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Jerger Pediatric Dentistry
Where Beautiful Smiles Begin

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How can we help you?

Dr. Bret and our team have many years of experience in offering professional and friendly pediatric dental care to children of all ages. We know that parents often have many questions regarding their child’s dental care, and our goal is to make sure that your family feels comfortable and informed about any decision that you need to make. We want you to know that we are always available to answer any questions or address any concerns that you may have about your child’s teeth and mouth.

Please let us know if you have any concerns. There are no silly questions, and we want you to feel comfortable coming to us with even the smallest of worries. We know that welcoming our pediatric dental practice into your family is a big decision, and we want you to feel secure in knowing that you have chosen the right pediatric dentist for your child. 


young girl smiling brightly with toothbrush I children's dentistry decatur il It is essential to understand the role that sugar plays in the process of causing tooth decay. It's not sugar itself that causes cavities, but it has more to with the reaction that sugar causes. It is the food or fuel for the bacteria that gather in the biofilm on your teeth called plaque. The bacteria consume the sugar and produce acid as a byproduct, which eats away at your teeth causing enamel erosion and tooth decay. 

Building Great Oral Care for a Lifetime

Teaching your child about the dangers of consuming sugars early on will help them develop good habits they can take into the future. Limit their consumption of sugary beverages, including fruit juices, which are high in acids and loaded with sugar. Encourage them into the habit of drinking water at a young age, which will protect their teeth and keep them hydrated. 

Also promote fruits and vegetables for their snacks, which neutralize the acids in their mouth that cause tooth decay and increases saliva flow, which also helps protect their teeth by washing away food debris. 

Children's Dentistry in Decatur, IL

If you have questions about your child's oral health or nutrition, or perhaps you're looking for Decatur, IL pediatric dentistry your family can rely on, please call Dr. Bret Jerger for more information.

Behavior Guidance

There may be many reasons you're looking for a special needs dentist in Decatur, IL, and fear or anxiety is no exception. Dr. Jerger and our dental team love children, and we make it our goal to help every child feel safe and welcome when they visit our pediatric dental office.Two children smiling l Kid's Dentist Decatur IL

Our team uses a tell, show, do approach when we are helping children acclimate to our dental office. This means we tell and explain what we are going to do, and we show them the instruments we need to accomplish the procedure. Then we do the procedure; however, we never move forward with any treatment until your son or daughter feels completely comfortable.

There are also a lot of things you can do at home to help your little one feel comfortable and excited about visiting their Decatur, IL dentist. Talk positively about the dentist, even if you feel anxiety about your own dental visits. Read stories or color pictures about the dentist and talk about what your son or daughter will be doing during their appointment to prepare them.

Contact Our Decatur, IL Dental Office

If you're looking for an excellent "kids dentist near me," look no further than Jerger Pediatric Dentistry. Our practice has been taking great care of children in our community for over 50 years!


Children's Orthodontics

Starting as soon as their first baby tooth appears, Dr. Jerger and his team will begin to monitor your child’s oral development and watch for signs that they may need braces. At this early stage, our priority is to keep baby teeth healthy and intact until they’re ready to fall out on their own.

When will my child lose their baby teeth?

If your child loses a baby tooth too soon because of tooth decay, there may not be enough room for permanent teeth to erupt correctly. The early loss of a baby tooth can cause permanent teeth to come in crooked or at odd angles that will eventually require braces to correct.

Around age six, most children get their first molar. The positioning of this tooth tells Dr. Jerger a lot about how other permanent teeth will erupt. That is why we recommend an evaluation for children’s orthodontics in Decatur around age seven. Even if your child doesn’t need braces at this age, we can take steps to make sure there’s enough space in their jaw for permanent teeth to erupt correctly.

Book an appointment at Jerger Pediatric Dentistry in Decatur, IL

If we find that your child does need braces, you can trust Dr. Jerger and his team to guide you and explain everything you need to know about the process. Please call Jerger Pediatric Dentistry today, and we’ll be happy to arrange an appointment to meet with you and your child.

If your child needs orthodontic treatment, they can receive it right here at our Decatur, IL pediatric dentistry office!

We believe it is easier to receive all of your dental and orthodontic treatment under one convenient roof, which is why Dr. Bret works hard to provide our patients with choices to fit everyone’s budget and needs.

A Treatment for Every Smile

We offer both traditional braces as well as an Invisalign treatment program designed specifically for teens. We are also able to place orthodontic appliances such as spacers to help prepare your child or teen’s mouth to receive braces.

Traditional braces and Invisalign are often recognized only for the beautiful, straight smiles they help create. While cosmetic appearance is a huge benefit of orthodontia, there are actually many health benefits to straightening your child’s smile. Overcrowded mouths full of misaligned and crooked teeth are very hard to clean thoroughly, which leaves the teeth vulnerable to decay and even infection over time. Orthodontic treatments solve two problems at once, improving both the appearance and health of your child’s mouth.

