Pediatric Dentistry
At Elmhurst Dentistry for Kids, pediatric dentistry is more than bright, healthy smiles; it's also about making the trip to the dentist a calm, pleasant experience so there's no fear of "next time." As pediatric dentists, we take pride in seeing our patients grow into their adult teeth, so we're committed to earning the trust of everyone who visits our clinic—both children and parents.

Learn more about who we are:

What is Pediatric Dentistry?
A pediatric dentist, defined, is a specially trained dentist who focuses on caring for children from infancy through the teenage years, and also adults with special needs. This treatment can include the prevention and treatment of diseases of the mouth, teeth and gums as well as the early intervention during the growth of teeth to prevent extensive problems in the future.

Pediatric dentists have completed four years of dental school after their undergraduate program, plus a minimum of two years of dental training for patients from infancy to late teens. At your child's pediatric dental exam, the dentist may perform any of the following procedures needed:
•  Comprehensive dental exams including providing you, the parents, important information to keep your child's teeth healthy and strong. A complete exam includes cleaning, fluoride treatments, helpful nutrition information and habit counseling.
•  Sealants may be recommended and applied for added protection for your child's teeth.
•  If cavities (tooth decay) are present, your pediatric dentist will recommend a course of treatment—fillings, crowns, extractions, and space maintainers as needed.
•  The dentist will utilize exams and x-rays to determine any possible need for orthodontic procedures.
•  The treatment of dental emergencies like broken, lost or damaged teeth.
•  The diagnosis and treatment of pediatric gum disease is also a specialty of your pediatric dentist.

The early and appropriate dental care by a provided by a pediatric dentist can help prevent problems related to oral health later in your child's life.

Encouraging Kids to Brush
New research by Aquafresh® suggests that teaching children good oral hygiene habits is stressful for parents. According to this study, more than one million children under the age of five have two or more fillings. A quarter of the parents interviewed said that their children only brush their teeth once a day and visit the dentist only once every two years. Parents say that getting their children to brush is extremely stressful and that visiting the dentist leaves them feeling judged when their child has a cavity. Some said they are just plain embarrassed about the condition of their child's mouth.

So, what can be done to make brushing easier on both parents and children? Below are eight ways to encourage kids to brush and make brushing time not only easier but even a little fun!
•  Start early: Before ever buying a toothbrush, wipe baby teeth with a clean soft cloth to not only clean teeth but get your child used to tooth care
•  Model Good Oral Hygiene: Let children see you brush and floss often
•  Don't Underestimate the Power of Fun: Find a toothbrush with a favorite character, music, lights, or colors to encourage fun. Pick a silly song to sing while teeth are being brushed
•  Choose the Right Toothpaste: A child who enjoys the taste of the toothpaste is more likely to brush
•  Colored, Hand-Held Flossers: Fun, easy, and they can be used anywhere (try keeping them in the family room for use during a TV show or movie)
•  Rewards Chart: Reward kids for good brushing with stickers and small prizes
•  Educational Tools: Try books, videos, and games that encourage brushing

Sedation for Kids
At Elmhurst Dentistry for Kids we offer sedation dentistry for young patients who may have severe disabilities, children with extensive treatment plans, or children who suffer from anxiety. Sedation dentistry helps some children receive dental treatment who may otherwise not have received it. There are different options for sedation dentistry that can be used to help children relax and allow the dentist to restore their mouth to a healthy state. After an initial examination, the pediatric dentist will discuss the different options available to your child.

Nitrous Oxide (Laughing Gas)
Nitrous Oxide, or better known as laughing gas, is a mild form of sedation for children who visit the pediatric dentist and may be overly nervous or anxious about their scheduled treatments. Nitrous Oxide helps to ease a patient’s fears so as to help them relax during their visit, and to receive dental treatment in a comfortable and safe manner. Children sometimes report dreaming and their arms and legs may feel “tingly”. It raises the pain threshold and may even make the time appear to pass quickly. If your child is worried by the sights, sounds or sensations of dental treatment, he or she may respond more positively with the use of Nitrous Oxide.

