pregnant woman brushes teeth

Posted by & filed under Pregnancy, Prevention.

We care about your kiddos, but we also care about our parents too – especially mothers who are expecting a little one. Your body endures a lot of changes during pregnancy… your feet may swell, you may be sore in strange or new places, and your teeth may decay. It’s true, your teeth are not one of the more popular concerns during pregnancy but at our pediatric dental office in Long Island, we’re here to tell you that they should be.

Why is it so important to keep an eye on your teeth during pregnancy? One big reason is morning sickness. Morning sickness causes stomach acids to enter the mouth and if left there, the acid may erode enamel and lead to decay.

What to do if Morning Sickness is Plaguing You

We wish we had a solution to end morning sickness for every pregnancy. But we do have some ways you can decrease the chance of it affecting your smile.

Rinse with water. Swish some water around in your mouth following a bout of morning sickness to remove some of the acid from your teeth.

Wait an hour. Wait at least an hour before brushing after you’re sick. Rinse with water in the meantime. Acid may weaken enamel, and brushing can scratch the enamel and lead to decay.  

Keep drinking water. The more water you drink, the lower the acidity level in your mouth will be.

Smear on toothpaste. Putting a dollop of toothpaste on your finger and rubbing it on your teeth can further protect them against acid.

Use a tongue scraper. After vomiting, if you take a tongue scraper across your tongue, you can successfully remove some of the acid that may stick around on the tongue and then transfer to the teeth.

If you’re pregnant, it’s important that you see your general dentist regularly. If you don’t have a general dentist and are looking for someone you can trust, just ask us! And when it’s finally time to bring your little one to the dentist for their first checkup, we hope you’ll schedule a visit at our Long Island pediatric dental office. Let’s make sure you AND baby are happy and healthy!

tooth fairy

Posted by & filed under General Dental Articles, Tooth Fairy.

One of the most exciting events in a kid’s early years is losing their first tooth. The anticipation of a visit from the Tooth Fairy just makes the milestone even more thrilling for young kids. But who is this magical fairy? How old is she? How much money does a tooth go for nowadays? Our pediatric dental office in Long Island works closely with the Tooth Fairy, and we have some insider information we’d like to share with you…

Who is the Tooth Fairy?

The answer to the question depends on who you ask and which part of the world they live in. Here in America, the Tooth Fairy is most commonly a tiny creature sporting a crown, a wand, and a poofy gown. However, in Spain, France, and Belgium the Tooth Fairy is a small mouse who collects lost teeth in exchange for a small gift.

How Old is the Tooth Fairy?

While nobody actually knows her true age, we can estimate that the Tooth Fairy is about 111 years old! The first known mention of this legendary collector of teeth occurred in the Chicago Daily Tribune in 1908 in an article encouraging parents to instill good oral health habits in their children.

How Much Does the Tooth Fairy Pay?

Unfortunately, it looks like the Tooth Fairy isn’t paying as much for a tooth in 2019 as she did in 2018. According to a poll conducted by Delta Dental, the average rate for a tooth is currently $3.70, down from $4.13 from last year.

Healthy Teeth Wanted!

While the Tooth Fairy tends to collect any lost tooth that’s put out for her, she does prefer healthy, cavity-free teeth. Encourage your child to practice good oral habits of brushing and flossing every day so that when it’s their turn for a visit from the Tooth Fairy, she’s happy with what she picks up.

Besides pleasing the Tooth Fairy, it’s crucial to keep those baby teeth healthy until they’re ready to come out naturally. Baby teeth hold spaces for adult teeth, help kids chew effectively, and can aid in speech development.

Protect your child’s precious tiny teeth by helping them brush properly and seeing their pediatric dentist in Long Island regularly.

bottled water in factory

Posted by & filed under General Dentistry, Health, Oral Care, Prevention.

These days, bottled water is everywhere. It’s one of our most common accessories when we pack our kids’ lunches or send them off to practice. Let’s face it, bottled water is super convenient and a healthier alternative to a can of sugary soda or even common sports drinks. But our pediatric dental office in Long Island wants to take a moment to talk about some of the disadvantages of drinking bottled water.

