Gentle Pediatric Dentistry Can Help Child Achieve a Lifetime of Beautiful Smiles

At PQ Family Dental, Dr. Tim Belnap and Dr. W. Brandon Jergensen practice pediatric dentistry to lay the foundation for good oral health early in life. We provide numerous treatments for children at our Rancho Peñasquitos and Ramona, CA, offices. Routine cleanings and exams are an essential component of our care. Not only can they help to prevent cavities and other dental damage, regular exams can also help us to diagnose misalignment and similar problems as early as possible. Early diagnosis allows us to treat these conditions before they affect your child’s lifelong oral health. We encourage you to bring your child in for his or her first dental visit between the ages of 2 and 4. Even if we do not perform any treatments, we can conduct an introductory visit to help your child feel comfortable and relaxed in the office.

A young girl undergoes a dental exam

The Importance of Early Dental Care

Early dental visits are essential because they can help prevent a lifetime or oral health problems. For instance, dental decay is a cyclical concern. Once your child develops his or her first cavity, more cavities are likely to develop in adulthood. Additionally, if we can identify misalignment early, we can refer you to an orthodontist for interceptive treatment at a young age. With this approach, overall treatment time can typically be shorter, and orthodontic problems may be less severe.

Another reason to begin dental treatment early on is that it can help your child become acclimated to the dentist’s office. Even just bringing your little one to your own appointment could help to put him or her at ease. At your child’s own first visit, we often simply count his or her baby teeth and take photos. That way, we can have a baseline against which we can monitor your child's ongoing oral health. Our team will do everything possible to make your child’s appointments fun. At the end, he or she can even choose a prize from our office toy box!

Treatment for Common Pediatric Dental Concerns

We offer a full array of procedures to address the most frequent oral health problems among kids. Our procedures include:

  • Exams and cleanings: Routine exams and cleanings are the most fundamental component of our pediatric dental care. Biannual visits can help prevent cavities, gum disease, dental infection, and many other concerns. We will also be able to monitor your child’s dental development, tooth alignment, incoming wisdom teeth, and more.
  • Fluoride treatments: Fluoride treatments are another way to prevent decay in children’s teeth. Fluoride is a mineral that helps to strengthen tooth enamel. Though it is present in city water supplies and many foods, additional supplements are necessary for complete oral health.
  • Sealants: Once your child’s permanent molars come in, we can typically place sealants. The liquid plastic coating will harden, forming a barrier over the top of these back teeth. Bacteria will not be able to penetrate the sealants. Additionally, the coating will prevent food from lodging in the deep crevices between the cusps.
Early dental visits are essential because they can help prevent a lifetime or oral health problems.
  • Fillings and crowns: If your child does develop dental a cavity, fillings and crowns are the two most common treatments. A filling is suitable for a smaller cavity. A crown is usually appropriate if decay has destroyed most of your child’s tooth. We may also recommend a crown if your child has a cracked, weakened, or otherwise damaged tooth. In either case, we offer realistic restorations to maintain your child’s beautiful smile.
  • Extractions: We only recommend extractions if they are absolutely necessary. Nevertheless, if your child has severe decay, removal may be required. We may also perform an extraction if your child’s baby tooth has not come out yet, and it is affecting the incoming permanent teeth.

Good Dental Care Begins at Home

While the treatments we offer at PQ Family Dental are incredibly important, the care you perform at home is equally vital for your child’s healthy smile. Regular brushing is essential as soon as the first tooth comes in. Even before teething begins, you should wipe down your child's gums with a soft cloth. Once your child is old enough, he or she should take responsibility for brushing and flossing. At the same time, however, you should monitor this daily routine until your child is older. When you bring your little one in for regular visits, we will inquire about your at-home hygiene. If necessary, we can provide tips and guidance to improve this care.

Schedule an Appointment Today

It is vital that you protect your child’s infectious grin. Contact our office online to book an appointment for you or your child. You can also call our Rancho Peñasquitos office at (858) 484-9222 or our Ramona location at (760) 789-6200 to speak to a member of our team.