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At Harmony Pediatric Dentistry in Gresham, Oregon, and Sandy, Oregon, Dr. Shirley, Dr. Zinberg, and their team specialize in providing quality dental care for infants, children, and adolescents. From routine checkups to fillings to sealants to emergency care, our goal is to help your child feel safe, relaxed, and comfortable. We want to help make your child’s smile the best it can be.
We welcome and encourage any and all questions regarding oral health from our patients, our staff is always happy to help! Below, We have compiled a list of common questions that we receive from our patients, and we hope you find their answers informative and helpful. If you have a question that you would like answered but do not see listed here, don’t hesitate to ask us at your child’s next appointment.

What is the cause of tooth sensitivity & should I be worried about it?

Tooth sensitivity often comes in the form of discomfort or pain in response to consuming hot or cold beverages. When the surface of the tooth has been worn away, exposing the underlying dentin layer, tooth sensitivity begins to occur. Another cause of tooth sensitivity occurs when the recession of the gums exposes the root of the tooth. When the dentin layer is exposed, heat, cold, or pressure reaches the nerve of your child’s tooth directly, causing discomfort and pain. Tooth sensitivity can often be indicative of other dental conditions because exposed dentin is more vulnerable to decay & receding gums are a sign of possible gum disease. If your child is suffering from tooth sensitivity, contact our office as soon as possible so that we can work with your child to remedy the issue.

How often does my child need to visit the dentist?

It is recommended that your child visit the dentist every six months in order to maintain optimal oral health and prevent dental conditions from developing. Biannual cleaning and exam appointments are a great opportunity to get your child’s teeth cleaner than what is possible by brushing & flossing at home, and they also serve as an opportunity for us to examine your child’s teeth, mouth, and gums for any potential issues. Your child’s appointment will generally consist of detailed X-Rays that allow us to detect cavities and other dental conditions, as well as a thorough cleaning of your child’s teeth. While we typically recommend two visits a year for most patients, Our dentist may recommend more frequent visits if your child is diagnosed with periodontitis (gum disease) or its precursor (gingivitis). If your child is diagnosed with these or any other dental conditions, more frequent visits can help to prevent them from becoming worse.

What is better, a manual toothbrush or an electric toothbrush?

When utilizing proper brushing techniques, manual and electric toothbrushes tend to perform similarly. If your child struggles with utilizing proper brushing techniques, using an electric toothbrush may help your child get a more thorough and consistent cleaning with each brushing. If brushing for the recommended two minutes is difficult for your child, you may find that an electric toothbrush with a built-in timer can help them brush for the proper amount of time. If you have questions about which toothbrush is best for your child, be sure to ask their dentist at your next visit. They can make personalized recommendations that will help your child achieve the best possible oral health.

What is gum disease?

Gum disease is clinically referred to as periodontitis or periodontal disease, and is caused when bacteria works its way into your gums. Gum disease can begin with little to no detectable symptoms, and may be difficult to recognize. The early stages of gum disease, commonly known as gingivitis, can be recognized by swollen, red gums that bleed easily and recede from the teeth. If your child’s teeth appear to be longer than they used to, consult their dentist so that they can assess your child’s gum loss and provide solutions catered to preventing the condition from worsening. These early stages of gum disease can also be marked by bad breath and gum sensitivity as well. Later stages of gum disease include abscesses, tooth pain, tooth loss, and bone loss in the jaw. It is important to note that early detection of gum disease is crucial because once it progresses from gingivitis to periodontitis, it can only be managed, not cured. Practicing good oral hygiene habits, visiting the dentist regularly, and notifying your child’s dentist of any of the above symptoms is the best way for them to avoid developing gum disease.

My child’s teeth don’t hurt & they look just fine. Why do they need to see the dentist?

Many dental ailments and conditions are not accompanied by detectable symptoms in their early stages. Patients may have cavities, tooth decay, tooth grinding, infected teeth, or oral cancer without experiencing any symptoms. Our office uses the highest quality technology and oral care techniques to help detect, diagnose, and treat potential dental conditions, even in the absence of symptoms.

Be sure to visit Harmony Pediatric Dentistry in Gresham, Oregon, and Sandy, Oregon at least twice a year for a dental exam and teeth cleaning. Our dentists will work to detect and diagnose any potential dental conditions and suggest treatments that are designed to help your child achieve the best possible oral health. At Harmony Pediatric Dentistry, we offer a variety of pediatric dental services to our patients through our compassionate, highly-trained, and highly-skilled staff. We know that each child and their family is unique, therefore, we aim to fulfill the unique needs of each and every child that undergoes any procedure here in our office.