Dentist Blog | Great Grins Children's Dentistry | Pediatric Dentist | Tucson, AZ


FAQ: Common Questions for a Kid’s Dentist

Visiting a children’s dentist for the first time can bring a lot of questions. It is important to gather all information possible before deciding on where you will take your children. Read the FAQ below to learn more about a pediatric dentist and your child’s dental health!


What is a Pediatric Dentist?

A pediatric dentist specializes in the dental care for children, similar to a pediatrician who is a doctor that only sees children. Pediatric dentists take additional years of schooling beyond dental school. At Great Grins Children’s Dentistry, Dr. Lele and Dr. Wolfman are pediatric dentists who are also board certified. They completed voluntary written and oral exams that tested their knowledge on the specialty of pediatric dentistry.

Why is the First Appointment so Early?

Teeth problems can start at a young age, so it is important to get your child in to see a kid’s dentist soon after the first tooth erupts. This allows the dentist to identify potential dental problems and work towards fixing them immediately. Seeing the dentist early on also helps parents learn about their children’s dental health and prevent decay from starting in the first place. It is also important for young children to develop a positive relationship with their dentist. This way, they can learn to value oral health and enjoy their visits.

When Do I Use Toothpaste?

Every situation is different and children’s teeth grow differently. The sooner you use toothpaste with your child, the better. For baby’s with a couple or few teeth, use only a  small amount the size of a grain of rice. This amount should be increased as the baby grows. Children should be supervised by an adult up until around age 10.

Are X-rays Safe?

Only a minimal amount of radiation is used for dental x-rays, so they are safe. In fact, an untreated dental problem would be much more dangerous than this small amount of radiation.

What Can I do in an Emergency?

Your actions in an emergency situation depend on the type of injury that your child has sustained. You can call Great Grins Children’s Dentistry after hours at (520) 325-4746 and then follow the prompts to reach a dentist at any hour.


Braces: Keep Your Teeth Clean

Getting braces comes with a lot of changes, especially for children. People with braces have to brush their teeth differently since the braces cover many parts of their teeth. In addition, some foods should be avoided in order to make cleaning easier. Oral hygiene becomes more important to avoid staining after taking braces off. Schedule a visit with your child’s pediatric dentist to learn more about keeping your child’s teeth healthy while they are seeing an orthodontist.

Oral Hygiene with Braces

Braces can cause plaque and food to get stuck between the wires. This can lead to tooth decay and further dental problems very quickly. The bacteria in the mouth can also react with the metal in the wires. This can leave white spots on the teeth if they aren’t cleaned properly.

Cleaning the Teeth

Those with braces should brush their teeth after every meal and floss at least once per day. A floss threader will be necessary to do this effectively. Have your child check his/her teeth thoroughly in the mirror after each brushing to look for food particles. Do not skip any days when it comes to brushing and flossing.

Foods to Avoid

Diet makes a big difference in dental health. Your kid’s dentist might recommend that you avoid sweet or starchy foods as much as possible. These foods can stick to the braces, making it more difficult to keep the teeth clean. An orthodontist can also give you more information about specific foods that should be avoided.

Children’s Dentist in Tucson, AZ

Getting braces does not mean less dental visits for your child. A pediatric dentist may actually recommend more frequent visits for professional cleanings while a child is in braces. Speak with your dentist to find out if orthodontics are recommended. Dr. Lele and Dr. Wolfman at Great Grins Children’s Dentistry are board certified pediatric dentists. Call us at 520-325-4746 to schedule your child’s appointment and learn more about their dental health!


Teeth Whitening for Children

Having white teeth and a bright smile is important to many people, especially teenagers. As a result of this interest, many oral hygiene companies have introduced over-the-counter tooth whitening products. These can be used without a prescription or a visit to the dentist. If your child is considering these products, keep in mind that they are not suitable for children under the age of 14. They can cause a great deal of discomfort even in adults. Once the pulp of a person’s teeth has fully formed, whitening becomes safer for teens.

Teeth Whitening Options

Perhaps the most common type of teeth whitening comes in the form of whitening toothpastes. These items help remove stains from the surface of the teeth with a special chemical. One thing to remember is that unlike bleaching agents, this toothpaste does not change the natural color of the person’s teeth. Therefore, it is recommended that teens use whitening toothpaste ahead of bleach. If your teen wishes to bleach his/her teeth, make sure that they see a pediatric dentist first. It is a good idea to get some more information on the effects it may have.

Preventative Actions

The best alternative to teeth whitening bleaches or toothpastes is to avoid staining teeth. This can be achieved with good oral hygiene and a healthy diet. Avoiding things like coffee, tea, and nicotine can prevent the teeth from yellowing. Be sure to brush after every meal or beverage as well, especially at bedtime. Visiting a children’s dentist on a regular basis also goes a long way towards keeping a bright and healthy smile.

See a Pediatric Dentist

It is always a good idea to see a dentist before using any teeth whitening products that may cause sensitivity in your child’s teeth. Looking for a pediatric dentist in Tucson? At Great Grins Children’s Dentistry, our dentists are board certified and they specialize in dental care for infants, children, and teens, including those with special needs. Give us a call at 520-325-4746 and schedule your child’s appointment today!


