Sierk Children's Dentistry

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How can we help you?

Our team is happy to answer any questions you may have. Below are common questions patients have for us. If your question is not answered below or elsewhere on our website, please don't hesitate to contact us! One of our friendly team members will be happy to assist you and address any concerns you may have. 

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The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) suggests that parents should make an initial “well-baby” appointment with a pediatric dentist approximately six months after the emergence of the first tooth, or no later than the child’s first birthday.

Although this may seem surprisingly early, the incidence of infant and toddler tooth decay has been rising in recent years.  Tooth decay and early cavities can be exceptionally painful if they are not attended to immediately, and can also set the scene for poor oral health in later childhood.

The pediatric dentist is a specialist in child psychology and child behavior, and should be viewed as an important source of information, help, and guidance.  Oftentimes, the pediatric dentist can provide strategies for eliminating unwanted oral habits (for example, pacifier use and thumb sucking) and can also help parents in establishing a sound daily oral routine for the child.

What potential dental problems can babies experience?

A baby is at risk for tooth decay as soon as the first tooth emerges.  During the first visit, the pediatric dentist will help parents implement a preventative strategy to protect the teeth from harm, and also demonstrate how infant teeth should be brushed and flossed.

In particular, infants and toddlers who drink breast milk, juice, baby formula, soda, or sweetened water from a baby bottle or sippy cup are at high-risk for early childhood caries (cavities).  To counteract this threat, the pediatric dentist discourages parents from filling cups with sugary fluids, dipping pacifiers in honey, and transmitting oral bacteria to the child via shared spoons and/or cleaning pacifiers in their own mouths.

What happens during the first visit?

Pediatric dentists have fun-filled, stimulating dental offices.  All dental personnel are fully trained to communicate with infants and young children.

During the initial visit, the pediatric dentist will advise parents to implement a good oral care routine, ask questions about the child’s oral habits, and examine the child’s emerging teeth.  The pediatric dentist and parent sit knee-to-knee for this examination to enable the child to view the parent at all times.  If the infant’s teeth appear stained, the dentist may clean them.  Oftentimes, a topical fluoride treatment will be applied to the teeth after this cleaning.

What questions may the pediatric dentist ask during the first visit?

The pediatric dentist will ask questions about current oral care, diet, the general health of the child, the child’s oral habits, and the child’s current fluoride intake.

Once answers to these questions have been established, the pediatric dentist can advise parents on the following issues:

  • Accident prevention.
  • Choosing an ADA approved, non-fluoridated brand of toothpaste for the infant.
  • Choosing an appropriate toothbrush.
  • Correct positioning of the head during tooth brushing.
  • Easing the transition from sippy cup to adult-sized drinking glasses.
  • Establishing a drink-free bedtime routine.
  • Maintaining good dietary habits.
  • Minimizing the risk of tooth decay.
  • Reducing sugar and carbohydrate intake.
  • Teething and developmental milestones.

If you have further questions or concerns about the timing or nature of your child’s first oral checkup, please ask your pediatric dentist.

We Make Children’s Dental Care Easy and Budget-Friendly 

Sierk Children's Dentistry accepts most major dental plans, including Delta Premier. We also have financing options available to ensure that the care that your child needs is attainable. We believe in providing affordable dental care for children of all ages and abilities. 

Affordable Payment Plans and Low-Interest Rates

We also accept LendingClub and CareCredit. LendingClub and CareCredit have affordable payment plans and low-interest rates, making dental care more affordable for your little ones. 

LendingClub is a way for families to finance the necessary dental care their children need to keep their smiles healthy. LendingClub also offers personal loans for those who need them. 

CareCredit is a credit card with low-interest rates that allows you to pay your deductible or pay for procedures not covered by your insurance. 

If you have any questions about insurance, LendingClub, or CareCredit, please call our dental office today. One of our friendly staff members can answer your questions and address your concerns. You can also learn more about LendingClub and CareCredit by visiting their websites. 

We look forward to seeing you at Sierk Children’s Dentistry at our Highlands Ranch or Castle Pines location! 

Pediatric Dentistry

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) suggests that parents should make an initial “well-baby” appointment with a pediatric dentist approximately six months after the emergence of the first tooth, or no later than the child’s first birthday.

Although this may seem surprisingly early, the incidence of infant and toddler tooth decay has been rising in recent years.  Tooth decay and early cavities can be exceptionally painful if they are not attended to immediately, and can also set the scene for poor oral health in later childhood.

The pediatric dentist is a specialist in child psychology and child behavior, and should be viewed as an important source of information, help, and guidance.  Oftentimes, the pediatric dentist can provide strategies for eliminating unwanted oral habits (for example, pacifier use and thumb sucking) and can also help parents in establishing a sound daily oral routine for the child.

What potential dental problems can babies experience?

A baby is at risk for tooth decay as soon as the first tooth emerges.  During the first visit, the pediatric dentist will help parents implement a preventative strategy to protect the teeth from harm, and also demonstrate how infant teeth should be brushed and flossed.

