Northgate & Voyager Office 13335 Voyager Pkwy. Suite 100
Colorado Springs, CO 80921
719.265.9600, 719.265.9899

(719) 265-9600 Schedule an Appointment

Healthy Kids, Healthy Gums

A child’s smile is one of the most beautiful sights in the world. Healthy smiles start with healthy kids and healthy gums. An important key to a child’s oral health starts with the basics – daily brushing and flossing. At Springs Pediatric Dental Care, Dr. Clinton Callahan and his staff take pride in serving Colorado Springs families, and they are trained in the latest techniques that help children and teenagers develop the habits now that can help them avoid gum disease and maintain healthy gums and teeth for years to come. It is no surprise that most of us do not think about a child or teen fighting gum disease, but we want to equip kids and parents with the facts. During your child’s visit, Dr. Callahan and our team of professionals will explain and demonstrate how kids should properly brush and floss their teeth each day to avoid gum disease. These preventative steps can produce better overall oral health and help your child develop healthy habits that can last for a lifetime.

From Plaque to Disease

Gum disease is a common condition, and many people experience it. The condition begins with a build-up of plaque, which is a filmy substance left behind by foods that are starchy or contain sugar. Plaque clings to the teeth, and the bacteria in plaque that collects on teeth and gums can cause damage over time. Plaque can be removed by thorough daily brushing and flossing, so it is especially important to remind children and teens to brush their teeth twice every day. When plaque collects on the base of your teeth, it can turn into tartar – a hardened coating of plaque. Brushing will not remove tartar; it must be removed by a dental professional. Plaque can also cause gingivitis. Take note if you notice your child has any of these common symptoms of gum disease:
  • Swollen or bloated gums
  • Reddish or purple-ish colored gums
  • Bleeding gums
  • Gums that pull back or recede, making teeth look longer
  • Noticeable new gaps between teeth
  • Ongoing bad breath
  • It hurts to chew
  • Teeth become loose
  • Changes in the bite (teeth do not align well anymore)
It is important to schedule regular checkups with Dr. Callahan, especially if you think your child might have signs of gum disease. He can evaluate the health of your child’s gums and recommended the right steps for treatment. The good news is, the effects of gum disease can be treated and potentially reversed with proper dental cleanings and consistent oral hygiene at home. As children and teenagers grow, we understand that their dental needs change. Dr. Callahan and the team at Springs Pediatric Dental Care know exactly what young patients need to cultivate the right habits and ensure their oral health stays on the right track. We take special care to put patients at ease. Parents, we want you to be involved and informed at each step in the process, so you and your child know exactly what to expect.

Questions?

Contact us or call 719-265-9600 today and plan your child’s next visit. We want to make your next appointment a pleasant experience, and we welcome you to visit our office located at 13335 Voyager Parkway, Suite 100, in Colorado Springs, CO. 80921. Every day we serve our community by providing caring, professional children’s dentistry. We want patients and parents alike to enjoy their visit to our office, and we look forward to welcoming you at your next appointment.
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Call us today at (719) 265-9600 to schedule an appointment.

Does my child need a dental crown?

There’s not a more heartwarming image than your own child’s big, genuine smile! You want your children to be happy, healthy, and active. A toothache can interfere with all of these goals — and tooth pain could indicate the need for a filling or dental crown. One study showed that 51 million hours of school are lost each year, due to kids experiencing dental pain1. Another reported that kids with poor oral health were more prone than healthy kids to miss school and perform poorly2. Some children develop pain from a cavity or cracked tooth, but it is possible for a child’s dental crown to fail, as well. So, even if your child’s toothache has been treated, pain can recur. If your little one has a toothache, it’s time to call Springs Pediatric Dental Care in Colorado Springs to book an appointment. We offer two locations to serve our patients. Call 719-265-9600 today!

Symptoms to Watch

Your child may complain of a dull, nagging toothache or pain that occurs due to a particular stimulus. Crowns are most often necessary for patients who experience:
  • Pain when biting or chewing (pressure sensitivity)
  • Pain remains for a period after biting
  • Sensitivity to hot/cold foods
  • Under/in an existing crown or filling

First Response

When your child complains of a toothache, your first reaction should be to floss around the tooth. Food or debris lodged between teeth can cause pain. Have your little one rinse and swish with water a few times. Brush teeth and see if the toothache goes away. If discomfort continues, schedule an appointment with your pediatric dentist.

The Tooth Will Fall Out, Anyway

When a primary tooth needs a crown, you may hesitate to act. After all, the tooth will eventually fall out and be replaced by a healthy permanent tooth, right? Actually, when a tooth needs a crown, the damage is significant. If that damage is decay, it will continue to grow and could spread to surrounding teeth. In some cases, even unerupted permanent teeth have become damaged. Your child’s toothache will also worsen, if the tooth is not treated. At any time, a cracked tooth may break off, and this can create acute dental pain. To prevent further oral damage and to relieve your little one’s toothache, primary teeth with cavities and cracks should definitely be treated, as soon as possible.

What to Expect During a Dental Crown Appointment

You’ll attend to visits for the entire crown procedure. At the first appointment, we’ll administer local anesthetic and, in some cases, nitrous oxide to keep a child comfortable and relaxed during treatment. The dentist will prepare the damaged tooth to receive a crown, then take an impression of the prepped tooth and opposing teeth. Your child will wear a temporary crown for one to two weeks, until the lab-made crown is ready for placement. Front teeth may have a stainless steel or more natural-looking tooth-colored crown. If you prefer a tooth-colored crown, be sure to let the dentist know at the first visit. Molars need stainless steel crowns, for durability. At the second appointment, the dentist will replace the temporary with the permanent dental crown. After checking occlusion (how upper and lower teeth fit together when your child bites down), the dentist will make adjustments to the restoration before you leave.