Personalized Orthodontic Care

Whatever your child’s orthodontic needs are, we can help! If you would like to discuss your treatment options further, our Decatur, IL pediatric dentist Dr. Bret would be happy to speak with you! Call us at Jerger Pediatric Dentistry to get started.

Dental Emergencies

Yes! If your child has experienced a dental emergency, they should be seen right away. Call our Decatur, IL pediatric dental office immediately — we can often fit you in that very same day.

If you are unsure whether or not your child’s injury is considered an emergency, you can also call us to learn more. Our knowledgeable office staff will help you determine if the injury is serious enough to be emergent.

Common pediatric dental emergencies include:

  • Heavy bleeding after trauma to the mouth
  • Heavy bleeding after losing a tooth naturally
  • A tooth that has been knocked out
  • A cracked or fractured tooth that is accompanied by pain
  • Severe swelling or inflammation

Conditions such as teething, mildly chipped teeth, cavities, or minor toothaches are not considered to be pediatric dental emergencies. If your child is complaining of any of these symptoms, our staff will schedule our next-available appointment for you to be seen during regular business hours.  

Don’t Hesitate to Call

Our pediatric dental office has an emergency line available 24/7. If you need to reach us after our regular business hours, simply call us at (217) 875-3080 and follow the instructions listed in our voicemail. Dr. Bret will then be in touch to schedule your emergency dental appointment!

Early Childhood Dental Care

As your child grows, their oral health needs are always changing. Obviously, a toddler with baby teeth will have different needs than a six-year-old whose permanent teeth are already erupting.

Dentistry for Your Child’s Changing Needs

At Jerger Pediatric Dentistry in Decatur, IL, we’re here for your child as they grow. Some of the dental procedures we will recommend for children are:

  • Preventive teeth cleanings – As soon as your little one starts getting teeth, they need professional dental cleanings. We’ll make sure their teeth are healthy and free of decay and gum disease.
  • Digital x-rays – The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that children with a high risk for cavities get x-rays every six months. Kids with a low risk require less frequent x-rays.
  • Tooth-colored fillings – Cavities need to be filled as soon as possible, even in baby teeth. We use tooth-colored fillings on teeth that are obvious when your child smiles.
  • Stainless steel crowns – Severely damaged baby teeth may need more protection than a dental filling provides.
  • Fluoride treatments and sealants – Both help to keep your child’s teeth strong and healthy and help prevent cavities.

Arrange a Dental Appointment for Your Child at Jerger Pediatric Dentistry

These routine dental appointments are meant to help your child avoid the discomfort of oral health problems in the future. Early treatment can also help you save money on dental bills for your family. If you would like to arrange an appointment with a pediatric dentist in Decatur, please call our dental office, and we’ll be happy to assist you.

Growth and Development

Believe it or not, your child's excellent oral health begins before their first tooth even arrives!Baby with toothbrush l Dentist Decatur IL

Your Decatur pediatric dentist recommends wiping your son or daughter's gums with a warm washcloth after feedings to help remove any bacteria that is left in their mouth. This also helps them get accustomed to oral care. Once their first tooth arrives, it's time to start brushing with a small, soft-bristled brush.

You'll also want to schedule their first visit with their dentist by the time they turn one year old. Your Decatur dentist will want to see them for checkups (and eventually teeth cleanings) every six months after their first visit.

As they get older, you can begin to incorporate toothpaste with fluoride in it, ensuring they can spit it out after brushing. Parents will need to assist their children with brushing and flossing techniques until around the ages of seven to eight years old.

Contact Jerger Pediatric Dentistry

Are you looking for an excellent pediatric dentist in the 62526 area? Our dental practice has been taking care of little ones in our community for over 50 years. Contact Jerger Pediatric Dentistry today at (217) 875-3080 to schedule your son or daughter's next dental visit. We would love to welcome them into our dental family!


Hospital Sedation

young girl with glasses smiling brightly with braces I jerger pediatric dentistryAs a parent, the idea of your child feeling afraid can fill you with a sense of dread. Your attitude plays a significant role in your child feeling comfortable at the dentist. Even if you have a fear of the dentist, it is always a good idea to maintain a positive and even celebratory attitude about your child’s first visit. For a children's dentist in Decatur, IL, who will make dental visits easy and engaging for your little one, we invite you to contact Jerger Pediatric Dentistry to book an appointment.

For children who have anxiety or difficulty sitting still, nitrous oxide is often a safe and reliable way to induce a sense of calm in your little one. Most kids respond well to nitrous oxide, and since it has no long-lasting effects, you can count on your child being back to their regular antics in no time.

We Treat All Children!

For children with disabilities or behavioral challenges, we do work with a local hospital for sedation options. This is especially convenient for children facing extensive treatment such as many fillings or extractions.

