Advanced Pediatric Technology: Why Settle for Less?

When it comes to dental work for your kids, you may cringe at the thought of having them go through this invasive experience. Advances in technology, pediatric dental service and a family-centered care approach have made these experiences less traumatic for everyone involved.

I am happy to introduce a Dr. Randy Pagenkopf from Smiles By Randy, who is using a new type of technology to help their patients with dental procedures.


When dealing with your child’s dental visits, it can be a stressful time for both you and your little one, even more so for those children with special needs. But, it doesn’t have to be. Finding a pediatric dentist who specializes in advanced pediatric technology is the key to your child’s successful and exciting dental experience.

A pediatric dentist has taken their education to another level, one that specializes in the specific needs of children, so you don’t have to settle for anything less than amazing when it comes to their dental health!

No More Pain? No Problem!

What exactly is advanced pediatric technology? Those three little words hold a lot of weight when it comes to a tear and pain free dental procedure. As adults, we know all about those kinds of visits. Many people don’t fully realize the advances made in our dental field and just accept that their child may experience some form of mild pain when having a procedure done. With advanced pediatric technology, such as Waterlase, that’s no longer the case. No shots. Not drills. No fear. Simple as that.

Dental restorations using Waterlase technology means precision filling and doing away with scary drills and painful numbing shots. What kid wouldn’t be happy about that? I’m wondering if my adult dentist can measure up?


Also, Waterlase technology lessens the need for anesthetics, which is a scary thought in itself. But the benefits don’t stop there. How many new moms have felt and endured the pain of their newborn baby having a frenum attachment abnormality? It is stressful to both you, and your baby. With Waterlase, your child’s frenectomy doesn’t involve tissue trauma, like older methods did. The procedure takes 3-5 minutes and their healing time has been cut in half. What’s even better? Your child is able to eat as normal right after the frenectomy is complete.

When You Know Better, You Do Better, Right?

We always want better for our kids then what we had, so taking your child, especially those with special needs, to the dentist should be an experience that develops happy memories and a sense of security.

A pediatric dentist can help eliminate your child’s fear and anxiety of scary drills and painful shots by developing a lasting relationship that specializes in their needs.

~ Dr. Randy Pagenkopf

To learn more about Waterlase and Dr. Randy Pagenkopf check out Smiles By Randy. Follow on Facebook and Google+

They are located at:

757A Long Point Rd

Mt. Pleasant, SC 29464


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Is Thumb Sucking Harmful to my Baby’s Teeth?

Little baby soothing her itchy gums by putting her thumb and hand in her mouth

Today I am excited to feature a guest blog post from Dr. Nanna Ariaban from Polkadot Pediatric Dentistry. She has a wonderful topic that many of us can relate to when parenting little ones. Thumb sucking, or in my son’s case pacifier addiction, is a topic that we often discuss with other parents but could benefit from additional professional advice.

Is Thumb Sucking Harmful to my Baby’s Teeth?

Should I be concerned that my baby’s teeth will be affected by thumb-sucking?

While it is perfectly normal for babies to suck their thumbs, it could become problematic as he or she begins to develop permanent teeth, and could lead to dental and jaw alignment problems. Should you be concerned about this early on, or at what point should you be concerned about trying to stop your baby from sucking its thumb?

Thumb sucking occurs in approximately eighty percent of infants and children. In fact, babies will generally begin to suck their thumbs while in the womb. After they are borne, they will suckle their fists, fingers, binky’s, passies, and toys. They do this for a number of reasons:

  • Emotional comfort
  • Teething
  • Security
  • Natural tendency
  • Habit

Child and infant thumb sucking can offer comfort to your child, and most children will eventually outgrow this on their own as they get older. But in some cases, some children will have difficulty letting go because it has become much like a security blanket to them. “If they don’t outgrow the habit on their own, certain problems can begin develop such as malocclusion (abnormal tooth alignment), and upper and lower jaw development can be compromised, as well,” says Dr. Nanna Ariaban of Polkadot Pediatric Dentistry. Children can also develop an overbite or buck teeth due to thumb sucking teeth damage when their teeth are being constantly pushed out while the thumb is in their mouth; especially in the case of aggressive thumb sucking as they begin to grow their permanent teeth.

