Get to Know our Pediatric Dental Department
Howard Brown Health Dental is a safe and family-friendly place for all your oral health needs. Read our interview with one of our dentists, Dr. Daniel Au about the wonderful and colorful pediatric dental suite and the services we offer for children’s oral health.
Are in-person dental services safe for children and families right now?
Dr. Au: We have spent two years building and planning for this clinic, including having negative pressure air filtration for bacterial and viral pathogens, personal protective equipment (PPE), disposable gowns, and careful cleaning of each instrument. I know that the dental clinic is absolutely safe for everyone.
What should parents and guardians know about their children’s dental health?
Dr. Au: The biggest takeaway that I would want parents and guardians to know is that their children are worthy of good dental care – and it’s available at Howard Brown. The number of people seeking dental care decreased in Illinois in 2020 due to the pandemic, but regardless, people are still vulnerable to tooth decay, especially children. Howard Brown Health Dental provides quality care in a safe environment. Dental care is medical care. An infected tooth can affect eating, speech, and your overall quality of life.
We coordinate medical care and dental care. It’s really important to reinforce a patient’s medical care if they don’t have a primary care provider. We help patients establish a medical care provider when they have dental work done. We make it a collaborative process. It’s our job to educate about total care and help make it happen.
Are children ever afraid of you, especially in full PPE?
Dr. Au: We typically meet children in the waiting room and have a conversation to make sure they’re comfortable in this environment first. I also have stuffed animals to help demonstrate proper brushing. It’s important to establish basic communication from the outset so children are comfortable before any procedure.
We also have a wonderful relationship with the College of Dentistry where we make sure that family relationships are established. Treatment plans are comprehensive so that the kids are safe and are provided nutritional and dental education. This sets us apart from other dental clinics because we have a holistic approach.
What are the best foods or worst foods to eat for dental health?
Dr. Au: Children should eat foods according to government and nutritional counseling – I recommend that children avoid sugary drinks and processed sugars and eat whole grains and greens. During our visit, we ask about diet history and how they eat. We recommend patients have three meals with minimal snacking throughout the day. Dental health is much like physical health, working out and having a rest day is similar to how saliva works for rebuilding teeth. In between meals, saliva works to rebuild tooth structure and slow down decay.
What is it like to work with children?
Dr. Au: I enjoy working with children, especially in Englewood. I’ve come full circle! I used to work with Englewood schools for dental care. When I work with children, they have an inquisitive nature and eagerness that I don’t experience with adults. They’re so excited about gadgets and instruments. That helps them actively engage in oral health.
We’re also fortunate to have a full pediatric staff, including a patient navigator for children, and a pediatric assistant to take care of pediatric patients. Our fully staffed team is ready to make patients comfortable and welcome them in their new dental home.
Howard Brown Health Dental at 63rd St. is your comprehensive dental center in Chicago. Our dental suite provides full service dental care with the community’s needs in mind.
Call 773.388.1600 to schedule a pediatric dental appointment today.