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

baby with toothbrushEach and every February, our pediatric dental office in Long Island joins the American Dental Association (ADA) in celebrating National Children’s Dental Health Month. This month-long dedication to children’s oral health strives to promote the importance of proper brushing, flossing, and regular dental visits for strong and healthy growing smiles. This year, learn how you can get involved to make a difference in your child’s dental health.

Brush Together

Each morning and every night, join your child at the sink and brush your teeth together. This is a great way to ensure she’s brushing properly and long enough. It’ll also help to keep you on a good brushing schedule. Use a toothbrush with soft bristles at a 45 degree angle to gently scrub every side of each tooth and up under the gums.

Teach the Proper Way to Floss

When your little one starts to get a mouth full of teeth, it’s a good time to start teaching her the importance of flossing and the right way to do it. Follow the steps below to make sure you’re both flossing correctly:

  • Gently wind a piece of floss around each pointer finger and pinch it between the thumbs.
  • Slowly and carefully wiggle the floss in-between two teeth.
  • Curve the floss into a ‘C’ shape around the tooth and glide it up and down the sides. Don’t forget to get under the gumline too.
  • Unravel the floss for a new, clean section as you move from tooth to tooth.

Remember to make flossing a daily habit to get the best clean.

Do Some Fun Activities

Take your oral health lessons away from the sink and join your child in doing some fun, educational activities. There are tons of resources available to you for free on the ADA’s website. Grab some crayons and go to town coloring a fridge-worthy masterpiece, connect the dots to reveal a cute hidden character, or work through a crossword puzzle together. Making oral health care fun and enjoyable is a great way to get your child interested in taking care of her teeth.

See Your Pediatric Dentist

The most important thing you can do as a parent to ensure a lifetime of healthy smiles for your child is to take her to see a pediatric dentist in Long Island at least twice a year. These visits help diagnose any potential problems early while they’re still easy to treat. Regular appointments are also crucial in making sure your child gets the fluoride treatments or sealants she needs to protect her pearly whites from cavities.

Our Long Island pediatric dental office recommends scheduling your child’s first dentist appointment when she gets her first tooth or no later than her first birthday. If she already has a few teeth but hasn’t seen a dentist yet, we welcome you to give us a call. We’ll be happy to care for her in our calm and comforting dental office that’s designed just for kids.

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

valentine's candyValentine’s Day is a celebration packed with red hearts, sweet notes, and yummy treats. It’s a fun day for kids, opening up all their valentines and nibbling on snacks. But like most holiday treats, some popular Valentine’s Day foods aren’t so great for teeth. This year, instead of handing out the sugar-packed candy hearts, consider some of your Long Island pediatric dentist’s top tooth-friendly treats.

Dark Chocolate

Just because we’re a Long Island pediatric dental office doesn’t mean we don’t enjoy a good piece of chocolate. We just happen to be bigger fans of dark chocolate than milk or white. Dark chocolates are full of antioxidants that can help keep bacteria levels in the mouth low, reducing the risk of cavities.

Cheese & Crackers

Sometimes a non-sugary snack is well-received to break up the amount of sweet flavors that often monopolize Valentine’s Day. Some cheese cubes or slices and whole grain crackers can do just that. Not to mention, certain cheeses are really great for teeth. Chew on some cheddar or bring on the brie to help protect teeth from decay.


Whether you choose apple slices or strawberries cut to look like hearts, fruit is a healthy choice that still packs a sweet punch. Consider a fruit kabob or dunk full strawberries into some chocolate for extra dose of sweetness.

Sugar-Free Candy

There are plenty of sugar-free candy options out there that still give you the satisfaction of eating candy without putting your teeth at risk for decay. The important thing to remember is that just because the label says ‘sugar free’ doesn’t mean it’s not just as tasty.

What to Avoid

To make a oral health conscious choice on your Valentine’s Day treats, you also need to know what to avoid. The following snacks are the worst for teeth:

  • Anything sticky or chewy
  • Candies that are nothing but loose sugar
  • Lollipops
  • Super hard candies

Avoiding foods that can be bad for your smile (or at least enjoying them in moderation) will help you keep cavities away. But it’s still important to brush and floss every day and maintain visits to your pediatric dentist in Long Island twice a year. If it’s time for your next visit, give us a call today.

