Meltdown at the Dentist: Ways to Help Dental Anxiety in Kids

Few people can say that they enjoy going to the dentist, but, as adults, we all know it’s important for our oral health. For children going to the dentist can be a fearful experience, especially if they cannot comprehend just how important these visits are. To help ensure their teeth stay healthy, there are ways to deal with their anxiety and make them feel more comfortable about preventative care appointments.

What causes children to have anxiety at the dentist?

It’s common for young children to have anxiety when visiting a medical office, especially a dentist. The reason depends on a few different factors and varies with each child. Here are some of the more common reasons children might be afraid of going to the dentist.

Painful procedures

One of the biggest reasons your child may experience anxiety when receiving dental care is because of a past procedure they may have had that caused them pain. Children don’t like pain, and when they experience it during a dental procedure, they’re likely to connect that pain with the dentist themselves. This causes them anxiety when visiting a dental office because they’re afraid of experiencing more pain, even if it’s only a normal exam.

Sensory issues

Some children deal with sensory issues like being scared, triggered, or overwhelmed by certain sounds, smells, and sometimes the feeling of certain materials, like gauze. The sounds that could trigger their anxiety include the drilling and noises made by other patients in the office getting painful procedures done. We offer compassionate and specialized care for our special needs patients who may have a particularly high level of anxiety when attending dental appointments.

Tips to help ease their anxiety at the dentist

Children will need to continue seeing their dentist to keep their teeth healthy, so it is important that they reach a stage where they are comfortable going in for these visits. If the child has anxiety, there are ways to help relieve their fears, so the dentist can still perform an exam without causing trauma to the child.

Discuss what they can expect at an upcoming visit

To help ease anxiety, you can discuss with your child what the visit might be like. Give them a comprehensive overview of the appointment from the moment you check in, to the moment you leave. Reiterate this process to them a few times before the visit, starting at least a week prior. This allows the child to process their fears and to ask questions regarding the appointment. By the time the visit comes, they should be less fearful than if you were to spring it on them at the last second.

Stick to regular dental visits and promote good oral hygiene

You’ll want to make sure you continue to take your child to each of their routine dental appointments to help them become acquainted with the dentist, dental hygienist, and all the other staff. You should begin taking them by the time they reach one year of age, or when their first tooth appears. Infant oral care can get them comfortable with oral hygiene as they get older. Also, consider offering positive reinforcement as an incentive to go to the dentist. Allow them to be nervous, but offer some kind of prize for their bravery and to help them see that going to the visit isn’t all that bad.

Help your child establish good brushing routines every day. This way they’ll keep their teeth strong, which will help keep them from having to have some of the more uncomfortable procedures down the road, which would otherwise cause anxiety.

Choose the right dentist for your child

Not all those in kids’ dentistry are made the same. You’ll want to make sure the one you’re interested in checking out is the right one for your child. In this case, you’ll want one that specializes in children of all ages, which you can find here at Sprout Kids Dentistry, a pediatric dentistry in Boston MA.

Schedule a Consultation

To help alleviate your child’s fears of the dentist’s office schedule a consultation with us and get to know our staff. Dr. Anderson, our clinic’s dentist is board-certified by the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry and knows exactly how to work with children to alleviate their fears. Contact us today for any questions you may have.

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How Do Dental Sealants Prevent Cavities?

Dental tartar and plaques often hide where toothbrush bristles cannot reach. If your child has had many cavities or is struggling with brushing their molars well, our team may recommend dental sealants. Dental sealants are a clear, BPA-free resin coating that is applied to the chewing surfaces of the back teeth. This sealant reduces the plaque’s ability to accumulate. Overall, dental sealants can offer a lot of benefits. We’ve taken the time to outline the benefits below.

Seals Chewing Surfaces

While you may reinforce teeth brushing in your home, your child may still struggle to clean their back teeth, which can sometimes be hard to reach. Sealing the molars can help with this issue, reducing the risk for cavities.

Reduces Nooks and Crannies for Plaque

Dental plaque loves to eat starch and sugar that is left behind on your child’s teeth. If your child is not brushing away the plaque on their molars, plaque can erode tooth enamel and lead to cavities. Dental sealants cover the pits and fissures that plaque likes to hide in.

Protects Tooth Enamel

Once enamel is eroded, it is gone for good. This is why it is very important for your child to brush and floss daily. Dental sealants can offer an extra layer of protection to your child’s teeth. Sealants are recommended as soon as the permanent molars erupt, around the age of six. A child’s second set of permanent molars will erupt around the age of 12, which will need sealants as well.

