Pediatric Dentistry

The Whole Child Approach

Our approach to working with children begins by understanding that we are not just treating teeth, but rather a unique child.  Our methods vary depending on the personality, temperament, and age of each child.   A cautious child may require more time to warm up to a new situation.  Other children may be sensitive to flavors or textures.

An important part of our holistic approach is emotional support. We will work hard to always make you and your child, feel heard, understood, and valued. We attempt to treat problems in teeth by addressing their causes, rather than just treating the symptoms. We always discuss pros and cons of treatment, as well as any alternatives. If you have been searching for a whole family dentist who takes the time to get to know your family, Bio Dental is a right place for you.

What to expect on the first visit:

Our first exam will include radiograph. All X-rays at Bio Dental are performed using digital technology with minimal radiation exposure. The use of digital radiography reduces the amount of radiation by approximately 70%

Nutritional counseling and focus on preventive care.

Many individuals may be wondering what role a dentist plays in nutritional counseling… The truth is dentists are among the first-line medical practitioners to recognize what exactly is going on inside the body during the development stages. Nutritional evaluation is important element of child’s care and development. At no other time in life, except infancy, does the body experience as much growth and development. Proper nutrition and healthy eating patterns support healthy immune system, provide energy for daily activities, and can help prevent dental problems.

Mouth is the entry way connecting oral health throughout the rest of the body.  At Bio Dental, dental care is not limited to only the mouth, since dentists can become aware of so much more given the clear relationship between dietary factors and the association to conditions like obstructive sleep apnea, diabetes and decay.

It is important to teach our kids and their parents about the little bugs (bacterial decay) that live in their mouths. Many types of bacteria in the mouth are actually essential in helping us stay healthy by fighting bad breath, helping us break down and digest food, and preventing oral disease. However, SOME of these bugs ARE bad—bad bacteria are known as pathogens—and are the culprits of oral problems like tooth decay and gum disease.

As a parent, we know you would rather prevent a dental problem for your children than treat one. We offer several types of treatment designed to keep your children’s teeth and gums healthy and disease-free.

  • When your child is an infant, wiping the gums with a moist washcloth is an excellent way to remove bacteria.
  • It is important not to leave your child with a bottle at bedtime, and to avoid sugary juices that increase risk of decay.
  • Brush gently for two minutes at least twice per day.
  • Brush the tongue or use a tongue scraper each time you brush.
  • Floss at least once daily.
  • Introduce table foods as soon as possible and avoid pureed food
  • Guidance of erupting teeth – directing tooth eruption can improve orthodontic treatment results, future teeth alignment and increase airways.
  • Dental sealants – Toothbrushes can’t reach all the way into the depressions and grooves of the teeth’s biting surfaces to remove all food and plaque. Sealants create a barrier for those surfaces to help keep them cavity-free. Our sealants are Fluoride and BPA free.
  • Rinse with water after eating, before brushing, and periodically throughout the day.
  • Address oral habits including thumb sucking and pacifiers.

Oral habits

Oral habits, such as pacifier and thumb, finger sucking or blanket sucking, are very common in children. Sucking is a natural reflex, and babies and young children often suck on their fingers or other objects because it provides them with a feeling of security. Some infants even start sucking their fingers or thumbs before they are born! Young children learn by using their senses, and often explore the world around them by touching or mouthing various objects.
Most children will stop sucking between the ages of 2 and 4. Thumb sucking habits should be completely stopped by the time permanent front teeth are ready to erupt. If the habit persists, it can cause damage to the upper jaw and problems in the growth and development of your child’s mouth, airway constriction, and tooth alignment, and may result in the need for early orthodontic treatment. The effects of finger sucking will depend on the frequency, intensity, duration, and natural of the habit. Aggressive sucking will cause much more damage than children who passively rest their fingers in their mouths.

If you have questions about finger sucking habits, please bring them up with Dr. Baranovitch when you visit our practice. She will be able to provide you with suggestions and ideas on how to break your child of this habit.

Frenectomies and Frenuloplasia

Children who have a tongue-tie or lip-tie that inhibits their oral function can often benefit from these quick procedures, and to make them as comfortable and efficient as possible, we only use the Soft Tissue Laser when performing them. In just a few minutes without any pain or bleeding, we can quickly remove excess oral tissue so that your child is able to breast feed, speak, and smile normally.

Airways assessment

Does your child sleep well at night?

Does your child have difficulty breathing through their nose?

