Parents who are in search of a top-notch pediatric dentist in South Florida can find peace of mind with Dr. Andy Gaertner of Bliss Dental in the Miami, FL area. Dr. Gaertner has years of experience helping infants, toddlers, elementary school children, and teens achieve optimal oral health. Parents who bring their children to Dr. Gaertner’s office can expect a friendly, warm environment and a variety of high-quality dental services. Here’s what you need to know about pediatric dentistry at Bliss Dental.
Why Visit a Pediatric Dentist
There are many advantages to taking children to a pediatric dentist like Dr. Gaertner, rather than a dentist with little experience in pediatric dentistry or in working with children and adolescents. First and foremost, unlike general dentists, pediatric dentists have been specifically trained to treat the developing teeth of children.
Dr. Gaertner understands the unique problems children face and the complexities of how their teeth grow and develop. He also knows exactly what it takes to help children feel comfortable and relaxed in the dentist’s chair.
Pediatric dentists like Dr. Gaertner also focus on preventative care. They spend their time helping children of all ages develop healthy habits for dental health such as brushing twice a day and flossing daily. Since it’s easier to prevent a dental problem than to resolve one, preventative care is highly encouraged at Bliss Dental.
In addition, our Miami, FL dental office is kid-friendly and features toys and books designed to make trips to the dentist fun for children. Our front desk staff has put a great deal of time and energy into creating an enjoyable environment for little and big kids. If you’re looking for a dentist in Miami that will help put your child at ease, Bliss Dental could be a perfect choice.
Pediatric Dentistry and Special Needs Children
While Dr. Gaertner specializes in caring for children and adolescents of all ages, he also has excellent experience in working with special needs children. Although pediatric dentistry is important for all children, it is particularly beneficial to those with special needs.
Parents of children with Down’s syndrome, autism, cerebral palsy, and other developmental or congenital disorders will find that Dr. Gaertner knows how to work with physical and mental limitations and provides their children with the highest quality of care.
Since children with special needs often have a challenging time acclimating to the dentist initially, visiting a pediatric dentist like Dr. Gaertner can enable parents to create a dental care and oral hygiene program that caters to their children’s particular physical, mental, and emotional needs.
Types of Pediatric Dental Services
Here at Bliss Dental, we offer a wide range of pediatric dental services. Parents who bring their children to our office often refer to us as a “one-stop shop” because we truly do it all. Here’s a brief overview of the pediatric dental services available:
Excellent oral health begins with routine cleanings. During appointments, Dr. Gaertner and staff doctors show children how to brush and floss their teeth so they can develop an effective oral hygiene routine that can be carried on to adulthood. Dr. Gaertner makes routine cleanings educational by explaining what he is going to do in kid-friendly language. Dental cleanings for children are recommended every six months.
Oral Health Exams
When children visit our South Florida office for dental cleanings, we will almost always perform oral health exams. During oral health exams, our team closely checks the teeth, jaw, and gums. They look for any abnormalities that may be problematic as a child grows. In the event an abnormality is detected, our team will explain our findings to the child and parent and come up with an appropriate treatment plan.
Digital x-rays can help Dr. Gaertner and the rest of the team at Bliss Dental in Miami, FL identifies issues with a child’s tooth and design an appropriate treatment plan. There are no chemicals involved with digital x-rays and parents don’t have to worry about them emitting excessive amounts of radiation.
Infant Oral Care
Infants, children, and adolescents all have different needs for dental care. A lifetime of good oral health begins during the first stages of a child’s life, even before their first teeth appear. We believe that patients who are well educated in children’s oral health can better ensure their infants’ and children’s dental care needs are met. Dr. Gaertner suggests bringing infants to our office no later than their first birthday so that he can develop a relationship with parents and provide them with all the advice and resources they need to care for their child’s teeth, gums, and jaw.
Fluoride contains fluorine, which is a natural element found in drinking water. Fluoride treatments can reduce the risk of tooth decay in children. They are often recommended in our office to help prevent problems later in life.
Sometimes, kids get cavities–it happens. We offer tooth-colored fillings so that children can enjoy a more natural appearance. A filling procedure involves removing the decayed portion of a child’s tooth and filling it in to protect it from further complications. Since our staff doctors believe the best fillings are no fillings, we educate children on how they can prevent them down the road.
Contrary to popular belief, dental crowns are not only for adults. We may perform a dental crown if a child’s tooth is damaged to the point that a filling is no longer an option. Generally, crowns for children are completed in one visit and last until they are replaced by a permanent tooth.
Although Dr. Gaertner strives to prevent the need for root canals in children as much as possible, they are sometimes necessary to repair and preserve an infected and damaged tooth. A root canal involves removing the nerve and pulp and sterilizing and cleaning the inside of the tooth prior to sealing. Root canals can reduce the risk of severe infections and abscesses.
