6707 HWY 431 S. Suite 103 Owen's Cross Roads, AL 35763

Current Patients 256.534.1475

New Patients 256.202.4186

Family Dentistry Owens Cross Roads, AL

Simplify Your Routine

Do you need a comprehensive dental care office that can accommodate the oral health needs of you and your family? We offer dental care solutions and scheduling options for busy parents and caregivers. Our office can perform routine dental care for parents and children simultaneously.

A family dentist in Owens Cross Roads, Dr. Elizabeth Duling sees patients of all ages. She emphasizes the importance of caring for children’s baby teeth. Also known as the primary teeth, these teeth create a foundation for permanent teeth and help children’s speech development. Keeping the primary teeth healthy helps keep children’s growing smiles balanced and functional.

Dr. Duling helps parents understand how to care for their child’s teeth. She can also answer questions that parents or their children have about their oral health. By creating an open and welcoming office environment, Dr. Duling allows patients to feel more comfortable and confident in their treatment.

Family Dentist in Owens Cross Roads, Alabama

Pediatric Dental Services

We offer these general dental services for our younger patients at their regular dental appointments:

  • Dental x-rays
  • Gentle dental cleaning
  • Comprehensive oral health exam
  • Routine screenings for cavities
  • Dental sealants
  • Tooth fillings

Dr. Duling recommends that parents schedule a dental visit for their child after their first tooth emerges. Our dental team screens for dental concerns and monitors changes in the bite, jaw, teeth, and gums.

Parents should also remember to clean their child’s gums before their teeth erupt. Wiping the gums with a wet cloth ensures that bacteria do not build up on the gums. Bacteria feed on food particles and release acids that can irritate the gums, leading to problems like gum disease. Routine oral health care begins early.

Age-Specific Dentistry

Our bodies change as we age, and that includes our mouths. The same problems that impact toddlers aren’t going to be the same ones that impact middle-aged adults. We ensure that we provide the correct patient care at every stage of life. Each patient is unique, and it’s important that we treat them as such.

Infants and Toddlers

Primary teeth usually begin erupting around six months of age. When a child reaches three years old, they should have a full set of 20 primary teeth. Proper oral hygiene methods must be introduced at this age, like cleaning an infant’s gums with a washcloth or an infant toothbrush. It’s also when you are bringing children into the dentist office to be seen.

This time period is essential for developing good oral health habits. Parents must assist children in brushing and flossing their teeth properly. Limit sugary snacks and drinking beverages high in sugar from a sippy cup to help prevent tooth decay. At the dentist, we’ll provide thorough cleanings, exams, and fluoride treatments to keep your child’s oral health on track. We’ll provide instructions for keeping a healthy smile to children and parents so everyone is on the same page.

Children and Adolescents

Throughout this stage, children lose their primary teeth and gain permanent ones. This starts around age six, as the first permanent set of molars erupts in the back of your mouth. Children continue to get permanent teeth throughout adolescence, ending with wisdom teeth in the late teens or early twenties. Dental visits are increasingly important as permanent teeth develop and the mouth changes.

This stage is where there’s a high risk for cavities. We may recommend dental sealants to offer extra protection to the molars during this period. The dentist paints the sealant material onto the areas of the tooth that are most prone to decay, usually the cusps and central areas of the molars. When the material dries, it provides an extra barrier between bacteria and the tooth’s surface.

We pay attention to how permanent teeth are coming in during this time. Tooth alignment and orthodontic problems usually present themselves at this stage. Early intervention can help properly align teeth and prevent more serious problems that require more intensive treatments in the future.


Throughout life, it’s essential to keep up with your oral health. Brush, floss, and visit the dentist regularly. Your diet plays a big role in your oral health, too. Sugary and acidic food breaks your teeth down, putting you at a higher risk for oral health problems. It’s essential to eat a balanced diet with plenty of fruits, vegetables, and water to keep your mouth health. Using tobacco products also greatly increases your risk of oral cancer, gum disease, tooth loss, and more.

Hormonal changes throughout life impact your oral health, too. Hormones with pregnancy and menopause put you at higher risk for gingivitis. Other health conditions tie into gum disease and oral health as well. These include diabetes, cardiovascular conditions, and autoimmune disorders. We’ll work closely with you and your medical personnel to ensure that you’re receiving all of the care you need.


Your oral health needs continue to change as you hit age 65. Older adults are more prone to tooth loss. Medications and decreased saliva production with age increase the chances of tooth decay and gum disease. Many individuals retain most or all of their natural teeth. However, there are many options to replace your missing teeth if it comes to that. Modern dentures, dental bridges, and dental implants are all viable choices.

Family Dentistry FAQs

Read the answers to common questions many patients have about caring for their family’s dental health:

What do I do if my child has a toothache?

Our dental care team can work with your child to identify the cause of their pain and create a treatment plan. Apply a cold compress against their cheek to keep swelling down. We will schedule emergency care as soon as possible.

Is thumb-sucking harmful to my child’s teeth?

If a child is sucking their thumb or pacifier as their permanent teeth come in, it can lead to crooked teeth, misalignment, or problems with the roof of the mouth. Although thumb-sucking typically stops before preschool age, it is still helpful for parents to monitor this habit.

What do I do if my child is scared of the dentist?

We understand that some patients, especially younger ones, may feel anxious or scared about visiting the dentist. Because of this, we explain each treatment so that adults and children can understand. Our hygienists and dentists work with patients individually and can take breaks as needed. Dental sedation is particularly helpful for patients of all ages who feel anxious or fearful in a dental office.

What’s the difference between a pediatric and a family dentist?

Pediatric dentists are specially trained to care for children’s mouths. They don’t often treat older patients. As family dentists, we train in dentistry for all ages. We have expertise at every stage of oral development to provide dental care for your entire family.

Are dental x-rays safe?

Yes, x-rays are safe for patients of all ages. With advancements in dental technology, there’s far less radiation than there used to be during dental x-rays. Our technology uses the minimum amount of radiation required to get the desired results. We take every precaution to protect patients from any level of radiation.

Why do primary teeth need care if they’re temporary?

While temporary, primary teeth are important in your child’s oral development. Your child needs teeth to learn how to speak properly and digest food. The tongue bounces off your teeth to make sounds, and each tooth has a different job for breaking down food. Primary teeth also hold space for permanent teeth, ensuring enough room to grow in the right position.

Schedule Dental Care For Your Child Today

Are you looking for a new family dentist? Call our office for comprehensive treatment for all ages today at 256.202.4186. Request a consultation with Dr. Duling on our website. We welcome any remaining questions you may have about your child’s dental care. In addition, we also welcome you to schedule appointments on the same day for you and your children.