INSURANCE PLANS THAT WE ACCEPT
- Anthem Blue Cross (HMO and PPO)
- Aetna (HMO and PPO)
- Ameritas (HMO and PPO)
- Assurant (HMO and PPO)
- Blue Shield (PPO)
- Cigna (HMO and PPO)
- Delta Dental (HMO, PPO, and Premier PPO)
- United Concordia (HMO and PPO)
You may have some questions about your child’s teeth. Drs. Curtin and Mansouri, the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry and the American Dental Association recommend the following.
How can I prepare my child for his first dental appointment?
The best preparation for your child’s first visit to our office is to maintain a positive attitude. Children pick up on adults’ apprehensions and if you make negative comments about trips to the dentist, you can be sure that your child will fear an unpleasant experience and act accordingly. Let your child know that it’s important to keep his teeth and gums healthy, and that the dentist will help him do that. Remember that your pediatric dentist is specially trained to handle fears and anxiety and that our staff excels at putting children at ease during treatment. There are also many children’s books you can read to them ahead of time to put them at ease as well (ie Curious George, Dora, Berenstain Bears).
What should I use to clean my baby’s teeth?
A toothbrush will remove plaque bacteria that can lead to decay. Any soft-bristled toothbrush with a small head, preferably one designed specifically for children can be used. For children under two who may not like it, a brush that goes on your finger or simple gauze or wash cloth can be used as well. Children under 18 months can use plain water on the brush, children between 18 months and 2 years should use a very thin “smear layer,” children between 2 and 6 can use a pea-sized amount, and kids above 6 can brush like adults. Just make sure they are spitting out as much toothpaste as possible and swallowing as little as possible. Parent’s should assist in brushing until the child is 8 to 9.
When should I brush my child’s teeth?
After breakfast and before bedtime are the best times.
When should I floss my child’s teeth?
Flossing is recommended once the baby teeth start touching. Some children will have large spaces between all their teeth and some will have really tight contacts between them. And they can change over time. Single-use flossers are easier for kids to use than traditional floss.
When should I take my child to the dentist for the first check-up?
In order to prevent dental problems, your child should see a pediatric dentist when the first tooth appears, or no later than his/her first birthday. Anticipatory guidance will be given and a quick exam will be done. We will incorporate cleanings and xrays into the appointments as the child becomes comfortable with us.
What is the difference between a pediatric dentist and a family dentist?
A pediatric dentist has two to three years specialty training following dental school and limits his/her practice to treating children only. Pediatric dentists are primary and specialty oral care providers for infants and children through adolescence, including those with special health needs.
Are baby teeth really that important to my child?
Baby teeth are important for many reasons. Not only do they help children speak clearly and chew naturally, they also aid in forming a path that permanent teeth can follow when they are ready to erupt and allow normal development of the jaw bone and muscles.
What should I do if my child has a toothache?
Give the child children’s ibuprofen or acetaminophen for pain. Orajel will help alleviate pain in the gums for a short amount of time, but will not affect the teeth at all. Finally, call our office as soon as possible. We may need to see them and get an xray to figure the problem.
What should I do if my child has a swelling?
If it’s an infected upper tooth where a large swelling is on the cheek and approaching the eye or a lower tooth where the swelling is under the chin and approaching the neck or airway, the child may need to go to the emergency room or urgent care for IV antibiotics. If it is a small bump or bubble on the gums above or below the tooth, call our office to get him/her seen as soon as possible.
Are thumbsucking and pacifier habits harmful for a child’s teeth?
Thumb and pacifier sucking habits will generally only become a problem if they go on for a very long period of time. Most children stop these habits on their own, but if they are still sucking their thumbs or fingers past the age of four or five, we will talk about future treatment options after the permanent teeth start erupting.
Should I put my child to bed with a bottle?
Try to avoid nursing your child to sleep or putting anything other than water in a bedtime bottle. During sleeping the saliva decreases and the milk will sit on the teeth for a long time, possibly starting the process that leads to decay. If they need this before bedtime, brush afterwards as normal.
How do dental sealants work?
Sealants work by filling in the crevasses on the chewing surfaces of the teeth. This prevents food and liquids from getting caught in the teeth, causing cavities. The application is fast and comfortable and can effectively protect teeth for many years.
How safe are dental X-rays?
There is very little risk in dental X-rays. Pediatric dentists are especially careful to limit the amount of radiation to which children are exposed. Protective aprons and high-speed digital films are used to ensure safety and minimize the amount of radiation.
Can diet affect my child’s teeth?
Though a balanced diet is certainly important in preventing cavities, experts agree that cavities are not only the result of what children eat, but also how often they eat. Frequent snacking without brushing leaves food on the teeth longer and fosters tooth decay. Make sure your child has a balanced diet, including one serving each of: fruits and vegetables, breads and cereals, milk and dairy products, and meat fish and eggs. Limiting the servings of sugars and starches will also aid in protecting your child’s teeth from decay.