Additionally it reduces the gag reflex which can interfere with effective dental treatment. Typically delivered through a mask over the nose, nitrous oxide is mixed directly with oxygen and delivered as the patient breathes in and out regularly. The patient is usually asked to breath normally through the nose, and as the gas begins to take effect, the child will become more relaxed and less nervous.

Nitrous Oxide is 100% safe to use during treatment and is eliminated from the body quickly after the gas is turned off. The child will remain awake during the entire procedure and will be able to interact and communicate with the pediatric dentist. After the procedure(s) are over, the Nitrous Oxide gas will be turned off and oxygen will be delivered for a few minutes to ensure that all gas is flushed from the system.

Nitrous Oxide is perhaps the safest sedative in dentistry. It is well tolerated, has a rapid onset, is reversible, can be adjusted in various concentrations and is non-allergenic. Your child remains fully conscious and keeps all natural reflexes when breathing the gases. He or she will be capable of responding to a question or requests by the dental staff. You should inform our office regarding any respiratory condition that makes breathing through the nose difficult for your child.

Because every child is different, all of our dental services are tailored specifically to your child’s needs. In a very small percentage of children Nitrous Oxide may not be effective. We will review your child’s medical history, level of anxiety, and treatment needs and inform you if Nitrous Oxide is recommended for your child.

General Anesthesia
Medically speaking, general anesthesia is an induced state of unconsciousness. In practical terms, the patient is asleep and does not respond to touch or sound. It is most often recommended for children with extensive treatment needs and/or an inability to communicate and cooperate. Sometimes it may also be the best way to provide treatment for children with special medical/developmental needs, or high anxiety. All parents should know that children face the same risks of dental general anesthesia, as for any other surgical procedure. Our office utilizes the expertise of Dr. Michael S. Higgins, is a licensed anesthesiologist who works exclusively with dental sedation. Parents should talk openly with the pediatric dental staff about the benefits and risks of this treatment.
Some Information on Dr. Michael Higgins
Michael S. Higgins, DDS attended the University of Illinois Medical Center College of Dentistry. Upon graduation, he completed a General Practice Hospital residency program in New York and was subsequently accepted into the Anesthesiology residency at Illinois Masonic Medical Center, Chicago. Since completion of his anesthesia training in 1982, Dr. Higgins has practiced dental anesthesiology, providing office based anesthesia care throughout the Northern Illinois area.
Dr. Higgins of Anesthesia Associates is a highly qualified anesthesiologist who has been providing pediatric and special needs patients with excellent anesthesia care for over 25 years. With an anesthesiologist on our team, office anesthesia is a very safe and effective treatment choice. Dr. Higgins’ office is the best source for answers to your technical questions regarding anesthesia care for your child.
Important Information regarding your child’s upcoming procedure
Since you are considering the advantages of general anesthesia for the dental treatment of your child, it will be helpful for you to be aware of a few important details that will ensure a pleasant experience.
To the best of our ability, we will attempt to offer you an appointment that is most convenient for your schedule. However, other important considerations for scheduling include your child’s age, medical status, the urgency of their dental needs, and coordinating the doctors’ schedules.

Dr. Higgins’ office will contact you to help you prepare for this procedure. It is important that you share all medical information about your child’s health history with his office. Please be prepared to provide the name, address and phone numbers of your child’s pediatrician, and any specialty physicians that may be included in their care. Your child will need a current physical examination performed by their physician along with a few simple lab tests that will involve a blood sample. If these have been done recently, the retesting may be avoidable – please inform Dr. Higgins if this is the case.

In some instances, Dr. Higgins may prescribe oral medications for your child prior to surgery. This must be given specifically as directed.

All General Anesthesia fees are handled through Dr. Higgins’ office, Anesthesia Associates. Anesthesia Associates will provide you with an estimate of your anesthesia fee based on your child’s specific needs. An initial down payment will be due prior to scheduling with Dr. Higgins.

