Northgate & Voyager Office 13335 Voyager Pkwy. Suite 100
Colorado Springs, CO 80921
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Preparing Your Child for the First Dental Visit

Chances are as a parent or guardian, uttering the phrase, “We’re going to the dentist!”, may not garner cartwheels or jumps of joy from your child. For many children, a visit to the pediatric dentist can be scary or stressful. At Springs Pediatric Dental Care in Colorado Springs, CO, we take the stress and fear out of visiting the dentist, and replace it with fun! According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry[1], children should visit their pediatric dentist by the age of one. Find out how you can help your child have a wonderful visit to the dentist. Dr. Clinton Callahan and his devoted pediatric dental team provide quality care for children of all ages. Schedule an appointment with us and let us welcome you and your child to the dentist!

Begin with Good Hygiene

It is never too early to begin to lay the foundation for proper oral hygiene. Share the joys of toothbrushing and flossing with your child. You may consider creating songs, or rhymes about brushing and flossing to instill healthy habits for your child. You should also consider brushing your own teeth along with your child. This way, your child will be assured that daily oral hygiene is fun and painless. So, make that trip to the sink a fun and festive one by celebrating the joys of brushing! Once your child sees that oral hygiene is wonderful, the trip to the dentist will be a joyous one as well.

Security Is Key

If your child has a favorite toy, or item that brings them comfort or security, allow him or her to bring it to the dentist. Children need to feel safe and secure – and what better way to have security than with a familiar friend sharing that dental chair? Once at the pediatric dentist, your child will be a bit calmer and more relaxed knowing that he or she is not alone.

Choosing Words Wisely

Before your visit to the pediatric dentist, it may be best to consider the language you will use. For example, words such as “drill”, “needle”, or “injection” may not be the best words when referencing your dental visit. Such words can be perceived as negative and can bring about crying episodes or resistance to going to the dentist. As a parent/caregiver, you are quite familiar with word choice. So, consider using words such as “the sprayer”, “the singing brush”, or “the big ole vacuum” instead. You will be surprised at how word choice will create a wonderful dental experience for you and your child.

Contact Springs Pediatric Dental Care Today

At Springs Pediatric Dental Care, we pride ourselves on providing a joyous and memorable dental visit for you and your child. Our waiting room is festive and outfitted with books, learning videos, educational toys, and more. With Dr. Callahan and his staff, there is nothing but a “kid-friendly” environment to be found in our dental office. We also offer an array of services to meet the various needs of children from all dental and developmental backgrounds. So, if you are on a quest to find a new pediatric dentist, let your search end with Springs Pediatric Dental Care Schedule an appointment with us online , or call us at (719) 265-9600 to discuss your child’s dental needs. [1]
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The 411 On Dental Sealants For Your Child

Preventing cavities in children is an ongoing battle, but it is so important to their dental health down the road. Getting into good habits such as brushing and flossing at least twice a day, and getting regular dental checkups, will put your child on a path to healthy teeth for life. If practicing good oral hygiene is not enough – or you simply want extra protection against cavities – you might consider dental sealants. Springs Pediatric Dentist in Colorado Springs, CO offers kid-friendly dental care to help ensure healthy teeth for your child, including regular dental checkups and the application of dental sealants to prevent cavities.  

How Do Cavities Form?

Since it has probably been a long time, it might be a good idea to do a refresher on cavities and how they form. First, everyone carries cavity-causing bacteria in their mouths. Whenever you eat, leftover food particles and the bacteria meet up and start to produce acids. If the acid is not removed, it will eat away at the tooth enamel, eventually creating holes or cavities. Brushing and flossing can remove the food particles and bacteria. Unfortunately, good dental hygiene is not always enough to prevent cavities. The problem is usually worse in children, who might either forget to brush, don’t brush long enough, or who “miss” spots.  

What are Dental Sealants?

