Here at Maui Pediatric Dentistry, every child will receive specialized care to establish and maintain healthy habits and a beautiful, healthy smile. As a pediatric specialist, Dr. Hanks completed an additional 2-year residency uniquely focused on caring for children up to age 12, including those with special needs of all ages. Our clinic is fun and welcoming for children and their families.
We have an “Our Keiki” philosophy, where each little one receives the treatment and care we would want our own children to receive. Parents are welcome to come back with their child for every appointment, including during treatment. We focus on prevention and practice conservatively and are firm believers in not performing unnecessary work. If treatment is needed, we work closely with parents to help them understand the best approach for their children.
As a father of five himself, Dr. Hanks understands that raising a child is the most important job in the world. He is dedicated to providing each child with the best care possible. Our team is committed to helping parents make the best decisions for the oral health of their children. We welcome you to our practice and accept most insurances as well as private pay.
Maintaining your child’s oral health is critical. As an office we are focused on preventative care first. Dr. Hanks has a conservative approach and will not suggest unnecessary work. Our goal is to establish healthy habits early, in infancy where possible, to help create a cavity-free future for your child.
This is done through an integrative approach by working with patients and their caregivers, who are all important to a successful and healthy lifestyle. We provide tools and resources to help you establish a lifetime of oral health and happy smiles for your children.
We recommend dental exams and cleanings twice a year. This allows Dr. Hanks to ensure a conservative approach by striving to avoid cavities and catching problems early. Healthy habits are easier to maintain this way.
At Maui Pediatric Dentistry, we strongly recommend the placement of sealants on permanent (adult) molar teeth. A sealant is a safe and easy way to place a protective covering that flows into the deep grooves of molars. These help to strengthen your child’s teeth and prevent cavities.
Most children’s first permanent molars erupt around age 6. This is the ideal time to place sealants on these permanent teeth as they are not yet fully mineralized and are at high risk for developing cavities. All sealants placed in our clinic are BPA-free. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry supports the placement of sealants.
When cavities on baby (primary) teeth are small they can often be restored with a tooth-colored filling material. Depending on the size and location, we can often place these white fillings without having to use a local anesthetic (shots), which can make the appointment short and sweet for your little one.
Because Dr. Hanks takes a conservative approach, there may be times where, based on the child’s age and/or size of the cavity, no treatment is necessary! We will communicate clearly with you to help you understand the best approach for your child.
When a tooth has a large cavity, is severely broken down, or has lost it's structure and function, a crown may be recommended. Crowns cover the entire surface of the damaged tooth, helping strengthen the tooth so it can look and function normally again.
Silver crowns, made out of stainless steel, are often recommended due to their durability and longevity. Dr. Hanks will always explain all treatment options and will help you make the best decision for your child's oral health.
Silver Diamine Fluoride (SDF) is a liquid that is applied over cavities to slow the disease progression. Traditional fillings and crowns may require local anesthetic and drilling of tooth structure. SDF does not. It is non-invasive and more comfortable for the patient.
SDF not only slows down the decay process, it can decrease sensitivity in certain cases and prevent future decay. Dr. Hanks is highly experienced with this and other conservative treatment approaches. He is happy to discuss this option with caregivers in an effort to improve the oral health of children in a minimally invasive way.
Going to the dentist can be scary for children, and sometimes for parents and caregivers as well. We want to make your child's dental visit as friendly and welcoming as possible. We also want caregivers to feel comfortable every step of the way, so we welcome you to accompany your child throughout their visits, including for treatment.
We encourage a child’s first dental visit by age 1, or when the first teeth are present, as recommended by the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry. With the proper approach it is possible for children to stay cavity-free.
Visiting early allows us to work with caregivers to develop a team approach in establishing healthy habits early which will establish a strong foundation for a lifelong healthy smile. It also allows us to catch any problems early, and helps you and your child find a comfortable dental home.
Infants may need to be seen even sooner if caregivers have infection concerns, lip/tongue-tie questions, or other oral abnormalities are seen.
Dr. Hanks and his team are committed to providing safe, current, and effective treatment options for your child. Dr. Hanks does not take unnecessary x-rays. Further, we limit the amount of radiation through use of smaller digital sensors which are perfect for little mouths. This helps children and caregivers feel more comfortable during their visit.
All necessary precautions and safeguards are taken to minimize the amount of radiation a child is exposed to. The amount and type of radiographs recommended will be individualized to each patient based on their needs and the guidelines recommended by the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry.
X-rays are a vital diagnostic tool that allows for the evaluation of teeth and surrounding bone and tissue that would not be possible to examine in any other way. The images provide a complete picture for Dr. Hanks to study to identify cavities, missing or extra teeth, and other potential abnormalities so an effective plan and approach can be made. Without x-rays, many serious dental conditions would not be detected until they become a more serious problem.
Dr. Hanks knows caregivers can sometimes feel anxious about cavities their children may have, and they worry about their child's dental visit. He enjoys working with children and caregivers in an encouraging manner that fosters healthy oral care habits and practices. When treatment is needed he works with caregivers to establish a conservative plan to take care of needs. He ultimately wants all kids to be cavity-free.
In addition to sticky candies (fruit snacks, Hi-chew, etc.), some of the common foods that lead to cavities parents don't often consider are crackers, goldfish, dried fruit, etc. Water is the best drink for children. Juice can be very harmful on the teeth. Even milk, when consumed too frequently or before bed without brushing, can lead to dental breakdown.
We want your child's first visit to be as enjoyable as possible. To help with this, please avoid using words that can make children unnecessarily fearful. This includes: drill, shot, needle, sharp, pull, poke, or hurt. Our team is professionally trained to convey the same message through words and actions that are non-threatening and easy for children to understand.
Meet the Doctor
Dr. Hanks has a personality and demeanor which quickly help children and parents feel at ease. As a pediatric dentist, he prides himself on his ability to help children feel comfortable and happy to visit the dentist.
"As a kid I was nervous to be in the dental chair. I love to help children and parents feel happy, safe, and even excited to come and see us. It is a privilege to be trusted with the care of Maui's children. I take that trust seriously."
Dr. Hanks attended one of the top dental schools in the country at the University of Texas where he was recognized with the prestigious award in clinical dentistry. He then trained at one of the nation's premier pediatric residencies at the Medical University of South Carolina and Children's Hospital.
He and his wife have 5 children of their own. When he is not working you will likely find him with his family playing at the beach, surfing, or hiking to one of Maui's beautiful waterfalls.
“I love that Dr. Hanks let me stay with my child the whole visit. He seems to care genuinely about his patients--he puts all his energy into making the kids comfortable, and is naturally a very likeable and fun person!”
“My kids actually like going to the dentist, which is saying something. Dr. Hanks is wonderful to work with. Highly recommended.”
“Dr. Hanks has an incredibly welcoming and comforting personality that made our kids feel at ease throughout the visit. He clearly explained treatment options to our family and shows that he genuinely cares about our family. Thank you Dr. Hanks!”