Child complaining of toothache? Call now!

Located in Colorado Springs, our two pediatric dental offices make dental appointments convenient for most families in the area. If your child reports a toothache, don’t delay treatment. Call us at 719-265-9600 now to reserve your appointment.With kindly presented information and instruction, we’ll help you and your child address the underlying cause of the toothache. New patients are always welcome! ### 1: Amschler DH. A hidden epidemic: dental disparities among children. J Sch Health. 2003;73(1):38–40 2: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3222359/
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When Children Need Dental Fillings

Learning that your child has a cavity can feel like a catastrophe for any parent. You work hard at instilling good oral hygiene routines in your children. Any amount of tooth decay can make you feel like your hard work and parenting are for nothing. In truth, about 99 percent of Americans have had one or more cavities. With a carbohydrate and sugar-heavy diet, it’s almost inevitable that some decay will occur. The important thing is to learn from the experience, and figure out a way to better protect your child’s teeth in the future. Springs Pediatric Dental Care of Colorado Springs, CO can help you do this. Children’s teeth in particular are vulnerable to cavities. Their tooth enamel is thinner than adults’ and the teeth are smaller. This means decay can deepen or spread to other teeth much faster than in adult teeth. Luckily, cavities can be caught early and dental fillings can ensure that the decay does not spread. Once the tooth has been restored with a discreet tooth-colored filling, it literally is as “good as new.”

Treating Decay with Dental Fillings

When a child has a cavity, this means that your child’s tooth enamel has been demineralized to the point that a hole has formed. When this happens, we remove the bacteria and decayed tooth matter and fill it up (or cover it) to restore the full structure of the tooth. If your child maintains a regular schedule of six-month check-ups, we can usually catch cavities while they are small and easy to treat. However, sometimes cavities can deepen and spread to the inside of the tooth, in what’s called the pulp chamber. If your child’s cavity has spread to the pulp chamber, it is necessary to treat the tooth with endodontic therapy (root canal) as well as a filling. A root canal takes a bit longer than a simple filling, but we always make sure our patients are comfortable and feel safe during their treatments.

What Will Happen During the Appointment

At Springs Pediatric Dental Care, we take great efforts to make all children’s dentistry appointments as stress-free as possible. If your child comes to us with any fear or anxiety about getting a filling, we will take the time to make sure he or she is comfortable with what will happen. If we have not taken an x-ray recently, the appointment will start with one. This shows us how deep the cavity is and whether the tooth will require pulp therapy. After we take an x-ray, we prepare for the filling. If the cavity is causing any pain for your child, or if it is deep enough to extend into the dentin, we will administer an anesthetic, so the patient feels nothing. We are careful to make sure the patient does not see the needle if it is needed, as we know this can cause anxiety. Many children fear the needle, so this is a standard procedure for all the kids we treat. After your child receives the local anesthetic, we wait until we are confident it has taken full effect before we begin the filling. Before we can fill the tooth, we treat it, by removing the decayed tooth matter with dental tools. When the tooth is ready, we fill it with dental composite. This material is a mixture of micro-particles of plastic, glass, and silicate, held together in a resin matrix. (We do not use metal dental fillings, so you never need to be worried about mercury.) After the composite is applied, we use a curing light to harden it and bond it to the tooth. Afterwards, we polish and buff the filling, to make sure it does not interfere with your child’s bite, and that it feels natural in his/her mouth. If a child’s tooth has too much structural damage, we may instead treat it with a stainless-steel crown. This will protect the tooth and keep its structure intact until the adult tooth is ready to come in.

What Caused My Child’s Cavity?

We all know that eating sugary foods and not brushing your teeth properly are good ways to get cavities—but do you understand how cavities form? Understanding how it works can help you prevent decay in the future. All tooth decay is caused by an acidic environment in the mouth. Acidic foods and beverages can contribute to this, but it’s mostly bacterial acids that demineralize tooth enamel. We all have mouth bacteria, no matter how thoroughly we brush and floss our teeth each day, so there’s really no getting rid of them permanently. The best way to control bacterial growth in the mouth is to not feed the bacteria. Leaving food residue on the teeth feeds bacteria, which then “poop” out the acids that cause cavities. The foods that stick to the teeth and feed bacteria the worst contain starchy carbohydrates and sugars:
  • Fruit juice
  • Sodas and sports drinks
  • Bread
  • Peanut butter and jelly
  • Potato chips
  • Chewy fruit snacks
  • Breakfast cereals and cereal bars
If you or your child can’t brush your teeth after eating sugary/starchy foods, there are other ways to protect the teeth. Simply rinsing with water after eating these foods can go a long way to preventing decay. Chewing sugarless gum is another good method, because it stimulates saliva production to rinse away food and neutralize acids. In addition to knowing the foods to avoid, it may be helpful to know which foods can actually clean the teeth. Many healthy foods have a positive effect on the mouth environment because their texture cleans the teeth. Virtually any crunchy fruits and vegetable can clean the teeth.
  • Apples
  • Pears
  • Celery
  • Carrots
  • Cucumber
  • Broccoli and cauliflower
  • Leafy greens and crunchy salads
Adding more of these mouth-healthy foods, or simply feeding them to your children after sticky foods can go a long way to keeping your child’s mouth healthy. (There’s an unexpected argument in there for serving dessert before fruits and vegetables, if you can believe it!) To learn more about dental fillings and preventing tooth decay in children, visit Springs Pediatric Dental Care. We specialize in young patients, and know how to make them feel safe and comfortable while getting the dental care they need. Call us at (719) 265-9600 to make an appointment at our Colorado Springs dental office.
Get In Touch With Us
You are welcome to fill out this form to ask us questions or to book an appointment.

We Respect Your Privacy. Privacy Policy