Asheville Pediatric Dentistry

Frequently Asked Questions

Why see a pediatric dentist?

To be a “PEDIATRIC DENTIST”, the dentist must have completed 6 to 7 years of training, which includes 4 years of dental school plus an additional 2 to 3 years of rigorous residency training in the specialty of pediatric dentistry. PEDIATRIC DENTISTS learn special techniques to address the unique needs of children, including dental trauma and infections, and have extensive formal training in how to keep children as comfortable as possible during any treatment.

In contrast, GENERAL DENTISTS, including those who limit their practice to children or who practice as family dentists, completed 4 years of dental school training before starting their dental practice.

To learn more about the specialty of PEDIATRIC DENTISTRY and to find a PEDIATRIC DENTIST near you, visit the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry’s website: http://www.aapd.org/finddentist/

Why see our Doctors?

Our doctors have specialized training and are recognized as Board Certified Pediatric Dentists. Both Dr. Jackson and Dr. Hardaway excelled academically during their dental studies, with Dr. Jackson graduating second in her class from Harvard School of Dental Medicine. Dr. Hardaway is commended as a leader in the dental community, serving as the President of the Southeastern Society of Pediatric Dentistry.  Our doctors’ warm and caring mannerisms are unmatched, making it easy for kids to feel comfortable and confident during their visits.

Parents are welcome in the back. You are welcome to accompany your child during treatment. This allows our doctors to show you how they are providing the best care for your child. It also provides an opportunity for our doctors to explain how you can take an active role between visits to ensure the dental health of your child.

Our office has a rainforest theme. Friendly tree frogs, lemurs, leopards, parrots, chimpanzees, turtles, gorillas, butterflies, boa constrictors, spider monkeys, sloths, dragonflies, gibbons, toucans, orangutans, hummingbirds, and alligators live in and around our rainforest waterfall and jungle trees. 

Our office is designed with your child’s comfort in mind. Your child can watch a movie on an overhead, flat screen television during treatment. We can even take x-rays without putting anything in the back of your child’s mouth

Post-Operative Instructions

After Local Anesthesia (Numbing)

If treatment was in the lower jaw, the tongue, teeth, lip and surrounding tissue will be numb. If it was in the upper jaw, the teeth, lip and surrounding tissue will be numb. Children often do not understand the effects of local anesthesia, and may chew, scratch, suck, or play with the numb lip, tongue, or cheek. This can cause minor irritations or they can be severe enough to cause swelling and bruising of the tissue. Please monitor your child closely for at least two hours following the appointment. It is often wise to keep your child on a liquid or soft diet until the anesthetic has worn off.

After Trauma

Keep the traumatized area as clean as possible. A soft wash cloth often works well. If swelling should re-occur, our office needs to see your child as soon as possible. Ice should be used during the first 24 hours to keep the swelling to a minimum. Maintain a soft diet for at least two to three days, or until the child feels comfortable eating normally again. Avoid foods that are extremely hot or cold. If antibiotics or pain medicines are prescribed, be sure to follow the prescription as directed. Watch for infection (gum boils, swelling, or extreme redness) in the area of trauma. If infection is noticed, call the office so we can see your child as soon as possible. Also watch for darkening of traumatized teeth. This could be an indication of a dying nerve.

After Extraction

Please do not rinse, spit, or drink through a straw. Keep fingers and tongue away from the area. If unusual or sustained bleeding occurs, place cotton gauze firmly over the extraction area and bite down or hold in place for thirty minutes. You can also use a tea bag. Repeat every thirty minutes until the area is no longer bleeding. Maintain a soft diet for a day or two, or until the child feels comfortable eating normally again. Avoid strenuous exercise and physical activity for the rest of the day after the extraction. For discomfort use Children's Tylenol, Advil, or Motrin as directed for the age and weight of your child.

