What is the difference between a pediatric dentist and a family dentist?

Pediatric dentists are the pediatricians of dentistry. A pediatric dentist receives two to three years specialty training following dental school and limits his/her practice to treating children exclusively. Pediatric dentists are primary and specialty oral care providers for infants and children through adolescence, including those with special health needs.

 

 

What is a Dental Home?

 

Dental Exam

 

                      

A dental home is the establishment of an ongoing relationship with a licensed dentist who can provide your child with comprehensive, continuously accessible, coordinated and family-centered care.

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) strongly encourages the concept of a dental home for infants, children, adolescents, and persons with special health care needs.

Children who have a constant dental home are more likely to receive appropriate preventive and routine oral health care. Referral to a dentist is recommended as early as 6 month of age after the first teeth erupt, and no later than 12 months of age.


When do “baby teeth” begin to come in?

 

Each child is different. As a rule of thumb, teeth begin to break through the gums at about 6 months. Usually, the first two teeth to erupt are the two lower central incisors. Next, the top two front teeth emerge. After that, other teeth slowly begin to fill in, usually in pairs – one on each side of the upper or lower jaw - until all 20 teeth are in by the time child is 2.5-3 years of age.

 

 

Why are “baby teeth” important?

 

  1. Baby teeth are placeholders for the permanent teeth. If these teeth fall out earlier, it can disrupt the development of permanent teeth.
  2. Cavities in baby teeth can cause infections that can harm a child and damage the developing permanent teeth.
  3. Baby teeth allow the child to develop good oral hygiene habits. It is much easier to start teaching a child the right brushing and flossing habits when they are young,  so these good habits stay with them through their teenage years.
  4. Baby teeth are important for developing proper speech patterns. In addition, unhealthy baby teeth can cause a child to have low self-esteem, as children might be afraid to smile at school or be teased.
  5. Baby teeth help children eat nutritious food. American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry suggests that kids with lots of cavities may be severely underweight due to pain when they try to eat. 

 

 

Why is it important to brush your child’s teeth?

 

It is recommended that children brush their teeth at least twice a day: In the morning (after breakfast), and right before bedtime. Additionally, flossing is recommended when there are no spaces between teeth, to avoid food particles hiding in places where a toothbrush bristles can’t reach.

Initially, tooth brushing is the responsibility of the parent. However, as children grow, oral hygiene should be performed jointly and incorporated into a fun activity or game.

Generally, a toothbrush with soft, end-rounded or polished bristles is recommended, as it is less likely to injure gum tissue. It should be replaced every three months. Please remember, children should spit out toothpaste after they are done brushing. If the child is too young and is unable to spit out, consider using fluoride free toothpaste.

 

 

A smear of fluoridated toothpaste for   children younger than 2 years of age   may decrease risk of fluorosis.

A pea-sizeamount of toothpaste is   appropriate for children older than   3 years of age.

 

A Dentist will monitor effectiveness of home care at every visit and discuss daily preventive activities with parent and the child. Recall appointments are recommended at a 3-6 month intervals, depending on the need.

 

 

Baby Bottle Decay/ Early Childhood Caries

 

This is one serious form of decay affecting very young children. It is usually caused by the prolonged exposure of baby teeth to liquids containing a lot of sugar. These liquids include juice, formula, milk (including breast milk), and other sweetened drinks.

Putting a baby to sleep with a bottle containing anything but water is very detrimental to the teeth, as it will cause rapid and severe tooth decay. Sugars in the liquids will “bathe” the teeth and allow the bacteria in the plaque to produce acids that will attack and erode tooth enamel.

A bottle is very comforting to a child. However, parents should gradually dilute bottle contents with water, eventually replacing the usual beverage with water completely.

Should your child fall asleep with the bottle, wipe his/her teeth with wet gauze/washcloth to clean plaque off the teeth.

 

How can we prevent cavities?

 

Cavities are easily prevented by regular visits to a dentist, maintaining good Oral Hygiene, and limiting sugary snacks to mealtime.

 

What are Sealants?

 

Sealants are tooth colored restorative materials that are usually placed into the grooves of the back teeth (molars, premolars, and sometimes the lingual surfaces of the anterior teeth with deep pits) to prevent cavities from forming.

The deep grooves on the chewing surfaces of the teeth are very hard to clean. When sealant is applied, the chewing surface of the tooth feels flatter and smoother, eliminating any hiding places, where toothbrush bristles can’t reach.

 

 

What is Fluoride?

 

Fluoride is a naturally occurring element that is essential to the development of strong and healthy teeth in children and prevention of cavities formation in already developed teeth. ž

Daily fluoride exposure through water supplies and monitored use of fluoride toothpaste can be effective preventive procedures. A pediatric dentist will determine the need for fluoride therapy based on the dental needs of your child.

