kids swimming in pool

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

Swimming is a popular summertime activity, and it’s good for you too! It’s a great form of cardiovascular exercise, it’s super fun for kids, and it’s a sweet way to cool off on those hot days. But the team at our Long Island pediatric dental office knows that there could be some harm lurking in your pool water that you probably don’t know about. 

Chlorine & Your Teeth

Many pools use chlorine to keep pool water free of dangerous bacteria that could be harmful to humans. But this chlorine may also put another part of the body at risk for damage — your teeth. 

Research dating back to the 1980’s studied the negative effects of chlorine on oral health, particularly tooth enamel. Part of what chlorine does is level out the pH balance of pool water, so it’s safe for families. For most situations, pool water should have a pH between 7.2 and 7.8. But when this drops below this ideal range, the water actually becomes acidic. If this happens and you or your kids spend a lot of time in the pool, or a lot of water gets into your mouth, the acid can wear away tooth enamel and even cause tooth discoloration. 

Why Is Tooth Enamel Important?

Tooth enamel is the super-strong protective layer of our teeth. It helps keep dangerous plaque and bacteria from eating away at the teeth and causing cavities. If tooth enamel erodes, whether it’s from an improperly chlorinated pool, drinking too many acidic drinks like lemonade, or brushing too hard, teeth are at increased risk for decay, wearing down, and sensitivity. 

Who Is At Risk?

While anyone’s teeth can suffer from enamel erosion, the cases in which the erosion is caused by chlorine is often found in competitive swimmers or those who spend a lot of time in pools. The truth is if you and your family only swim occasionally you’re probably not at risk. 

Signs of a Problem

Two of the first signs that a pool’s pH is too low are irritated skin or burning eyes while swimming. Over time, you may start to notice brown spots on the teeth (known as swimmer’s calculus) or experience increased tooth sensitivity. If you notice any of these changes, visit your pediatric dentist in Long Island as soon as you can.

Protecting Your Tooth Enamel

Besides proper brushing and flossing, there are steps you can take to help protect your child’s enamel against erosion — and no, they don’t need to give up swimming. Just make sure you test the water for proper pH levels regularly and try to encourage them to keep pool water out of their mouths as much as possible. Of course, it’s also important to see their Long Island pediatric dentist at least every six months for regular checkups and professional cleanings.

boy gets dental examn

Posted by & filed under Dental Emergency, Health, Mouthguards, Oral Development, Prevention.

Dental emergencies, which include any injury to the teeth, gums, or mouth, can be scary. When one happens to your child, it can be even scarier. At our Long Island pediatric dental office, we understand, and we are here to help give you a few tips on how to handle several types of dental emergencies. 

A Knocked Out Tooth

If this happens, the first thing you should do is remain calm. This can help both you and your child. Second, make sure there are no other serious injuries. Once you confirm all is well, you can start to work on saving that tooth — but only if the tooth is permanent. If a baby tooth is lost, schedule a visit with your pediatric dentist in Long Island as soon as possible to make sure no permanent teeth were damaged. If the lost tooth is permanent and assuming both the roots and the crown were knocked out, try the following steps:

  1. Only touch the top of the tooth to limit damage to the roots. 
  2. Gently rinse it with water. 
  3. Attempt to insert it back into the socket. 
  4. Control any bleeding with gauze. 
  5. Call a dentist as soon as possible. 

If you’re unable to get the tooth back into the socket, put the tooth in milk or a cup of spit — never store it in water! Then get to a dentist immediately. 

Lost Filling

If your child loses a filling, they may experience some pain. An over-the-counter pain reliever or oral anesthetic can help reduce discomfort. You can also purchase dental cement in many pharmacies and grocery stores to temporarily fill the hole. However, this is only a short-term solution, and you should get your child to the dentist ASAP.  

Chipped/Broken Tooth

A chipped or broken tooth might result from anything like a popcorn kernel or a fall. If this happens, the first thing to do is have your child rinse his mouth out with warm water, and find any lost pieces, if possible, and rinse them off, too. Then apply gauze and slight pressure if there is any bleeding, and a cold compress to the cheek to ease the pain. Get to your dentist to fix the chip. 

Toothache

A toothache is the mouth’s way of letting us know that something isn’t right. Ease the pain and help keep other problems away by first rinsing with warm salt water. Salted water can help decrease swelling and keep dangerous bacteria from attacking. If the pain is severe, try placing a cold compress against the cheek or apply a bit of clove oil to the sore spot. Again, get to your dentist as soon as you can.  