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

child with toothacheSeeing a pediatric dentist regularly is important to the health of your child’s smile. But in-between visits things can happen that may require a visit sooner rather than later. At our Long Island pediatric dental office, we want to encourage all parents to schedule an appointment as soon as possible if their child is experiencing any of the following symptoms.

He’s Avoiding His Favorite Hot or Cold Treats

Every child loves digging into a bowl of cold ice cream or sipping a steaming cup of hot chocolate. But if they start to avoid some of these hot or cold snacks, they may be suffering from tooth sensitivity. Occasionally this sensitivity may go away on it’s own. Other times, it may be an early sign of tooth decay. It’s best to have your trusted pediatric dentist check it out.

A Playground Fall Caused a Loose Tooth

Trauma to children’s teeth happen often. And whether it’s caused by a playground accident or sports injury, it’s important to get the tooth looked at by a dentist. Baby teeth hold the space for permanent adult teeth, aid in proper speech development, and help properly chew food. If one is lost before it’s ready, it could lead to other oral health concerns.

You See White Spots on Teeth

White spots are usually either an early sign of decay or a symptom of too much fluoride (referred to as fluorosis). If the spots are a sign of decay, they will eventually turn yellow or brown as the decay progresses. However, if caught and treated in the early stages the decay can actually be reversed. Your pediatric dentist can help determine the cause of these white spots and the best way to treat them.

He Complains of Painful Gums…

If your little one mentions sore or bloody gums after brushing he may be showing initial signs of gingivitis. Like most other dental concerns, gingivitis is treatable if caught early. If left alone, gingivitis can progress into periodontal disease (gum disease). The best way to avoid gingivitis and the more serious gum disease is to ensure your child is brushing properly twice a day.

… or Painful Teeth

Toothaches are one of the most common dental problems that affects children and adults alike. However, they’re not to be taken lightly. A toothache is a sign that something isn’t right. Usually that something is a cavity, but it’s still best to see a dentist as soon as you notice the pain and discomfort.

Maintaining your child’s appointments at our pediatric dental office in Long Island can go a long way in keeping any potential problems at bay. After all, preventing any issues in the first place is ideal. But if life gets in the way and your child needs to see a dentist in between regular visits, call to schedule an appointment today.

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

teen girl brushes her teethAs your child enters her teen years, she may begin to consider whitening her smile using over-the-counter tooth whitening strips. But as her parent, you’re unsure if smile whitening is safe for her growing grin. Our pediatric dental office in Long Island is here to provide you some insight on whitening strips and some risks of using them.

Let’s Look at the Research

As the popularity of over-the-counter white strips increases and buying them becomes easier, the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) began conducting research on the safety of children and teens using whitening strips. Below we’ve outlined some of the main results found as part of these studies.


Although whitening strips come with instructions, the AAPD’s research found a high user error when kids or teens tried using the product on their own. While this may seem like no big deal, if used incorrectly, teens expose themselves to risks of leaving the strips on for too long or even swallowing the product.

Hydrogen Peroxide Content

The active ingredient in whitening strips is hydrogen peroxide. While the amount of hydrogen peroxide differs from product to product, some strips can contain as much as 13 percent. This isn’t usually a problem for adults, but the higher the hydrogen peroxide content, the more risks there are to kids and teens.


As you may know a common side effect of using whitening strips is increased tooth sensitivity. This side effect isn’t limited to just teens or children either as many adults report sensitivity after using them. While it’s not clear if teens are at greater risk for more sensitivity than adults, it’s still a concern.  

So, Are Whitening Strips Safe for Teens?

According to the AAPD and your pediatric dentist in Long Island, more research is needed to truly take a position on whether whitening strips are safe for kids or teens. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean your child can’t do anything to brighten her smile.

Alternatives to Smile Whitening Strips

There are some surprisingly easy ways that help get, and keep, teeth nice and white:

  • Make sure your teen is brushing her teeth twice a day for two minutes each time
  • Avoid foods known to stain smiles including soda, coffee, berries, and pasta sauce
  • Have her see the dentist twice a year

The team at our Long Island pediatric dental office is committed to your child’s oral health and is here to get her a smile that’s not only strong and healthy, but also one that makes her feel confident. We welcome her (and you!) to talk with us about any concerns she may have about her smile so we can work together to resolve them.

