The Benefits of Choosing a Pediatric Dentist for Your Child

If you were to look in a textbook for a description of a pediatric dentist, you would read a definition that states “the branch of the dental healing arts that focuses on the condition of children and associated structures of the oral cavity.”  However, if you ask a pediatric dentist to define what they do, you will get a much different answer. The truth is a pediatric dentist is so much more and there are many benefits to having a pediatric dentist treat your child.

One of the biggest advantages of choosing a pediatric dentist is their gentle nature. Going to see the dentist can be overwhelming for many adults, so imagine how a young child must feel. Pediatric dentists are aware of these common concerns and because they have the training and skills to manage them, they are best suited to make your child feel comfortable and at ease once they are in the dentist’s chair.

While having a dentist who makes your child feel comfortable is important, it is equally as important to make sure that the person taking care of them is well qualified; this happens to be another advantage of selecting a pediatric dentist. Pediatric dentists receive an additional two years of formal training to focus on the growth and development of a child’s oral cavity, from birth through the teenage years. Since pediatric dentists specialize in caring for children’s teeth, they are naturally better equipped to address the many potential problems that may occur, such as a delayed loss of baby teeth or the development of cavities and tooth decay.

Pediatric dentists take a holistic approach to providing care to children and work with parents to identify environmental factors that may contribute to poor dental health, such as dietary choices and the potential risks associated with habits such as thumb sucking, teeth grinding or the use of a pacifier.  These interactive opportunities serve to empower the entire family to lead a healthier lifestyle.

Statistics indicate that pre-school children are getting more cavities than ever before, with one out of every four children having one by the age of four. In addition, children miss more time from school due to tooth aches than they do from the flu. Due to these alarming facts a pediatric dentist will practice developmentally-based dental care by focusing a great deal of time during your child’s initial visits on teaching them about good dental habits, such as how to properly take care of their gums and teeth.

The pediatric dental team at Jamaica Hospital is dedicated to treating all children, from the time their first tooth erupts through their high school years. They believe the world is a happier place when it is filled with smiling children and they take pride in maintaining those smiles.

For more information, or to schedule an appointment at Jamaica Hospital’s Pediatric Dental Center, please call 718-206-6980.

 

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

CAVITY PREVENTION TIPS

Sweet black girl patient showing in mirror her teeth

According to the American Dental Association (ADA) parents should instill in their children the importance of good oral hygiene at an early age, ensuring that this ritual will continue when they become adults.

 It is suggested that good oral hygiene be factored together when children are taught how to keep themselves healthy.

The ADA provides these age-by-age tips:

Babies, Toddlers and Pre-School

  • After each feeding, clean the baby’s gums with a clean wet gauze pad or washcloth
  • When teeth start to appear, brush them with a child’s size toothbrush and plain water
  • Begin flossing when at least two teeth begin to touch
  • Start dental visits by the child’s first birthday and make visits regularly
  • Brush teeth of children over age two with a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste and be sure to floss daily
  • Supervise your children while they are brushing their teeth to prevent them from swallowing the toothpaste

School-Age Children and Adolescents

  • Until they are six or seven years old, continue to brush your children’s teeth twice a day with a child size toothbrush and a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste
  • Continue to assist with flossing as needed
  • By age six or seven, children should be able to brush their own teeth twice a day but may require supervision until about age 10 or 11
  • Ask the dentist about dental sealants, protective plastic coating that can be applied to chewing surfaces of the back teeth where decay often starts
  • Remind your adolescent about practicing good oral hygiene

 If your child has dental problems, you should visit a dentist as soon as possible. If you would like to schedule an appointment for your child at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center’s Dental Center call 718-206-6980

 

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Diabetes and Your Oral Health

ThinkstockPhotos-78748368Living with diabetes can affect your entire body and your mouth no exception. The good news however is that by effectively managing your blood sugar and practicing good oral hygiene habits, you can avoid diabetes-related problems to your teeth and gums.
Diabetes can take a toll on your mouth in the following ways:

• Tooth decay (cavities) – When bacteria in the mouth interact with sugars and starches found in the food we eat, it creates plaque, which destroys the enamel on our teeth and creates cavities. There are more sugars and starches in the mouths of diabetics because they have higher blood glucose levels, and are therefore more susceptible to tooth erosion and damage.

• Gum disease (gingivitis) – Diabetes reduces our bodies ability to fight bacteria, such as plaque. When plaque hardens on the gum line, it creates tartar, which can irritate the gums and cause swelling and bleeding. Gum disease can advance to a condition known as periodontitis, which can result in your teeth falling out.

• Thrush -People with diabetes who take antibiotics to combat infections are more likely to develop this fungal infection of the mouth and tongue, causing a burning sensation. This fungus thrives on the high levels of blood sugar found in the saliva of diabetics.

You can do a lot to avoid these problems, including:

• Manage your diabetes by monitoring your blood sugar and keeping it within your target     range

• Take good care of your mouth by brushing at least two times per day with a soft-bristled brush and floss once per day to help remove plaque.

• Schedule regular dental visits and make sure your dentist is aware that you have diabetes and provide him with your doctor’s contact information.

• Look out for early signs of gum disease such as redness, bleeding or swelling. Also alert your dentist of loose teeth or mouth pain.

• Quit smoking as it increases the risk of serious diabetic complications, including gum disease. Ask your doctor about ways to quit if you need help.

If you have diabetes and are experiencing problems with your teeth and gums, make an appointment with your dentist immediately. Jamaica Hospital operates a full-service dental facility on its main campus. For more information or to schedule an appointment, please call 718-206-6980.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.