Anesthesia care for dental procedures may be a covered expense through your medical insurance carrier. Medical benefits for dental anesthesia vary among insurance carriers. Anesthesia Associates will assist you in obtaining insurance reimbursement information and benefits. For certain special needs children, there may be philanthropic funds available from third party sources; please discuss this possibility with Dr. Higgins’ office.

All dental treatment fees are handled through Elmhurst Dentistry for Kids and your patient portion must be paid in full prior to scheduling your child’s sedation appointment. Elmhurst Dentistry for Kids will obtain a pre-estimate from your insurance company. While we do everything on our end to ensure the most accurate estimate is obtained prior to your child’s procedure, please keep in mind that this is just an estimate. To obtain the most accurate information, we recommend you call the insurance company to get the best understanding of the covered benefits of your specific plan. Occasionally treatment may change during the appointment, resulting in additional fees. If this should occur, you will be notified of any such changes.

Dental FAQ
Looking for answers to some of your questions? Check out our FAQ.

What Is a Pediatric Dentist?

The pediatric dentist has an extra two years of specialized training and is dedicated to the oral health of children from infancy through the teenage years. The very young, pre-teens, and teenagers all need different approaches in dealing with their behavior, guiding their dental growth and development, and helping them avoid future dental problems. The pediatric dentist is best qualified to meet these needs. A pediatric dentist is also trained to treat children who are medically, physically and or cognitively disabled.

Why Are the Primary Teeth So Important?

It is very important to maintain the health of the primary teeth. Neglected cavities can and frequently do lead to problems which affect developing permanent teeth. Primary teeth, or baby teeth are important for (1) proper chewing and eating, (2) providing space for the permanent teeth and guiding them into the correct position, and (3) permitting normal development of the jaw bones and muscles. Primary teeth also affect the development of speech and add to an attractive appearance. While the front 4 teeth last until 6-7 years of age, the back teeth (cuspids and molars) aren’t replaced until age 10-13.

Why are Dental X-Rays Necessary?
Radiographs (X-Rays) are a vital and necessary part of your child’s dental diagnostic process. Without them, certain dental conditions can and will be missed.

X-Ray’s detect much more than cavities. For example, X-Rays may be needed to survey erupting teeth, diagnose bone diseases, evaluate the results of an injury, or plan orthodontic treatment. X-Rays allow dentists to diagnose and treat health conditions that cannot be detected during a clinical examination. If dental problems are found and treated early, dental care is more comfortable for your child and more affordable for you.

American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends X-rays and examinations every six months for children with a high risk of tooth decay. On average, most pediatric dentists request radiographs approximately once a year. Approximately every three years it is a good idea to obtain a complete set of radiographs, either a panoramic and bitewings or periapicals and bitewings.

Pediatric dentists are particularly careful to minimize the exposure of their patients to radiation. With contemporary safeguards, the amount of radiation received in a dental X-ray examination is extremely small. The risk is negligible. In fact, the dental X-rays represent a far smaller risk than an undetected and untreated dental problem. Lead body aprons and shields will protect your child. Today’s equipment filters out unnecessary X-rays and restricts the X-ray beam to the area of interest. High-speed film and proper shielding assure that your child receives a minimal amount of radiation exposure.

How Should I Care for My Child’s Teeth?

Begin daily brushing as soon as the child’s first tooth erupts. A pea size amount of fluoride toothpaste can be used after the child is old enough not to swallow it. By age 4 or 5, children should be able to brush their own teeth twice a day with a parent’s help until about age seven to make sure they are doing a thorough job. However, each child is different. Your dentist can help you determine whether the child has the skill level to brush properly.

Proper brushing removes plaque from the inner, outer and chewing surfaces. When teaching children to brush, place toothbrush at a 45 degree angle; start along gum line with a soft bristle brush in a gentle circular motion. Brush the outer surfaces of each tooth, upper and lower. Repeat the same method on the inside surfaces and chewing surfaces of all the teeth. Finish by brushing the tongue to help freshen breath and remove bacteria.

