Posted by & filed under Health, Oral Care.

rows of bottled waterThese days you can’t go very far without seeing bottled water, whether you’re scanning the aisles at your favorite supermarket, cheering on your kids at their latest sporting event, or perhaps packing for a trip to your favorite vacation destination. Our pediatric dental office in Long Island wants you and your family to stay healthy and hydrated, which may mean drinking more bottled water. There are some extremely excellent benefits to bottled H20 but did you know there are also some cons too, especially for kids?

Pros of Bottled H20: The Good News!

  1. Conveniently Hydrated on The Go

Bottled water is an excellent solution for having delicious drinking water anytime, anywhere. It’s portable and travels easily in briefcases, purses, gym bags, backpacks, and more. It’s helpful when you’re venturing to different places where potable drinking water may not be readily available. Sometimes, given your surroundings (i.e. camping or in a foreign country) it’s easier to have a bottle of water with you. It’s also able to be purchased conveniently.

  1. Storage and Taste

In the event of a disaster or other emergency, having bottled water on hand is definitely helpful and it can be a lifesaver depending on the circumstances. Because bottled water does not expire, it’s always a good idea to keep some stored away, just in case. Depending on the condition of your tap water, bottled H20 also tends to taste better too. This usually due, in part, to the purification process certain types of bottle water must undergo during the preparation process.

Cons: What’s Bad About Bottled Water?

  1. Comparing The Costs

Because there are so many additional necessary steps to ensure bottled water is safe to drink (purification, packaging, transporting, marketing, etc.), it can tend to be a bit more pricey than the water flowing from your tap.

  1. Considering The Risks

Your pediatric dentist in Long Island wants you to know about the possible health risks associated with bottled water. Did you know commercially produced bottled water does not contain fluoride, while tap water does? Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral that helps keep teeth strong and healthy. It’s especially important that kids get enough fluoride for their growing teeth. Some plastic bottles also contain the chemical bisphenol A(BPA) which can seep into the water before you drink it. This risk increases significantly if your water is stored somewhere hot in direct sunlight.

  1. Telling The Difference

Did you know that in some cases bottled water is just filtered tap water? It’s really no different than what’s coming out of your faucet! Some of the most popular brands of bottled water come from the same factories that produces soft drinks who simply bottle up that water. It’s not from a special source or a spring, it’s origins start in a factory. Sometimes it just makes more sense to fill your own water bottle from a source that you know is clean. It also helps cut down on waste created by the huge percentage of plastic bottles that end up in our nation’s landfills.

We hope you learned a little bit about some of the benefits and some of the potential downfalls to drinking bottled H20! Our Long Island pediatric dental office knows how important it is that you and your family stay healthy and hydrated. That’s why we’re here to help. If you have any questions about what we discussed here today, please don’t hesitate to give us a call! We look forward to seeing you and your family at your next dental visit.

Posted by & filed under General Dentistry.

child in dental chair getting dental fillingYour child goes in for his routine cleaning and exam and his pediatric dentist in Long Island ends up finding a cavity that needs a filling (oh, no!). Now you’re faced with a decision — restore the tooth with a silver metal filling, or a tooth-colored composite on? It will probably help to understand the difference between the two first. We’re here to do just that.

Understanding Each Type of Filling

Before we dive into the pros and cons of both silver and tooth-colored fillings, let’s talk a bit about what’s in each type. Silver fillings are also known as amalgam fillings and are made from a mixture of silver (hence the color), tin, copper, and mercury. Tooth-colored fillings, or composite fillings, are made from ceramic and plastic resins that can be color-matched to other teeth.

Compare the Pros

While our pediatric dental office in Long Island prefers using composite fillings, there are a few benefits to both kinds of restorations.

Amalgam – Silver-colored fillings are incredibly strong and are sometimes preferred for back teeth. These fillings also tend to be less expensive than their tooth-colored counterparts.

Composite – Other than the obvious positive of basically being camouflaged in the mouth, composite fillings are also pretty strong. Additionally, the procedure for a composite filling requires less drilling.  

Check out the Cons

Just as each option has positives, they both have some negatives that are worth mentioning so you can choose the best solution for your child.

