How To Spot When Your Baby Is Teething

When it comes to teething, all babies are different. But your baby will probably get their first tooth sometime before their first birthday. Although rare, some babies are born with teeth. These are called Natal teeth. Other babies may start teething before they are 4 months old, and some after age 1. But in general, most babies start teething at around 6 months. If you have been noticing your baby’s gums are inflamed, or rounded…getting extra puffy, or spot bleeding, it may just be a matter of weeks to a month before you see a pearly white baby tooth starting to poke through. When your baby is teething, you’ll notice other signs, along with swollen gums and excessive drooling. 

  • Teething babies will often try to gnaw and chew on anything they can get in their mouths. 
  • If your baby’s teething pain crosses over to their ear canal, you may find them tugging at their ears too, or shaking their head from side to side as if they are gesturing no no no.
  •  You might even notice a change in their eating habits, depending on how the pressure of sucking down milk or chewing on foods makes them feel. Some babies may want to drink more milk than eat solids, while other babies may do the opposite.
  • Your baby may have a mild temperature of 38C
  • They may have 1 flushed cheek
  • They may have a rash on their face
  • Your baby may have a diarrhea
  • They may experience difficulty sleeping or staying asleep
  • Your baby may be overly fussy or cranky

So you might ask, what can I do to ease my baby’s discomfort?

  • Gently massage your baby’s gums with a clean finger, knuckle, or finger wisp, or moistened gauze pad.
  • Hold a cold washcloth, spoon, or chilled teething ring on your baby’s gums.
  • Use plastic or BPA-free toys that are chilled — never frozen solid (ouch!)
  • Offer cold foods like chilled slices of cucumber, frozen pancakes, or waffles, chilled applesauce, yogurts, or pureed fruits if your baby is already eating solids. These are great ways to reduce pain, learn to chew, and enjoy new foods at the same time — but always keep a watchful eye on them, because some foods could be a choking hazard.
  • Use occasional over-the-counter baby Tylenol or ibuprofen, with your pediatrician’s OK.
  • Avoid Orajel since they are not meant to be ingested and with excessive drooling, it is unlikely that the Orajel will adhere to their gums.

When my baby’s teeth start to arrive, what can I expect to see? Great question! Here’s a loose guide:

  • bottom incisors (bottom front teeth) – these are usually the first to come through, usually at around 5 to 7 months
  • top incisors (top front teeth) – these tend to come through at about 6 to 8 months
  • top lateral incisors (either side of the top front teeth) – these come through at around 9 to 11 months
  • bottom lateral incisors (either side of the bottom front teeth) – these come through at around 10 to 12 months
  • first molars (back teeth) – these come through at around 12 to 16 months
  • canines (between the lateral incisors and the first molars) – these come through at around 16 to 20 months
  • second molars – these come through at around 20 to 30 months
  • Most children will have all of their baby teeth by the time they are 2 1/2 years old.

You should make your child’s first dental visit around their first birthday. For tips on how to care for your baby’s teeth, book an appointment with Dr. Anderson at Sprout Kids Dentistry today at 617-328-1700.

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How to Prepare Your Child For Their First Filling

Getting the news that your little one has a cavity (or several cavities) that need to be drilled out
and filled is never easy, especially if it’s their first one. You may feel guilty, like you’ve done
something wrong with your child’s dental care, and it’s certainly understandable to be scared on
behalf of your child, knowing the procedure may make them uncomfortable and frightened.
At Sprout Kid’s Dentistry, we understand the emotions that you may experience, which is why we take
deliberate steps to ensure your child is comfortable and calm before, during, and after a filling

Lead the Way With Calmness

The key to your child’s first filling is being honest about what will happen during the procedure baring in mind that less is more. If your child lives in a two-parent household, it’s best to send the “calm one” to the appointment with your kid, toprovide an example for your child to follow– if mom isn’t scared, they’re less likely to be, too.