Dental sealants are made from a chemical called Bisephenol A or BPA, which is the same chemical found in plastic. The sealant is usually applied to the back teeth and molars, which are harder for a child to reach with a toothbrush. The coating fills the deep grooves in the teeth and forms a protective barrier to keep bacteria out. A report by the Centers for Disease Control concluded that dental sealants prevent 80 percent of cavities for two years, and continue to protect a child’s teeth for up to four years.  

What are the Recommendations for Dental Sealants?

According to the American Dental Association, dental sealants are recommended for children aged 5-14. The Centers for Disease Control also released a report in 2016, which looked at school-aged children 6-11. The report found that children who did not have dental sealants were nearly three times more likely to have cavities than those who did.   How early should you start? Sealants can be considered as soon as your child’s first permanent molars come in, which happens around age 5-7. A child’s second permanent molars usually appear around age 11-14, so another application of dental sealant is recommended at this stage, too.   By the way, adults can get dental sealants as well.  

Are Dental Sealants Safe?

Of course you do not want to put anything harmful into your child’s mouth. Although the use of a chemical or plastic might be cause for concern, dental sealants are made with extremely low levels of BPA. According to the American Dental Association, children are exposed to more BPA from food, sunscreen, shampoo, body wash and cosmetics than are found in dental sealants. If you are worried, you can find BPA-free sealants, however.  

Worried about your child developing cavities?

Even the most diligent parent cannot always ensure a child brushes his or her teeth correctly. You can wage a constant battle or you can add a little protection with dental sealants to keep out bacteria and ward off cavities. You will be rewarded with a healthy smile from your child as a thank you. If you want to know more about dental sealants or you are looking for a kid-friendly dentist with the experience to take care of your child’s oral health, contact Springs Pediatric Dentist. We have two pediatric dental offices in Colorado Springs, CO for your convenience. Call 719-265-9600 or go online to make an appointment today.
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A New Parent’s Guide to Children’s Dentistry

When you become a parent for the first time, you have a lot to think about. However, you might not think about children’s dentistry, especially when your child is still an infant. This is actually the best time to start planning the seeds of healthy oral hygiene in preparation for the days when your child brushes, flosses, and makes dentist appointments independently. After all, you want your son or daughter’s children’s dentistry experience with Dr. Clinton Callahan, a pediatric dentist serving Colorado Springs, CO, to be second to none. In fact, if your child is a toddler or older, please come to visit us! We love to give families and young patients a tour of our comfortable, kid-friendly facility. You’ll appreciate the care we put toward our commitment to children’s dentistry excellence. In the meantime, our team can share a few tips to help you set the stage for your child’s best possible dental health.

Make Brushing and Flossing a Lifetime Habit

Even if your child’s teeth haven’t fully erupted, gently rub his or her gums with a damp, soft washcloth twice daily. Not only will this stimulate the gums, but it will introduce your child to the feeling of having a cleaner mouth. When your child’s teeth do start to erupt, use a cloth to “brush” each tooth. You may also use a dab of kid-appropriate toothpaste. Eventually, your child will become accustomed to this routine. Kids who feel comfortable cleaning their teeth in the morning and evening tend to stick with the habit. In fact, your child may remind you after breakfast or before bed that it’s time to brush!

Talk About Children’s Dentistry in a Positive Way

Even if you had a bad experience with a dentist as a child, you should always remain positive when you discuss children’s dentistry with your son or daughter. Otherwise, you might transfer your dental anxiety or expectations of discomfort. Many children learn to be afraid of the dentist, which can cause them stress when they meet a dentist for the first time. Be positive and upbeat when you talk about going to your own dentist, and your child will be more apt to do likewise.

Kids Need Cavity Checks Too!

Parents may assume that decayed “baby” teeth are not a big problem. This is a myth. Allowing a child’s first teeth to become decayed usually leads to problems when their permanent teeth erupt. Rather than ignoring signs of tooth decay in your child, make sure you visit a pediatric dentist early for routine check-ups. The pediatric dentist and hygienist will assess your child’s teeth. If your child does get a cavity, the cavity will be filled to lessen the likelihood of future decay. Sometimes, Dr. Callahan may recommend dental sealants. This preventative treatment offers an additional layer of protection against cavities.