Amalgam – The most commonly talked about negative with amalgam fillings is the color. They’re easily seen in the mouth and can create a smile that appears dark. In addition, the mercury component has been in the limelight lately. Despite the fact that agencies including the FDA, CDA, and WHO have found no evidence of harm, there continues to be concerns about its safety.

Composite – Tooth-colored fillings are typically more expensive than a silver filling because of both the materials used as well as the time it takes to complete the restoration. There’s also a higher chance of these fillings needing replacement earlier than amalgam.

If it’s been awhile since your child has been to the dentist, we welcome you to call our Long Island pediatric dental office to schedule an appointment today, especially if you suspect a cavity.

Accepting patients from all areas of Long Island.

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

male dentist looking at dental x-ray with little girlWe get asked a lot of questions at our pediatric dental office in Long Island, and we don’t mind answering them one bit! We believe that the more our patients’ parents know, the healthier their children’s smiles will be. One thing we hear quite often is wanting to know more about dental x-rays and the different types, why we use them, and if they’re safe.

The 4 Most Common Types of Dental X-Rays

There are several different types of x-rays that your pediatric dentist in Long Island may use to look at various parts of the mouth’s anatomy. Each type is used for a different reason and can show different problems. Let’s take a look at each one.

  • Bitewing X-rays. These x-rays are helpful in catching cavities early on and allow the dentist to see places in between teeth not visible with the naked eye. Sometimes, your child won’t have this type of x-ray until they have their first permanent molar, or until their back teeth touch each other.
  • Panoramic X-rays. Panoramic x-rays show the entire set of teeth, both top and bottom and from front to back, in one photo. They can also display the jaw joints (TMJ) as well as the top sinuses. While no film inside the mouth is need with these, a patient does need to stand still for up to 18 seconds.
  • Periapical X-rays. This type of x-ray is pretty cool and can show the permanent teeth before they erupt through the gums. They’re also used to check the bone structure, for gum disease, or abscesses.
  • Orthodontic X-rays. Orthodontic x-rays actually look at both the teeth as well as the head. Taken from the side, the images produced from the x-ray can help a dentist or orthodontist create an accurate treatment plan.

Are Dental X-Rays Safe?

Safety is our top priority with everything we do, including x-rays. Advancements in technology have helped the x-rays perform faster, meaning less exposure to the already low amount of radiation. Dental x-rays emit minimal radiation and are very safe for both children and adults.

We recommend that your child visits our Long Island pediatric dental office at least once every six months, but she may not need to have x-rays at every appointment. Some children don’t need x-rays as often as others. Your pediatric dentist will look at your child’s oral health and development to determine how often she should have x-rays taken. If there’s been a history of cavities or a higher risk of decay, we’ll probably follow the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry guideline of taking x-rays twice a year.

Accepting new patients from all around Long Island and the surrounding areas.

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

young woman asking questionThere are times when the team at our pediatric dental office in Long Island may recommend a frenectomy for a patient. But we understand that many patients’ parents aren’t exactly sure what a frenectomy is and why one may be needed. So we decided that we should cover the basics to help all of our patients (and their parents) stay properly informed.

A Little About Anatomy

Before we can dive into the treatment itself, we need to talk a bit about the mouth’s anatomy. The mouth has two thin muscular attachments called frenum that can inhibit normal function of the mouth. One of these is the tight muscle found under the tongue that connects the tongue to the lower part of the mouth (called the lingual frenum). The other connects the top lip to the gum tissue above the top teeth (called the maxillary labial frenum). When either one of these effects tongue function or proper tooth placement, a frenectomy may be appropriate.

What’s a Frenectomy?

Simply put, a frenectomy is the removal or shortening of a frenum. A frenectomy is usually recommended if the frenum is clearly causing pain or hindering proper function.

Why Are Frenectomies Important?

The benefits behind a frenectomy depends on which frenum needs treatment.

Lingual Frenum Frenectomy  – When the lingual frenum is too long and extends to the tip of the tongue, it can directly affect tongue function. Most common in children, a lingual frenum frenectomy can help restore proper tongue function and can make swallowing, eating, and talking easier.

Maxillary Labial Frenum Frenectomy – A large maxillary labial frenum or one that attaches close to the teeth can create a gap in between the two front teeth. Usually, your Long Island pediatric dentist will recommend holding off treatment until permanent adult teeth are in place unless it’s causing pain.