The Sealant Process is Quick and Painless

The process of applying dental sealants is a simple one. First, the teeth are cleaned and prepared with a conditioner. The sealant is then applied to the teeth, which hardens for 1-2 minutes using a curing light. Sealants can last one to two years before they should be reapplied due to the regular wear and tear of chewing.

Sealants can Save You Money

While sealants are a quick and easy solution for protecting a child’s teeth, they are also more cost-effective than dental restorations. Preventing the need for cavity treatment makes sealants a fantastic preventative choice for children.

Request a Consultation

Overall, sealants are a great way to help keep cavities at bay. If you are interested in getting sealants for your child’s teeth, we can help! Contact Sprout Kids Dentistry near Boston, MA today to schedule an appointment.

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Celebrate World Smile Day with Healthy Teeth and Gums

World Smile Day is celebrated every year on the first Friday of October. The intention of the holiday is to spread joy and positivity to others and to see your loved ones’ faces light up with happiness. World Smile Day is also a great opportunity to check in on your dental hygiene and make sure your smile is as bright and healthy as possible.

The History of World Smile Day

World Smile Day is closely connected to the classic “smiley face” image of a yellow circle with a simple happy face. This image was created by graphic designer Harvey Ball in 1963 for a campaign for State Mutual Life Assurance Company. Ball drew the design in only 10 minutes, but its cultural impact was enormous.

By the 1970s, the yellow smiley face could be seen everywhere. It appeared on stickers, buttons, shirts, signs, and a wide range of other products. Some artists also used the smiley face in a more cynical or subversive manner. However, Harvey Ball did not appreciate the commercialization of his design. He launched a campaign to restore the original intent of the smiley face, which was to spread happiness and goodwill. As a result, World Smile Day became an official international holiday in 1999.

How to Celebrate World Smile Day

World Smile Day is all about bringing joy and positivity to others. Here are some ways you and your family can celebrate the holiday this year:

Perform Acts of Kindness

One of the best ways to make people smile is to perform random acts of kindness. On World Smile Day, you could set a goal to complete as many kind acts as possible. For instance, you could rake your neighbor’s lawn or buy coffee for the person in line behind you. Volunteering your time or donating to your favorite charity are also great ways to spread happiness.

Spend Time With Loved Ones

Spending quality time with the people you love can always bring a smile to your face. You can celebrate World Smile Day by visiting a family member, calling a friend, or hosting a get-together at your home.

Maintain a Healthy Smile

When your smile is bright and clean, you’ll be even more excited to show it off. You can get a healthy smile for World Smile Day by maintaining good brushing and flossing habits. Dentists recommend brushing with a soft-bristled brush twice per day for two minutes. You’ll also want to floss once per day.

World Smile Day is also an excellent opportunity to teach your kids about the importance of oral hygiene. Learning to care for your teeth and gums at a young age is the key to achieving lifelong dental health.

Schedule A Consultation

Regular checkups and cleanings are essential for your children’s oral health, and our team at Sprout Kids Dentistry is committed to making the experience fun, collaborative, and educational. If you’re looking for pediatric dentistry in Boston, schedule a consultation today with Dr. Anderson. Call our Quincy, MA office at 617-934-6339 or use our online contact form.

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5 Reasons to Schedule Your Child’s Back to School Dental Appointment Now

Back to school is a busy time as you get your children ready for the coming school year. A new year of classes and lessons often means new school supplies, clothes, and shoes, so it’s easy to neglect scheduling dental appointments. However, these visits are crucial to keeping your kids’ teeth ready for the school year.

Let’s take a look at five reasons you need to schedule your child’s dentist appointment before they head back to school.

Everyone Is Busy

Kids’ dentistry can be easier to arrange during the summer. Dental offices that offer pediatric dentistry in Boston usually have a slowdown in appointments while families are on vacation. That can lead to a rush of appointments at the end of summer, so it’s a good idea to schedule a routine check-up as soon as you can before everyone else tries to do so at the last minute.

Keeping Kids in School

Your children might love the idea of missing school, even if it means visiting the dentist. But keeping them in school is always a better alternative than disrupting the day with dental appointments. Getting them into the dentist before school starts up again ensures they stay in class once it is back in session. If possible, schedule their six-month check-ups during their summer and winter vacations.

Current Dental Records Are Important

Many school districts require families to provide copies of both medical and dental records before students can attend classes. Even if your kid’s school doesn’t do this, it’s a great idea to keep current on the medical and dental treatments your child might need to keep them strong and healthy. Whether it’s their first visit or they’ve been coming to us for years, it’s important to stay up to date with their oral health.

