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Audubon Dental:
The Dental Office Kids Love! 

Dr. Lynne Heckert and Joan Drumheller Treat Mrs. T for Children's Dental Health Month (February)

Doctors, Dental Hygienists, and All Assistants in our office have treated kids for years, know children's dentistry and have children themselves.  Our goal is to make good dentistry fun and pleasant for children. We start seeing children at around the age of age three with  a "ride in the chair," exam and, if possible a little cleaning and fluoride.  The goal is to set the scene for future positive dental care.  Kids should leave their first appointment feeling proud of themselves and liking the dental office. 
         If a child needs further work, we take our time, try to not overwhelm him or her  at the first visit, offer nitrous oxide for relaxation, and do whatever it takes to make things as pleasant as possible. 

Fluoride

Please remember that most water supplies in the area are NOT FLUORIDATED.  Your child must take a prescription supplement from birth until around age 12 in order to enjoy the 85 % plus reduction in decay that fluoridated water provides. If your pediatrician does not prescribe fluoride please remind him or her.  The dose should be adjusted as the child grows. Once a child is our patient we can prescribe this.

          Over-the-counter fluoride rinses do not take the place of systemic fluoride (tablets) which is incorporated into the developing enamel.  We also give topical fluoride at exam visits.       

Orthodontics

We always assess a child's orthodontic situation at each exam.  If necessary, we refer to one of a few board certified orthodontist whom we know have completed many successful cases. We do not perform orthodontic treatment; we leave that to dentists who have had the requisite three year ortho residency and who have plenty of experience.  The choice of an orthodontist is an important matter.

When Should Orthodontic Treatment be Started?

In most cases, orthodontics should be started when permanent teeth are all in the mouth or ready to erupt (around age 11-13).  There are a minority of cases where early intervention may be necessary. If so, we will refer you for an orthodontic consult.

In recent years we have noticed that some orthodontists tend to routinely  treat all or most children at an early age.  This often results in two  phases of treatment,  additional expense, and extended time with bands on. 

Certainly, there  are cases in which  early intervention is justified and we check for these cases at regular exams (e.g., where a narrow palate that must be expanded earlier than traditional treatment),   but the frequent use of early treatment that some orthodontists have promoted has not gone unquestioned.  It seems that while some orthodontic and pediatric practitioners are promoting the value of "early" treatment in a wide variety of situations, the academic community is not so sure  (see, Ackerman, Journal of the American Dental Association). We have found that some orthodontists routinely recommend early treatment.  We consider this situation and your individual child's needs when making suggestions regarding choice of orthodontic offices.