Create a Painless Plan

Dr. Michelle Anderson, will create a treatment plan that you and your child will be comfortable with.This can include laughing gas, local numbing, and a compelling distraction, like a favorite TV showplayed through headphones.
Once a plan is in place, you can tell your child what to expect—not in terms that describes cary-
sounding dental tools—but in terms of what they’re experience will actually be; for example, your mouth will feel sillyor sleepy, and you will have to hold your mouth open for awhile while they was away some bad germs.Because the treatment will be designed to eliminate discomfort, all you need to say is that they need to go
see Dr. Anderson again because she needs to clean out your teeth really good.

Framing a dental visit that implies pain and punishment can serve to only make your child’s
anxieties worse, not better. Feel free to limit the information you give about the specifics of their
next visit so that the dentist and staff can ease any fears your child may have without having to undo mythsor misunderstandings about the procedure that you may have outlined.

Preventing Cavities

No matter how diligent you and your child are at maintaining a good dental hygiene routine,
there’s always the chance that they can develop cavities. This isn’t always a reflection on the
parents or the kid, but simply the complexity of oral health. Factors that influence whether a
person gets cavities or not include genetics, lack of fluoride, diet, the physical shape of teeth and their grooves, and just the general chemistry of a person’s mouth.

So when you’re told that your child needs a cavity filled, don’t panic. Sure, there may be
opportunities to improve your child’s oral care, but it’s also not your fault and you shouldn’t beat yourself up about it. That’s why we’re here to offer treatments and advice on how to improve your children’s dental hygiene.

Kids’ Dentist in Boston, MA

If you’re looking for a calm and inviting environment for your kid’s dental visits, Sprout Kids
Dentistry is ready to welcome you with open arms. Call us or contact us online to get started
with your kid’s first appointment today.

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Truths and Myths About Cavities

Cavities are probably the most well-known dental issue, and also one of the most easily
treatable ones as well. And although most parents and kids are aware of their prevalence, it’s
unlikely that they’re as well-versed in the reasons they arise, what dentists do to fix them, and
even what they actually are. Let’s clear up some of the most common misunderstandings about
your kid’s oral health in general and cavities in particular.

Myth: You Only Need A Dentist When Something Hurts

One of the more popular myths surrounding dental care is that checkups are unnecessary
unless there’s a specific issue with pain involved. The reason this thinking is flawed is that by
the time something in your mouth or teeth is hurting, the issue has progressed way too far.
Pain in your mouth and teeth come from nerve signals, which lie in the roots of teeth. When
tooth decay or damage reaches the nerve, it’s likely gone past the point of simply needing a
filling, which is cheap and simple to fix, to more invasive procedures like a pulpotomy.
This is what makes routine dental checkups so important for your child’s oral
health. By getting your kid’s teeth examined by Dr. Anderson on a regular basis, you have a
trained professional keeping a close eye on their oral health that can identify and solve dental problems before they become
painful and costly.

Truth: Sugar and Carbs Cause Cavities

The process that causes cavities begins with bacteria in your mouth enjoying a sugary or carb-
loaded feast from the food and drinks you consume. Sugars in sweets like soda and candy—as
well as those in bread, potatoes, and pasta—interact with bacteria to form acids that erode tooth

This starts as plaque, a tacky substance that contains bacteria that coats the surfaces of teeth.
Plaque, when it’s soft, can be brushed away on a twice-daily basis, preventing the formation of
hardened plaque that cannot be brushed away. This is called calculus.
When calculus and the bacteria sealed within it sit on teeth too long, it can wear a hole in the tooth,
allowing the bacteria to be even harder to brush away or get out. This is when cavities and other
forms of tooth decay form.

The bacteria that cause cavities thrive on sugar and carbohydrates. This doesn’t mean you
need to totally eliminate these compounds from your diets—it’s impossible to do, in fact—but it
does mean you should help your children fully commit to a diligent brushing and flossing routine
to help prevent the accumulation of plaque and calculus.

