Dental Clinic

Prevent. Promote. Protect.

Dental Clinic

  • Hours—8:00-5:00 Monday-Thursday
  • Phone—828-632-9704 ext 481
Dental Clinic Staff

Our clinic is open for children birth through 18 years of age.
Insurance accepted: Medicaid, NC Health Choice or Self Pay (No dental insurance).

Self Pay will have a sliding fee scale based on income and number in household.
Payment is expected at time of service.

Teresa Walsh is available to translate on Thursdays for Spanish speaking patients.

Staff

Susan Bare - Front Desk, Hygienist

Susan received her Dental Hygiene degree from Catawba Valley Community College in 2007. She has worked in general dentistry and pediatrics before joining the Dental Clinic in January 2010. She loves working with people and has a passion for children. Susan resides in Taylorsville with her husband Michael and enjoys spending time with her family.

Kim James - Dental Assistant

Kim graduated from Alexander Central High School in 1986 and Wilkes Community College in 1987. She has worked in dentistry for 23 years and hands-down prefers pediatrics. She has worked at the Alexander County Health Department since May, 2009. Her job is so much fun, and every day the children bring so much joy to her life. She is married and has two children.

Diane Mastin - Dental Assistant

Diane graduated from Wilkes Community College in 2004 earning a degree from the dental assisting program. She has been in pediatrics since graduating and loves it. She is married and has two children and two grandchildren.

How Do I Care For My Child’s Teeth?

When do I first take my child to the dentist?

As soon as your child’s first teeth erupt, you should begin taking your child to the dentist. This allows you and your child to form a relationship with a dentist before problems arise. It teaches your child to be comfortable with a dentist and helps to form good oral health habits.

How can I avoid baby bottle cavities?

Once your baby's teeth begin to appear, you need to take extra care that these new teeth do not develop cavities. Babies can develop teeth cavities through "nursing bottle mouth," which is caused by extended nursing on milk, formula or juices, especially at bedtime or naptime. You should not use a feeding bottle as a pacifier. If you must give your baby a bottle at bedtime or naptime, make sure it contains plain water. You should not give a baby a pacifier that has been dipped in honey or sugar.

How do I care for my baby's gums?

Good dental health should begin at birth. After each feeding, gently wipe the baby's gums with a soft, clean and damp washcloth or gauze pad.

What should I know about teething?

The discomfort of teeth coming into the mouth can cause your baby to become irritable. You can ease some of the discomfort by lightly rubbing the baby's gums with a clean finger or a wet, soft cloth. A cool teething ring can also help to soothe your baby's tender gums.

When the first teeth appear, begin using a children's soft-bristle toothbrush to clean them on a daily basis. Give your baby regular oral cleanings after each meal to make dental health care a habit.

When will my baby's teeth come in?

Teeth begin forming in your baby even before birth.
Here is when you can expect to begin seeing them:

  • Central incisor (front two upper and bottom teeth): 6-12 months
  • Lateral incisor (the two teeth flanking the upper and bottom front two teeth): 9-16 months
  • Canines (pointy teeth in the upper jaw): 16-23 months
  • First molars (upper and bottom back teeth): 13-19 months
  • Second molars (upper and bottom back teeth): 22-33 months

All 20 primary teeth — also called baby teeth — are present in the jawbones at birth. The lower two front teeth are usually the first to erupt. This most often occurs somewhere around 6 months after birth. Do not be concerned if your baby is a little late. The numbers here are only an average. By age 3, all 20 primary teeth should be present.

What is the relationship between enamel, fluoride and good dental health?

Your child should visit a dental professional by age 1. You can make the first visit to the dental office enjoyable and positive. Before the visit, tell your child that someone will look at and clean his or her teeth. Allow the dentist and other members of the dental staff to introduce other dental health procedures. Your dental professional will examine your child's mouth for early signs of cavities or other dental health problems. He or she will also tell you many of the things you'll need to know about helping your child grow up free of cavities.

How do I take the fear out of the first dental visit?

The discomfort of teeth coming into the mouth can cause your baby to become irritable. You can ease some of the discomfort by lightly rubbing the baby's gums with a clean finger or a wet, soft cloth. A cool teething ring can also help to soothe your baby's tender gums.

What types of toothpaste do children like?

A good way to encourage your child's dental hygiene is by using a pleasantly flavored fluoride toothpaste. The taste and appearance of a toothpaste can make brushing a more enjoyable experience, so children are more likely to brush twice each day and brush for longer periods of time. Appropriate brushing can help prevent cavities, gum disease and other dental health issues. Children age 6 or less should brush twice a day using a small smear of toothpaste and a soft-bristle brush to remove plaque and provide fluoride protection. Before age 2, children should not use toothpaste that contains fluoride.

What role does nutrition play in healthy dental development?

Healthy eating habits lead to healthy teeth. Many snacks that children eat can lead to the formation of cavities. Try to limit your child's snacks. If your child must snack, choose nutritious foods such as vegetables, low-fat yogurt and low-fat cheese.

When should my child start flossing?

You should start flossing your child’s teeth as soon as two teeth touch each other. As they develop dexterity, you can help them learn to floss. To stress the importance, floss for them regularly until they're able to do it themselves. Use floss, like Glide®, that doesn't hurt their teeth and is comfortable on their gums. Reference: Crest.com

What Will Happen at My Child’s Dental Appointment?

At the first dental appointment, your child will receive dental x-rays, a cleaning with fluoride and an exam by the dentist. The staff will discuss oral hygiene with you and your child.
You will notice that the staff uses special terms to describe dental procedures to your children.
For example:

  • X-rays are pictures
  • Handpieces are toothbrushes
  • Anesthetics are “sleepy drops”
  • Cavities are “sugar bugs”
We ask that you refrain from discussing our procedures with your children beforehand, as we like to show them what we are going to do in terms that are not scary for your child.
What are Sealants?

The term dental sealant refers to a plastic resin that a dentist bonds into the grooves of the chewing surface of a tooth as a means of helping to prevent the formation of tooth decay.
Dr. Bridges’ tips for preventing cavities:

  • Brush your child’s teeth in the morning and in the evening right before going to bed. If your child brushes his/her teeth himself, make sure to check after them until they are 8 years old to be sure they have not missed spots.
  • Floss your child’s teeth at night until they can do it correctly themselves.
  • Do not let your child have anything to eat or drink after brushing their teeth at night EXCEPT for water.
  • Do not let your child drink sodas and dilute fruit juices with water. Sugary drinks cause many cavities in children!
  • Chewy foods such as gummies, candy and gum are major causes of cavities because they stick in the grooves of teeth and are difficult to clean.
  • Begin to take your child to the dentist when they begin to get their baby teeth.
  • Take your child to the dentist every 6 months even if they do not appear to have cavities.