Flossing removes plaque between the teeth where a toothbrush can’t reach. Flossing should begin when any two teeth touch. You should floss the child’s teeth until he or she can do it alone. Use about 18 inches of floss, winding most of it around the middle fingers of both hands. Hold the floss lightly between the thumbs and forefingers. Use a gentle, back-and-forth motion to guide the floss between the teeth. Curve the floss into a C-shape and slide it into the space between the gum and tooth until you feel resistance. Gently scrape the floss against the side of the tooth. Repeat this procedure on each tooth. Don’t forget the backs of the last four teeth.

What Are Good Snacks for My Child?

Healthy eating habits lead to healthy teeth. Like the rest of the body, the teeth, bones and the soft tissues of the mouth need a well-balanced diet. Children should eat a variety of foods from the five major food groups. Most snacks that children eat can lead to cavity formation. The more frequently a child snacks, the greater the chance for tooth decay. How long food remains in the mouth also plays a role. For example, hard candy and breath mints stay in the mouth a long time, which cause longer acid attacks on tooth enamel. If your child must snack, choose nutritious foods such as vegetables, low-fat yogurt, and low-fat cheese which are healthier and better for children’s teeth.

How Do I Prevent Cavities?
Good oral hygiene removes bacteria and the left over food particles that combine to create cavities. For infants, use a wet gauze or clean washcloth to wipe the plaque from teeth and gums. Avoid putting your child to bed with a bottle filled with anything other than water. See “Baby Bottle Tooth Decay” for more information.

For older children, brush their teeth at least twice a day. Also, watch the number of snacks containing sugar that you give your children.

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends six month visits to the pediatric dentist beginning at your child’s first birthday. Routine visits will start your child on a lifetime of good dental health.

Your pediatric dentist may also recommend protective sealants or home fluoride treatments for your child. Sealants can be applied to your child’s molars to prevent decay on hard to clean surfaces.

What Are Sealants?
A sealant is a clear or shaded plastic material that is applied to the chewing surfaces (grooves) of the back teeth (premolars and molars), where four out of five cavities in children are found. This sealant acts as a barrier to food, plaque and acid, thus protecting the decay-prone areas of the teeth.

What Is Baby Bottle Tooth Decay?
One serious form of decay among young children is baby bottle tooth decay. This condition is caused by frequent and long exposures of an infant’s teeth to liquids that contain sugar. Among these liquids are milk (including breast milk), formula, fruit juice, even watered down fruit juice, and other sweetened drinks.

Putting a baby to bed for a nap or at night with a bottle other than water can cause serious and rapid tooth decay. Sweet liquid pools around the child’s teeth giving plaque bacteria an opportunity to produce acids that attack tooth enamel. If you must give the baby a bottle as a comforter at bedtime, it should contain only water. When you offer water at bedtime some children will cry for their beverage of choice. This will last for about two weeks, by then they will understand that they are only getting water and they will be content. Please don’t give in after 7-10 days as this will only make it more difficult for you child accept water as their night time drink.

After each feeding, wipe the baby’s gums and teeth with a damp washcloth or gauze pad to remove plaque. The easiest way to do this is to sit down, place the child’s head in your lap or lay the child on a dressing table or the floor. Whatever position you use, be sure you can see into the child’s mouth easily. Your pediatric dentist will further instruct you on ways to brush your child’s teeth as they come in.

When Will My Baby Start Getting Teeth?
Teething, the process of baby (primary) teeth coming through the gums into the mouth, is variable among individual babies. Some babies get their teeth early and some get them late. In general the first baby teeth are usually the lower front (anterior) teeth and usually begin erupting between the age of 6-8 months. See “Eruption of Your Child’s Teeth” for more details.

When Do Children Get Their Grown-Up Teeth?
Children’s teeth begin forming before birth. As early as 4 months, the first primary (or baby) teeth to erupt through the gums are the lower central incisors, followed closely by the upper central incisors. Although all 20 primary teeth usually appear by age 3, the pace and order of their eruption varies.