In particular, infants and toddlers who drink breast milk, juice, baby formula, soda, or sweetened water from a baby bottle or sippy cup are at high-risk for early childhood caries (cavities).  To counteract this threat, the pediatric dentist discourages parents from filling cups with sugary fluids, dipping pacifiers in honey, and transmitting oral bacteria to the child via shared spoons and/or cleaning pacifiers in their own mouths.

What happens during the first visit?

Pediatric dentists have fun-filled, stimulating dental offices.  All dental personnel are fully trained to communicate with infants and young children.

During the initial visit, the pediatric dentist will advise parents to implement a good oral care routine, ask questions about the child’s oral habits, and examine the child’s emerging teeth.  The pediatric dentist and parent sit knee-to-knee for this examination to enable the child to view the parent at all times.  If the infant’s teeth appear stained, the dentist may clean them.  Oftentimes, a topical fluoride treatment will be applied to the teeth after this cleaning.

What questions may the pediatric dentist ask during the first visit?

The pediatric dentist will ask questions about current oral care, diet, the general health of the child, the child’s oral habits, and the child’s current fluoride intake.

Once answers to these questions have been established, the pediatric dentist can advise parents on the following issues:

  • Accident prevention.
  • Choosing an ADA approved, non-fluoridated brand of toothpaste for the infant.
  • Choosing an appropriate toothbrush.
  • Correct positioning of the head during tooth brushing.
  • Easing the transition from sippy cup to adult-sized drinking glasses.
  • Establishing a drink-free bedtime routine.
  • Maintaining good dietary habits.
  • Minimizing the risk of tooth decay.
  • Reducing sugar and carbohydrate intake.
  • Teething and developmental milestones.

If you have further questions or concerns about the timing or nature of your child’s first oral checkup, please ask your pediatric dentist.

Pediatric dentists are qualified to meet the dental needs of infants, toddlers, school-age children, and adolescents. Pediatric dentists are required to undertake an additional two or three years of child-specific training after fulfilling dental school requirements.

In addition to dental training, pediatric dentists specifically study child psychology. This enables them to communicate with children in an effective, gentle, and non-threatening manner.

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) recommends that children see a pediatric dentist before the age of one (or approximately six months after the emergence of the first primary tooth). Though this might seem early, biannual preventative dental appointments are important for excellent oral health.

Parents should take children to see a pediatric dentist for the following reasons:

  • To ask questions about new or ongoing issues.
  • To discover how to begin a “no tears” oral care program in the home.
  • To find out how to implement oral injury prevention strategies in the home.
  • To find out whether the child is at risk for developing cavities.
  • To receive information about extinguishing unwanted oral habits (e.g., finger-sucking, etc.). 
  • To receive preventative treatments (fluoride and sealants).
  • To receive reports about how the child’s teeth and jaws are growing and developing.

What does a pediatric dentist do?

Pediatric dentistry offices are colorful, fun, and child-friendly. Dental phobias are often rooted in childhood, so it is essential that the child feel comfortable, safe, and trusting of the dentist from the outset.

The pediatric dentist focuses on several different forms of oral care:

Prevention – Tooth decay is the most prevalent childhood ailment. Fortunately, it is almost completely preventable. Aside from providing advice and guidance relating to home care, the pediatric dentist can apply sealants and fluoride treatments to protect tooth enamel and minimize the risk of cavities.

Early detection – Examinations and x-rays allow the pediatric dentist to predict future oral problems.  Examples include malocclusion (bad bite), attrition due to grinding (bruxism), and jaw irregularities. 

Treatment – Pediatric dentists offer a wide range of treatments. Aside from preventative treatments (fluoride and sealant applications), the pediatric dentist also performs pulp therapy and treats oral trauma.  If primary teeth are lost too soon, space maintainers may be provided to ensure the teeth do not become misaligned.

Education – Education is a major part of any pediatric practice. Not only can the pediatric dentist help the child understand the importance of daily oral care, but parents can also get advice on toothpaste selection, diet, thumb-sucking cessation, and a wide range of related topics.

Updates – Pediatric dentists are well informed about the latest advances in the dentistry field. Children who do not see the dentist regularly may miss out on both beneficial information and information about new diagnostic procedures.

If you have questions or concerns about when to see a pediatric dentist, please contact our office.

Preventive Care

You should have your teeth checked and cleaned at least twice a year, though your dentist or dental hygienist may recommend more frequent visits.

