4207 N Prospect, Peoria Heights, IL 61616   309-685-4444

child's first visitFirst Visit

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends your child should see a pediatric dentist around the time of his or her first birthday.

During your child’s first visit, we will evaluate the development of your child’s mouth, review how to care for these new teeth, and help stop or prevent any harmful habits. Providing education and teaching prevention can lead to a lifetime of great dental health.

Our goal is to make this first visit enjoyable for both the child and the parent. Our staff is trained to treat children of all ages and will work to make everyone comfortable. If your child should have decay or other issues needing treatment, this would typically be scheduled at a follow up appointment.

dr jamie in office


Cleanings are done twice a year for our patients at Growing Smiles Pediatric Dentistry. Cleanings help prevent gum disease and allow for the removal of plaque and calculus that can lead to poor oral health. During these appointments, we will also apply a fluoride treatment and take dental radiographs when needed. This appointment concludes with a comprehensive exam by Dr. Jamie to assess any possible issues since the patient’s previous visit.

Dental Radiographs

Dental x-rays allow Dr. Jamie to examine how adult teeth are forming in the jaw, detect problems, diagnose disease, evaluate the extent of injuries, and plan treatment for each child. Every child we see is different, and the need for certain digital x-rays will vary from child to child. Our office uses only digital radiography equipment, which further minimizes radiation exposure even lower than the recommended levels.


Dental sealants protect teeth by reducing their risk of developing cavities in the deep grooves of the molars. These sealants are made of a thin plastic material applied to the chewing surfaces of your child’s teeth which lead to a smoother surface which is easier for a child to keep clean. 


Fluoride applications after your child’s cleanings can help decrease their risk of developing tooth decay. For children with an increased risk of decay or who are undergoing orthodontic therapy, prescription strength fluoride toothpaste may be prescribed for everyday use at home. Fluoride supplements also are effective in reducing prevalence of dental caries and should be considered for children at high caries risk who drink fluoride-deficient (<0.6pmm F) water.


Stopping decay early is our goal! Filling cavities in baby teeth will prevent the spread of infection, keep a healthy environment for the future adult teeth, and ensure no potential pain that can happen if the decay worsens. Toothaches in children can lead to distraction in school and many sleepless nights. Catching decay early on is important, as primary (baby) teeth can have disease spread rapidly to other areas of the mouth. Depending on the tooth, size of cavity, and location in the mouth, the filling may be a white (composite) or silver filling. Composite fillings allow for the least amount of tooth preparation and bond extremely well with the natural tooth enamel. The shade of filling is selected to match your child’s tooth enamel so that the filling appears as if it were part of the natural tooth.

Nerve Therapy

In some situations the decay in a tooth can extend into the nerve, therefore requiring nerve treatment. In an adult tooth, this treatment would be a root canal, but in baby teeth it is a simpler version of a root canal called a pulpotomy (“baby root canal”). The pulpotomy involves removing the nerve of the crown of the tooth and then placing a sedative medication inside the tooth. Then the tooth will be covered with a stainless steel crown to prevent fracture or any bacterial contamination.

If the decay in a baby tooth has progressed to the point that a dental abscess (a “bubble” in the gums) has formed, then Dr. Jamie will likely need to extract the tooth. If left untreated, this could lead to a spread of the infection to other areas of the body and possibly become life-threatening.


Crowns cover the entire surface of the tooth above the gums and are used for large areas of decay or following nerve therapy. This allows for the tooth to be protected and allow for a normal eruption pattern of the future adult teeth. Dr. Jamie places stainless steel crowns on baby molars and resin tooth colored crowns on teeth in the front of the mouth.

Nitrous Oxide

Nitrous oxide, also known as “Laughing Gas”, is available during all of our restorative treatment procedures. Nitrous oxide helps most children feel more relaxed during their dental visit. The gas is inhaled through a nose mask, works very quickly, and then reverses just as quickly once the mask is removed. 

General Anesthesia

Some children need dental care in a more controlled environment either due to a young age, special needs, or other special circumstance that does not allow for the cooperation needed for treatment. Dr. Jamie is on the surgical staff at Peoria’s OSF Saint Francis Medical Center. At this facility, your child would be sedated by an anesthesiologist and monitored at all times, while Dr. Jamie completes their needed dental work. If general anesthesia is recommended or considered for your child, we will set up a consultation appointment to inform you of the process, the risks and benefits of general anesthesia, the alternatives, and answer any of your questions.

Thumb Sucking Appliances

Thumb sucking is a very difficult habit for some children to give up. As the child ages, and if the habit starts to affect the developing dentition, Dr. Jamie can provide an appliance that would discourage oral habits and make it easier to stop.

Space Maintenance

Baby teeth are very important to your child’s present and future dental health. They save the space for the permanent teeth and guide them into position. When a tooth is lost prematurely, the surrounding baby teeth will begin to shift and can close the space. This could cause the permanent tooth to become impacted and lead to a number of orthodontic needs. If a tooth is lost before it should be, a small appliance called a space maintainer can be put in its place. Space maintainers are appliances that are custom fit to your child’s mouth. The spacer remains seated until the adult tooth is near eruption and then is removed by Dr. Jamie.

Emergency Care

Contact our office as soon as possible. Our team is available and ready to help you in the event of your child experiencing a dental emergency. After hours our patients can reach us on an emergency line which will be available on our answering machine, where Dr. Jamie will provide a consultation over the phone and meet you at the office if it is necessary.


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  • Jun 13, 2020 | 10:38 am

    Photos from Growing Smiles Pediatric Dentistry's post Just before the stay at home order Dr. Jamie’s own three year old visited the office for her first official cleaning...she did great!Remember it is strongly recommended to establish your child’s dental home by the age of one!We love these infant exams to help guide parents and then typically start dental cleanings at age three!#growingsmilesfamily #shoesonthewrongfeet

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