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

young woman eats chocolateWe’ve got some fantastic news for all of our patients and parents with an active sweet tooth! It may come as a surprise, but the team at our Long Island pediatric dental office is telling everyone to go ahead and eat chocolate — for your smile’s sake! But before you head out to buy a dozen of your kid’s — or your– favorite candy bars, keep in mind that not just any chocolate will do.

Dark Chocolate: The Secret Cavity Fighter

Recent studies conducted by researchers in the United States, England, and Japan show a strong correlation between dark chocolate and its ability to ward off decay, cavities, and problem causing plaque. There’s even some evidence to support the idea that dark chocolate may be just as effective, or perhaps more-so, at fighting off cavities as fluoride. However, we’re not suggesting that you take a pass on your kid’s teeth fluoride treatments. More research and testing is needed before we can make an absolute claim as to the effectiveness of dark chocolate.

Why Dark Chocolate?

It’s not necessarily the dark chocolate itself that has all the oral health benefits. In fact, most of the credit is given to compounds found within dark chocolate, or more specifically the cocoa bean husk. All of the beneficial compounds found in dark chocolate are incredibly unique in that they have the ability to fight off both bacteria and plaque. There are even talks of one of these compounds, CBH, becoming an active ingredient in some dental products such as mouthwash and toothpaste because of its benefits.

Why is This Good News?

Let’s face it. Kids love sugar. But when they eat anything that contains a lot of sugar they put their teeth at risk for decay and cavities. As they snack on these sweet treats, sugar gets left behind in the mouth. But it’s not the sugar itself that causes the problem, it’s the bacteria that feed on the sugar. As bacteria fuel up on leftover sugar particles, they also release acid as a byproduct. This acid wears away the protective enamel, leaving teeth exposed to decay. What’s so unique and interesting about dark chocolate is that the bacteria and plaque fighting compounds counteract this process by eliminating bacteria from the get go.

Remember, Not All Chocolate is Good Chocolate

It’s important to remember that these studies and beneficial oral health claims are limited to dark chocolate and do not include milk chocolate or white chocolate. Even so, not all dark chocolate is created equal either. Try to find dark chocolate with less than 8 grams of sugar per serving. If you can get your hands on organic dark chocolate, that’s even better. Besides having oral health benefits, dark chocolate is also loaded with antioxidants and can be beneficial to overall health too.

As always, it’s also important, to maintain a proper oral hygiene routine at home and visit our pediatric dental office in Long Island twice a year for an optimally healthy mouth.  

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

pregnant woman takes vitaminDuring pregnancy, mom-to-be’s body needs adequate amounts of certain vitamins to support not only her system, but her growing baby too. Vitamin D is one of these vitamins that serves an important role. A proper intake of vitamin D helps mom’s bones stay strong, promotes healthy cell division, and supports calcium absorption. But getting enough Vitamin D during pregnancy is also important to baby’s development and, perhaps surprisingly, dental health.

Vitamin D and Baby’s Oral Health

At our Long Island pediatric dental office, we strive to keep our patients’ smiles healthy from the day they step into their first appointment. But recent research suggests that good dental health may begin even before your little one is born.

According to one study, children of moms who had a vitamin D deficiency were at greater risk of developing cavities during early childhood. Of the 206 women studied, 90% of them did not have adequate levels of vitamin D. Fast forward a few months to when the researchers examined the teeth of the now 16 month old children of these women. They found that nearly 22% had enamel defects, which makes teeth more susceptible to cavities, and almost 34% already had decay.  

The Link Between Vitamin D and Developing Babies

Even though you may not see your baby’s first tooth until he’s a few months old, all of his teeth are forming while he’s still in the womb. Just like bones, teeth need vitamin D to grow tough and strong. Since all of a baby’s vitamin and nutrient intake are dependent on mom during pregnancy, pregnant women need to get enough vitamin D in order to form health teeth.

How Much Vitamin D Do You Need During Pregnancy?

According to an American Pregnancy Association study, women who took 4,000 IU of vitamin D every day had a greater chance of carrying a baby full-term as well as decreased infections. Most prenatal vitamins contain only 400 IU, so additional sources of vitamin D should be added.

How to Get More Vitamin D

You can increase your vitamin D intake by eating foods with a high vitamin D content such as:

  • Egg Yolks
  • Salmon
  • Milk.

It’s also recommended to get 5-10 minutes of sun two or three times a week.