Myth: Sugar-Free Drinks Don’t Cause Cavities

Although sugar and carbs are the main and most common culprits for encouraging tooth decay,
anything that makes the mouth environment more acidic can cause a cavity. This includes
sugar-free sodas and anything else with a low pH.

Fact: You Can’t Stop A Cavity in its Tracks

Once a cavity forms, it requires a dentist to correct it. No amount of brushing, flossing, or rinsing
can repair the damage to tooth enamel caused by bacterial decay. Once the bacteria makes it halfway through the enamel, there’s no going back.

Myth: Fillings Are Permanent Solutions

Although modern dental techniques and tools are excellent at providing relief and restoration to
decayed teeth, they’re still not the same as your natural tooth tissue. 
Fillings can wear and break down with time, and bacteria can still cause decay around the
edges of a filling, which is another reason why a healthy daily routine is critical to lifelong dental

Children’s Dentistry in Quincy, MA

We understand the dentist’s chair can be one of the most intimidating places in your little one’s
life, which is why our staff and facilities are tailored to the experience of children. At Sprout Kids
Dentistry, we work with parents to craft a personalized plan for your child’s routine care and
dental treatment that you’re comfortable with, and that best serves your child’s needs. To learn
more about our practice and schedule your first appointment, call our office or contact us online

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One of the hardest things a pediatric dentist has to tell a parent is, “Your child has cavities.”

Sometimes you already know, and sometimes you are taken off guard; but regardless of the circumstances, these words can often leave a parent feeling guilty and uncertain about what comes next.

If the cavity is small, your pediatric dentist can fix the tooth with a traditional filling. However, if the decay is extensive, it may be necessary to place a crown or “cap” on the tooth. Crowns are placed on teeth that have large areas of decay that could possibly break if a traditional filling material is used to fix it.

Why Use Crowns on Baby Teeth?

One of the first questions that come to mind about pediatric stainless steel crowns is usually:

“Why is it necessary? And, why not just pull the tooth?” 

Crowns are often the best treatment plan for decayed or damaged baby teeth for one main reason.

The alternative to using a crown would be extraction, which can lead to complications if a baby tooth is removed too soon such as blockage, misalignment or tipping of baby teeth, or crowding of permanent teeth as they begin to arrive. This could necessitate further treatment including orthodontic care.

Using crowns allows the baby tooth to continue to act as a placeholder until permanent teeth have reached full maturity, while addressing the decayed tooth.

So your child needs crowns, and you are asking, “What choices does my child have?”

Some of the most common options in pediatric dentistry are listed below.

Stainless Steel Crowns

Stainless steel crowns are the most common type of crown used in pediatric dentistry. These are what many people call “silver” crowns. These crowns are covered by most major insurances. They are very durable and are a great option if you aren’t concerned about the cosmetic appearance of baby teeth.  On rare occasions, they can cause localized tissue irritation and have been known to be a contributing factor in metal allergies.

Stainless Steel Crowns with White Facings

Stainless steel crowns can be made to look more esthetically pleasing, especially when front teeth need treatment. This type of stainless steel crown is available with a pre-veneered plastic facing. These crowns are more cosmetic in appearance because from the front they look “white” but the reverse side is the portion of silver crown that is non-coated metal. In order for the white facing to adhere to the metal, extra bulk must be added, so these crowns tend to look bulk, thick or rounded. The white facing also has a tendency to chip off easily over time, exposing the silver crown underneath. There are two main reasons the white facings of a stainless steel may chip off: (1) when children grind their teeth, (2) or as a result of regular wear and tear related to chewing forces on back teeth.

Composite Strip Crowns or Resin Crowns

This type of crown is very cosmetic when prepared well by your child’s pediatric dentist. Placing these crowns requires tremendous skill. It also requires the most time to complete. Because of the time required, these crowns can be difficult to place on young, uncooperative children. General anesthesia sedation is often recommended for a cosmetic crown procedure. Strip crowns are entirely made of composite “white” “filling material. This filling material looks very natural– a shade guide may be used to match the crown’s color to the color of your child’s natural teeth. The biggest consequence of composite strip crowns or resin crowns is that they have a tendency to absorb food stains and discolor. It can also attract plaque if brushing and flossing is not done well and recurrent decay may result. Resin crowns are also much weaker than stainless steel crowns so there is an increased risk that a piece or corner of the crown may break off.  Most major insurances cover composite strip crowns on front teeth only for baby teeth that require treatment.