What’s Bad About Bottled Water?

Bottled water doesn’t typically contain any fluoride whereas water from the tap usually does. According to the American Dental Association, if bottled water is your primary source of drinking water, your family may be missing out on the preventative benefits that fluoride has to offer. Fluoride is a natural mineral that’s easily absorbed into tooth enamel and creates a strong resistance to tooth decay. Without enough of it, your family may be at increased risk for cavities.

How to Make Sure Your Family Gets Enough Fluoride

Whenever possible, try to fill up a reusable water bottle with water that contains added fluoride. But that’s not the only way to give your family the benefits of fluoride. Fluoride can also be found in many other places besides your drinking water. You can add more of the mineral to your family’s diet by choosing prepared foods and beverages that contain fluoride. There are also fluoride supplements available by prescription for children who live in areas without fluoridated water. Your pediatric dentist in Long Island can also apply a fluoride varnish to your kids’ teeth for added protection.

Drink More Water!

One important thing to remember is that bottled water is better than no water at all. Keeping our bodies hydrated helps us maintain good oral and overall health. For example, when we’re properly hydrated we tend to feel more energetic, our muscles and joints work better, toxins are cleaned from our bodies, and body temperature is more easily regulated. Drinking plenty of water also prevents dry mouth, which can lead to bad breath and tooth decay, especially in kids!

If you have questions about fluoride or your child’s oral health, never hesitate to give our pediatric dental office in Long Island a call. We’re always happy to answer your questions and listen to your concerns.

baby with bottle

Posted by & filed under Health, Oral Care, Prevention, Teething.

Baby teeth serve an important role in a growing mouth, and even though they’re only around for a short time, it’s crucial to take care of them. One of the most common problems associated with baby teeth is something known as Baby Bottle Decay. At our Long Island pediatric dental office, we’re here to talk about what exactly that is and how to prevent it.

What is Baby Bottle Tooth Decay?

Baby Bottle Tooth Decay is a term used to describe decay in a young child’s mouth, often caused by too much exposure to sweetened liquids given from a bottle. Milk, formula, and fruit juice all contain sugar, and if they’re left on teeth for too long, it could lead to problems with your little one’s teeth.

Why is it Worrisome?

The sugars found within many common children’s drinks are what mouth bacteria love to feed on. When the bacteria feed, they produce acid. It’s this acid that eats away at the enamel, leading to decay and cavities. If decay is left untreated, your child may experience pain or even need to have severely decayed teeth pulled. Keeping baby teeth healthy until they’re lost naturally is important for proper speech development, eating, and smiling. They’re also placeholders for permanent adult teeth.

How do We Prevent it?

Baby Bottle Decay can be prevented by taking several precautionary steps including:

  • Keeping the bottle out of bed. When an infant or toddler takes a full bottle to bed, there’s a good chance he’ll keep it in his mouth for longer than normal, increasing the amount of time the teeth are exposed to the contents. If left to linger overnight, it could lead to decay. If your child prefers a bottle at bedtime, make sure it contains only water.
  • Clean up after eating. When your baby is done with his bottle, take a clean piece of gauze and wipe his gums. This helps remove any lingering sugars.
  • Start hygiene habits early. As soon as your child gets his first tooth, you should start to brush gently with a child-sized toothbrush. The American Dental Association also recommends applying a rice grain size of fluoride toothpaste. By age one he should see a pediatric dentist in Long Island.

We’re here to get your baby on the right track toward a healthy, happy mouth with regular checkups and proper dental care, and we’ll work with you to give you advice on how you can help at home. We’re always welcoming new patients at our pediatric dental office in Long Island and welcome you to call us today.

nutrition month

Posted by & filed under General Dentistry, Health, Prevention.

You do your best to make sure your kids eat a well-balanced diet so that they can grow up big and strong. But did you know that proper nutrition is also great for developing teeth and overall oral health? As we celebrate National Nutrition Month this March, our Long Island pediatric dental office wants to provide you with some key information about how nutrition can help give your child a healthy mouth.