Pregnancy is such an exciting event, and we know you’re doing everything you can to keep your growing baby healthy. Once your little one is born, the best way to make sure his smile stays healthy is by seeing a pediatric dentist in Long Island when his first tooth pops through. Seeing a dentist early is a great way to get your baby comfortable with the experience and set him up for a lifetime of good oral health.

Posted by & filed under General Dentistry, Prevention.

secondhand smokeEarlier this month, the American Cancer Society hosted its annual Great American Smokeout to encourage smokers to pick a day to work consistently towards quitting in order to reduce their risk of all the health complications that can result from being a smoker. But smoking doesn’t only affect the smoker. Those who live with a smoker can suffer similar health consequences to the smoker himself. This includes children. At our pediatric dental office in Long Island, our purpose is to keep kids healthy, and one way we can do that is by educating our community on the health concerns associated with secondhand smoke.

Secondhand Smoke & Cavities

One of the potential problems from secondhand smoke that specifically concerns your pediatric dentist in Long Island is the potential link between it and cavities. A study conducted by the American Dental Association (ADA) showed a low to moderate risk of an increase in cavities in baby teeth subjected to secondhand smoke. Besides the potential increased risk for cavities, there are numerous other reasons smokers should avoid smoking with a child around.

Smoking During Pregnancy

There’s a good reason for all the warnings for pregnant moms to avoid smoking or spending time around those who do smoke. Smoking or being exposed to secondhand smoke during pregnancy can cause serious concerns including:

  • Low birth weight and perhaps an unhealthy baby
  • Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)
  • Premature birth
  • Miscarriage

Smoking Near an Infant or Child

Children of smokers are at increased risk for several concerns that can affect not only their health, but the quality of their lives. Some of these risks include:

  • More ear infections
  • Longer, more frequent colds
  • Bronchitis

As children grow, their bodies continue to develop. An exposure to secondhand smoke while growing up leaves children more likely to suffer problems later in life such as:

  • Underdeveloped lungs
  • Heart disease
  • Lung cancer

What’s more, children who grow up in a smoking household are more likely to become smokers themselves.

Our Long Island pediatric dental office isn’t here to lecture but rather to help both our neighbors and neighborhood children live long, healthy lives. If you’re looking to quit smoking, there are plenty of resources online or in person you can use to help. We know it’s a difficult habit to break, but we believe you can do it!

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

young boy with the flu‘Tis the season of sniffles and coughs, body aches and congestion. It’s officially the time of year when the flu can make for a miserable few days. But it doesn’t have to take its toll on your kids or you. Our pediatric dental office in Long Island is here to help you prevent the flu this season with some helpful tips.

Keep Little Ones’ Hands Clean

This tried and true life lesson is probably one of the best ways to avoid the flu or the common cold. Make sure your child washes his hands with warm, soapy water before meals, after using the restroom, or after touching another person. If soap and water isn’t accessible, carry an alcohol-based sanitizer to use on him instead.

Protect His Toothbrush

It may sound gross, but toothbrushes can harbor all sorts of germs. That’s why it’s important to take proper care of it. Make sure your child is thoroughly rinsing his toothbrush after each use, and make sure you store it in an upright position to air dry. Keep his toothbrush separated from yours and all family members’ toothbrushes separated from each other to avoid cross contamination. And of course, never share toothbrushes.

Give Him More Water

A body that’s hydrated it also better at fighting off germs and bacteria since it’s operating optimally. It’s recommended to drink at least 8 glasses of water a day, but during flu season you may consider increasing your child’s intake. Drinking plenty of H20 is not only great for the body, but it’s good for oral health, too.

Sanitize & Clean

Having the areas where you spend the most time clean and sanitary is key to keeping germs away. Pay attention to things that get touched the most — door knobs, remote control, toys, faucets, and toilets. Germs are invisible to the naked eye, so even if it seems clean it can’t hurt to give it a quick wipe down.

Keep His Hands Away From His Face

The CDC states that one of the most common ways germs are spread is by touching a contaminated surface then touching your eyes, nose, or mouth. These body parts have mucus that can easily transport germs into the body and make us sick.

Following this these tips can go a long way in helping you prevent your little one from getting knocked down from the flu. However, if he does happen to catch the bug, our Long Island pediatric dental office encourages you to use sugar-free medicines to help alleviate his symptoms. Not only will these medications help him feel a bit better, they’re safer for teeth, too.  