Healthy Mouths Mean Healthy Minds

The quality of a person’s dental health directly impacts their risk level for a variety of other medical conditions. Help your child avoid potential complications, like cavities, by maintaining their schedule of dental cleanings at six-month intervals.

We Want To See You

Our dentists love helping kids get ready for the new school year, and we want to catch up with you. We truly enjoy seeing how much your kids have grown since we saw them last, and we want to help them keep learning how important healthy teeth and gums are. Schedule your kid’s next appointment to give us a chance to make sure your family’s dental health is ready for the coming year.

Services We Provide at Sprouts Kids Dentistry

No matter when you come and visit us, you can be sure your child will get the best quality treatment they need to ensure their oral healthcare. Some of the treatments and services we offer include:

Schedule Your Kid’s Back-to-School Appointment Now

Having your child see their dentist ensures their mouth stays healthy through their younger years, and a happy smile can boost their confidence during the challenges of growing up. Schedule your family’s appointment with us at Sprout Kids Dentistry today. Whether you’re a returning family or new to our practice, we’re here to help your kids enjoy a lifetime of healthy smiles.

To schedule an appointment, call our Quincy, MA office at 617-934-6339 or use our online contact form.

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What to Do About Children Grinding Their Teeth

Is Your Child Grinding Their Teeth?

You may have noticed your child grinding their teeth. This can happen at any time, but it is most
common at night. Your child may not even realize they are doing it. Some common signs that
your child is grinding is if they have tooth sensitivity, have pain when chewing, have pain in
their jaw, or if you hear them grinding when they are sleeping. It’s important to have your child’s dentist exam their teeth when you notice your child has clenching or grinding habits.

Why Do Children Grind Their Teeth?

There are many reasons why children may grind their teeth. Depending on the age of your child,
it could be due to:

  1. Pain Caused by Teething or Earache: As your baby’s teeth come in, they may experience some discomfort. This can lead to grinding as they try to soothe the pain. Teething can also cause earaches, which can further contribute to the problem.
  2. Misalignment of Teeth or jaw bones: If your child’s teeth are not properly aligned, they may grind them to try and correct the problem. This is especially common if their top and bottom teeth do not meet correctly.
  3. Dehydration: If your child does not drink enough water, they may be more likely to grind their teeth. This is because dehydration can cause the mouth to feel dry and irritated.
  4. Medical Conditions: Some medical conditions can lead to teeth grinding. For instance, cerebral palsy has been linked to teeth grinding. This is due to the involuntary muscle movements associated with the condition.

What You Can Do When Your Child Grinds Their Teeth

There are many things you can do to help your child when they grind their teeth. These include:

  1. Give your Child a Teething Toy: If biting down on something hard helps to relieve the pain of teething, a teething toy for very young children can do wonders. The pressure on the gums can help to reduce the urge to grind. For instance, a frozen wet washcloth can be soothing. Make sure the toy is big enough so your child won’t choke on it.
  2. Encourage your Child to Drink More Water: Make sure your child is getting enough water throughout the day. This will help keep their mouth hydrated and reduce the urge to grind. This is also a great way to keep your child healthy overall.
  3. Encourage Your Child to Relax Before Bedtime: A warm bath or a bedtime story can help your child to relax before sleep. This may reduce the amount of grinding that occurs during the night. A calming nighttime routine can also help your child to get a good night’s sleep overall.
  4. Most Importantly, Take Your Child to the Dentist: If you are concerned about your child’s teeth grinding, arrange a visit with the dentist. They can properly assess the situation. This is especially important if the grinding is causing damage to the teeth.

Teeth grinding is a common problem in children. There are many things you can do to help your child when they grind their teeth. Taking the necessary steps to protect your child’s teeth from further damage is essential.

Contact Us Today

If your child is experiencing teeth grinding or clenching, contact Sprout Kids Dentistry today for treatment. Dr. Anderson will be happy to inspect your child’s mouth an jaw and create a personalized treatment plan to help ease teeth grinding.

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Back To School Is The Best Time For a Dental Checkup

Whether it fills you with dread or elation, the back-to-school season is a unique time to start fresh with new outfits, school supplies, and daily schedules after a summer of out-of-the-ordinary routines. Although it’s probably not your kid’s first idea of how to make this time of year fun, it’s a great time to stop into Sprout Kids Dentistry while you still have a little free time on your hands. We’ll make sure your family’s in good dental health so you can weather the transition back to school without a looming dentist appointment in your future.