Permanent teeth begin appearing around age 6, starting with the first molars and lower central incisors. This process continues until approximately age 21.

Adults have 28 permanent teeth, or up to 32 including the third molars (or wisdom teeth)

What Are Common Dental Emergencies?
Toothache:Clean the area of the affected tooth thoroughly. Rinse the mouth vigorously with warm water or use dental floss to dislodge impacted food or debris. If the pain still exists, contact your child’s dentist. DO NOT place aspirin on the gum or on the aching tooth. If the face is swollen apply cold compresses and contact your dentist immediately.

Cut or Bitten Tongue, Lip or Cheek: Apply ice to bruised areas. If there is bleeding apply firm but gentle pressure with a gauze or cloth. If bleeding does not stop after 15 minutes or it cannot be controlled by simple pressure, take the child to hospital emergency room.

Knocked Out Permanent Tooth: Find the tooth. Handle the tooth by the crown, not the root portion. You may rinse the tooth but DO NOT clean or handle the tooth unnecessarily. Inspect the tooth for fractures. If it is sound, try to reinsert it in the socket. Have the patient hold the tooth in place by biting on a gauze. If you cannot reinsert the tooth, transport the tooth in a cup containing the patient’s saliva or milk. If the patient is old enough, the tooth may also be carried in the patient’s mouth. The patient must see a dentist IMMEDIATELY! Time is a critical factor in saving the tooth.

What Is Fluoride?
Fluoride is an element, which has been shown to be beneficial to teeth. However, too little or too much fluoride can be detrimental to the teeth. Little or no fluoride will not strengthen the teeth to help them resist cavities. Excessive fluoride ingestion by preschool-aged children can lead to dental fluorosis, which is a chalky white to even brown discoloration of the permanent teeth. Many children often get more fluoride than their parents realize. Being aware of a child’s potential sources of fluoride can help parents prevent the possibility of dental fluorosis.

Some of these sources are:
•  Too much fluoridated toothpaste at an early age.
•  The inappropriate use of fluoride supplements.
•  Hidden sources of fluoride in the child's diet.

Two and three year olds may not be able to expectorate (spit out) fluoride-containing toothpaste when brushing. As a result, these youngsters may ingest an excessive amount of fluoride during tooth brushing. Toothpaste ingestion during this critical period of permanent tooth development is the greatest risk factor in the development of fluorosis.

Excessive and inappropriate intake of fluoride supplements may also contribute to fluorosis. Fluoride drops and tablets, as well as fluoride fortified vitamins should not be given to infants younger than six months of age. After that time, fluoride supplements should only be given to children after all of the sources of ingested fluoride have been accounted for and upon the recommendation of your pediatrician or pediatric dentist.

Certain foods contain high levels of fluoride, especially powdered concentrate infant formula, soy-based infant formula, infant dry cereals, creamed spinach, and infant chicken products. Please read the label or contact the manufacturer. Some beverages also contain high levels of fluoride, especially decaffeinated teas, white grape juices, and juice drinks manufactured in fluoridated cities. Another source of fluoride can be found in soft drinks at fast food restaurants, when blending the syrup and carbonation with the city water supply.

Parents can take the following steps to decrease the risk of fluorosis in their children's teeth:
•  Use baby tooth cleanser on the toothbrush of the very young child.
•  Place only a pea sized drop of children's toothpaste on the brush when brushing.
•  Account for all of the sources of ingested fluoride before requesting fluoride supplements from your child's physician or pediatric dentist.
•  Avoid giving any fluoride-containing supplements to infants until they are at least 6 months old.
•  Obtain fluoride level test results for your drinking water before giving fluoride supplements to your child (check with local water utilities).

