Pediatric Dentistry

Why a Pediatric Dentist?

According to the American Academy of Pediatric Denitistry Pediatric dentistry is the specialty of dentistry that focuses on the oral health of young people. After completing a four-year dental school curriculum, two to three additional years of rigorous training are required to become a pediatric dentist. This specialized program of study and hands-on experience prepares pediatric dentists to meet the needs of infants, children and adolescents, including persons with special health care needs.

We are concerned about your child’s total health care. Good oral health is an important part of total health. Establishing us as your child’s Dental Home provides us the opportunity to implement preventive dental health habits that keep a child free from dental/oral disease. We focus on prevention, early detection and treatment of dental diseases, and keep current on the latest advances in dentistry for children.

Pleasant visits to the dental office promote the establishment of trust and confidence in your child that will last a lifetime. Our goal, along with our staff, is to help all children feel good about visiting the dentist and teach them how to care for their teeth. From our special office designs to our communication style, our main concern is what is best for your child.

Peds Menu

Your First Visit

In order to prevent dental problems, your child should see a pediatric dentist when the first tooth appears, or no later than his/her first birthday.

During your child’s visit, the dentist will:
1. Look at the child's face and jaws for signs of mal-alignment.
2. Try to look at any teeth that are through to make sure they are healthy.
3. Instruct the parent or guardian on fluoride, diet, brushing and general oral health tips.

Some first visit DO'S:
• Take time to play "dentist" with your child at home. Pretend that you’re counting teeth, then switch roles and let your child play "dentist”.
• Read your child a story about going to the dentist.
• Make the dental appointment for a time when your child is well-rested.
• Inform your dentist about any medical or psychological problems that your child may have.
• Openly discuss your questions and concerns.

Some first visit DONT’S:
• Don’t convey anxiety about the dental visit to your child.

For example, don't say "It's OK, the dentist won't HURT you" or "Don’t worry mommy will be watching". If you took your child to the movies you would not say “We are going to a movie but don’t worry it won’t hurt”. Same goes for a dental visit. Don’t carry your child into the room if they would normally walk into an arcade or a restaurant on their own. This may give the child the sense they need to be protected.

• Don’t worry if your child cries a little during the visit. A very young child may react that way but will be won over eventually.
• Don't use negative words like: hurt, pain, shot, needle, or drill around your child.

Peds Menu

Frequently Asked Questions

According to the American Academy of Pediatric Denitistry

What should I use to clean my baby's teeth?
A toothbrush will remove plaque bacteria that can lead to decay. Any soft-bristled toothbrush with a small head, preferably one designed specifically for infants, should be used at least once a day at bedtime.

Are baby teeth really that important to my child?
Primary, or "baby," teeth are important for many reasons. Not only do they help children speak clearly and chew naturally, they also aid in forming a path that permanent teeth can follow when they are ready to erupt.

What should I do if my child has a toothache?
First, rinse the irritated area with warm salt water and place a cold compress on the face if it is swollen. Give the child acetaminophen for any pain, rather than placing aspirin on the teeth or gums. Finally, see a dentist as soon as possible.

Are thumbsucking and pacifier habits harmful for a child's teeth?
Thumb and pacifier sucking habits will generally only become a problem if they go on for a very long period of time. Most children stop these habits on their own, but if they are still sucking their thumbs or fingers past the age of three, a mouth appliance may be recommended by your pediatric dentist.

How can I prevent decay caused by nursing?
Avoid nursing children to sleep or putting anything other than water in their bed-time bottle. Also, learn the proper way to brush and floss your child's teeth. Take your child to a pediatric dentist regularly to have his/her teeth and gums checked. The first dental visit should be scheduled by your child's first birthday.

How often does my child need to see the pediatric dentist?
A check-up every six months is recommended in order prevent cavities and other dental problems. However, your pediatric dentist can tell you when and how often your child should visit based on their personal oral health.

Toothpaste: when should we begin using it and how much should we use?
The sooner the better! Starting at birth, clean your child’s gums with a soft infant toothbrush or cloth and water. As soon as the teeth begin to appear, start brushing twice daily using fluoridated toothpaste and a soft, age-appropriate sized toothbrush. Use a "smear" of toothpaste to brush the teeth of a child less than 2 years of age. For the 2-5 year old, dispense a "pea-size" amount of toothpaste and perform or assist your child’s toothbrushing. Remember that young children do not have the ability to brush their teeth effectively.Children should spit out and not swallow excess toothpaste after brushing. How do I make my child's diet safe for his teeth? Make sure your child has a balanced diet, including one serving each 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 pediatric dentist to help you select foods that protect your children's teeth.

How do dental sealants work?
Sealants work by filling in the crevasses on the chewing surfaces of the teeth. This shuts out food particles that could get caught in the teeth, causing cavities. The application is fast and comfortable and can effectively protect teeth for many years.

What can I do to protect my child's teeth during sporting events?
Soft plastic mouthguards can be used to protect a child's teeth, lips, cheeks and gums from sport related injuries. A custom-fitted mouthguard developed by a pediatric dentist will protect your child from injuries to the teeth, face and even provide protection from severe injuries to the head.

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 the pediatric dentist.

How safe are dental X-rays?
There is very little risk in dental X-rays. Pediatric dentists are especially careful to limit the amount of radiation to which children are exposed. Lead aprons and high-speed film are used to ensure safety and minimize the amount of radiation.

How can parents help prevent tooth decay?
Parents should take their children to the dentist regularly, beginning with the eruption of the first tooth. Then, the dentist can recommend a specific program of brushing, flossing, and other treatments for parents to supervise and teach to their children. These home treatments, when added to regular dental visits and a balanced diet, will help give your child a lifetime of healthy habits.

Peds Menu

The Dentist

Dr. Jillian Reynolds is a Board Certified Pediatric Dentist returning to Virginia. She grew up in Harrisonburg, VA in the Shenandoah Valley and after high school graduation attended West Virginia University, in Morgantown, WV. She continued her education at Virginia Commonwealth University where she earned her DDS. Following VCU she moved to New York and completed the Pediatric Dentistry program at Lutheran Medical Center in Brooklyn, NY.

She is trained to provide comprehensive dentistry to the well child as well as children that are medically compromised, developmentally disabled, or victims of trauma. Treatment may be provided with the use of Nitrous Oxide sedation or General Anesthesia at the Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters to address all levels of dental anxiety and cooperation.

She is a member of the American Dental Association, American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, Virginia Dental Association and Tidewater Dental Association. She is excited to become involved in our community and looks forward to building a personal relationship with you in order to enable the best care for the children of Hampton Roads.

Dr. Scott Sachs is a Board Certified Pediatric Dentist of the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry and also excited to return to the Hampton Roads area. Born and raised in Virginia Beach, he graduated Kempsville High School, the University of Virginia, and Virginia Commonwealth University, from which he earned his DDS degree. After dental school, Dr. Sachs committed three more years to advanced training and specialization in New York City—completing a one-year general dentistry residency at St. Barnabas Hospital and then completing a two-year residency in pediatric dentistry at New York University, serving as a chief resident in his final year.

Dr. Sachs is trained to treat the following: all types of children, special-needs adults, those with disabilities, and trauma patients. In order to address all levels of cooperation or anxiety, treatment may take different forms: using nitrous oxide sedation in the dental office, or using general anesthesia at the Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters.

Dr. Sachs is proud of his membership with the American Dental Association, the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, and the Virginia Dental Association.

Peds Menu