How is a Frenectomy Performed?

We understand that the procedure may sound scary, but it’s actually quite simple. Treatment always begins by numbing the area. Then the frenum is cut away from the either the floor of the mouth or the gum line. Following a few stitches, the treatment is complete.

If you’ve been told your child needs a frenectomy and you have questions, give our Long Island pediatric dental office a call. We’re always happy to help.

Posted by & filed under General Dental Articles.

Easter candyThis time of the year, it’s nearly impossible to avoid the pastel packages of chocolate bunnies, gooey marshmallow chicks, and sugary sweet treats of all kinds. At our pediatric dental office in Long Island, we know how difficult it can be to limit your child’s intake of candy, especially during holidays when it’s a common gift. But we’re hoping this year we’ll able to talk a bit about which candies are the worst for teeth so you’ll able to make a smarter choice.

What to Avoid

  • Pure Sugar. Any type of candy that’s simply powdery sugar is bad news for teeth. The reason why is pretty straightforward. It’s just sugar. That’s it. And as anyone knows, sugar causes decay. A straight shot of it to the teeth can definitely increase the likelihood of cavities.
  • Anything Sticky. Caramels, gummy animals, and taffy are notorious for getting stuck in the grooves of teeth. The longer these sugar-packed treats are left behind, the more likely it is for bacteria to start eating away at the tooth’s enamel. A special note to parents with kids in braces: sticky foods can cause damage to the brackets and wires and require repairs. It’s best to avoid it.  
  • Super Sour Stuff. Another cavity-causing culprit is acid, and sour candies are loaded with it. Acid erodes the teeth’s protective layer of enamel, making it easier for bacteria to get in the hard-to-reach places, leading to cavities.
  • Hard Candies & Lollipops. There are a few reasons these tough little candies cause problems. First, they’re hard, and if someone bites on them too quickly it could result in a chipped or cracked tooth. What also makes your Long Island pediatric dentist cringe is that they usually take quite awhile to eat, which means teeth are being soaked in sugar that whole time.

Choose Something Smarter

We know we’ve eliminated some of the most popular types of candy in our list, but there are other options that are just as tasty and a lot less damaging. When searching for sweets any time of the year, look for:

  • Dark Chocolates (bonus if it’s hollow!)
  • Sugar-Free Snacks
  • Bars Packed with Nuts

A sugary snack is alright every now and then, just try to not over due it. And always remember to guide your little one with regular brushing, flossing, and visits to our Long Island pediatric dental office at least every six months.

Posted by & filed under Dental Emergency, Prevention.

dental emergencyNo parent ever wants their child to experience an emergency of any kind, and dental emergencies can be particularly concerning and confusing. What’s the right thing to do? What shouldn’t you do? Don’t worry, our pediatric dental office in Long Island is here to help.

Different Emergencies Require Different Care

Not all dental emergencies should be handled the same way, so we’ve outlined some of the most common emergencies and what you can do if they happen to your child.

Chipped or Broken Tooth – First, rinse the mouth and any broken pieces you happen to find with warm water. If your child is bleeding, apply gauze and a bit of pressure to help stop it. Swelling and pain can be reduced with a cold compress.

Knocked Out Tooth – It’s important to realize that baby teeth are important and are placeholders for permanent, adult teeth. If one is lost before it falls out naturally, dental problems down the road can arise so it should be treated quickly. The key to saving a knocked out tooth is to find it as quickly as possible. Once you do, make sure to only touch the tooth crown, not the roots. You can then try to replace the tooth into the socket. If that’s not working, place the tooth in a glass of milk and get to a dentist. Your tooth has the best chance of survival if it’s returned to the socket within an hour.

Toothache – A toothache is typically a sign of a bigger problem and shouldn’t be ignored. Get to your child’s dentist as soon as you can. In the meantime, relieve pain with a cold compress and some medicine. A quick rinse with warm salt water can help too. Whatever you do, do NOT place aspirin directly on the gums as it can cause tissue damage.

Something’s Stuck Between TeethWhen a pesky food particle or something else gets wedged between teeth, there could be pain and it’s best to get it out. Avoid using anything sharp to pick it out. Choose floss instead.