What's the Best Toothpaste for my Child?
Tooth brushing is one of the most important tasks for good oral health. Many toothpastes, and/or tooth polishes, however, can damage young smiles. They contain harsh abrasives which can wear away young tooth enamel. When looking for a toothpaste for your child make sure to pick one that is recommended by the American Dental Association. These toothpastes have undergone testing to insure they are safe to use.

Remember, children should spit out toothpaste after brushing to avoid getting too much fluoride. If too much fluoride is ingested, a condition known as fluorosis can occur. If your child is too young or unable to spit out toothpaste, consider providing them with a fluoride free toothpaste, using no toothpaste, or using only a “pea size” amount of toothpaste

Why Does My Child Grind His Teeth At Night?
Parents are often concerned about children grinding their teeth, (bruxism), at night. Often, the first indication is the noise created by the child grinding their teeth during sleep. Or, the parent may notice wear (teeth getting shorter) to the dentition. One theory as to the cause involves a psychological component. Stress due to a new environment, divorce, changes at school; etc. can influence a child to grind their teeth. Another theory relates to pressure in the inner ear at night. If there are pressure changes (like in an airplane during take-off and landing when people are chewing gum, etc. to equalize pressure) the child will grind by moving his jaw to relieve this pressure. Another theory, and perhaps the most common, is that bruxism aids in the eruption of the permanent teeth that are developing under the primary teeth since most children grind their teeth while sleeping.

The majority of cases of pediatric bruxism do not require any treatment. If excessive wear of the teeth (attrition) is present, then a mouth guard (night guard) may be indicated, however, this is rarely prescribed by a pediatric dentist.

The good news is most children outgrow bruxism. The grinding gets less between the ages 6-9 and children tend to stop grinding between ages 9-12. If you suspect bruxism, discuss this with your pediatrician or pediatric dentist.

Is Thumb Sucking Bad?
Sucking is a natural reflex and infants and young children may use thumbs, fingers, pacifiers and other objects on which to suck. It may make them feel secure and happy or provide a sense of security at difficult periods. Since thumb sucking is relaxing, it may induce sleep.

Thumb sucking that persists beyond the eruption of the permanent teeth can cause problems with the proper growth of the jaws and tooth alignment. How intensely a child sucks on fingers or thumbs will determine whether or not dental problems may result. Children who rest their thumbs passively in their mouths are less likely to have difficulty than those who vigorously suck their thumbs.

Children should cease thumb sucking by the time their permanent front teeth are ready to erupt. Usually, children stop between the ages of two and four. Peer pressure causes many school-aged children to stop.

Pacifiers are no substitute for thumb sucking. They can affect the teeth essentially the same way as sucking fingers and thumbs. However, use of the pacifier can be controlled and modified more easily than the thumb or finger habit. If you have concerns about thumb sucking or use of a pacifier, consult your pediatric dentist.

A few suggestions to help your child get through thumb sucking:
•  Instead of scolding children for thumb sucking, praise them when they are not.
•  Children often suck their thumbs when feeling insecure. Focus on correcting the cause of anxiety, instead of the thumb sucking.
•  Children who are sucking for comfort will feel less of a need when their parents provide comfort.
•  Reward children when they refrain from sucking during difficult periods, such as when being separated from their parents.
•  Your pediatric dentist can encourage children to stop sucking and explain what could happen if they continue.
•  If these approaches don't work, remind the children of their habit by bandaging the thumb or putting a sock on the hand at night.
•  Lastly, your pediatric dentist may recommend the use of a mouth appliance to help your child stop their habit if it continues or if significant changes in the jaw structure are seen.

What Are the Dangers of Tongue Piercing?
You might not be surprised anymore to see people with pierced tongues, lips or cheeks, but you might be surprised to know just how dangerous these piercings can be.

There are many risks involved with oral piercings including chipped or cracked teeth, blood clots, or blood poisoning. Your mouth contains millions of bacteria, and infection is a common complication of oral piercing. Your tongue could swell large enough to close off your airway!

Common symptoms after piercing include pain, swelling, infection, an increased flow of saliva and injuries to gum tissue. Difficult-to-control bleeding or nerve damage can result if a blood vessel or nerve bundle is in the path of the needle.