What to Eat

Packing your child’s diet with plenty of good stuff not only helps protect teeth against decay but can also help prevent bacteria or plaque from sticking around too long. Here are some tooth-friendly foods to include in your family’s diet:

  • Fruits and Veggies – Healthy fruits and vegetables are loaded with vitamins and nutrients that our bodies and mouths need. Some of these tasty treats, such as apples or carrots, can even help gently clean teeth. Consider celery, cucumbers, snap peas, and bananas as after-school snacks and incorporate a veggie with every meal.
  • Fish, Eggs, and Meat Foods in this food group contain a lot of phosphorus, and that’s good news for teeth. Phosphorous protects the strength of the protective enamel and keeps it strong and healthy. This can reduce the risk of decay or sensitivity and more required visits to your pediatric dentist on Long Island.
  • Water – What we drink can also have an effect on your child’s oral health. Try to avoid soda and juices and choose water instead. Water stimulates saliva production and washes away bacteria that could contribute to cavities.

Calcium is Crucial

Calcium’s role in building strong bones is well-known, but this mineral is also essential for teeth.  Make sure you’re including some calcium-rich foods such as cheese, milk, and yogurt in your child’s diet. If dairy is a problem for little one’s digestive system you can also get a nice boost of calcium from collard greens, broccoli, kale, and soybeans.

Limit Sugar

It’s no surprise that we aren’t big fans of sugar. While we understand that you probably can’t always keep your kid from sweets, we do encourage you to try and moderate how much sugar she consumes.

If you have questions about your little one’s oral health or how her diet can affect her growing grin, our Long Island pediatric dental office is here to help. Call us to schedule a visit with us today!

young girl in dental chair

Posted by & filed under General Dental Articles, General Dentistry, Oral Care, Prevention.

Every February, our pediatric dental office in Long Island celebrates National Children’s Dental Health Month. Brought to us by the American Dental Association (ADA), National Children’s Dental Health Month is designed to promote the importance of proper oral hygiene and dental care in children — which is everything our team stands for. We’d like to share a few ways you can celebrate and share this important message in order to help kids grow strong, healthy smiles.

“Brush and Clean in Between to Build a Healthy Smile”

The 2019 Children’s Dental Health Month theme is “brush and clean in between to build a healthy smile.” This slogan and the main message of this year’s theme is to show just how important it is for kids to brush their teeth regularly as well as floss in between each and every tooth. To help, ADA has put together fun, interactive games and activities to make learning about dental care fun for kids. Head on over the ADA website and download all sorts of free educational tools including coloring sheets, crossword puzzles, and a calendar to keep track of brushing habits. Then make sure to teach your child the proper way to care for teeth and practice every day.

Proper Brushing and Flossing for Kids

It’s important to not only make sure your little one brushes and flosses regularly, but also that they do so thoroughly and well. Starting good brushing and flossing techniques early will help set your child up for a lifetime of good oral hygiene and in turn, great oral health. One of the best ways you can help to make sure she’s getting the most out of her brushing and flossing is by joining her at the sink and doing it with her.

Brush Your Teeth

When you wake up in the morning and before your child goes to bed at night, take some time to brush your teeth together. Maybe turn on some fun music and brush for two full minutes. Turning teeth brushing into a daily habit and adding in a dose of fun not only makes brushing enjoyable for your child but also gives you the opportunity to make sure she’s brushing properly.

Floss In Between

Flossing can be hard, especially for little fingers. But it’s still really important that your little one removes food particles and bacteria buildup in between teeth that brushing alone may have missed. If using traditional floss isn’t quite working for your child, try an alternate floss product such as floss picks. Whichever floss your child prefers, just make sure she’s gently gliding it in between every tooth and up under the gum line every day.

While brushing and flossing are crucial for growing smiles, maintaining visits to your pediatric dentist in Long Island is also necessary. We’re always welcoming new patients and would encourage you to call us to schedule an appointment today!

boy in hat drinking juice

Posted by & filed under General Dentistry, Oral Care, Oral Development, Prevention.

Can you believe that there’s actually a day dedicated to toothaches? It’s true! February 9th is recognized as National Toothache Day, and in honor of this ‘holiday,’ the team at our pediatric dental office in Long Island is here to celebrate by giving you advice on how to ease toothache pain.

