Comprehensive Family Dentistry in Durham, NC

smiling family | family dentistry durham nc At The Smile Shop, we enjoy seeing patients of all ages! We are happy to offer comprehensive dental care for the entire family.

Children’s Dental Care

We follow the American Dental Associations recommendation of seeing children as early as six months. We like to review with you the timeline of when baby teeth start to erupt and expectations to have as your child grows and more baby teeth appear. Oral hygiene should begin as soon as those teeth erupt. Different cleaning techniques can be explained to parents and caregivers to start your child off in the right direction with oral hygiene.

Your Child's First Visit

Making appointments with children early in life for cleanings and exams also allows them to meet our dental staff. Seeing the dentist can be overwhelming to a young child. That’s why we like to start slow with simple cleanings between the ages of one and five. 

At the first appointment, we will review brushing with you, the parent or guardian, and also with your child. Encouraging them to brush, use toothpaste correctly, and even introducing flossing at this age can jump-start their passion for a healthy mouth. Also at this time Dr. Spriggs or Dr. Dolin will perform an examination. We check for any signs of decay, go over diet and its influence on forming cavities, oral hygiene at home, and screening for any issues anticipated in the future such as bite, a missing tooth and ensuring spacing for baby teeth.

Why are "Baby" Teeth Important?

smiling kids | family dentistry durham ncPrimary teeth, commonly known as baby teeth, start to appear around six months old. Some children get them earlier, some later; there is no definite timeline. Primary teeth play an essential role: 

  • Hold space for permanent teeth – Without baby teeth to serve as a guide, permanent teeth can erupt in all kinds of directions. Keeping baby teeth healthy allows them to fall out at the proper time when the permanent tooth is ready to come in. Crowded permanent teeth could require orthodontics in the future.
  • Aid with speech development – Teeth serve as a guide to pronounce words correctly and to develop communication properly
  • Comfortable chewing and better nutrition – Healthy baby teeth allow your child to consume healthier foods to support a growing body as your child develops.
  • Communication and emotional connections – A healthy smile helps build high self-esteem and promote cognitive growth.

Adolescent and Teenagers

At this age, a lot of growth is taking place. This is the usual time to evaluate the need for orthodontics, more commonly known as braces. Screening for orthodontics at this age is a simple procedure. 

Using x-rays and clinical exam, we evaluate your child’s bite, how the lips and tongue are functioning with chewing and speaking and your natural smile. X-rays will be included for the exam to be completed, usually customized to each patient’s needs depending on the prevalence of cavities.

Many children are introduced to contact sports that could cause damage to their teeth. A great way to protect their teeth is with a customized mouth guard. We take impressions of your child’s teeth and send them to our lab where a customized guard is fabricated. Mouth guards not only help protect your child’s teeth, but many studies show they can also decrease the severity of concussions with contact sports.

Comprehensive Adult Treatment

As you continue to get older, each exam acts as a checkup to ensure your oral health is staying at an optimum level. A change in hygiene habits, diet, and introduction to new medications can significantly influence the health of your teeth and gums. Dr. Spriggs’ and Dr. Dolin’s core focus is prevention. With these routine exams, we can screen each smile and hopefully catch any issue before they become extensive and more complicated to treat.

Please Call to Arrange an Appointment

We look forward to welcoming you and your family to The Smile Shop. Follow the steps here on our website or give us a call to schedule your first appointment. We are here to answer any questions and hope to see you soon!