Expert: Pediatric Dentistry

Treasure Valley Pediatric Dentistry

Roy H. Rogers, D.D.S., M.S.

Dr. Roy Rogers was born and raised in Boise, receiving his two under-graduate degrees from Brigham Young University and graduating from Virginia Commonwealth University Medical College of Virginia School of Dentistry in May 2001 with honors. Rogers completed specialty training in pedodontics at Virginia Commonwealth University Medical College of Virginia School of Dentistry Department of Pediatric Dentistry. He belongs to various organizations such as the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, Association of Dentistry for Children, American Dental Association, Academy of General Dentistry and the Idaho State Dental Association.

What is the most appropriate time for a childŐs first visit to the dentist?

Professional intervention should occur within six months after the eruption of the first primary tooth with history taking directed to pre- and postnatal factors affecting the oral cavity and counseling about oral disease risks and providing anticipatory guidance. Early intervention can prevent or mitigate common pediatric oral diseases and conditions while initiating a relationship between child, family, and the pediatric dental caregiver. Prevention of oral injuries, management of oral habits, assessment of oral development, and consideration of other individual and special needs can enhance a childŐs opportunity for oral health immediately and later in life.

How important is fluoride to a childŐs long-term dental health?

Primary prevention of dental caries relies on timely family education, instruction and motivation. Appropriate and consistent fluoride management helps to strengthen enamel thereby making it more resistant to cavity insult.

The consistent utilization of fluoride along with proper brushing and dietary considerations can dramatically benefit both children and adults alike. Creating good dental habits while a child is young increases the likelihood that when a child has matured into adulthood they will continue these important dental health practices.

What can parents do to make a childŐs first dental visit a good experience?

A childŐs initial dental visit will often set the tone for subsequent attitudes about dental care and oral health. It is quite important to help your child establish good feelings about going to the dentist well in advance of the actual scheduled visit. Discuss and answer questions that your child might have in regards to visiting the dentist. Avoid sharing personal experiences with your child because they will look to you as an example while shaping their own ideas and presentations.

Is it true that chocolate milk is OK for teeth and a caramel is no worse for teeth than a cracker?

Dietary considerations are an intrinsic component in your childŐs dental health. Children deserve an opportunity to enjoy all types of foods. The caveat with this statement is that supervising adults must understand that there needs to be moderation in all dietary considerations. Chocolate milk contains high quantities of sugar. Sugars-fermentable carbohydrates-pose a significant risk to the overall dental health of teeth when frequently exposed.

The key piece of information to understand is that any food or beverage high in sugar when frequently ingested means that the childŐs teeth are also being frequently exposed, placing them at an elevated risk for dental disease.

The statement that caramel is no worse for a childŐs teeth than a cracker is a loaded statement. Caramel contains much higher quantities of sugars and therefore has the potential to affect the dental health of a childŐs teeth quicker than a cracker. Never the less, both foods can be damaging because each has a low clearance rate off a childŐs tooth, meaning that the food/candy sticks and packs into the grooves, pits and fissures on a childŐs tooth making it difficult for saliva to rinse and self-cleanse the tooth and further making intervention of hygienic efforts harder.

Is cosmetic dentistry an option for children?

Thanks to the constant development of newer technologies and dental materials, cosmetic dentistry is an option for children. Various cosmetic treatment options are available for children. A sampling of them include: tooth colored fillings, tooth colored crowns, tooth bleaching, bondings, veneers and micro-abrasion of discolored teeth.

Are sealants truly the best kept secret of the dental office?

Dental caries prevalence has decreased dramatically in the United States, still the diseases continue to affect more than 50 percent of school age children and most adults. Countless research studies conducted suggest that sealants-when appropriately placed-are effective in both preventing and arresting the progression of caries.

Sealants when correctly diagnosed and placed, are one of the most effective and important preventative measures available for the prevention of caries in children and adolescents. Procedurally, sealants can be placed quickly and painlessly.