Why Back-To-School Checkups are Important

Dental checkups at any time of the year are important when they’re consistent, but doing it before school starts has a few specific benefits.

First, a professional cleaning is easier to maintain on a daily basis for optimal oral health as well as the brightest, best-looking smile. Your kids can start the year beaming and make the most out of their brushing for the crucial first few weeks of first impressions for fresh breath and fewer cavities.

Next, ensuring their dental health is in good condition now saves time and money later. Whether we correct a small problem or help prevent them from appearing at all, this prevents the need for a school-hour appointment that leads to an absence or a worsening condition that causes pain later on.

Finally, Dr. Anderson checks for more than just their oral health during a dental checkup. Did you know that dentists are able to detect illnesses and conditions that are caused by conditions beyond the teeth and mouth? While such a detection is rare, oral health is correlated with overall health, and conditions left untreated in the mouth can affect other parts of the body with time. Prevent this from becoming your reality with a quick and painless checkup at Sprout.

Get Back-To-School Healthy With Your First Visit

The team at Sprout Kids Dentistry and Dr. Anderson are always happy to welcome new patients and new smiles to our pediatric dentist office. Learn more about what to expect on your first visit as well as during regular cleanings by browsing our website or calling our Quincy office location today. Any other questions? Drop us a line by filling out our online contact form.

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5 Tips to Ease Your Child’s Fear of the Dentist

Going to the dentist can be a scary experience for children. Many kids develop a fear of the dentist as a result of their first visit which can lead to problems down the road, such as poor oral hygiene and even cavities. To ensure that your child has healthy teeth and gums, it is essential to ease their fears and make dental visits a positive experience. Here, we will discuss five tips to help your child feel more comfortable at the dentist’s office.

1. Start Them Young

It is best to introduce your child to the dentist from a young age. This will help them get used to the environment and feel more comfortable with the staff. Additionally, it is essential that your child’s first few visits are positive experiences. If possible, try to schedule their appointment for a time when the office is not too busy. This way, they will have the opportunity to meet the dentist and staff in a relaxed setting.

2. Have a Kid-Friendly Tooth Talk

Before your child’s first visit, sit down with them and explain what the dentist does. Use simple words and avoid any negative language. It is also a good idea to show them pictures of the dentist’s office and staff. This will help ease their fears and make them feel more comfortable with going to the dentist. Many dental offices also have children’s books about dentistry that you can read to your child before their appointment.

3. Give Positive Reinforcement

One of the best ways to ease your child’s fear of the dentist is to offer positive reinforcement. For example, you can tell them they will be big kids if they go to the dentist. You can also offer rewards for good behavior, such as a toy or a trip to the park. This will help to make dental visits more positive experiences for your child. Several dental offices also offer goodie bags for kids after their appointments.

4. Emphasize Healthy Oral Hygiene Habits

Another way to ease your child’s fear of the dentist is to emphasize the importance of healthy oral hygiene habits. Explain to them that the dentist is there to help keep their teeth and gums healthy. You can also show them how to brush and floss their teeth properly and explain why this is important. This will help them understand that dental visits are not something to be afraid of.

5. Select a Dentist That Specializes In Kids

It is also essential to select a dentist that specializes in kids. This way, you can ensure that your child receives the best care possible. Sprout Kids Dentistry is an excellent option for families with young children. They offer a wide range of services, including regular checkups, cleanings, and fluoride treatments. Sprout Kids Dentistry also has a team of experienced and friendly staff members dedicated to providing the best possible care for your child.

Making dental visits a positive experience for your child is essential for oral health. By following these tips, you can ease your child’s fear of the dentist and ensure they have healthy teeth and gums.

Schedule a Consultation

To schedule a consultation with Dr. Anderson and her team, you can call our Quincy, MA office at 617-934-6339 or fill out an online contact form. We look forward to meeting you!

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The Importance of Dental Hygiene Through Covid-19

Covid-19 has made all of our routines uncertain, and unfortunately, that also means that some have neglected their oral health. Early in the pandemic, it was difficult to imagine safely visiting the dentist. Today, we understand more about the virus and preventing its transmission, making it safe to schedule your routine appointments. It is especially important for children to see their pediatric dentist at least twice a year.

Postponing Dental Care Allows Problems to Worsen

Even minor dental problems, such as cavities, can escalate to bigger issues if they are left untreated. These issues can be painful for your child and require expensive, complex treatments if left to worsen over time. This is why routine appointments with your dentist are so important at any age. During routine appointments, sealants can also be applied to help prevent cavities or other issues from forming in the future.