So follow the advice of the American Dental Association and give your mouth a break – skip the mouth jewelry.
Is Tobacco Bad News in Any Form?
Tobacco in any form can jeopardize your child’s health and cause incurable damage. Teach your child about the dangers of tobacco.

Smokeless tobacco, also called spit, chew or snuff, is often used by teens who believe that it is a safe alternative to smoking cigarettes. This is an unfortunate misconception. Studies show that spit tobacco may be more addictive than smoking cigarettes and may be more difficult to quit. Teens who use it may be interested to know that one can of snuff per day delivers as much nicotine as 60 cigarettes. In as little as three to four months, smokeless tobacco use can cause periodontal disease and produce pre-cancerous lesions called leukoplakias.

If your child is a tobacco user you should watch for the following that could be early signs of oral cancer:
•  A sore that won't heal.
•  White or red leathery patches on the lips, and on or under the tongue.
•  Pain, tenderness or numbness anywhere in the mouth or lips.
•  Difficulty chewing, swallowing, speaking or moving the jaw or tongue; or a change in the way the teeth fit together.

Because the early signs of oral cancer usually are not painful, people often ignore them. If it's not caught in the early stages, oral cancer can require extensive, sometimes disfiguring, surgery. Even worse, it can kill.

Because the early signs of oral cancer usually are not painful, people often ignore them. If it’s not caught in the early stages, oral cancer can require extensive, sometimes disfiguring, surgery. Even worse, it can kill.

Help your child avoid tobacco in any form. By doing so, they will avoid bringing cancer-causing chemicals in direct contact with their tongue, gums and cheek..

What is the Best Time for Orthodontic Treatment?
Developing malocclusions, or bad bites, can be recognized as early as 2-3 years of age. Often, early steps can be taken to reduce the need for major orthodontic treatment at a later age. Since pediatric dentists see children at an early age, Stage I treatment is often performed by the pediatric dentist. Stage II and III are oftentimes best treated by an orthodontist.

Stage I— Early Treatment:This period of treatment encompasses ages 2 to 6 years. At this young age, we are concerned with underdeveloped dental arches, the premature loss of primary teeth, and harmful habits such as finger or thumb sucking. Treatment initiated in this stage of development is often very successful and many times, though not always, can eliminate the need for future orthodontic/orthopedic treatment.

Stage II— Mixed Dentition:This period covers the ages of 6–12 years, with the eruption of the permanent incisor (front) teeth and 6 year molars. Treatment concerns deal with jaw malrelationships and dental realignment problems. This is an excellent stage to start treatment, when indicated, as your child's hard and soft tissues are usually very responsive to orthodontic or orthopedic forces.

Stage III— Adolescent Dentition: This stage deals with the permanent teeth and the development of the final bite relationship.

When Should My Child Wear A Mouth Guard?
When a child begins to participate in recreational activities and organized sports, injuries can occur. A properly fitted mouth guard, or mouth protector, is an important piece of athletic gear that can help protect your child’s smile, and should be used during any activity that could result in a blow to the face or mouth.

Mouth guards help prevent broken teeth, and injuries to the lips, tongue, face or jaw. A properly fitted mouth guard will stay in place while your child is wearing it, making it easy for them to talk and breathe.

Ask your pediatric dentist about custom and store-bought mouth protectors

America's ToothFairy Smile Drive
The America's ToothFairy Smile Drive is a national campaign taking place during February, National Children's Dental Health Month, to collect oral care products (toothbrushes, toothpaste, floss and rinse) for at-risk children and teens. These donated oral care products will be provided to non-profit organizations serving vulnerable populations in thousands of communities nationwide.

In My Feelings Challenge
The Staff had some fun doing their own rendition of the “In My Feelings challenge”. Check it out!

St. Patrick’s Day Parade 2018

311 N. York St.
Elmhurst, Illinois 60126

Call us at (630) 833-1166

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