Get the Smile You’ve Always Wanted
Pediatric Dentistry in Durham
If you’re in Durham and need a family dentist, Dr. Messenger is here to help! At Messenger Family Dentistry, we treat patients of all ages from infants to teenagers. Our goal is to provide personalized care for your whole family and help you and your loved ones enjoy optimal dental health. Schedule your child’s next appointment with us today!
When To Bring Your Child to the Dentist
The AAPD (Academy of Pediatric Dentistry) recommends that you take your child to see the dentist for the first time when they turn one year old, or when their first tooth emerges. Visiting the dentist regularly from a young age is very beneficial for your child’s future dental health. During early appointments, we will begin to track your child’s oral development and build a relationship with your family. It also helps familiarize your child with routine dental visits, which helps prevent dental anxiety.
What to Expect
Your Child’s First Appointment
If your child is between 1-2 years old and only has a few of their baby teeth, Dr. Messenger will simply clean each tooth and their gums as you hold your child on your lap. Then, she will examine their mouth, discuss any concerns with you, and answer any questions you may have about caring for your child’s mouth.
If your child is older (3+) and has most or all of their teeth, they will get a routine teeth cleaning and oral exam, just like an adult would. One of our dental hygienists will clean their teeth by gently removing plaque and tartar, buffing each tooth, and flossing to remove any remaining debris. Then, Dr. Messenger will perform a comprehensive oral exam. She may also recommend x-rays if she deems them necessary and if you approve.
Fluoride treatments are completely non-invasive and painless, and the procedure consists of painting a fluoride-rich liquid onto your child’s teeth after their cleaning. It’s a good choice for kids who are susceptible to tooth decay because fluoride helps remineralize and strengthen their enamel if it has been weakened by decay. Regular fluoride treatments help keep your child’s teeth strong and healthy and are often covered by dental insurance.
Dental sealants are often recommended for kids because they are especially cavity-prone. Sealants are typically applied to a child’s rear molars, which are the most susceptible to cavities. Dr. Messenger will apply a liquid dental resin to each tooth, then harden it using a UV light. This creates a strong barrier around the enamel. In turn, this barrier prevents sugar, bacteria and acid from contacting the tooth directly, preventing cavities. When applied properly, dental sealants can help protect your child’s teeth from cavities for up to 10 years.