How are baby teeth prepared for stainless steel crowns?

1. Your pediatric dentist may recommend using “Laughing gas” and Novocaine for a stainless steel crown procedure. Laughing gas is a very mild form of conscious sedation that helps to manage nervousness or anxiety. Your child is awake during the entire procedure. Novocaine is injected into the gums surrounding the decayed tooth so there is no discomfort during the stainless steel crown procedure.

2. A soft latex sheet called a rubber dam is draped over the mouth to isolate the tooth being treated. This also helps to keep the working area free of any moisture, increasing the dentist’s field of view while preventing the child from swallowing any debris.

3. First, the chewing surface is reduced by about 1.5mm outlining the tooth. Second, the contact area between neighboring teeth is opened to create space for stainless steel crown placement. And third, all decay is removed from the tooth.

4. A crown is chosen, sized, trimmed, and fitted to adapt to the prepared primary tooth. The crown and the tooth are then washed and dried separately.

5. Cement, otherwise known as “tooth glue” is mixed and placed on the insides of the stainless steel crown prior to being fitted on the tooth.

6. The rubber dam is removed and the child is asked to bite hard on the crown so that all the excess cement is removed. 

7. The excess cement is cleaned off and the tooth contacts are flossed to finish the procedure.

What do we need to do after a stainless steel crown is placed?

Because we use Novocaine during the crown fitting process, your child should not eat until the anesthetic wears off to avoid biting their lip, cheek, or tongue unknowingly. Once it has gone away, they are free to eat and drink as normal, although the crown may be sensitive. They may feel some discomfort for a day or two after the procedure, which can be handled with over-the-counter pain relievers such as Children’s Tylenol or Children’s Ibuprofen.

Pediatric Stainless Steel Crowns in Quincy, MA

You and your child may be nervous if a stainless steel crown procedure is in order, but at Sprout Kids Dentistry, we know how to create a safe and welcoming environment for you and your little

one. Don’t wait to get the treatment your child needs – call 617-934-6339 or visit us online to schedule your pediatric stainless steel crown appointment today.

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Do Cavities in Baby Teeth Really Need to be Filled?

When children get cavities, many parents wonder whether filling them is really necessary. After all, because baby teeth will fall out soon enough, is it worth it to fill a cavity in them? The answer is usually “yes,” but there are some exceptions.

When Will a Cavity Not Require Filling?

There are some circumstances when a cavity in a baby tooth does not require filling. First, a very small cavity has some chance of naturally repairing itself. If this is the case, your dentist may recommend oral hygiene habits or dental-friendly nutrition to help prevent the cavity from growing worse.

Additionally, your dentist may forgo filling a cavity if the tooth is close to falling out. Instead, it is completely fine to wait for the tooth to fall out if the cavity doesn’t pose a risk for spreading germs throughout the teeth or tissues and is not causing pain.

Do Cavities in Baby Teeth Affect Adult Teeth?

If left untreated, cavities in baby teeth can cause more significant problems such as dental infections, requiring treatments like root canals. This can affect the adult teeth and cause long-term issues for your child’s oral health. In addition, children who have untreated cavities in their baby teeth are more likely to require orthodontic treatment in the future.

What Problems Can Cavities Cause?

There are several health problems that a cavity in a baby tooth may cause for children. For example, pain from a cavity can cause children to avoid eating certain foods, resulting in nutritional issues. Speech impediments may also develop as the child has difficulty speaking properly due to painful cavities or missing teeth. Infections are also more likely to spread through the mouth, affecting more of the child’s teeth.