Healthy Diet for Your Children

A healthy diet for children is essential in order to establish lifelong dental health. Children require the vitamins, minerals, and proteins that are found in a balanced diet to build strong teeth, which is one reason why diet is important. In addition, sugars, both natural and processed, can cause tooth decay and, therefore, their consumption should be minimized. Fortunately, there are additional measures that can be taken. Here are some tips from pediatric dentists that can help prevent tooth decay.

Common Foods

Since about 90 percent of all foods contain starches or sugars that can damage a child’s teeth, there is no avoiding them. However, it is possible to keep an eye on how and what a child eats. A child that spends all day drinking a single juice box has a higher risk of developing tooth decay than a child who drinks the same juice box very quickly. This is because the child is exposed to the sugar in the juice for longer, giving it a greater chance to do damage.

Healthy Diet for Children

There are some things that your pediatric dentist might suggest in order to promote a healthy diet. Try to limit the consumption of starches and sugars to mealtime only, as this gives you more control. When choosing snacks, stick to cheese, yogurt, and other healthy alternatives. Also, limit the consumption of sugary drinks, as they are some of the worst offenders, especially at bedtime.

Visit a Children’s Dentist in Tucson

In addition to a healthy diet and brushing your child’s teeth at least twice per day, regular dentist visits should be made. Visiting the dentist every 6 months ensures that your child is brushing properly and in turn helps prevent tooth decay. Call Great Grins Children’s Dentistry in Tucson, AZ at 520-325-4746. Our dentists are board certified and specialize in the dental care of infants, children, and teens, including those with special needs.


Kid’s Dentist in Tucson

Visiting a kid’s dentist early on is very important. Baby teeth determine the overall dental development of a child, as they aid the child’s ability to speak and chew. These teeth are also responsible for helping to shape the child’s face and creating space for the adult teeth that will come later. When a young child suffers from tooth decay, it is essential that they see a kid’s dentist before it leads to long term developmental problems.

Risks of Tooth Decay

When a child loses his/her baby teeth at a young age, it could prevent the adult teeth from coming in properly. In some cases, this leads to crooked or misplaced teeth in adulthood. Therefore, it is in the child’s best interests to have the baby teeth saved, even in cases where tooth decay is present. If the child does happen to lose a baby tooth, most pediatric dentists will recommend using a spacer to fill the void.

Fixing Tooth Decay

Visiting a kid’s dentist is a great way to prevent tooth decay. Once a tooth begins to decay, however, treatment is necessary to save it. When left untreated, the tooth could cause pain to the child and damage the adult teeth that are developing beneath the gum line. Your dentist can fill these baby teeth to ensure that they don’t become large problems for your child in the future. A child may also need a crown for a tooth with more decay.

Visiting a Kid’s Dentist

At Great Grins Children’s Dentistry in Tucson, AZ, our doctors are board certified pediatric dentists. Dr. Angela Wolfman and Dr. Kedar Lele specialize in the dental care for infants, children, and teens, including those with special needs. We offer many services and have a sports-themed office designed especially for kids! Give us a call at 520-325-4746 to schedule your little one’s appointment today!


Teething Fever: Tips for Parents

Are you worried about teething fever for your little one? As a baby begins to develop teeth, it can lead to some discomfort. Parents often have questions about what they should do in this situation, as they want to ease their child’s pain. It is also important keep the teeth healthy. Here are some tips from a kids dentist. There are many things that a parent can do to make the teething process as stress-free as possible.

What to Avoid

Many parents invest in amber teething necklaces to ease their child’s teething pain. They are said to release a pain reliever into the child’s bloodstream. There is no scientific evidence to support this assertion, however, so it is best to avoid this practice. In addition, never apply lidocaine to your baby’s gums, as it can be toxic to young children. A toothing fever can occur, but follow the next advice to avoid discomfort for your child.

Teething Fever: What You Can do

Your kid’s dentist will likely recommend that you massage the baby’s gums with your finger. You can also let the child chew on a washcloth that you have put in the freezer Give the child a chilled pacifier or teething ring, or hold a chilled spoon on the area to provide some relief. Most kids are completely done with teething by the age of three, so you won’t have to worry about this stage for very long.

Children’s Dentist in Tucson

Once your child’s first tooth breaks through the gums, you can start making appointments to the dentist. Our dentists at Great Grins Children’s Dentistry are board certified pediatric dentists. We specialize in the dental care for infants, children, and teens, including those with special needs. Give us a call at 520-325-4746 to schedule your baby’s appointment today!


Tucson Dentist for Children

Great Grins Children’s Dentistry is a locally owned Tucson dentist office. We have two board certified pediatric dentists, Dr. Angela Wolfman and Dr. Kedar Lele. Pediatric dentists are a little bit different than family/general dentists. They have different training and specialize in the dental care for children. When looking for a Tucson dentist for your little one, consider a pediatric dentist. Our doctors and team were specially trained to care for infants, children, and teens, including those with special needs.