How often does your child’s Pediatrician ask you these questions about your child’s sleep habits?

If you your answer is “never” or ”not often enough” then you are not alone. Pediatricians and Pediatric Dentists are the first responders to airway problems in children. Because parents aren’t asked questions about their child’s sleep habits, airway problems often go undiagnosed and children continue to suffer in silence.

Since a Dentist sees a child more often than any other health care provider they are in the best position to recognize airway problems. Sleep related breathing disorders (SRBD), is a silent health crisis, impacting 50-70 million Americans. It is not exclusive to the adult population. Because it’s not as easily recognized in children, it is often left undiagnosed. Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is the most common Sleep related breathing disorders in both children and adults.

The signs and symptoms of Sleep related breathing disorders are many but if a child has any of the following symptoms, it may indicate an airway problem and warrant immediate attention:

  • Snoring at night
  • Clenching/Grinding their teeth
  • Open mouth breathing
  • Sleeping with their mouth open
  • Bed wetting
  • Excessive daytime sleepiness or hyperactivity
  • Diagnosis of ADHD/ADD – Crowded teeth
  • Irritability
  • Cardiovascular problem

When children are exposed to allergens and other environmental stressors their nasal passages, adenoids and tonsils get inflamed. This makes it difficult for them to breathe through their nose therefore children resort to open mouth breathing postures. Breathing unfiltered air through the mouth causes micro trauma to the adenoids and tonsils which worsens the problem. Open mouth breathing posture also leads to an imbalance between the forces exerted by the oral musculature ( the tongue, the cheek and the lips) thereby making the upper jaw narrow. The direction of the growth of the lower jaw is also diverted from the downward and forward direction to downward and backward direction. This leads to a retro gnathic or a setback mandible which also narrows the airway passage. Because the upper and lower jaws are narrow, teeth come in crooked. We now know that the etiology of malocclusion is open mouth breathing posture.

It is important to treat Sleep related breathing disorders (SBRD/OSA) in children because timely recognition and management can not only improve the quality of a child’s life but also give the child a chance to grow into healthy adults by ensuring normal growth and development. The brain and prefrontal cortex also can develop optimally with deep restorative sleep, oxygen and an open airway decreasing neurobehavioral symptoms like ADHD.

So, what is the role of an Airway centric/aware Pediatric dentist and orthodontist in addressing these issues?

How are sleep related breathing disorders treated by dentists?

This is accomplished by the use appliances like the Myobrace system, Healthy start( to name a few) which work on the concept of teaching children how to breathe through their nose. These appliances are worn at night and children learn to achieve effective lip seals and to rest the tongue at the right position on the palate thereby encouraging nasal breathing. Myofunctional therapy is an integral part of the appliance therapy. Specific oral exercises are performed by children for a few minutes every day to achieve a balance in the forces exerted by the oral musculature. Light wire expanders, like the ALF, BWS are often used in conjunction with the Myobrace system. They aid in expanding the maxilla in all and the mandible in all three dimensions of space thereby providing enough room for teeth to come in the mouth. This can eliminate the need for braces in the future in addition to helping children lead healthier lives.

To put things in perspective, Airway aware/focused dentists are health coaches for children. By providing them guidance with nutrition, by teaching them good posture and breathing habits they can help them lead a healthy life and help children achieve their highest potential.

Noninvasive treatment with Nano Silver

Select patients with smaller cavities may be eligible for a non-surgical technique using Bioactive Nano Silver in a less invasive approach than a traditional filling. This solution has been used in other countries for decades and more and more dentists are adding it to their offerings. The cavity itself does turn a dark brown to black color after the application.  It is often a wonderful option for a child that may otherwise require sedation or anesthesia to address their dental disease.

Hall technique at Bio Dental

When a child cannot sit for traditional restorations in the dental chair, but an anesthesia is not warranted and other non-invasive therapies are not indicated, Dr. Baranovitch can very often perform the Hall Technique on your child. The Hall Technique is a non-invasive treatment for decayed baby teeth. Decay is sealed off, often after the application of Nano Silver or Ozone Therapy, under crowns, thus avoiding injections and drilling. It is one of a number of biologically orientated strategies for managing dental decay.

Your kid’s health is our priority

  • We use Digital x-rays to reduce exposures
  • We are Mercury free
  • We are BPA/bis-GMA free
  • Non-invasive treatments we offer Ozone and re-mineralizing options
  • Silver cavity and Hall technique treatment
  • Parents education