After Stainless Steel Crown

Your child’s cheek, lip and/or tongue will be numb for approximately 1 – 2 hours, or possibly until bed time.  Please be very careful that your child does not bite at his/her cheek or pick at this area.  As this area “wakes up” it may feel funny.  Some children say this “hurts” – if you’ve ever been numb, you know this feeling is strange. Your child may experience slight discomfort or feel pressure around the crown for a few days. Our doctors recommend giving children’s Tylenol or Motrin for the first 24 hours after a new crown.  If discomfort persists beyond 48 hours, call our office. It is normal for the tooth’s gum tissue to bleed a bit and be slightly swollen the day of treatment.  We ask that you help your child brush and floss his/her teeth and gums today and tomorrow. This will help in the healing process. Your child should eat only soft food for the remainder of the day – nothing crunchy, sticky, or hard.  A regular diet can be started as tolerated by your child. Your child needs to avoid sticky items such as suckers, gum, tootsie rolls, jolly ranchers, taffy, etc. until that tooth naturally exfoliates (comes out on its own).  These sticky candies could pull the crown off.

After Resin (White Filling)

Your child's cheek, lip and/or tongue will be numb for approximately 1 – 2 hours. Please be very careful that your child does not bite at his/her cheek or pick at this area. As this area "wakes up" it may feel funny. Some children say this "hurts" – if you've ever been numb, you know this feeling is strange. Your child should not experience any discomfort with this type of filling but if he/she does, you may give your child the appropriate dose of children's Tylenol or Motrin. Your child should only need this for approximately 12 to 24 hours. If soreness persists beyond 48 hours, call our office. Your child should eat only soft food (nothing crunchy, sticky, or hard) until their face is no longer numb. A regular diet can be started as tolerated by your child.

Emergencies

If your child has an accident, please call us as soon as possible. We will see your child immediately. The first 30 minutes after an accident are the most critical to treating dental trauma.

Our schedule may be delayed in order to accommodate an injured child. Please accept our apologies in advance should this occur during your appointment. We would do the same if your child were in need of emergency treatment.

  1. Knocked Out Permanent Tooth - Find the tooth. Handle the tooth by the crown, not the root portion. You may briefly rinse the tooth with saline or milk, but DO NOT clean or handle the tooth unnecessarily. Inspect the tooth for fractures. If it is not broken, try to reinsert it in its socket. Have the patient keep the tooth in place by biting on gauze. If you cannot reinsert the tooth, transport the tooth in a cup containing milk. Time is critical.  Seek immediate dental care!  Note: Primary (baby) teeth are not generally replaced in the socket as this can damage the permanent tooth underneath, however, prompt care by a dentist is recommended.
  2. Broken Tooth - Rinse dirt from the injured area with warm water. Place a cold compress over the area of the injury. Locate and save any broken tooth fragments. Immediate dental attention is necessary.
  3. Broken Braces and Wires - If a broken appliance can be removed easily, take it out. If it cannot, cover the sharp or protruding portion with wax. If a wire is stuck in the gum, cheek or tongue, do not remove it. Take the patient to a dentist immediately. Asymptomatic loose or broken appliances do not usually require emergency attention.
  4. Cut or Bitten Tongue, Lip or Cheek - Rinse the mouth or area of injury with warm salt water or hydrogen peroxide diluted with water (50% water & 50% hydrogen peroxide). If the patient's lip or cheek is swollen, apply cold compresses. Take the patient to a dentist.
  5. 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. DO NOT place aspirin on the gum or on the aching tooth. If the patient's face is swollen, apply cold compresses. Take the patient to a dentist.

Oral Care After Trauma

Click here to download instructions on how to care for your child's mouth following trauma.

After a tooth has been bumped, chipped, or otherwise traumatized, we need to be extra careful with it to try to prevent it from becoming infected. After trauma, the ligament that holds the tooth is loosened, giving bacteria a chance to travel up the side of the root and infect it from the inside. To give the tooth the best chance of staying healthy, we need to reduce the number of bacteria in the area and to allow the ligament to tighten back up to the tooth. How do we do this?

1. Great oral hygiene: Brush 3 to 4 times per day for the next 2 weeks.

2. Swish for 30-60 seconds with hydrogen peroxide mixed 50%-50% with water or prescription Peridex rinse after each brushing. If your child is too young to swish, swab affected teeth's gum lines (front and back) with a Q-tip dipped in the rinse.

3. Soft diet for 2 weeks: no biting into anything hard!

We will also need to see your child back at more frequent intervals for a few months to check the tooth that was traumatized.