One of the best ways to avoid a dental emergency in the first place is to maintain regular visits to our pediatric dental office in Long Island. Regular checkups and cleanings allow us to catch and treat any potential problems before they can turn into an unexpected dental emergency. However, anything can happen at any time, so if you do experience an emergency, give us a call right away.

smiling girl with braces

Posted by & filed under Oral Care, Orthodontics, Prevention.

Millions of Americans have braces to help straighten their smiles. The majority of these orthodontic patients are kids or teens. At our pediatric dental office in Long Island, we know just how important braces can be for developing smiles. In fact, properly aligned teeth can help with speech, reduce the risk of jaw pain, and make brushing and flossing easier and more effective. But while wearing braces, there are certain foods you shouldn’t eat as they can increase the likelihood of breaking a bracket or wire.

Braces 101

During orthodontic treatment, you may need to make some changes to your child’s diet to protect the braces. Traditional orthodontics, like braces, are fixed to the surface of teeth through a super-tough bond. However, this bond isn’t unbreakable, and certain foods can cause brackets or wires to loosen or snap off. Other things to consider while your child is wearing braces is to limit sugary snacks and drinks, which can lead to decay or discoloration.

Foods to Avoid

One of the most common things you’ll hear your pediatric dentist in Long Island say to anyone with braces is to avoid chewing gum. Gum doesn’t only stick in all the nooks and crannies of the braces but can easily bend wires and shift the teeth’s movement. But chewing gum isn’t the only thing braces-wearers should avoid. Let’s take a look at some of the other top foods your child shouldn’t eat while wearing braces.

  • Sticky Sweets – Similarly to gum, sticky sweets like caramels, taffy, and even lollipops can damage braces.
  • Corn on the Cob – While you don’t need to completely avoid this favorite summer food, you do need to serve it a bit differently. Instead of biting it right of the cob, cut it off and allow your child to enjoy it on a plate.  
  • Hard & Crunchy Goodies – Foods such as carrots, nuts, and even pizza crust are difficult to chew and can snap off a wire or bracket with ease.
  • Chewy Snacks – Things like beef jerky or dried fruit can get stuck in braces, bend wires, and pop off brackets.
  • Popcorn – Even though popcorn isn’t particularly crunchy, they do have hidden kernels that can get wedged into teeth and braces or break them.

Throughout orthodontic treatment, your child may need to avoid some of his favorite treats. But the long-term benefits of a straight smile will be worth it.

If you have questions about braces or other types of orthodontics, call our Long Island pediatric dental office today.

child getting dental x-ray

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

Sometimes when a parent hears the word “x-ray,” they immediately panic and assume the worst, like a broken bone or fracture. But at our Long Island pediatric dental office, we love dental x-rays, and our patients’ parents really do too. Let’s take a quick look at how we use x-rays to keep our littlest smiles in A+ shape.

What is A Dental X-Ray Anyway?

Dental x-rays are often called radiographs. Dentists love to use them to help gain a deeper understanding of what’s going on inside your child’s mouth and how it could affect the development of their smile over time.

X-rays are relied on heavily for preventive pediatric dentistry and to help fix issues such as cavities, decay, and breakage. Generally, dentists rely on 2D or 3D imaging to gain a better understanding of what’s going on inside of a child’s mouth, highlighting jaw bone health, and the tooth structure that lies beneath our gums and enamel. It gives us the added ability to see issues, not 100 percent visible to the naked eye. This means better protection and care for your kiddo and you!

Common Reasons Kids Need Dental X-Rays

Like we said before, if your pediatric dentist in Long Island happens to tell you that your child needs x-rays, please don’t worry. You and your child might even be wondering why x-rays are necessary for baby or milk teeth that are going to fall out when their permanent teeth come in. But kids’ teeth have different needs compared to grown up so an x-ray might be necessary to:

  1. Find out if there are any missing or extra teeth below the gumline
  2. Look for any possible signs of infection
  3. Determine if your child is a good candidate for orthodontic treatment
  4. Get an idea of how the permanent teeth are shaped, how they look, and how they’ll erupt

Are Dental X-Rays Safe For Kids?

Like any good parent, you might be hesitant to agree to x-rays for your child because you’re worried about exposing them to harmful radiation. The good news is that most of the x-rays used in dental offices across the country today give off a minimal amount of radiation. Dental x-rays are certainly safer than ever thanks to advancements in dentistry over the years.

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry also wants to remind parents that there’s a relatively small amount of radiation associated with today’s advanced x-ray technologies. Body aprons made from lead also provide added protection and safety during their x-ray procedure.

If you’ve got questions about your child’s smile or if they’re due for a new set of x-rays, please give our pediatric dental office in Long Island a call. We’re happy to hear from new patients too! If you’re looking for a team of caring, gentle pediatric dental professionals, we’re the ones you can turn to.

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!