Pediatric Dentistry Care in Rochester

How is pediatric dentistry different from general dentistry?

While caring for children’s teeth is not drastically different than dentistry for adults, there are some differences in the approach dentists take. Dentists who care for pediatric patients will cater their services and methods to little ones in an effort to create a positive relationship with oral health. By focusing on education and prevention in a fun, relaxing environment, pediatric dentists can help empower children to feel comfortable and confident at the dentist’s office.

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Did you know…

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Tooth decay is the most common childhood disease.

Ready to schedule your child’s appointment?

call (507) 288-1101 today!

What to expect at your child’s first appointment

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Thorough Cleaning

Once your little one has met our team and is comfortable in the office, we will perform a thorough, gentle cleaning. We’ll remove plaque and bacteria and polish each tooth before flossing out those hard-to-reach places.

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Necessary X-Rays

We may recommend x-rays for your child, especially if they haven’t had them taken before. Digital x-rays are a safe and effective way for us to monitor your child’s developing smile, and can help us catch hidden oral health problems. We require approval from our patient’s parent or guardian before we take any x-ray images.

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Comprehensive Exam

Your child’s dentist will visually inspect their teeth, gums, and x-rays (if they’ve had them taken) to ensure that their smile is free from cavities or decay. They will also ensure that your child’s mouth is developing correctly, and discuss their findings with you.

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Treatment Plan

Once your child’s dentist has completed the exam, they will recommend further treatment options if necessary. Depending on the treatment, it may be able to be completed during the same visit, or could require scheduling a second appointment.

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Schedule Follow-Up Appointment

Whether your child is in need of restorative care, like a filling, or just a regular cleaning and checkup, we’ll help you get them scheduled for their next dental visit.

Pediatric Treatment Options

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Pediatric Cleanings & Exams

Just like cleanings and exams for adults, pediatric cleanings and exams are fairly straightforward. Your child’s dental hygienist or dentist will clean their teeth and gums, then their dentist will carefully examine their mouth and any x-rays to look for potential issues with your child’s oral health or development.

You’ll have the opportunity during this visit to speak with your child’s dentist about what to expect during the various stages of their oral development, like when their teeth will be erupting, falling out, then erupting again as adult teeth. We will discuss proper techniques for at-home oral care and hygiene for different age groups, and even talk about nutrition and diet, and how it’s related to your child’s developing oral health.

Silver Diamine Fluoride

For children in need of an alternative to dental fillings, Silver Diamine Fluoride (SDF) can be used to treat minor-to-moderate tooth decay in baby teeth. SDF is made from a blend of silver, fluoride, ammonia, and water, and when applied to a cavity, kills the bacteria that cause decay, halting the progression and saving the tooth.

The reason we generally only recommend SDF for baby teeth is that the treatment permanently discolors the tooth, turning it black. It’s a good option for baby teeth that will eventually fall out, or for little ones who are too young or uncooperative to receive a traditional filling.

Stainless Steel Crowns

Stainless steel crowns are another effective alternative to traditional fillings for your child. Because they are pre-fabricated in a full range of shapes and sizes, stainless steel crowns can be placed directly onto their tooth to cover and protect it from any additional damage or decay. 

Depending on why your child needs a crown, the placement method can vary. If the tooth has experienced significant decay or damage, your child’s dentist will likely trim their tooth before the crown is placed. For more minor cases, the tooth may simply be cleaned, and the crown will be placed directly over the tooth without needing a trim with a dental drill.

Space Maintainers

Children who lose a baby tooth early may require the placement of a space maintainer. A space maintainer is a dental prosthetic that sits in the gap where a missing tooth used to be, in order to prevent the surrounding teeth from shifting into the now-empty socket.

Space maintainers can ensure that your child’s permanent tooth will erupt properly when it’s ready, so they can avoid any oral development issues that would require orthodontic intervention.


A frenectomy is a relatively common procedure for patients with a tongue tie or lip tie. A frenulum, or frenum, is a band of tissue that connects your lip to your gums, or your tongue to the base of your mouth. Children with a tongue or lip tie have a frenulum that is too thick or too short, resulting in restricted movement that most notably causes problems with breastfeeding. If left untreated, the condition can lead to problems with chewing and speech later in life.

During a frenectomy, your child's dentist will release the frenulum, to restore the range of motion to their tongue or lip. You’ll also be given instructions for aftercare, including exercises meant to ensure your child heals properly and retains their full range of motion.


Sometimes referred to as “baby root canals,” and just like root canal therapy, pulpotomies are performed to remove infected or decayed pulp from the interior of your child’s tooth. However, a pulpotomy may not require the removal of all of the dental pulp. Also, instead of finishing the procedure with a filling and/or crown, a special healing dressing will be applied to the tooth to keep the tooth alive and well until it eventually falls out to make room for your child’s permanent tooth.

Did you know…

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The bacteria that cause cavities can be transmitted by an infant’s mother or other family members.

Interested in pediatric dental services?

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Have questions about pediatric dentistry? Find answers here.

When Should My Child Start Going to The Dentist?

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The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) recommends that children visit the dentist once their first tooth erupts, or by their first birthday, whichever comes first.

Why should children see the dentist so early?

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Starting dental care early has many benefits. First off, it allows your child to become familiar with seeing the dentist, so they are more comfortable with the process and less likely to develop dental anxiety as they grow up. Early visits with the same dentist also allow their doctor to develop familiarity with your child’s oral development, which can help them identify any potential issues early to minimize future issues. By establishing a dental home early on, you can set your child up for a healthy relationship with their oral health and help foster good habits for a lifetime of healthy smiles.

How do I prepare my child for their first dental visit?

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To prepare your little one for their dental appointment, it’s important to speak positively about the dentist, and about their oral health. If you have any dental anxiety, it is crucial that you don’t create a negative image of going to the dentist’s office. A good first impression can have lasting benefits for your child’s relationship with their oral health.

It may also be helpful to:

  1. Tell your child about how important dental care is, and about how it is their dentists job to help them learn how to take care of their pearly whites.
  2. Set some expectations about what will happen at their appointment, about how their dentist will clean and count their teeth to ensure they’re healthy.
  3. Introduce your child’s dentist and team as friends to minimize any fear or apprehension.

Did you know…

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Feeding your child right before bed increases their risk of tooth decay.

Ready for your child's dental appointment?

call (507) 288-1101 today!