Pediatric Dentistry in Woodbury, NY
Pedodontics, or pediatric dentistry, refers to dentistry for children. It is important to take care of a child’s first teeth, their primary teeth, because they aid in speech development, allow food to be properly chewed, and maintain space for permanent teeth. It is also important to develop good lifelong dental habits early on.
Comprehensive Oral Evaluation / Digital Radiographs
An oral evaluation is recommended every six (6) months to prevent cavities and other dental problems. Dental X-rays are a valuable diagnostic tool used to identify decay, extra teeth, bone defects, tumors, cysts and check the progress of previous procedures.
Regular cleanings help keep gums healthy and teeth cavity-free. A dental cleaning includes removal of tartar and plaque and polishing of the teeth to remove stains and prevent further buildup of plaque.
Dental sealants are made of a safe resin material which is applied to the surfaces of teeth (commonly permanent molars) to prevent cavities. The sealant material fills in the crevices of a tooth and “seals” off the tooth from cavity-causing agents like food and plaque. The teeth are prepared for the sealant application and the sealant is painted directly onto the chewing surface of each tooth and then hardens. Sealants are applied in one visit.
Fluoride is a natural substance that helps strengthen teeth and prevent decay. Fluoride treatments are administered at this office as an important component of pediatric dental treatment. The fluoride is applied to the teeth in a gel, foam, or varnish form.
Custom-fitted mouth guards from your dentist are preferable to cheaper products available from a store. Many school athletic programs require participants to wear a mouth guard. Athletes who are wearing braces will particularly benefit from a custom-fitted mouthguard.
Frequently Asked Questions About Pediatric Dentistry
When should children start seeing the dentist?
The American Dental Association and American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry both recommend that children start seeing the dentist around the age of 12 months or within six months of the eruption of their first tooth.
When should I start brushing my child’s teeth?
As soon as their teeth erupt, you should start brushing—but it’s a good idea to begin cleaning your baby’s mouth even before they have teeth by using a soft, wet washcloth to clean their gums morning and night. This gets them used to the feeling of having their mouth cleaned and it’s beneficial for their oral health as well. When their baby teeth start to emerge, use a small soft-bristled or silicone toothbrush to brush twice a day with a smear of fluoride toothpaste about the size of a grain of rice.
What happens at a first dental appointment?
The first dental appointment is all about us getting to know you and you and your child getting to know our team. We examine their teeth to ensure they are erupting properly, perform a gentle cleaning, and provide you with instruction on how to care for your child’s teeth.
How often should children go to the dentist?
Children should go to the dentist every six months for comprehensive exams and dental cleanings. These regular visits allow us to monitor your child’s dental health, prevent cavities by removing plaque and tartar, and identify potential issues before they become serious problems that require extensive treatment.
Should my child get dental sealants?
The American Dental Association recommends dental sealants for the primary and permanent molars of all children. Dental sealants are one of the best tools we have for preventing cavities—they are affordable, fast, and painless and they reduce the risk of cavities by 80 percent.
Do you need to fill cavities in baby teeth?
Yes, cavities in baby teeth should be treated. The exception to this is when a tooth is about to fall out on its own anyway. Leaving cavities in primary teeth untreated can cause pain and compromise the health of permanent teeth; extracting baby teeth before they’re ready to fall out can result in future orthodontic issues unless a space maintainer is placed in the gap. The best option is to simply treat the cavity.
Why does my child get so many cavities?
If your child seems to get a lot of cavities, it likely comes down to three factors: their teeth, their diet, and their oral hygiene. Often, it’s a combination of all of these that contribute to ongoing issues with cavities. Teeth that are crowded or that naturally have more pits and fissures where plaque collects are more prone to cavities. A diet high in sugar and simple carbohydrates creates the conditions for cavity-causing bacteria to thrive and when children don’t brush or floss well, the bacteria starts to erode the tooth enamel and cause cavities. Fluoride varnishes and dental sealants can help, as will better oral hygiene, dietary changes, and regular dental visits.