Schedule Your Child’s First Dental Visit Today

As a mom or dad, you have plenty of influence on your child’s future dental health, hygiene, and behaviors. Introduce healthy dental habits from day one, and your child will benefit for a lifetime. Live in the Colorado Springs, CO, area? We welcome you to schedule your child’s first appointment at our practice. Give us a call to arrange a time that works best for your family.
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Healthy Kids, Healthy Gums

A child’s smile is one of the most beautiful sights in the world. Healthy smiles start with healthy kids and healthy gums. An important key to a child’s oral health starts with the basics – daily brushing and flossing. At Springs Pediatric Dental Care, Dr. Clinton Callahan and his staff take pride in serving Colorado Springs families, and they are trained in the latest techniques that help children and teenagers develop the habits now that can help them avoid gum disease and maintain healthy gums and teeth for years to come. It is no surprise that most of us do not think about a child or teen fighting gum disease, but we want to equip kids and parents with the facts. During your child’s visit, Dr. Callahan and our team of professionals will explain and demonstrate how kids should properly brush and floss their teeth each day to avoid gum disease. These preventative steps can produce better overall oral health and help your child develop healthy habits that can last for a lifetime.

From Plaque to Disease

Gum disease is a common condition, and many people experience it. The condition begins with a build-up of plaque, which is a filmy substance left behind by foods that are starchy or contain sugar. Plaque clings to the teeth, and the bacteria in plaque that collects on teeth and gums can cause damage over time. Plaque can be removed by thorough daily brushing and flossing, so it is especially important to remind children and teens to brush their teeth twice every day. When plaque collects on the base of your teeth, it can turn into tartar – a hardened coating of plaque. Brushing will not remove tartar; it must be removed by a dental professional. Plaque can also cause gingivitis. Take note if you notice your child has any of these common symptoms of gum disease:
  • Swollen or bloated gums
  • Reddish or purple-ish colored gums
  • Bleeding gums
  • Gums that pull back or recede, making teeth look longer
  • Noticeable new gaps between teeth
  • Ongoing bad breath
  • It hurts to chew
  • Teeth become loose
  • Changes in the bite (teeth do not align well anymore)
It is important to schedule regular checkups with Dr. Callahan, especially if you think your child might have signs of gum disease. He can evaluate the health of your child’s gums and recommended the right steps for treatment. The good news is, the effects of gum disease can be treated and potentially reversed with proper dental cleanings and consistent oral hygiene at home. As children and teenagers grow, we understand that their dental needs change. Dr. Callahan and the team at Springs Pediatric Dental Care know exactly what young patients need to cultivate the right habits and ensure their oral health stays on the right track. We take special care to put patients at ease. Parents, we want you to be involved and informed at each step in the process, so you and your child know exactly what to expect.


Contact us or call 719-265-9600 today and plan your child’s next visit. We want to make your next appointment a pleasant experience, and we welcome you to visit our office located at 13335 Voyager Parkway, Suite 100, in Colorado Springs, CO. 80921. Every day we serve our community by providing caring, professional children’s dentistry. We want patients and parents alike to enjoy their visit to our office, and we look forward to welcoming you at your next appointment.
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Does my child need a dental crown?

There’s not a more heartwarming image than your own child’s big, genuine smile! You want your children to be happy, healthy, and active. A toothache can interfere with all of these goals — and tooth pain could indicate the need for a filling or dental crown. One study showed that 51 million hours of school are lost each year, due to kids experiencing dental pain1. Another reported that kids with poor oral health were more prone than healthy kids to miss school and perform poorly2. Some children develop pain from a cavity or cracked tooth, but it is possible for a child’s dental crown to fail, as well. So, even if your child’s toothache has been treated, pain can recur. If your little one has a toothache, it’s time to call Springs Pediatric Dental Care in Colorado Springs to book an appointment. We offer two locations to serve our patients. Call 719-265-9600 today!