Regular dental exams and cleaning visits are essential in preventing dental problems and maintaining the health of your teeth and gums.  At these visits, your teeth are cleaned and checked for cavities.  Additionally, there are many other things that are checked and monitored to help detect, prevent, and maintain your dental health.  These include:

  • Medical history review: Knowing the status of any current medical conditions, new medications, and illnesses, gives us insight into your overall health and also your dental health.
  • Examination of diagnostic X-rays (radiographs): Essential for detection of decay, tumors, cysts, and bone loss.  X-rays also help determine tooth and root positions.
  • Oral cancer screening: Check the face, neck, lips, tongue, throat, tissues, and gums for any signs of oral cancer.
  • Gum disease evaluation: Check the gums and bone around the teeth for any signs of periodontal disease.
  • Examination of tooth decay: All tooth surfaces will be checked for decay with special dental instruments.
  • Examination of existing restorations: Check current fillings, crowns, etc.
  • Removal of calculus (tartar): Calculus is hardened plaque that has been left on the tooth and is firmly attached to the tooth surface. Calculus forms above and below the gumline, and can only be removed with special instruments.
  • Removal of plaque: Plaque is a sticky, almost invisible film that forms on the teeth. It is a growing colony of living bacteria, food debris, and saliva. The bacteria produce toxins (poisons) that inflame the gums. This inflammation is the start of periodontal disease!
  • Teeth polishing: Removes stain and plaque that is not otherwise removed during toothbrushing and scaling.
  • Oral hygiene recommendations: Review and recommend oral hygiene aids as needed (electric dental toothbrushes, special cleaning aids, fluorides, rinses, etc.).
  • Review dietary habits: Your eating habits play a very important role in your dental health.

As you can see, a good dental exam and cleaning involves much more than simply checking for cavities and polishing your teeth.  We are committed to providing you with the best possible care, and to do so, will require regular check-ups and cleanings.

Sierk Children’s Dentistry advocates for the use of fluoride to prevent dental decay and protect your child’s growing smile. However, we understand some parents may prefer other options to treat tooth decay instead of fluoride. We offer various treatments that do not contain fluoride, such as sealants. 

A Sealant Is Like a Raincoat for Your Teeth

Sealants are like little raincoats that keep the teeth protected from cavity-causing bacteria. Dr. Jon usually puts sealants on the chewing surfaces of back teeth, since the back of the mouth is more likely to develop cavities. This is because it’s more difficult to reach and fully clean every nook and cranny of molars. Sealants can stop early stages of decay right in its tracks and keep your child’s smile strong and healthy. 

According to Mouth Healthy by the American Dental Association, sealants have been shown to reduce the risk of cavities in molars by nearly 80 percent! 

Don't Let Cavities Steal the Spotlight! 

Dr. Jon and our team use sealants to coat cavity-prone teeth and protect them from decay, so your child can enjoy their smile for years to come. If you need to schedule your child’s check-up, cleaning, or sealant treatment, please call us today.

We look forward to making your child’s smile look and feel shiny and new!

We believe children can greatly benefit from fluoride, but Dr. Jon likes to see kids for a comprehensive check-up before making any recommendations. 

Every child is different and so are their dental health needs. Depending on your child’s age and smile needs, Dr. Jon will help you determine the best way for your child to keep their teeth cavity-free.

Main Benefits of Fluoride for Kids

#1 Fluoride keeps smiles cavity-free. 

Fluoride is a natural mineral that is found in toothpaste, mouthwash, and even in water. Safe for kids at a certain age, fluoride helps keep your child’s smile strong and cavity-free, and it also helps slow down decay. 

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the American Dental Association, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention all agree that fluoridated water is safe and helps prevent cavities

#2 Fluoride builds up enamel.  

Fluoride protects teeth from damage, and it also helps rebuild the enamel on your youngster’s teeth. 

#3 Fluoride is safe for most children.  

Young children should only use minimal fluoride as directed by your pediatric dentist. As children get older, they can use fluoride toothpaste more regularly to keep their teeth clean and free from decay. 

Call Our Friendly Fluoride Team Today!

To schedule your child’s next exam or fluoride treatment, don’t hesitate to give us a call. We look forward to seeing you soon!

As a parent or caregiver, it’s only natural to have safety concerns about x-rays. However, it’s important to understand why x-rays are important for your child’s dental health and how our pediatric dental practice uses them to provide excellent care. 

Ultra-Safe Dental X-Rays for Children 

At Sierk Children’s Dentistry, we use digital dental x-rays to look for signs of decay and any other underlying issues that we can't see with a tooth-by-tooth exam. According to Mouth Healthy by the American Dental Association, dental x-rays are safe for children, 

Yes, our x-rays are completely safe for kids, but we never want to pressure you and your family into doing something that you’re uncomfortable doing.

Why We Use Dental X-Rays 

Our digital dental x-rays are comfortable for kids and help us monitor their teeth, gums, and jawbone development. 

Dental x-rays help us:

  • Evaluate if there is enough room in your child’s mouth for erupting teeth.
  • Examine wisdom teeth, including early development or impaction 
  • Look for early signs of cavities and gum disease
  • Check for any abnormalities, like tumors or cysts

Also, it’s important to note that children with low risks of decay don’t usually need dental x-rays as frequently as children with higher risks. This is one of the many reasons why practicing good oral hygiene, like brushing and flossing, is so important. 

To schedule your child’s check-up or learn more about dental x-rays, contact our dental office today! 

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