What Causes a Toothache?

There’s no one thing that leads to a toothache, but oftentimes childhood toothaches can be caused by:

  • Erupting teeth
  • Decay or cavities
  • Chipped tooth
  • Food that’s become wedged deep in between teeth
  • Improper brushing and flossing

The Truth About Toothaches

The truth is, toothaches don’t usually just pop up out of nowhere. They’re typically a sign of an underlying problem. While at-home toothache remedies can provide temporary relief, it’s wise to see your pediatric dentist in Long Island sooner rather than later. Early intervention will help diagnose any problems quickly and when treatment is usually easier and more successful.

Toothache Remedies

If your child is experiencing a toothache there are things you can do to help ease the pain before your dental visit including:

  • Rinsing with warm salt water
  • Holding an ice pack to their cheek
  • Gently flossing the sore spot
  • Taking over-the-counter pain medicine

Nobody wants to experience a toothache. They’re painful and annoying for anyone, but kids can be especially bothered by the discomfort of a toothache. When and if your child gets a toothache, treat it gently and with care and schedule a visit to our Long Island pediatric dental office as soon as you can.

Avoiding Toothaches

The best ways to avoid a toothache in the first place is to make sure your child is brushing and flossing properly every day and getting dental checkups at least every six months. Practicing preventive care can reduce the risk of toothaches and help keep painful problems away.

We’re always welcoming new patients at our pediatric dental office and welcome you to schedule an appointment with us today!

faq's graphic

Posted by & filed under General Dental Articles, Oral Development, Teething.

At our pediatric dental office in Long Island, we believe in not only caring for our patients’ little smiles but also educating their parents on all things related to pediatric dentistry. We’re often asked questions by our patients or their families, and we welcome them always! Today we’d like to answer some of the questions we hear most often.

When Should a Child First See a Pediatric Dentist?

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) recommends that kids experience their first dental appointment around the time they get their first tooth and no later than their first birthday. These early visits are important as they allow your pediatric dentist in Long Island to closely monitor tooth eruption and diagnose any potential concerns early. Additionally, getting your child to the dentist early can help them get comfortable with appointments and establish a lifetime of good dental care habits.

Are Baby Teeth Really That Important?

Many people think that since baby teeth aren’t permanent and they’re going to fall out anyway that they aren’t really that important. Quite the opposite is true. Baby teeth have many important duties that help children develop properly. These tiny teeth allow children to chew and eat a well-balanced diet, aid in proper speech development, and hold the place for permanent adult teeth. If baby teeth are lost before they’re ready, teeth can shift and may require additional dental work later in life.

When Should We Start Using Toothpaste?

Before you can see any teeth, gently wiping your child’s gums with a wet, soft cloth will help remove bacteria. Switch to toothpaste when you start to see the first tooth make an appearance. Choose a toothpaste with fluoride and use a small amount to brush your child’s teeth twice a day. As kids grow older, around ages 3 to 6, increase the amount of toothpaste to a pea-sized drop and keep helping them brush properly. Always have your child spit out the excess toothpaste and don’t let them swallow it.

Are Dental X-Rays Safe for Kids?

Dental x-rays are extremely safe, but they do still require radiation. However, the radiation exposure from dental x-rays is very small and therefore so are the potential side effects. The use of protective equipment such as a leaded apron further minimizes risk. Dental x-rays are incredibly helpful when looking at teeth as they allow us to see things that may not yet be visible to the naked eye, as well as into the jaw bone. The images produced from x-rays help us catch decay or other problems early when treatment is easier.   

If you have questions about pediatric dentistry, we’re here to help! Call our pediatric dental office in Long Island today to schedule an appointment. We’d be happy to see you!

child's hand holding vitamins

Posted by & filed under General Dentistry, Health, Oral Care, Oral Development.

Making sure your child gets enough of the right vitamins and minerals is an important part of helping them grow up big and strong. Their oral health is no different. Kids need to get the recommended amount of a variety of vitamins (and minerals!) in order to develop strong teeth and good oral health. Our pediatric dental office in Long Island is here to help give you a guide on what vitamins your kid needs.