Symptoms to Watch

Your child may complain of a dull, nagging toothache or pain that occurs due to a particular stimulus. Crowns are most often necessary for patients who experience:
  • Pain when biting or chewing (pressure sensitivity)
  • Pain remains for a period after biting
  • Sensitivity to hot/cold foods
  • Under/in an existing crown or filling

First Response

When your child complains of a toothache, your first reaction should be to floss around the tooth. Food or debris lodged between teeth can cause pain. Have your little one rinse and swish with water a few times. Brush teeth and see if the toothache goes away. If discomfort continues, schedule an appointment with your pediatric dentist.

The Tooth Will Fall Out, Anyway

When a primary tooth needs a crown, you may hesitate to act. After all, the tooth will eventually fall out and be replaced by a healthy permanent tooth, right? Actually, when a tooth needs a crown, the damage is significant. If that damage is decay, it will continue to grow and could spread to surrounding teeth. In some cases, even unerupted permanent teeth have become damaged. Your child’s toothache will also worsen, if the tooth is not treated. At any time, a cracked tooth may break off, and this can create acute dental pain. To prevent further oral damage and to relieve your little one’s toothache, primary teeth with cavities and cracks should definitely be treated, as soon as possible.

What to Expect During a Dental Crown Appointment

You’ll attend to visits for the entire crown procedure. At the first appointment, we’ll administer local anesthetic and, in some cases, nitrous oxide to keep a child comfortable and relaxed during treatment. The dentist will prepare the damaged tooth to receive a crown, then take an impression of the prepped tooth and opposing teeth. Your child will wear a temporary crown for one to two weeks, until the lab-made crown is ready for placement. Front teeth may have a stainless steel or more natural-looking tooth-colored crown. If you prefer a tooth-colored crown, be sure to let the dentist know at the first visit. Molars need stainless steel crowns, for durability. At the second appointment, the dentist will replace the temporary with the permanent dental crown. After checking occlusion (how upper and lower teeth fit together when your child bites down), the dentist will make adjustments to the restoration before you leave.

Child complaining of toothache? Call now!

Located in Colorado Springs, our two pediatric dental offices make dental appointments convenient for most families in the area. If your child reports a toothache, don’t delay treatment. Call us at 719-265-9600 now to reserve your appointment.With kindly presented information and instruction, we’ll help you and your child address the underlying cause of the toothache. New patients are always welcome! ### 1: Amschler DH. A hidden epidemic: dental disparities among children. J Sch Health. 2003;73(1):38–40 2:
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When Children Need Dental Fillings

Learning that your child has a cavity can feel like a catastrophe for any parent. You work hard at instilling good oral hygiene routines in your children. Any amount of tooth decay can make you feel like your hard work and parenting are for nothing. In truth, about 99 percent of Americans have had one or more cavities. With a carbohydrate and sugar-heavy diet, it’s almost inevitable that some decay will occur. The important thing is to learn from the experience, and figure out a way to better protect your child’s teeth in the future. Springs Pediatric Dental Care of Colorado Springs, CO can help you do this. Children’s teeth in particular are vulnerable to cavities. Their tooth enamel is thinner than adults’ and the teeth are smaller. This means decay can deepen or spread to other teeth much faster than in adult teeth. Luckily, cavities can be caught early and dental fillings can ensure that the decay does not spread. Once the tooth has been restored with a discreet tooth-colored filling, it literally is as “good as new.”