Nitrous Oxide Dentistry
Also known as laughing gas, nitrous oxide is a mild, sweet sedative that we use to reduce anxiety and gag reflexes in children. Parents who are worried their child will not be able to handle trips to the dentist because of anxious feelings, bad gag reflexes, or behavioral or developmental problems should know that nitrous oxide can make dentistry tolerable for their child. There’s no need for hospital dentistry in order to get safe sedation and the best is pediatric dentistry. At Bliss Dental, our priority is safety and comfort for patients of all ages.
Emergency Dental Care
Parents know that childhood is unpredictable. At any moment, their child can suffer from a toothache, partially dislodged tooth, a knocked out tooth or another type of dental emergency. Bliss Dental offers emergency pediatric care and can give parents the peace of mind they deserve in knowing they have a go-to dental resource they can turn to at any moment. From our welcoming front desk staff to our skilled dental professionals with excellent experience in pediatric dental procedures, everyone on the Bliss Dental team provides support for parents and children during a dental emergency.
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Frequently Asked Questions About Pediatric Dentistry
When should I take my child for their first dental checkup?
We suggest bringing your child to the dentist by their first birthday. Early appointments at our office can educate you how to properly care for your child’s teeth while instilling good oral habits that last a lifetime. This will help ensure that they maintain a beautiful smile throughout their life.
What is the ideal toothbrush for children?
Dr. Gaertner recommends toothbrushes with small heads and soft bristles for children. Before purchasing a toothbrush for your child, check the age ratings included on the packaging. If possible, invest in a colorful toothbrush or one with a fun design to get your child excited about brushing daily.
Does diet affect my child’s health?
Absolutely! Many children’s snacks are loaded with sugars and starches that lead to tooth decay in infants, children, and teenagers. By establishing a healthy, balanced diet, you can keep your child’s teeth strong and reduce their risk of dental complications down the road.
When should pacifier use be stopped?
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, you should begin limiting or stop pacifier use once your child turns six months old. Any use after the six-month mark is correlated with an increased risk of ear infections.
Are dental x-rays safe for children?
Yes. Dental x-rays only use a small amount of radiation. Our team uses only high-speed film to ensure the safety of the children we care for.
What can I expect at my child’s first dentist visit?
A child’s first pediatric dental visit is typically short and simple. Dr. Gaertner will use this time to get to know your child and provide you with some basic advice on dental care. He may check your child’s teeth for placement and search for any potential issues with their gum and jaw. If possible, he may perform a bit of cleaning. Dr. Gaertner will also answer any questions you may have and provide you with some useful reading materials you can refer to at home.
How often does my child need dental care?
In most cases, children should visit our office every six months for a routine exam and cleaning. However, if your child has a special condition or circumstances, they may need to see us more often.
When is the ideal age for children to floss?
The purpose of flossing is to remove food particles and plaque that get stuck between teeth. We suggest introducing flossing into your child’s life when they turn four years old. Most children are able to floss on their own around age eight.
How do I treat my child’s toothache?
As a parent, it can be difficult to watch your child in pain from a toothache. If your child develops a toothache, use warm salt water to rinse the area causing pain. Apply a cold compress to relieve any swelling and refrain from placing heat or aspirin directly onto your child’s sore teeth or gums. If their toothache seems especially serious, call our dental office to schedule an emergency appointment.
When should my child stop sucking their thumb?
Unless thumb sucking continues once your child’s permanent teeth begin to appear, it does not usually cause a problem. Most children stop sucking their thumbs on their own. However, if your child continues to suck their thumb as their permanent teeth appear, Dr. Gaertner may suggest a mouth guard or another dental device.
Is there anything I can do to help my child prevent tooth decay?
In addition to helping your child clean their teeth and gums, you can ensure they receive plenty of fluoride through water, fluoride toothpaste, or professional fluoride treatments in our dental office. You can also discourage them from going to bed with a bottle as doing so may lead to baby bottle decay.
When should a child stop visiting a pediatric dentist?
Most children move on to a general dentist when they turn 18. However, some children continue to receive pediatric dental services until they graduate from college at around age 22 or 23.
Why Choose Bliss Dental
Dr. Gaertner has the training and excellent experience necessary to treat children and teens. He is committed to creating a fun and inviting environment that is specifically designed for young patients.
He will take the time to get to know each and every child that steps foot into his office and provide them with the education and treatments necessary to achieve a lifetime of healthy teeth and gums and a beautiful smile. Once you visit Dr. Gaertner with your child, you’ll realize Bliss Dental is the perfect dental home for them.
Schedule a Dentist Appointment for Your Child Today
To learn more about what makes Bliss Dental the ideal pediatric dental office in Miami, we encourage you to contact our dental office to schedule an appointment. Call us at (305) 274-6500 or fill out our handy online contact form. We look forward to providing your child with high-quality dental care in Miami, FL a warm and welcoming environment
Great service and attention to detail. Dr. Gaertner's attention to detail and medical explanations is excellent. After many years continues to be my favorite dental site in the city.