Calcium

Calcium is most well-known for building strong bones, but it’s crucial for developing strong, healthy teeth too. Starting with strong teeth can help your child have good oral health for life and lower their risk for problems later on. Get calcium through dairy products, leafy green veggies, and nuts.

Vitamin D

While calcium is definitely important, it doesn’t work alone. In order for calcium to be absorbed properly, it needs vitamin D. Pair calcium-rich foods with vitamin D foods such as tuna, cheese, and egg yolks.

Vitamin A

Vitamin A is often linked to developing good vision, but it’s also needed to help keep gums healthy. Vitamin A helps saliva glands produce more spit, and spit is a good thing. Saliva rinses away bacteria that otherwise could easily bury themselves into the gum tissue and cause problems. Foods loaded with vitamin A include fortified cereals, salmon, hard boiled eggs, and carrots.

Fluoride

Fluoride is a naturally occurring element that just so happens to also fight off cavities and decay. It’s also crucial in developing strong protective tooth enamel. Most public water supplies include enough fluoride to protect your child. Your pediatric dentist in Long Island should also provide fluoride treatments to your child regularly.  

Supplements or No Supplements?

Oftentimes a well-balanced diet complete with fruit, vegetables, dairy, and whole grain provides kids with the vitamins they need. However, doing this isn’t always easy. Life can get crazy and there’s not always time for a home-cooked meal including items from each food group. That’s ok! When there’s a chance your kid isn’t getting enough vitamins and minerals through their food, consider supplements or fun multivitamins.

Whether you choose to give your kids the vitamins they need in form of food or supplements, making sure they get enough can help set them up for a lifetime of healthy smiles. Of course, maintaining regular appointments at our Long Island pediatric dental office is also important for optimal dental health. Call to schedule a visit with us today!

Posted by & filed under General Dental Articles, Prevention.

young girl brushing teethCavities are one of the most common dental concerns we hear about at our pediatric dental office in Long Island. While worries about cavities are valid, since they can lead to pain, sensitivity, and more serious oral health conditions, there are many beliefs about cavities that just aren’t true. Join us as we look at some facts and some myths involving kids and cavities…

Fact or Fiction? Sugar is the main cause of cavities.

Fiction. This may be surprising to hear from your Long Island pediatric dentist but sugar isn’t the main source of cavities in kids (or adults!). In fact, bacteria are the main cavity-causing culprits. Bacteria produce acid, acid destroys teeth, and cavities are formed as a result. But where do the bacteria come from? Carbohydrates. Carbohydrates found in bread, rice, potatoes, and yes, sugar, are the main triggers behind bacteria production.

Fact or Fiction? Kids are more likely to get cavities than adults.

Fiction. Developments in dental technology and prevention have led to a decrease in tooth decay in children by 50%  in the last 20 years. This means that children are actually at a lower risk for cavities than their grandparents. Senior citizens are at the highest risk for cavities because a lot of medications lead to dry mouth, lack of saliva production, and in turn, tooth decay and cavities. However, this still means that regular brushing, flossing, and dental checkups are vitally important for keeping kids cavity free.

Fact or Fiction? Acidic foods cause tooth decay.

Fact. Foods that are highly acidic such as lemons, citrus fruits, and soda greatly increase the chance for decay. The acid found in these treats will eat away at the protective tooth enamel, putting your kids’ teeth at greater risk for cavities. Choose water over soda or even fruit juice and enjoy acidic foods and beverages in moderation.

Fact or Fiction? Gaps in teeth increase the likelihood of cavities.

Fact. Gaps in teeth or even over-crowded crooked teeth provide a great place for bacteria to hide. These gaps or overlaps are hard to reach with a toothbrush and even floss, so it’s difficult to properly clean these areas. This can make it easy for bacteria and food particles to linger behind, leaving your kids more susceptible to cavities.

A little knowledge and regular dental care can go a long way in protecting your kids’ smiles against cavities. Help them practice proper brushing and flossing, encourage them to eat a well-balanced diet, and of course, schedule dental appointments at our Long Island pediatric dental office at least every six months.