 

Dietary Habits         Healthy Diet = Healthy Teeth

 

žHigh-risk dietary practices appear to be established early, probably prior to 12 months of age, and are maintained throughout early childhood.

  1. Frequent bottle-feeding at night, breastfeeding on demand, and extended and repetitive use of a no-spill training cup are associated with Early Childhood Caries (ECC).
  2. Acids in carbonated beverages can have a negative effect (i.e., erosion) on enamel.
  3. Excess consumption of carbohydrates, fats, and sodium contribute to poor systemic health. Children should have a well balanced diet, consisting of all food groups.

 

 

 

Dental X-Rays

 

 

Dental radiographs are valuable aids in the oral health care of infants, children, and adolescents. They are used to diagnose oral diseases and monitor proper growth development.

Your dentist will determine the need for X-rays after an examination of your child’s medical and dental history and a careful clinical exam.

 

 

Our office also provides Cone Beam 3D imaging.

 

 

 

 

Detrimental Habits

 

 

žNonnutritive oral habits (e.g. finger and pacifier habits, grinding, abnormal tongue thrusts) may apply forces to teeth and the structures of the face.

An early use of pacifiers and finger sucking is normal in very young children, and usually will stop by the age 4. If done with sufficient frequency, intensity, and duration, it can negatively contribute to the position of permanent teeth and facial development.

It’s important to discuss the need to stop these habits before improper tooth position and skeletal malformations develop. Early dental visits provide an opportunity to encourage parents to help their children stop sucking habits before age 3.

 

 

Dental Trauma

 

žFacial trauma that results in fractured, displaced, or lost teeth can have significant negative functional, esthetic, and psychological effects on children.

The greatest incidence of trauma to the primary dentition occurs at 2 to 3 years of age, a time of increased mobility and developing coordination.

žIf your child lost (knocked out) a primary tooth, it will not be re-implanted due to the possible damage to the developing permanent teeth. Remember, first permanent tooth erupts approximately at the age of 6 years old. It is strongly recommended that you bring your child to a pediatric dentist for an evaluation as soon as possible to rule out any other type of injury.

The most common causes of injury to permanent teeth are falls, followed by traffic accidents, violence, and sports.

If a permanent tooth is knocked out, it is a real emergency and you should act fast. The tooth has a better chance of surviving!

Handle the tooth by the crown, rinse it gently and briefly with water to remove any dirt debris and re-position it into its place. Once that’s done hold it in position with gauze. If that is not possible, quickly put it into the container with cold milk and call your pediatric dentist immediately!

 

  

 

 

If your child’s tooth is fractured or chipped, please call your pediatric dentist to help you evaluate the need for further treatment.

 

 

Mouth guards:

 

 

 

When your child begins to participate in any sport activities, injuries can easily occur. A properly fitted mouth guard is an important piece of an athletic gear and can help prevent broken teeth, injuries to the jaws, and other oral tissues.

 

Call your child’s pediatric dentist to inquire about custom made and pre-fabricated mouth guards.

 

When is the Best time for Orthodontic Treatment?

 

Pediatric dentist will recognize developing malocclusions as early as 2-3 years of age. If proper steps are taken early, the need for future major orthodontic treatment might be eliminated.

 

Early treatment: ages 2-6. Deals with underdeveloped jaws, harmful oral habits (thumb sucking), and early loss of primary teeth.

 

Mixed Dentition: ages 6-12. Deals with jaw/ tooth misalignment problems. At this age, soft and hard tissues are very responsive to treatment.

 

Adolescent Dentition: ages 12 and up. Deals with permanent teeth and development of the final occlusion (Bite)


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Proudly serving the Bronx NY, Westchester NY and Fairfield CT with the BEST Dental care for over 16 years!

Specific areas served are Ardsley, Armonk, Bedford Hills, Bedford, Briarcliff Manor, Bronxville, Chappaqua, Croton-on-Hudson, Dobbs Ferry, Eastchester, Elmsford, Goldens Bridge, Harrison, Hartsdale, Hastings-on-Hudson, Hawthorne, Irvington, Katonah, Larchmont, Mamaroneck, Mount Kisco, Mount Vernon, New Rochelle, White Plains, Ossining, Pelham, Pleasantville, Port Chester, Pound Ridge, Purchase, Rye, Rye Brook, Scarsdale, Shrub Oak, Sleepy Hollow, Somers, South Salem, Tarrytown, Thornwood, Tuckahoe, Valhalla, Yonkers, Yorktown Heights Greenwich, Byram, Belle Haven, Riverside, Old Greenwich, Cos Cob, Riversville, Glenville, Round Hill

Boiano Dental Group

New York City                             Westchester, NY

3651 East Tremont Avenue Throgs Neck, NY 10465           300 Main Street Eastchester NY 10709

 718.597.6500                                    914.268.0020