For children, however, it is also important for a dentist to have the opportunity to monitor the progress of their teeth and oral health as they quickly grow. Your pediatric dentist will check for normal growth progress and can give you advice for issues that may develop over time. For example, your hygienist and dentist can give valuable advice for nutritional needs, bad habits like thumb-sucking, and at-home hygiene.

In addition to these health problems, avoiding the dentist can make visits unfamiliar and frightening to kids. At Sprout Kids Dentistry, we take extra steps to make visiting the dentist a fun and positive experience for children. This can only be achieved when we see our patients on a regular basis and get to build a relationship over time.

Routine Dentist Appointments Teach Kids Good Habits

Scheduling routine cleanings and checkups allows your hygienist and dentists to teach your child good at-home habits from an early age. This includes proper brushing and flossing techniques that can be difficult to instill in your child as a parent. Seeing the dentist regularly also shows your child that oral health is valuable and reinforces the steps you take at home to take care of your teeth and gums.

Oral Health is Important to Overall Health

Dentists understand that oral health can often indicate your overall health. Signs of conditions ranging from diabetes to respiratory illnesses to poor immune function can be seen in the mouth before other symptoms emerge. Your pediatric dentist is trained to recognize these signs and protect your child’s overall health in addition to their oral health.

How We Make Our Office Covid-Safe

Through the pandemic, we have established a simple Covid-19 protocol that keeps our staff and patients safe. We follow all CDC and ADA disinfecting measures and safety protocols to keep our office sanitized through the day. We also require masks for all adults and children over the age of four and require visitors to wash and sanitize their hands upon entering our office. Only one parent or guardian is permitted to accompany children to treatment areas to limit the number of people in our spaces. Finally, we ask that any patients who are feeling unwell or have a known Covid-19 exposure to follow our cancellation policy and reschedule their appointments.

Schedule an Appointment

To learn more about your pediatric dentistry options or to schedule your first appointment, call (617) 934-6339 or contact us online.

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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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How Do Sealants for Children Work?

How Do Sealants for Children Work?

While brushing and flossing are the most effective ways to prevent cavities, it can be particularly difficult for small children to clean their teeth thoroughly by reaching all the areas where bacteria can accumulate. For this reason, many dentists recommend sealants, which can reduce tooth decay in children. Sealants have also been in use since the 1960s, meaning they have a safe an effective track record. Here’s what to know about this option if you are considering this for your children’s dental health.

How Do Sealants Work?

A dental sealant is a coating made from a special type of BPA-free resin or similar material that sticks to the molars’ chewing surfaces. It essentially acts as a raincoat for the teeth and can protect the underlying enamel.

Bacteria and food particles form acids that create cavities or holes in teeth. Just as a raincoat keeps you from getting wet during a storm, the sealant keeps bacteria and acid from settling on the surface of your teeth. This means that bacteria can’t eat away at the enamel and cause decay over time.

Who Can Get Sealants?

While virtually anybody can benefit from sealants, however they are especially beneficial for children as they don’t develop the necessary coordination and habits to brush their teeth effectively until around six to nine years of age.

A child’s first molars typically grow in when they are around six years old, while their second molars emerge when they are about twelve. Applying sealants to these teeth as soon as they emerge can protect them from the start and thus prevent decay and the need for expensive fillings. Sealants can also prevent premature tooth loss, which in turn reduces the risk of bite problems.

How Are Sealants Applied?

Getting sealants is quick and painless. Your child’s dentist will start by thoroughly cleaning and drying the teeth. They will then apply an acidic gel that will make the surface of the teeth rougher so the sealant will stick to them more readily. After rinsing off the gel, your child’s dentist will dry the teeth and paint the sealant on them. Finally, your child’s dentist will shine a special blue light on your child’s teeth to make the sealant harden more quickly. The whole process takes under an hour, and the exact time will depend on the number of teeth being treated.

Can Sealants Be Placed Over Cavities?

No. A sealant is placed on a cavity-free tooth and used to lower the risk of that tooth developing a cavity.

How Long Do Sealants Last?

According to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, sealants can last for up to a decade. It’s still a good idea to take your child to their dentist regularly, though, so they can look for chips or worn spots in the sealant. If necessary, your child’s dentist can apply more sealant coating to repair the sealant.

Schedule an Appointment

Sealants are an excellent way to set your child up for a lifetime of dental health. To meet with our pediatric dentistry team, we invite you to contact Sprout Kids Dentistry by calling our Quincy office or filling out our online form.

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