Your child can also develop speech problems and find it difficult to articulate certain words because his or her teeth or jaws are not aligning properly, and this will ultimately lead to permanent damage if not corrected in time. If your child is exhibiting this type behavior, it’s best to speak with a pediatric dentist. A pediatric dentist can give you the kind of advice you need when it comes to asking questions about an anti-thumb sucking device or other ways to stop baby from sucking its thumb. If your child has also gotten into the habit of nail biting, the dentist can offer advice to how to stop this habit from becoming permanent, as well.

There are measures parents can take to help children to break the habit such as thumb sucking guards, putting gloves or socks on the child’s hands at night, purchasing a leather thumb guard, or a washable rubber thumb guard. Thumb guards for children can be found at your babies dentist office or online on the Internet, but for safety reasons, it’s always best to check with a knowledgeable dentist just to be on the safe side and to check which method is more age-appropriate for your particular case.

Overall, there is really not much need to worry about your child sucking his or her thumb while they are infants and into early childhood, as they will eventually outgrow the habit on their own. Although damage to proper jaw growth and alignment begins throughout their early development years, once they reach the stage of losing their primary teeth, and their permanent teeth begin to come in, if they are still in the habit of sucking their thumb, they are at greater risk for endangering their permanent teeth.


Dr. Nanna Ariaban of Polkadot Pediatric Dentistry is a board certified pediatric dentist in Alpharetta Ga, who serves children in other nearby cities including Johns Creeks and Roswell. To learn more Polkadot Pediatric Dentistry or Dr. Nanna Ariaban visit website or call (678) 389-6669.


Dr. Nanna Ariaban is a Board Certified Children’s Dentist in Alpharetta, Georgia. Her busy pediatric practice consists of providing dental health care to infants, adolescents, teens, and to children of special needs. Dr. Nanna (as called by her patients) has additional training in administering oral sedation to patients in her office, and also provides extensive dental treatment at hospital facilities.

She is a graduate from the following Universities: University of Maryland: Bachelor of Science Degree in Neurobiology and Physiology; University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine: Doctorate of Dental Medicine; and she attended the University of Illinois-Chicago to become a Board-Certified Pediatric Dentist. Dr. Nanna is a member of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, Georgia Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, the Southeastern Society of Pediatric Dentistry, and the American Dental Association.

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Using Play to Prepare for a Dental Checkup


The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that a child’s first dental checkup be when they get their first tooth or by the age of one. Yes, this may seem ridiculous to some parents and they question how on earth would a dentist clean my baby’s four teeth? But they do.

It is recommended for a couple of reasons. One to examine the gums, teeth and evaluate the child’s growth. The second is to help instill healthy habits to both the child and parents. The third is to help the child become familiar with dental examinations.

I agree with the recommendations and believe in prevention of decay versus having my child suffer through a filling. Both my husband and I don’t have the best history with our teeth and want to do everything in our power to make sure our kid’s smiles stay healthy and strong.

I let my son play dentist at home to become familiar with the dental tools, gain a sense of control and have a better understanding of what to expect during his checkup. It’s just like medical play.Rex2

Tools that can be used:

  • Doll/stuffed animal with teeth
  • Gloves
  • Tooth Paste
  • Mask
  • Electric Toothbrush (if you have one)
  • Floss
  • Paper Towel and Paper Clip
  • Q-Tips
  • Dixie Cup


Personally, I had a really challenging time as a child going to the dentist. I was traumatized so often that I carried those feelings of anxiety with me into adulthood. I have learned ways to cope and have been much better, not having panic attacks and crying in a dentist’s chair. Oh, yeah I cried, many times.

My husband and I have found a wonderful pediatric dentist that is just amazing. I think that it is really important to bring your child to a pediatric dentist versus a dentist that primarily works on adults. I wouldn’t have my kids go to my physician, so why would I have them go to my dentist?

There are also games and activities that kid’s can play online. Colgate offers a great site for kids ages 2-9 years.

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