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An important part of serving the families of Aroostook County is the age appropriate care and treatment of young children. At Academy Dental, we are committed to assisting you in ensuring that good oral health is a central part of your kids’ healthy start in life.

This healthy start begins at home. Academy Dental has a strong prevention program that can help parents train their children to develop effective oral hygiene habits. We provide state-of-the-art preventive chemotherapeutics, effective exams and monitoring of the primary and mixed dentition, compassionate hygiene and restorative services, nitrous oxide if needed, and the all important Prize Box.

In more difficult cases when the treatment is too complex or your child isn’t quite ready to cooperate, we can provide referrals to pediatric dentists—dentists that specialize in the treatment of children.

Did you know?
In too many areas of Maine, and like the rest of the nation, many of our kids suffer greatly from the ravages of dental disease. Children, especially from lower income families, have great difficulty in accessing basic dental care. This insidious epidemic is often silent and goes unnoticed. What we have measured is shocking:

  • Over 40% - 50% of children will be affected by tooth decay before age 5.
  • Of the 4 million children born each year, more than half will have cavities by the time they reach second grade.
  • While 9 million children in this nation do not have medical insurance, more than twice that number -- 23 million -- do not have dental insurance.
  • Oral health issues affect children in poverty and minorities far more than other groups.
  • According to the May 2000 Surgeon General's report, Oral Health in America, more than 51 million school hours are lost each year to dental-related conditions.

As Aroostook County continues to cope with a shortage of dentists, these issues become even more amplified. In light of these disturbing statistics, Academy Dental is proud to partner with our own Dr. Norma Desjardins as she sets out to establish the St. Apollonia Dental Clinic in Presque Isle. This clinic will seek to give our most vulnerable kids a dental home.

Preventing Tooth Decay
Four things are necessary for cavities to form: 1) a tooth; 2) an acid source (like bacteria or too much soda); 3) sugars; and 4) time. We can share with you how to make teeth strong, keep bacteria from organizing into harmful colonies, develop healthy eating habits, and understand the role that time plays. Remember dental decay is an infection of the tooth. Visiting us early can help avoid unnecessary cavities and dental treatment.

The dental community is continually doing research to develop new techniques for preventing dental decay and other forms of oral disease. Studies show that children with poor oral health have decreased school performance, poor social relationships and less success later in life. Children experiencing pain from decayed teeth are distracted and unable to concentrate on schoolwork.

Importance of Primary Teeth (Baby Teeth)
It is very important that primary teeth are kept in place until they are lost naturally. These teeth serve a number of critical functions. Primary teeth:

  • Maintain good nutrition by permitting your child to chew properly.
  • Are involved in speech development.
  • Help the permanent teeth by saving space for them. A healthy smile can help children feel good about the way they look to others.

Infants and Children
Getting an early start in regular dental care is an important step on the road to teaching your child healthy lifetime habits. We want to share with you the latest available methods for keeping your child healthy and safe.

The first dental visit should occur shortly after the first tooth erupts and no later than the child’s first birthday. Beginning tooth and mouth examinations early may lead to detection of early stages of tooth decay that can be easily treated. At the first visit we will present:

  • A program of preventive home care including brushing, flossing, diet and the importance of fluorides.
  • Information about Early Childhood Caries, which may be due to diet, inappropriate nursing habits or excessive use of sippy cups.
  • The latest facts about finger, thumb, and pacifier habits.
  • What you need to know about preventing injuries to the mouth and teeth.
  • Information on growth and development.

Adolescents have special needs. Appearance and self-image are very important to them. Decayed or poorly positioned teeth or jaws might make them more self-conscious. Teens also eat frequently, and unhealthy snack foods tend to become a major part of their regular diet. We provide a professional, sensitive and caring approach to restoring and guiding teeth, and teaching preventive dental health care through the teen’s high school years. When necessary, we will provide information on sealants, oral piercing, wisdom teeth, missing teeth, and tobacco use.

Frequently Asked Questions

When should my child first see a dentist?
"First visit by first birthday" sums it up. Your child should visit a dentist when the first tooth comes in, usually between 6 and 12 months of age. This visit will establish a dental home for your child. Early examination and preventive care will protect your child’s smile now and in the future.

Toothpaste: when should we begin using it and how much should we use?
As with adult teeth and gums, your baby’s teeth and gums should be cleaned. To familiarize your baby with this, wipe his or her gums with a moist, soft cloth or piece of gauze after every meal. As soon as the first tooth comes into place, start brushing with a soft-bristle toothbrush designed for babies. Use water rather than a fluoride toothpaste for children younger than 2 years, unless a health care professional recommends fluoride. Once the child is able to spit, he or she may be ready to brush his or her own teeth by using a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste while you supervise. Have the child spit out the toothpaste.

How do I make my child's diet safe for his teeth?
Make sure your child has a balanced and varied diet, including servings of: fruits and vegetables, breads and cereals, milk and dairy products, and meat, fish, and eggs. Limiting the servings of sugars and starches will also aid in protecting your child's teeth from decay. You can also ask your dentist to help you select foods that protect your children's teeth.

What should I do if my child falls and knocks out a permanent tooth?
The most important thing to do is to remain calm. Then find the tooth. Hold it by the crown rather than the root and try to reinsert it in the socket. If that is not possible, put the tooth in a glass of milk and take your child and the glass immediately to your dentist.


Additional Resources

American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry

Baby bottle tooth decay

Baby teeth

Dental care for your baby

Parent education brochures

Quick tips for busy parents

A speech pathologist looks at sucking habits



Tooth eruption charts

Your child's growing smile

Wisdom Teeth