No matter what type of emergency your little one has, a good rule of thumb is to call your Long Island pediatric dentist as soon as you can.

At our Long Island pediatric dental office, we’re in the business of keeping little smiles healthy, and we never want one of our patients to have a dental emergency. But the truth is, emergencies happen. When they do, we welcome you to call our office for help.

Accepting new patients from Long Island, Westbury, Nassau County and beyond. 

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

brushingOccasionally parents of our patients come to us wondering if it’s normal for their kid’s gums to bleed and if it’s something they should worry about. Despite common belief, it’s not normal for gums to bleed, and it’s always a concern, especially for our pediatric dental office in Long Island. In this blog, we cover some of the most common reasons kids (and adults!) experience gum bleeding.

Brushing Too Hard

We encourage all of our patients to get in the habit of brushing their teeth as early as possible. However, it’s pretty common for children and adults alike to brush using too much pressure. Brushing too hard can wear down the protective enamel, leaving teeth at greater risk for decay and cavities. Over-brushing also tends to contribute to gum damage, hence the bleeding gums.

Starting to Floss

When a child first begins flossing their teeth, it’s common for them to experience some gum bleeding. The tissues in between teeth are delicate and can become irritated upon initial flossing. If this seems to be the case with your child, don’t worry. The bleeding should go away on its own in about a week.   

Medications

Certain medications can directly affect the mouth and cause gum inflammation. If this occurs, gums become more sensitive and could begin to bleed. If your child just started a new medication and the gum bleeding began around the same time, the medicine may be to blame. Don’t change the recommended dosage, but do supervise them while brushing and make sure they’re using soft, gentle circles.

Gum Disease

Typically gum bleeding caused by any of the above should stop once the medicine regimen is completed or brushing and flossing habits are changed. If it doesn’t, it may be a sign of gum disease. Gum disease is usually caused by poor oral hygiene and a buildup of plaque. Make sure your child is brushing gently with a soft-bristled toothbrush twice a day, and flossing properly once a day. If the bleeding is an ongoing problem, it’s best to see your pediatric dentist in Long Island as soon as you can to get a proper diagnosis and begin any recommended remedy.

Is your child experiencing gum bleeding? Give our Long Island pediatric dental office a call today. We’ll be happy to help!

Accepting new patients from Long Island, Westbury, Nassau County.

Posted by & filed under Health, Prevention.

reduce sugarSugar is every dentist’s worst enemy. It negatively affects oral health and puts teeth at increased risk for decay, cavities, and can lead to more serious dental and overall health problems. At our pediatric dental office in Long Island, we care about our patients’ smiles and well being, which why we’re strong believers in limiting the amount of sugar they ingest. In this blog, we talk about the top ways reduce your child’s sugar intake (and maybe yours too!) for a healthier, happier smile and body.

Sugar: It’s Not Just a Tooth Problem

When most people think of sugar, they immediately think of its negative effect on teeth. And while that’s definitely a fact, too much sugar can be dangerous to overall health too. An abundance of sugar in one’s diet can actually reduce brain function, cause headaches, and lead to overeating, obesity, and Type 2 diabetes.

How Much Is Too Much?

The recommended amount of sugar intake varies from age to age and between genders. According to the American Heart Association, appropriate daily sugar intake is as follows:

  • 1 to 3 years = 12 teaspoons
  • 4 to 8 years = 21 teaspoons
  • Boys 9 to 19 years = 29-34 grams
  • Girls 9 to 19 years = 23-25 grams

Ways to Lower Sugar Intake

  • Eliminate sweets. Sounds easier said than done, but there are other healthier ways to get the recommended amount of sugar, like fruits, for example.
  • Check out labels. Sugar can hide in some surprising places such as yogurt and cereal. Read the labels and know what you’re buying.
  • Remove sugary drinks. Soda is the obvious one, but teas, flavored waters, and sports drinks can also pack a sugary punch. Stick to water.
  • Cook at home. By making your own meals, you’re in control of what ingredients you include.
  • Choose unsweetened. Satisfy cravings for treats by selecting unsweetened versions of common baked goods.

Reducing the amount of sugar in your family’s diet can do a lot to protect oral and overall health. We know it may be challenging, but we know you can do it! Remember, diet is only part of what makes smiles and bodies happy. Always keep appointments with your child’s Long Island pediatric dentist at least twice a year (same goes for you too!).

