Pediatric Dentistry

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Healthy Smiles for Life

We specialize in the dental treatment of infants, children, teens and children with special needs. Our mission is to promote the best oral health with an emphasis on prevention. We strive to provide excellent dental care in a fun and child-friendly environment so that our patients feel comfortable and at ease. Our aim is to cultivate a positive attitude towards dentistry that will last a lifetime!

A Child’s First Dental Visit

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends Children should visit the dentist by their first birthday. It is important that your child’s newly-erupted teeth (erupting at six-12 months of age) receive proper dental care and benefit from proper oral hygiene habits right from the beginning.

What is a Pediatric Dentist?

The Pediatric Dentist is a specialist who is dedicated to serving the dental needs of children from infancy through the teen-age years. The very young, pre-teens, and teenagers all need different approaches in dealing with their behavior, guiding their dental growth and development, and helping them avoid future dental problems. The Pediatric Dentist is best qualified to meet those needs.

Because of their specialized training and commitment to comprehensive oral health, many parents wisely choose a pediatric dentist to treat their children. Some of the benefits of choosing a pediatric dentist include:

  • Pediatric Dentists have had special training, which allows them to provide the most up-to-date and thorough treatment for a wide variety of children’s dental problems.
  • They are trained and qualified to treat special patients, who may have emotional, physical, or mental handicaps.
  • Pediatric Dentists also offer sedation, as a means to make treatment more comfortable for the young, apprehensive, or special needs patient.

Cultivating Healthy Oral Hygiene Habits

As new teeth erupt, examine them every two weeks for lines and discoloration caused by decay. Remember that sugary foods and liquids can attack a new tooth, so take care that your child brushes their teeth after feeding or eating. We recommend brushing four times a day for optimal oral hygiene: after breakfast, after lunch, after dinner, and at bedtime. Brushing can be fun, and your child should brush as soon as the first tooth arrives. When a baby’s tooth erupts, parents should brush the tooth with a soft-bristled toothbrush and a pea-sized amount of toothpaste. For children younger than two, do not use fluoride toothpaste unless advised to do so by your dentist or other health professional. We suggest reviewing proper tooth brushing procedures with your child.

Flossing is also a part of good oral hygiene habits, and your doctor will discuss with you the right time to start flossing. If you notice signs of decay, contact your dentist immediately.

Resources for Parents

Preventing Tooth Decay & Cavities

Tooth decay is preventable. Tooth decay is caused by sugars left in your mouth that turn into an acid which can break down your teeth. Children are at high risk for tooth decay for a simple reason — many children and adolescents tend to be lax in their oral hygiene habits. Proper brushing and flossing routines combined with regular dental visits help keep tooth decay away. A low-sugar diet also helps keep tooth decay at bay.

Your child should visit the dentist every six months for regular dental cleanings and checkups. We recommend fluoride treatments twice a year along with cleanings to keep teeth their strongest. Tooth sealants are also recommended because they “seal” the deep grooves in your child’s teeth, preventing decay from forming in these hard-to-reach areas. Sealants last for several years, but will be monitored at your regular checkups.

early childhood dental visits

Early Childhood Dental Intervention and Why It’s Important

The American Dental Association recommends you make an appointment as soon as their first tooth comes through but no later than age 1.

Starting early is the best way to give kids a roadmap towards overall dental health. Early childhood dental intervention is crucial to recognizing potential problems and, more importantly, for teaching children how to care for their teeth and gums for a lifetime.

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Meet our Pediatric Dentists 

All of our Pediatric Dentists have received advanced training with the American Heart Association/American Academy of Pediatrics and are all a Pediatric Advanced Life Support Provider. 

Graduating with honors from the University of Richmond, Dr. Gokli has continued to make significant achievements in her field. She is Board Certified by the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry and served as President of both the Virginia Society of Pediatric Dentistry and the Virginia Board of Dentistry. Dr. Gokli teaches as MCV/VCU and is a Board Member of Children’s Hospital.

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Dr. Steven Lubbe earned his Bachelor of Science at Centre College in Danville, Kentucky. He continued his education at the University of Kentucky College of Dentistry where he graduated with high distinction. He also received his Certificate in Pediatric Dentistry at the University of Kentucky College of Dentistry.

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Dr. David Keeton earned his dental degree at the University of Kentucky, and fulfilled his pediatric dental residency at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. He is Board Certified by the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry and has hospital privileges at Children’s Hospital of Richmond. He is also active in several local and national dental associations.

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