How Can I Tell if My Child Has a Cavity?

If your child has a cavity, they are likely to complain of a toothache or sensitivity when eating or drinking hot, cold, or sweet food and beverages. You may also notice visible holes, pits, or brown, black, or white stains on the tooth. Some children may not show these signs, however. For this reason, it is important to see a dentist regularly for check-ups. You should also make sure your child is following healthy habits at home by brushing and flossing regularly and avoiding sugary treats as much as possible.

Schedule an Appointment

To schedule a dental appointment for your child, call Sprout Kids Dentistry in Quincy, MA at (617) 934-6339 or request an appointment online.

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What to Do When Your Toddler Resists Brushing Their Teeth

Many of us can probably remember a time when we lied to our parents about brushing our teeth. It’s never a fun thing for kids to do, especially when it comes to toddlers. They will often resist and throw tantrums to avoid the annoying task of cleaning their teeth. And as a parent, you also don’t want to deal with the daily fight that comes with getting out the toothbrush and toothpaste.

Regardless of whether your toddler wants to brush their teeth or not, it’s a necessary task to keep them healthy. Here are some ways you can make brushing your toddler’s teeth an easier task for everyone.

Why It’s Important

Even though your toddler’s baby teeth will eventually fall out, it’s still crucial that they avoid unhealthy oral hygiene practices. Neither you nor your child will want to deal with the pain of needing a cavity filled. Plus, starting them off with good brushing habits as early as possible will make it easier for them to continue these practices as they grow up.

Why Do They Resist?

At this stage in life, a child is becoming aware of their wants and learning how to say no. Being told to do something that they don’t enjoy, want to do, or understand the importance of leads to resistance. They don’t yet know why brushing is important and the effects that not cleaning your teeth can have. Therefore, they only see it as a chore and an inconvenience rather than a necessity.

How to Encourage Healthy Habits

Here are some tips to help your toddler start brushing their teeth with less fuss.

Explain Why It’s Important

Making sure your toddler knows that brushing their teeth is important, even if they don’t understand why yet, will help them take it more seriously.

Lead by Example

Make brushing your teeth together a part of your routine, even if you are just pretending to do it. Turning it into a bonding activity can help your toddler find comfort in the act and make them more likely to brush their teeth without throwing a tantrum.

Let Them Take Charge

Forcing your toddler to brush, or even trying to brush their teeth yourself, will likely only lead to more resistance from them. Instead, let them take the lead. Give them the toothbrush and make sure they have a safe amount of toothpaste on, and guide them through proper brushing. Being able to do this themselves will make them feel more in control of the situation, giving them confidence and a sense of independence. In addition to that, let them choose their own toothbrush to feel like they have more of a say in the situation.

Make It Fun!

Add something into the brushing routine that will engage your toddler. You can have a song that you play to make sure they brush for long enough, or even try to sing together while brushing your teeth for a good laugh! You can also incorporate a simple little dance to do, or have a special piece of clothing they put on each time. Whatever your child is interested in or keeps their attention will be beneficial to incorporate.

Get Help From Professionals

The next time you take your toddler to the dentist, ask them to back you up on healthy brushing habits. Usually they will do this anyway, but having it reinforced by a professional will help your child better understand the importance of brushing their teeth.

Schedule a consultation

If you want more tips and tricks for helping your toddler feel more comfortable brushing their teeth, our team at Sprout Kids Dentistry in Boston can help! We are experienced pediatric dentists who work with children of all ages. You can get in touch with us by calling  617-934-6339 or filling out an online form.

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Pediatric Dentist vs General Dentist: What’s the Difference?

Choosing the right dentist for your family can be a tough decision. A range of different factors can contribute to how you will determine who is the best fit, especially when it comes to the needs of your kids. All general dentists are able to tend to the teeth of both children and adults. However, there are many reasons that a pediatric dentist has the qualifications to work specifically with kids.

What Defines a Pediatric Dentist?