As always, having a healthy mouth can directly impact how healthy we are overall. Make sure your child brushes and flosses every day and maintains visits with his pediatric dentist in Long Island at least every six months.

Posted by & filed under General Dental Articles, General Dentistry.

little girl scared of dentistThere are many things at a dental office that may be scary for your child. Between the bright lights, the gloved hands, the masked face, not to mention someone he may not know well poking around his mouth, it’s understandable. But what can you do to help him overcome his fear of the dentist so he can get the early dental care he needs?  The team at our pediatric dental office in Long Island understands and are specially trained to help. In this blog, we cover five of the top ways to help ease dental fear.

  • Start Early. According to American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD), your child should see the dentist for the first time around his first birthday. The earlier you get your child to the dentist’s office, the better. Introducing your child to the dental office environment early helps establish a sense of understanding that your chosen pediatric dentist in Long Island is here to help, not harm. It also gives you the opportunity to build trust with the dental team so you’re just as comfortable at your child’s visits as he is.  
  • Make it Fun. Before bringing your child to his first dental visit, consider doing some role playing at home. Pretend to be a dentist, put on a mask and some gloves, and have your child recline and relax. Gently poke in his mouth with your fingers and simulate an actual dental appointment. Not only will your child feel comfortable with you, he’ll also be relaxed in in his own home. You can even take turns and allow him to become the dentist and poke around in your mouth. Count teeth, look at them in a mirror, use a spare toothbrush to brush the teeth on his favorite toys. Turning dental care into a fun game at home can really help make dental visits more relaxing and easy for both of you.
  • Keep Secrets. Even if you have a dental fear of your own, try your best to not let your child know. After all, if a parent is scared of something there’s a good chance the child will be too. Don’t discuss any bad experiences you may have had or use negative words like “hurt,” “shot,” or “pain.”
  • Talk About It. Let’s say you’ve already conquered your child’s first dental visit. And it didn’t go very well. If you know ahead of time that your child is scared of the dental office, tell your dentist and dental team. Dental teams that work with children are trained to recognize dental fear and are skilled on ways to help.
  • Visit Regularly. Like many things, dental visits tend to get easier with repetition. This is just one of many reasons your child’s bi-annual appointments are so important. Make sure you keep scheduled dental appointments to both help your child ease any fear and monitor his oral health for proper development.

Our Long Island pediatric dental office is always welcoming new patients, either with a known dental fear or not. We’re happy to see all of the littlest smiles in our community and are committed to providing a relaxing and gentle environment. We welcome you to call us today to set up an appointment.

Posted by & filed under General Dental Articles.

Halloween teensOctober isn’t only when we celebrate Halloween, it’s also National Orthodontic Month. With this in mind, the team at our pediatric dental office in Long Island thought it’d be a great time to combine the two and talk a bit about which Halloween treats are safe for those with braces. Don’t worry, if you do have braces, you still have plenty of yummy options to choose from.

Best Candy for Braces

When searching for safe candy options for braces, consider the texture of the sweets. Anything that’s super sticky, gooey, or hard is probably best to avoid. Instead, look for these top braces-friendly choices.

  • 3 Musketeers
  • Peanut Butter Cups
  • Peppermint Patties
  • Hershey’s Kisses
  • Milky Way
  • Crunch Bar/Krackel Bar
  • Pure Chocolate Bars

All of these delicious options are easy to bite and chew and don’t contain any ingredients that are hard enough to damage braces.

Worst Candy for Braces

At our Long Island pediatric dental office, we want all of our braces patients to have fun this Halloween and enjoy some treats. However, we also feel it’s important for them to be informed of what candy could potentially damage their brackets or wires so they also know what to avoid.

  • Hard Candy
  • Gum
  • Chewy Caramels
  • Jelly Beans
  • Nuts or anything containing nuts

Additionally, don’t attempt to eat any of the “safe foods” if they’ve been frozen. Freezing candy negates the soft texture that makes them safe for braces and biting into a rock hard candy bar can certainly cause some trouble.

When you’re out in the neighborhood gathering your treats and maybe showing off some tricks, politely pass on any candy that may cause damage to your braces and rather pick the pieces that are both delicious and safe.

Most importantly, be safe, have fun, and Happy Halloween from your Long Island pediatric dentist!