Common Questions

What Long Island Families are
Asking About Our Care

The fluoride in the toothpaste helps with the teeth that have already erupted into the mouth- the ones you can see. The fluoride in the multivitamin is for the teeth that are developing in the jaws. If you live on Long Island, the vast majority of the water supply is NOT fluoridated, so your dentist or pediatrician may recommend a supplement. The water supply of New York City and the boroughs are fluoridated; therefore there is no need for supplementation if your water supply is from these areas. To learn more about fluoride and its benefits or to find out if your water supply has fluoride, please visit www.cdc.gov/fluoridation/
Most of our parents are stunned to hear that the first dental visit should occur no later than age 1!! The age one dental health initiative was highlighted after a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) comparing dental health of Americans in 1988-2002 found a 15.2% increase in cavities among 2-5 year olds. The only child and adolescent group to exhibit increased tooth decay.
During this first visit, the doctors check for proper oral and facial development and detect early tooth decay. Part of this appointment includes a cavity risk assessment and discussion of pacifiers, thumb/finger habits, teething, fluoride supplements and a personalized program of home care for your child. Drs. Ehrenman and Khan believe that the earlier the dental visit, the better the chance of preventing dental disease.
Sealants are plastic coatings that are applied to the chewing surfaces of permanent back teeth. This material bonds into the deep pits and grooves where most tooth decay in children and teens occurs. The teeth most likely to benefit are the first and second permanent molars, which appear at approximately 6 and 12 years of age, respectively. Drs. Ehrenman and Khan will let you know at a routine cleaning visit when your child is ready for sealants. Once placed, the sealants are checked at every six month appointment. Sealants last on average 3-5 years and when intact, are over 90% successful in preventing chewing surface cavities.
How quickly a loose tooth comes out depends a lot on the child. Some of our patients are “wigglers”. They can’t wait for that tooth fairy visit, so they play with that loose tooth and have it out in a matter of days. And then we have the other extreme, a child who won’t touch, brush or even eat on a tooth that is even slightly loose. It is time to call the dentist if 1) your child complains of pain/discomfort on a regular basis, 2) you notice swollen, red bleeding gums in the area or 3) you can see the permanent tooth coming into the mouth and the baby tooth is still there. This last one is especially important to prevent the permanent tooth from becoming impacted or misaligned.
A child’s jaw and teeth are continually growing and changing up to and through the teenage years. Since each child’s growth and development is unique, there is no one age to initiate treatment. Therefore, regular checkups are critical to ensuring that your child will receive appropriate orthodontic treatment at the appropriate time. These visits are most important when your child is losing baby teeth, usually at 6-yrs. and age 10-11yrs., once again as an average. Drs. Ehrenman and Khan are trained to recognize and manage abnormalities in the developing dentition. The doctors conduct an orthodontic evaluation of your child at every regular cleaning visit. When he/she is ready for orthodontic treatment the Doctors will let you know. In the meantime, we encourage and welcome you to ask any questions you may have about your child’s teeth or bite.