticed signs at home. Typically, children who need a frenectomy have difficulty:
- Speaking clearly
- Breathing with their mouth closed
You can visually inspect your child’s mouth for signs of a tight frenum, but the best way to know for sure if there are functional issues is to bring them to our dental office for an evaluation. To schedule a dental appointment with Dr. Bo Davidson, please call Hawks Prairie Pediatric Dentistry today at
Silver Diamine Fluoride
Silver Diamine Fluoride has been used extensively around the globe for decades. It has been recently approved by the FDA to be utilized for tooth sensitivity but is also proven to be useful for “off-label” treating tooth decay. This can be used to treat young children that are not able to tolerate routine restoration care. It is applied quickly and pain-free and arrests the cavity from progressing. It can be used in cases where children are very anxious and a great option for addressing primary teeth that are near exfoliation. It is a conservative and economical approach. The side-effect of silver diamine fluoride is discoloration/staining. It will cause tooth decay to turn black. This approach is not a replacement for restoring teeth but rather an interim therapy.request an appointment
Emergency Dental Care
Our team is available and ready to help you in the event of your child experiencing a dental emergency. For after hours emergencies, Dr. Davidson is available for established patients only. Any after hours calls will be directed to Dr. Davidson. Please contact us at .request an appointment