Treating Decay with Dental Fillings

When a child has a cavity, this means that your child’s tooth enamel has been demineralized to the point that a hole has formed. When this happens, we remove the bacteria and decayed tooth matter and fill it up (or cover it) to restore the full structure of the tooth. If your child maintains a regular schedule of six-month check-ups, we can usually catch cavities while they are small and easy to treat. However, sometimes cavities can deepen and spread to the inside of the tooth, in what’s called the pulp chamber. If your child’s cavity has spread to the pulp chamber, it is necessary to treat the tooth with endodontic therapy (root canal) as well as a filling. A root canal takes a bit longer than a simple filling, but we always make sure our patients are comfortable and feel safe during their treatments.

What Will Happen During the Appointment

At Springs Pediatric Dental Care, we take great efforts to make all children’s dentistry appointments as stress-free as possible. If your child comes to us with any fear or anxiety about getting a filling, we will take the time to make sure he or she is comfortable with what will happen. If we have not taken an x-ray recently, the appointment will start with one. This shows us how deep the cavity is and whether the tooth will require pulp therapy. After we take an x-ray, we prepare for the filling. If the cavity is causing any pain for your child, or if it is deep enough to extend into the dentin, we will administer an anesthetic, so the patient feels nothing. We are careful to make sure the patient does not see the needle if it is needed, as we know this can cause anxiety. Many children fear the needle, so this is a standard procedure for all the kids we treat. After your child receives the local anesthetic, we wait until we are confident it has taken full effect before we begin the filling. Before we can fill the tooth, we treat it, by removing the decayed tooth matter with dental tools. When the tooth is ready, we fill it with dental composite. This material is a mixture of micro-particles of plastic, glass, and silicate, held together in a resin matrix. (We do not use metal dental fillings, so you never need to be worried about mercury.) After the composite is applied, we use a curing light to harden it and bond it to the tooth. Afterwards, we polish and buff the filling, to make sure it does not interfere with your child’s bite, and that it feels natural in his/her mouth. If a child’s tooth has too much structural damage, we may instead treat it with a stainless-steel crown. This will protect the tooth and keep its structure intact until the adult tooth is ready to come in.

What Caused My Child’s Cavity?

We all know that eating sugary foods and not brushing your teeth properly are good ways to get cavities—but do you understand how cavities form? Understanding how it works can help you prevent decay in the future. All tooth decay is caused by an acidic environment in the mouth. Acidic foods and beverages can contribute to this, but it’s mostly bacterial acids that demineralize tooth enamel. We all have mouth bacteria, no matter how thoroughly we brush and floss our teeth each day, so there’s really no getting rid of them permanently. The best way to control bacterial growth in the mouth is to not feed the bacteria. Leaving food residue on the teeth feeds bacteria, which then “poop” out the acids that cause cavities. The foods that stick to the teeth and feed bacteria the worst contain starchy carbohydrates and sugars:
  • Fruit juice
  • Sodas and sports drinks
  • Bread
  • Peanut butter and jelly
  • Potato chips
  • Chewy fruit snacks
  • Breakfast cereals and cereal bars
If you or your child can’t brush your teeth after eating sugary/starchy foods, there are other ways to protect the teeth. Simply rinsing with water after eating these foods can go a long way to preventing decay. Chewing sugarless gum is another good method, because it stimulates saliva production to rinse away food and neutralize acids. In addition to knowing the foods to avoid, it may be helpful to know which foods can actually clean the teeth. Many healthy foods have a positive effect on the mouth environment because their texture cleans the teeth. Virtually any crunchy fruits and vegetable can clean the teeth.
  • Apples
  • Pears
  • Celery
  • Carrots
  • Cucumber
  • Broccoli and cauliflower
  • Leafy greens and crunchy salads
Adding more of these mouth-healthy foods, or simply feeding them to your children after sticky foods can go a long way to keeping your child’s mouth healthy. (There’s an unexpected argument in there for serving dessert before fruits and vegetables, if you can believe it!) To learn more about dental fillings and preventing tooth decay in children, visit Springs Pediatric Dental Care. We specialize in young patients, and know how to make them feel safe and comfortable while getting the dental care they need. Call us at (719) 265-9600 to make an appointment at our Colorado Springs dental office.
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