There are many factors that set a pediatric dentist apart from a general dentist. These include specific training and experience that make a pediatric dentist qualified to care for children’s teeth.

Tools and Equipment

Pediatric dentists are equipped with tools that are specialized for children of all ages. They even have the tools to care for the youngest patients. This might include showing a parent how to clean an infant’s mouth with finger brushes, making sure they can keep their teeth healthy as soon as they come in. The tools are also smaller to ensure that they kids are as comfortable as possible and get the same level of care as adults.

Specialized Training

All dentists are required to have a bachelor’s degree and complete dental school. After that, a dentist will begin a residency program where they can choose a specialty. For pediatric dentists, they must study in a pediatric specific program that lasts for about two to three years. This program teaches them about how to treat problems that frequently impact children, as well as other skills and techniques related to tending to kids’ teeth properly.

Years of Experience

Since pediatric dentists have to complete years of schooling, including their specialty program, they have the knowledge to care for any child. Their years of experience make them well suited to deal with scared or misbehaving children. They can also help to educate kids and their parents on how to maintain healthy teeth.

Knows How to Work With Kids

Pediatric dentistry is dedicated to treating children’s teeth, meaning that these professionals are great with kids. They know how to keep a child calm if they are stressed or worried about being at the dentist. Pediatric dentists make it their goal to put their patients first, ensuring they get the best care possible. In addition to their great dentists, pediatric clinics are designed to be kid friendly, making them feel safe and welcome.

The Importance of a Pediatric Dentist

Choosing to take your kids to a pediatric dentist can be extremely beneficial. Having a professional with the expertise in kids dentistry will help keep your children comfortable and healthy, making yours and their lives easier. Pediatric dentists are compassionate and know how to provide a positive experience for their patients.

Schedule a Consultation

At Sprout Kids Dentistry, our pediatric dentists will ensure that your children get the best care possible. If you’re interested in learning more, schedule an appointment with us! You can get in touch by calling 617-934-6339 or filling out an online form.

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Dental Anesthesia For A Pain-Free Visit

Regular dental care is essential for kids to have a healthy smile, but any parent can tell you it’s often an uphill battle to get them into the dentist’s chair. At Sprout Kids Dentistry, we understand that struggle and take specific steps to make your child’s dentist experience in Boston easier, painless, and even fun! For the squirmiest kids or the more intensive procedures, this may mean using anesthetics to minimize pain and settle nerves. Anesthesia is a safe and regularly used as part of pediatric dentistry. Being informed about what and when we might use anesthetics can take the anxiety away from your next sedation dental visit.

Anesthesia is a safe and regularly used part of pediatric dentistry, and being informed of what and when we might use anesthetics can take the anxiety away from your next sedation dental visit.

Anesthesia Overview

Not all anesthetics are what you may expect. They exist on a spectrum from low- to high-intensity. There are benefits and drawbacks to each type, and Dr. Anderson will consider both the procedure being performed as well as your child’s needs and comfort when making a decision about which anesthetic, if any, to use.

The types of anesthesia used in dentistry can be used in tandem to customize the level of sedation using both local anesthetics and conscious sedation methods, ensuring your child will be as comfortable as possible.

Local Anesthesia

The most common anesthetic used during dental procedures is Novocaine. This temporary nerve-numbing medication is injected directly into the area receiving treatment. Novocaine works on the actual nerve signals (which transmit the feeling of pain), meaning it’s a dental anesthetic that can eliminate pain

Other types of anesthesia affect the overall experience, reducing anxiety and helping children feel more comfortable in Dr. Anderson’s chair.

Nitrous Oxide

The mildest form of what’s called conscious sedation is nitrous oxide, commonly known as laughing gas. Nitrous oxide is used to take the edge off, rather than completely sedating a child. It’s administered by breathing the gas in through a facial mask.

In some cases, children can self-regulate the amount they take in, and therefore their level of comfort, by alternating breathing through their mouth and nose—inhaling either room air or nitrous oxide depending on where the mask is placed.