We want your child to feel safe and cared for while they are with us. Let's talk about your child’s unique needs when you give us a call.

Laser Frenectomies

It can become very frustrating when your baby isn't able to nurse or finish their meals from their bottle, and you need a solution fast!

A lingual frenulum (the piece of skin found under the tongue) that is too tight or thick can keep your baby from being able to nurse or drink from a bottle properly. We refer to this condition as "tongue-tied," and it can be detrimental to their health and development.  

How Does a Laser Frenectomy Work?

Decatur pediatric dentist, Dr. Bret Jerger, uses a dental laser to help reduce the frenulum so your child can move their tongue freely and can more easily get the nourishment they need for healthy development. Using the dental laser makes the procedure more comfortable and streamlined for children as it is quicker, causes less discomfort, and offers an easier healing process than surgery.

If your child is having difficulty latching on when they nurse, they might benefit from a laser frenectomy Mt. Zion, IL. Dr. Jerger would be happy to perform an examination and discuss your concerns with you to determine if this procedure might help your son or daughter. 

Contact Jerger Pediatric Dentistry

Contact Jerger Pediatric Dentistry today to schedule an appointment or to speak with your Decatur, IL dentist.

Preventive Care

Yes, every child who participates in sports activities—particularly contact sports like football, basketball, and soccer—should wear a mouthguard to protect their teeth. Parents are often surprised to learn that as much as 40 percent of all dental injuries are sports-related. 

Customized Mouthguards in Decatur, IL

As your child’s Decatur, IL dentist, Dr. Bret Jerger customizes sports mouthguards that offer the ultimate protection for their teeth and mouths.  

Many schools and teams mandate wearing mouthguards, but even so, statistics show that only about two-thirds of athletes wear protective mouth gear. The lack of compliance is partially because generic mouthguards of the “boil and bite” variety don’t fit very well and may be so uncomfortable that your child won't wear it without your supervision.

As part of your son or daughter’s preventive dental care at our Decatur, IL practice, we customize mouthguards that are comfortable because we design them for your child’s unique smile. For this reason, kids are much more likely to follow through with wearing them when parents aren’t around to supervise them.

Contact Jerger Pediatric Dentistry

If your child participates in sports, they require protection for their mouth and teeth. Instead of searching for a “dentist near me,” call Jerger Pediatric Dentistry to schedule an appointment. We'll take impressions of your child’s teeth and customize a high-quality, durable sports guard to protect their precious smile from harm.

Restorative Dentistry

At Jerger Pediatric Dentistry, our focus is on helping your child enjoy a happy, healthy, problem-free smile. Preventive dentistry, including dental hygiene at home and routine teeth cleanings, can dramatically lower your child’s risk for cavities and tooth decay. But sometimes, despite our best efforts, problems can still develop.

Cavity Prevention in Decatur, IL

When children get cavities, Dr. Bret Jerger addresses them with dental fillings at our Decatur, IL dental office. If your child has a spot of decay on a tooth, Dr. Jerger will remove it and fill the space with a white tooth-colored filling that blends into their smile.

If decay is extensive or your child has a broken tooth, a dental filling may not be enough to protect it from further damage. In this case, we offer porcelain dental crowns in Decatur, IL, because they cover the entire tooth and allow your child to chew on it comfortably.

Even if your son or daughter doesn’t have a cavity, they can still break or injure a tooth playing sports. As part of preventive dentistry, we also customize high-quality, durable mouthguards to protect your child’s smile from harm.

Call Jerger Pediatric Dentistry 

If your child has a cavity, or it’s time for their next dental exam and cleaning, please call Jerger Pediatric Dentistry to schedule an appointment.

Special Needs Dentistry

From birth, special needs can impact your child’s dental health and put them at risk for oral disease. It’s crucial to find a Decatur, Illinois dentist who specializes in understanding your child's specific oral and dental needs to help them maintain optimal oral health.

Dr. Bret Jerger is a pediatric dentist who has had specific training to care for children with special needs and handle unique issues such as dental anxiety related to their visits. Our preventive approach includes making recommendations to help you meet your child’s specific dental needs.

For example, preventing cavities and gum disease is critical for all children, so Dr. Jerger may recommend products such as fluoride rinses, floss holders, and adaptive aids for toothbrushes that make it easier to keep your child's teeth clean and healthy.

Providing Special Needs Dentistry Care in Decatur, IL

You can also feel confident knowing that our entire dental care team has been trained in special needs dentistry and have the unique skill required to help children who may not be sure what’s happening around them. Keeping your child’s teeth and gums healthy is a team effort, so we encourage you to let us know about any techniques that you have found effective for helping your son or daughter remain receptive and calm.

Call Jerger Pediatric Dentistry

If your child requires special needs dentistry in Mount Zion, Illinois, call Dr. Jerger and his experienced dental team. We are about your child’s safety and well-being and will do whatever it takes to help them get the essential dental care they need.

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