Pediatric Dentistry Chapel Hill NC

Pediatric Dentistry An Overview

Pediatric dentistry is an important part of the general dental care that Tarheel Family Dentistry offers families in the Chapel Hill area. Dr. Cook and our team of dental professionals provide comprehensive dental care for children in a warm, caring environment that nurtures their ability to care for their own oral health as they grow.

Tarheel Pediatric Dentistry

Parents should bring their children in for an initial dental visit as soon as the first primary teeth begin to erupt. Early dental visits help young children to acclimate to the dental office environment, laying the foundation for a lifetime of good oral habits and routine dental care.

Children’s dental visits enable Dr. Cook and our team to monitor the oral development of your child, looking for any structural problems that could affect the function of their bite and appearance of their smile.

A healthy smile supports your child’s speech development, the ability to enjoy a varied diet and can impact their sense of self-confidence in their appearance. We offer the services your growing child needs to maintain their dental health, including:

  • Dental sealants: protective layer placed on the larger molars as they erupt
  • Tooth extractions: simple extractions that may alleviate tooth crowding
  • Tooth bonding: a cosmetic and restorative treatment option for young patients when needed
  • Invisible braces: clear braces to treat mild to moderate orthodontic concerns

Pediatric Dentistry What to Expect

The first time your young child visits the dentist we take the time to allow them to explore and feel comfortable in the dentist chair. We will gently perform a visual exam of their developing primary teeth and look at the condition of their gums and jaw structure.

Our hygienists will work with your child to carefully clean the surface of their teeth and gums with the goal of providing some instruction for parents and caregivers while helping your child become comfortable with oral hygiene.

As your child grows we will watch for any signs of development concerns that could affect their bite or the placement of the permanent teeth. Early orthodontics, strategic tooth extractions, and oral appliances will be recommended if needed to ensure your child can enjoy lifelong dental health and their most beautiful smile.

Dental sealants are typically placed in the late elementary age years as the back molars erupt, preventing decay in teeth with several cusps. This is a simple, painless procedure that even adults can benefit from if they are prone to tooth decay. Dr. Cook will recommend sealants at the appropriate time and they are often placed during a separate visit.

Pediatric Dentistry FAQs

Are my child's baby teeth important?

Yes. The primary teeth are “placeholders” for the permanent teeth. If a primary tooth is damaged, decayed or lost it is important to address it with Dr. Cook to avoid other dental problems down the road.

Do young children develop tooth cavities?

Yes. Even very young babies can develop tooth decay. Regular visits with us and a healthy diet low in sugar can minimize tooth decay and help your child enjoy good oral health.