Oral Pre-medication

The next step up from nitrous oxide is an oral sedative in the form of a syrup which is taken about half an hour before an appointment. Stronger than nitrous oxide, the effects do not wear off as easily, meaning children will need constant supervision for several hours after the medication is taken.

Intravenous Solution

Finally, for the most effective sedation, we use general anesthesia to completely put your child to sleep for full mouth dental rehabilitation. This allows Dr. Anderson to work on the most delicate procedures while your child rests comfortably and safely. The effects of general anesthesia sedation take a while to wear off, which means you will be in charge of making sure your child rests comfortably back at home after the procedure has ended.

Comfortable Care for Your Little One

Whatever method Dr. Anderson and her expert team of dental hygienists choose for your child’s dental procedure, we always make our kids’ comfort and care a top priority. For all your pediatric dentistry needs in Boston, Sprout Kids Dentistry is here to serve you. Call us at 617-934-6339 or schedule an appointment online today to experience our kid-centered approach for yourself!

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Is Your Child Really Receiving Sleep Dentistry?

It is very common in the dental industry to see misleading claims about the types of sedation offices provide. Many dentists claim to offer “sleep dentistry,” when in reality, what they are actually providing is nothing more than conscious sedation. Often, conscious sedation can make someone so relaxed that they fall asleep, but unlike a patient receiving sleep dentistry, they can easily be woken up with a nudge.

Sedation is used in pediatric dentistry for children who are receiving long procedures or who have a high fear of dental care. It is also used for children who have trouble sitting still, such as very young children or those with special needs. At Sprout Kids Dentistry, we want you to be equipped to make informed decisions about your child’s dental care. Therefore, we think it is important that you are able to distinguish between the different types of sedation used in pediatric dentistry.

Conscious Sedation

A child receiving conscious sedation will remain awake and at least somewhat aware of their surroundings. There are two different types of conscious sedation:

Inhaled Sedation

Inhaled sedation is the lowest level of sedation and is very safe and mild. It simply relaxes the child enough to sit comfortably through their dental work and gives them a “happy” feeling. The child inhales nitrous oxide, commonly known as laughing gas, through a mask over their nose. The child retains complete awareness the whole time, and the effects of the nitrous oxide wear off about five minutes after the mask is removed. This type of sedation is best for children over four years old.

Oral Sedation

Oral Sedation is taken in a prescribed dosage through either the mouth or the nose. Oral sedation keeps a child relaxed and calm and can also make them a little drowsy. Like inhaled sedation, the child will usually remain awake and somewhat to fully aware during the procedure, but it is not uncommon for the child to fall asleep. Children should be at least three years old to receive this type of sedation.

Sleep Dentistry

Sleep Dentistry, as its name implies, puts the child to sleep completely. There are two types of sleep dentistry:

IV Sedation

IV sedation takes only a few seconds to put a child to sleep. This method is ideal for those with extreme dental anxiety or behavior issues or for very young children. It is also useful for children who are receiving a large amount of invasive dental work, as it allows them to lie completely still for a long period of time. This sedative is administered through a needle, usually in the arm, hand, or foot.  It is usually recommended that a child be at least two years old to receive this type of sedation.

General Anesthesia

General Anesthesia is the highest level of sedation and is only used when absolutely necessary. A trained anesthesiologist will administer the anesthesia medication and monitor the child while the dentist performs the procedure. The child is completely unconscious while under general anesthesia. This type of sedation is used for children who need to be put completely to sleep but are otherwise not ideal candidates for IV sedation. Sometimes we may recommend that, if the procedure needing general anesthesia is not critical or time-sensitive, it be put off until the child is physically ready.

Sedation Options at Sprout Kids Dentistry

Sprout Kids Dentistry provides pediatric dentistry in Boston. We offer all four of these types of sedation in order to accommodate all children and their varying needs. We would love to talk to you to discuss which sedation options would be best for your child. Schedule an appointment with Dr. Anderson today by calling 617-934-6339 or filling out our online form.

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