Additional Training

All dentists must complete four years of dental school. One difference between a pediatric dentist and a general dentist is the education that goes on beyond these four years. Anyone who wishes to become a pediatric dentist must complete two years of residency after graduating from dental school. They focus exclusively on the dental needs of children during this time.

Board Certification

While it isn’t required, some dentists decide to become board certified once they have completed their residency program. The American Board of Pediatric Dentistry, for example, offers board certification for dentists who pass oral and written exams. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry is another authority that offers certification. They rovide new guidelines and research for their dentists. In the process of board certification, doctors are tested on their knowledge of a specialty practice. If you are looking for a great Tucson dentist, Dr. Wolfman and Dr. Lele  specialize in pediatric dentistry. They can take care of your child’s dental needs.

Tucson Dentist for Children

A board certified pediatric dentist can provide your child with the best dental experience possible. Dr. Wolfman and Dr. Lele at Great Grins Children’s Dentistry both have these certifications. They are members of both the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry. We are also conveniently located in central Tucson. Call us today at 520-325-4746 to schedule an appointment for your little one!


White Fillings and Silver Fillings

What are the differences between white fillings and silver fillings? When part of a tooth starts to decay, a visit to the dentist is the first step towards a solution. When a cavity is filled by a dentist, the decayed part of the tooth will be removed with a drill. This prevents the decay from spreading further into the tooth. Then, the dentist will fill the tooth, so that the patient is able to eat without worrying about having a hole present. So, what is used to fill the tooth? Here are some different methods:

Tooth Colored Resin

When the cavity is located on the chewing surface or the top of the tooth, dentists will apply a resin. After the dentist removes the decayed portion of the tooth, he/she then applies the resin to the hole and covers it with a sealant. This procedure is usually done at a preventative measure.

White Fillings

When a cavity forms on the front of the tooth, a composite resin is used. This resin is made to match the tooth in color, since the filling will be highly visible. White fillings only work on small cavities, which is why they are usually only used on the front portion of the tooth.

Silver Fillings

In situations where the back teeth require a filling, dentists often use silver fillings. Although they are more visible than tooth colored fillings, this option is highly durable, so you won’t have to worry as much about damaging the filling over time.

Kid’s Dentist in Tucson

Looking for a great pediatric dentist in Tucson, AZ? Contact our office at 520-325-4746. At Great Grins Children’s Dentistry, Dr. Wolfman and Dr. Lele are both board certified pediatric dentists who specialize in dental care for infants, children, and teens, including those with special needs.


Cough Syrup for Young Children

When a child is sick, parents are left with a many hard choices. Should you give your child cough syrup? On one hand, without cough syrup, a child might struggle to sleep. On the other hand, most cough syrups are high in sugar and, therefore, can lead to tooth decay. Read more below about different options and alternatives to cough syrup.

Cough Syrup Problems

Cough syrup contains ingredients like sucrose, high fructose corn syrup, and citric acid that can be harmful to teeth. These ingredients attack the enamel on the child’s teeth, putting them at a greater risk of tooth decay. For this reason, pediatric dentists do not recommend giving a child cough syrup right before bed.

What Can You Do?

There are situations where the child needs medication, as a cold can be very uncomfortable for little ones. Start by giving your child the medicine at mealtime, and not right before bed. Then, make sure that you brush the child’s teeth with a fluoride toothpaste immediately after he/she takes the cough syrup. Many pediatric dentists also recommend giving your child a calcium supplement or a topical fluoride right after taking any liquid medications.

Children’s Dentist in Tucson

If you have any questions about cough syrup or other cold medications that may affect a child’s teeth, contact Great Grins Children’s Dentistry at (520) 325-4746. Our team is ready to help and schedule an appointment to get your child on the path to healthy teeth.


Talking to Your Child About the Dentist

The Dentist: Talking to Your Child About a Visit

Children can have many questions when it comes to their first dental appointment. It is a good idea to have an answer for thier questions, but at the same time keep the child calm in the days leading up to this appointment. While this can be a difficult line to walk, it will make your child’s first trip to the kids dentist go much more smoothly.

Do Not Show Anxiety

If you seem anxious about the dental visit, your child will pick up on it. Children are incredibly in-tune with their parents and if they act differently, they can usually notice. Therefore, speak to your child casually about the dentist appointment. The goal is to build a positive association with the dentist, not a scary one. This will make all future visits much more pleasant for all of the people involved, including parents!

Sometime Less is More

Many parents struggle to hide their nervousness before a child’s first dentist appointment. When we feel that our little ones might be uncomfortable about  a situation, it is difficult to hide anxiety. Try to say as little as possible about the visit without making the child afraid. That way, the dentist can start with a clean slate. It is not a good idea to bring the child in with a dislike towards the dentist. The dentists will do their best to help the child feel relaxed.

Dentist in Tucson

At Great Grins Children’s Dentistry, our doctors are board certified pediatric dentists. We specialize in the dental care for infants, children, and teens, including those with special needs. Call us at 520-325-4746 to schedule an appointment for your little one today!

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    3953 E. Paradise Falls Drive, Suite 110
    Tucson, AZ 85712
    Phone: (520) 325-4746
    Fax: (520) 319-1031
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