FAQ

faq-1How come my child needs to come back every six months?
Even if your child brushes and flosses perfectly, the “teeth cleaning” they receive in our Colorado Springs office does more than just clean teeth. Removing plaque is absolutely essential to preserving teeth. Plaque builds up on the tooth surfaces and between the teeth and turns into tartar, which only a professional can completely eliminate.

What’s the difference between a pediatric dentist and a
family dentist?
Family dentist offices provide general dentistry for all ages, while pediatric dentistry is focused only on children’s teeth and dental needs. Dr. Clinton Callahan and all of his staff go through training to address the unique needs of a growing mouth. Because we only treat kids, we are skilled at taking care of them with warmth and compassion. This puts them at ease and makes sure they love coming to the dentist!

At what age should my child see a dentist?
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that children should establish a dental home by their first birthday. This early introduction allows us to see your child before the decay process starts and enables us to start the child on a prevention program to keep them cavity-free. Also, children that are introduced to the dentist at an early age seem to be the patients that are most comfortable in the dental office as they get older. If your child is already past this age, don’t worry! It’s never too late to get your child on the path to good dental health. We look forward to meeting you!

Will I be able to be with my child during the dental appointment?
Absolutely. We welcome your presence in the operatory and we want you to be a part of the decision-making process. We invite parents to be present for everything from cleanings to restorative or surgical care. The exception is for conscious sedation. For sedation appointments, we ask parents to step out to the reception area during the actual treatment time so that my staff and I can focus 100% of our attention on the patient.

faq-2 Does Dr. Callahan use a papoose board?
We don’t even have a papoose board, so the answer is no. Treatment under restraint has long been accepted as a viable option in pediatric dentistry, but I wouldn’t want it for my children, so this is a service that I simply don’t offer. Too often I meet adults that fear the dentist because of a traumatic childhood experience; I don’t want that to happen in my office.

I’ve heard that fluoride can be bad. Is this true?
Fluoride in controlled amounts can strengthen enamel, but excessive ingestion can lead to tooth enamel irregularities. It’s easy for young children to swallow too much toothpaste while brushing, so we advise parents to supervise your young kids while they brush. Kids (and even adults) often use way too much toothpaste (a pea-size drop is plenty). A little goes a long way.

My kids like to chew ice. Should I stop them?
Tooth enamel is very hard but can still be damaged by “hard foods” like popcorn. Keep your kids from cracking nut shells with their teeth or chewing on ice. Things like opening packages with their teeth can also cause damage to the enamel.

What makes soft drinks bad for your teeth?
Sugar and acids such as those found in soft drinks, energy drinks, fruit juices, and candy are your teeth’s worst enemies. With its high acid content, Mountain Dew appears to be the worst. These soften the tooth enamel, making it even more likely to decay. We advise our parents to watch their kids’ consumption of these, because young children’s enamel hasn’t developed fully, which increases the decay risk. We also recommend using a sugar-free xylitol chewing gum after meals and having your kids rinse their mouths with a high-quality, child-friendly dental mouthwash.

faq-3What advice can you give me to keep my teenager from getting tongue piercings?
Teenagers like the cool look of tongue and mouth piercings, but they don’t think about how easily they can fracture teeth or sustain an ugly infection of the tongue and lips. Dentists have estimated that up to 40% of people who have metal rings or other oral piercings have had big problems from tooth fractures and infection.

Do dental assistants place fillings at Dr. Callahan’s office?
All restorative work is completed by me from start to finish. Although it is both legal and very common in Colorado for the dentist to prepare the tooth and allow the assistant to place the restoration, I have never been comfortable with the delegation of this duty.

Is conscious sedation safe?
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry has established guidelines for the safe sedation of pediatric patients. When these guidelines are followed, pediatric dentists have an outstanding record of safety in performing procedures under conscious sedation. We adhere to these guidelines, which means we select our sedation patients carefully, we carefully calculate doses according to weight and body type, we monitor vital signs throughout treatment, and patients must meet certain criteria before discharge. Conscious sedation is not something we take lightly, but we do it with a very high level of confidence.

Do you have questions we haven’t answered here? Don’t hesitate to give us
a call at (719) 265-9600 so we can address all your concerns.