We provide well child care for all children from premature newborns to older adolescents. This includes growth and developmental assessments, advice on important pediatric topics such as sleep, feeding, and behavioral issues as well as all routine immunizations and laboratory screening tests. Dr. Bernstein is often asked if being a pediatrician makes him a better parent? The answer is no, but being a parent makes Dr. Bernstein a better pediatrician. “When a parent tells me that their infant is not sleeping I know exactly what that is like because I have experienced it myself.”
Dental varnishing is a topical fluoride application that is painted onto a child’s teeth beginning at the time of the first tooth eruption and occurring up to 6 applications until the age of 3.5 years. Blue Cross of North Carolina covers this service through 5 years of age. It should be performed every 3-4 months and can be applied at a doctor’s office or a dentist’s office. There must be a minimum of 60 days between applications.
The goal of dental varnishing is to decrease tooth decay and improve overall health and well being. Varnish works by making the teeth stronger and may stop cavities that have already started. It is a temporary protective coating. Research shows that cavities are the most common chronic childhood disease but it is preventable. It is evidence based that dental varnishing provides the best protection to prevent tooth decay.
Dental varnish is safe and effective and has been studied at length. It is recommended by the CDC, American Academy of Pediatrics, and American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry.
The procedure is fast and painless. The varnish is simply painted on to the child’s teeth during an office visit. Your physician or nurse will explain the procedure to you and answer any questions you may have.
The child’s teeth will be a yellow color after the varnish is painted on but this will disappear when you brush the child’s teeth the morning after the application. You should not brush your child’s teeth the day of the application. Your child should have a soft diet for the remainder of the day on which the varnish is applied.
Children as young as 12 months of age can get cavities. Cavities can cause pain and prevent the child from being able to eat, speak, sleep, and learn properly. Baby teeth are important for chewing, speaking, facial development, holding space for adult teeth, and overall good health. Children have 20 baby teeth by age 3 and do not lose all of their baby teeth until 11-12 years of age. Dental varnishing will help protect these baby teeth.
Most insurance companies including Medicaid cover dental varnishing.
Dr. Bernstein, Dr. Morehouse, and Dr. Bubb each have extensive experience caring for children with chronic illness. We provide guidance and treatment for common illness such as asthma, allergies, recurrent ear infections, as well as many other common pediatric diseases. For other complex illness such as cardiac defects, neurologic disorders, or surgical problems, we will work closely with your pediatric specialist to make sure you get the best care possible. We will always be an advocate for you and can help coordinate your care when necessary. Our Chronic Care Manager is Carissa Praytor and our Health Coach is Naomi Rokaw.
For children who are sick
We will always be willing to see your child if there are concerns about health. We will be able to perform diagnostic studies such as throat swabs, urinalysis, blood work, and x-ray when appropriate. We can arrange for any other diagnostic studies needed and will arrange for specialty consultation when appropriate. We will provide the most up to date and appropriate treatment available. We will always assure you get proper follow up.
A special note to parents expecting a baby
We have extensive experience dealing with newborn issues such as breast feeding problems, jaundice, sleep issues, and common newborn medical problems. Choosing a pediatrician is an important step in your child’s future. If you are expecting a baby, we would welcome the opportunity to meet with you and discuss your future delivery, anticipated pediatric care, and answer any questions you may have. Please call our office and ask the receptionist to schedule a pediatric interview. There will be no charge for these visits.
Over the past several years there has been increasing controversy about possible adverse effects of childhood vaccines. This has prompted some parents to withhold immunizations for their children. We have a policy at Asheville Medicine and Pediatrics that we will care for children who are not immunized. However, we will have a discussion with parents about the controversy to ensure that parents have a full understanding of the benefits of vaccination and the potential risks of withholding them. We will also request that parents review the literature on the controversy and read some of the primary data themselves. We offer altered vaccine schedules if parents are more comfortable with this approach.
“We believe in shared decision making and because of this we want to empower parents to make their own decisions regarding vaccines. Having said this, there is no greater accomplishment in childhood health than the use of vaccines to prevent disease. During our residency training we frequently cared for children with presumed meningitis. Today this is highly unusual thanks to the vaccine for Haemophilus Influenza type B (HIB) which has decreased invasive HIB infections by 99%. We have reviewed the primary data on the effects of vaccines, especially the studies of MMR, Thimerosal, and links to Autism. We want to educate parents so that they can feel as comfortable vaccinating their children as we have been vaccinating ours. In the end, the medical care of a child is the responsibility of both the Pediatrician and the parent and we support this fully.”
Pediatrics Patient General Information and Links
AAP – wonderful source for all types of patient education material.
CDC – best source for travel medicine. If you are planning a trip overseas this can be of great value. Click on Travelers Health and choose your location. We can provide travel advice and immunizations. Please call our office to inquire.
WebMD – patient information