Looking for the right dentist for your children? Give our Long Island pediatric dental office a call today!
Welcoming patients from Long Island, Westbury, Nassau County  

Posted by & filed under General Dentistry, Health.

Childrens Dental Health MonthIt’s one of our most favorite times of the year again! Each year, February is recognized as National Children’s Dental Health Month, and that’s definitely a cause our pediatric dental office in Long Island can get behind — it is what we do, after all!

What is Children’s Dental Health Month?

Hosted by the American Dental Association (ADA), Children’s Dental Health Month serves to bring attention to the importance of dental care for kids. Every year there’s a new theme complete with fun activities to help children learn how to care for their smiles and why keeping a healthy mouth is crucial for a healthy life.

This year, the focus is on our favorite beverage of choice, water, and why it’s great for growing smiles. There are plenty of educational tools and things just for kids including:

  • Posters
  • Coloring Sheets
  • A Complete Planning Guide
  • And More!

Just head over to the ADA website to check them out. The best part? They’re free!

What Else Can You Do?

Dental health for kids isn’t something that’s only important in February. Education and proper dental health should be an ongoing effort for parents. There are several things you can do year-round to continue making learning about dental health fun.

  • Chart & Stickers. Have your child earn fun stickers for brushing twice a day for at least two minutes.
  • Watch Videos. There are multiple cartoons and children’s shows that talk about healthy smiles. Even YouTube is packed with educational videos on dental health. From how to brush your teeth to being comfortable at the dentist, you’re sure to find something resonates with your little one.
  • Pick Up a Book. Reading stories is a great way to capture and keep your child’s attention. Find a few kid-friendly books about dental health with lovable characters and make story time a regular thing. Bonus! Reading also helps develop reading and comprehension skills.

Starting kids off with good oral hygiene practices is the best way to ensure a lifetime of happy, healthy smiles. Make dental care and learning the importance of proper oral hygiene fun by following the tips above and visiting our Long Island pediatric dental office regularly.

Accepting patients from Long Island, Westbury, Nassau County and the surrounding areas.

Posted by & filed under Health.

strong bonesOur Long Island pediatric dental office is here to care for kids’ smiles, and a big part of a healthy mouth is a healthy diet. While a healthy and balanced diet is important for everyone, it’s especially important for kids. Growing children need proper nutrition to build strong bones and teeth to set them up for a healthy life.  

What to Choose

  • Milk – This probably comes as no surprise as milk is always a popular recommendation from pediatricians and pediatric dentists, and for good reason. A powerful provider of calcium and phosphorus, milk is a great choice to help build strong teeth and bones.
  • Yogurt – Yogurt packs a healthy dose of protein as well as calcium…both of which are important for proper bone and tooth development.
  • Cheese – Rounding out the dairy food group, cheese not only provides kids with calcium and protein, it helps neutralize acids which protects teeth against cavities.
  • Broccoli – Broccoli is another great source of calcium, and one of the best vegetables your kid can eat to get their recommended amount. Though it’s best if eaten raw, lightly steamed broccoli can still be hugely beneficial.
  • Blueberries – This colorful fruit is one of the best foods your kid can eat. Loaded with  antioxidants, blueberries can protect against toxins. Plus they have a high manganese content which keeps bones strong.    

What to Avoid

Choosing the right foods for your child’s growing body and smile is important, but avoiding those foods that can be harmful is also just as vital. There’s a quick and easy test to see if it’s a food you should take a pass on, or choose to let your kids eat in moderation. Ask yourself: Is it sticky? Is it sugary? Is it left in the mouth for a long time (like a lollipop)? If the answer is yes to any of those, it’s best to look for an alternative.

Proper nutrition is only one part of aiding in tooth development. It’s still important for your child to maintain a healthy at-home oral health routine of brushing and flossing every day, and keeping regular appointments with his Long Island pediatric dentist.

Whether you’re concerned for your child’s dental health, or you’re just looking for a dentist to care for his smile, we’re more than happy to help. Give our pediatric dental office in Long Island a call to schedule an appointment today.
Welcoming patients from Long Island, Westbury, Nassau County