Children’s Dentistry Tulsa, OK

Your child’s smile is precious, but unfortunately it’s also very vulnerable – about one in four children will have developed at least one cavity before their fourth birthday. Luckily, Dr. Rick Franklin is here to help keep your little one safe! We’ll help keep their young teeth clean and guide you through the different stages of dental development; that way, your child will be on track for maintaining a healthy, dazzling smile in the future. Call us today to schedule your little one’s first dental checkup for children’s dentistry in Tulsa, OK!

Your child’s dental visit will be handled differently depending on how old they are. For little ones less than one year old, we’ll remove stains by gently scrubbing the teeth with a wet toothbrush, and we can teach parents proper cleaning techniques to use at home. As your child grows older, we’ll monitor the development of their baby teeth and adult teeth, apply sealants if necessary, and check for signs that orthodontic care or Invisalign might be needed in the future.

Since young children are still learning how to brush and floss well, they might have a hard time cleaning certain teeth. Their molars can be especially hard to reach, not helped by the fact that these teeth have numerous grooves where bacteria and food particles can become trapped. By placing a thin plastic barrier over the molars (or other teeth that might be at risk), we can give them some additional protection until your child is able to take care of them on their own.

At Tulsa Time Dental Design, we use a special mixture of silver, water, fluoride, and ammonia to treat any cavities your little one might be suffering from. Silver diamine fluoride can kill bacteria while also helping the tooth rebuild itself (a process called remineralization.) This makes it especially useful for fighting decay that has already begun. For children that are afraid of the dentist, silver diamine fluoride can make for a much less frightening alternative to dental drilling.

If your child has trouble swallowing their food or develops a speech impediment, it may be because of an overdeveloped frenulum. A frenulum is a piece of tissue that connects the tongue or the lips to the jaw; if it’s too tight, the organ it’s attached to won’t be able to move freely (a condition known as lip-tie or tongue-tie.) While this issue can simply correct itself in some children, in other cases we may need to remove the frenulum so that it doesn’t impact your child’s development.

A non-nutritive habit is one where your child sucks on their thumb or something else not meant to feed them. In the short-term, these habits can help them feel safe, but over the long run they’ll push their teeth back and create alignment issues. In other words, you could end up having to pay for braces. Luckily, Dr. Franklin and Dr. McGinnity can help you recognize these potentially harmful habits and can help you encourage your child to drop them.

If dental pulp becomes damaged, it can be a very painful experience for your child. The tooth could ultimately be lost, which could end up having a very negative effect on your child’s dental development. Call us if your child frequently suffers from unexplained pain or sensitivity to temperature. Depending on how far the damage is spread, we may be able to remove part of the pulp while leaving healthy tissue behind; in other cases, a full pulpectomy is necessary.

Are your children getting enough fluoride? This mineral is vital for maintaining strong, cavity-free teeth. While your little ones will normally get plenty of fluoride from regular tap water, we can give them a little extra help with a fluoride treatment at our dental office. The entire procedure only takes a few minutes; the fluoride is applied topically to the tooth and left for the enamel to absorb. Your child might need a fluoride treatment one or two times a year depending on their overall health.

If your child does end up with a cavity, we can fill it with a special composite resin. This material can blend in with tooth enamel, making it much less noticeable than a metal filling; that way, your child can smile with confidence at school without worrying about how they look. Another benefit of a tooth colored dental filling is that since it bonds directly with the enamel, we typically won’t have to remove healthy dental structure, letting us save more of your child’s natural tooth.

If your little one is involved with football, tennis, or any other kind of sport, they should be wearing a mouthguards in case the worst happens. While you can find mouthguards at the store, the kind we provide are customized to fit perfectly on the teeth. This means they’ll provide better protection if your child ends up getting hit in the mouth. They also offer increased comfort, which can encourage your child to wear their mouthguard.

Surprisingly, almost a fifth of all school age children are afraid of the dentist, and an uncontrolled fear can make appointments more difficult and less pleasant for everyone. If your little one needs some help to relax, call us ahead of your checkup to ask about sedation dental options. We offer nitrous oxide and other treatments based on your child’s age and anxiety levels; for them, it will seem like the visit passed very quickly, and in some cases they might not even remember it at all!