At Pediatric Dental Associates of Randolph, we are passionate about children’s teeth. Aside from our dedication to caring for kids pearly whites, our other passion is to educate both children and their caregivers on all things impacting optimal oral health.
Often adults don’t truly appreciate the important role baby teeth play in a child’s development. Sure those cute little teeth are adorable in photos or when your child smiles up at you but did you know they also play a vital role in many areas crucial for your child’s optimal long-term health?
One of the obvious first jobs of baby teeth is to allow your little one to begin chewing solid foods. As your child approaches their first birthday these first teeth play an important role in speech development. At the same time as your child is first learning to speak, their adult teeth are forming beneath the gum line, directly below the baby teeth. One of the most important jobs these primary teeth have is to act as placeholders for the adult teeth as they grow and form.
For these reasons, it is vitally important to take optimal care of these first teeth. They should never be thought of as “just baby teeth” instead they should be the instrument for teaching proper oral care that will remain with your child throughout their lifetime. Without baby teeth performing their critical job, proper nutrition, speech, jaw growth and development would not be accomplished.
If you have any questions on the importance of baby teeth or anything regarding your child’s oral care, please feel free to call our office at (973) 989-7970 and speak to one of our pediatric oral care experts.
The selection of toothpaste at the grocery store seems to grow weekly. With a little knowledge about what’s best for your little one, you can successfully navigate this isle and make a toothpaste selection that will make you happy and your child eager to brush.
From the time the first teeth begin to erupt until all permanent teeth come in it is especially important for children to use a toothpaste containing fluoride. Fluoride in toothpaste helps to prevent cavities by strengthening teeth. Until a child is capable of spitting out toothpaste when brushing, a rice or pea sized amount should be used at this stage. While you may not love the idea of purchasing separate toothpastes for your kids, toothpastes with whiteners should be avoided as they are too abrasive for baby teeth which are softer than adult teeth.
In order to get your child excited about brushing it is a great idea to allow them input in selecting their toothpaste. Many manufacturers make kid-friendly options that taste appealing to children and are also tooth friendly as well. You may shake your head at why a 3 year old prefers bubble gum flavor over mint, but the important issue at this age is to get your child to be compliant at brushing for 2 minutes twice a day. The right ingredients are much more important than the flavor of the toothpaste.
Some great, kid friendly options available in most grocery stores today are:
Toms Of Maine
Toms of Maine makes toothpastes that contain fluoride as well as those that do not contain fluoride. The only Toms of Maine toothpastes that contain fluoride are the Fruitilicious Children’s Gel and Outrageous Orange Mango Children’s Toothpaste
Kids 2 in 1 Strawberry Smash or Watermellon Toothpaste
Toothpaste featuring Disney and Marvel characters in flavors like sparkle fun, bubble gum and minty breeze
If you have questions about your child’s toothpaste, or any issues related to their oral health, please give our office a call. Our trained professionals are always eager to provide the answers you are seeking.
If your child is found to have a cavity, a composite filling will be used to fill the space where the decayed part of the tooth was. The composite resin is actually made of porcelain mixed with either quartz or glass. Composite fillings look and feel virtually the same as natural teeth. The use of composite fillings are much better at improving the quality of your child’s smile. A composite filling bonds to the dental wall and supports any weakened dental structures helping to make the tooth stronger.
Composite fillings are the most common forms of dental cavity treatments available. In treating the cavity we first remove bacteria in the tooth and then all the damaged tooth areas. After that, we apply a very mild chemical solution to etch the inside of the cavity to help ensure that the composite filling will bond with the teeth. Another advantage of a composite resin filling is that it hardens in just a few seconds.
Here at Pediatric Dental Associates of Randolph, we are committed to making sure that every visit to our office is a positive experience. One of the ways we differentiate our practice from the rest is by doing everything we can to make sure our young patients are relaxed, unafraid and actually have fun when visiting our office. We understand children.
We specialize in treating children and we are experts at interacting with children in a way that is calming and empowering to them. Our office is designed specifically for children, both in our decor and equipment. We also understand the vital importance of dispelling any fears or anxieties of the dentist as early as possible, so it doesn’t continue into adulthood.
It is also important for parents to keep in check any of their own fears of the dentist so as not to influence their children’s ability to form a healthy relationship with a dental office.
One of the best ways to help children embrace dental care, whether at home or at our office, is to help them realize how fun it can be. It’s not enough to convince children that brushing and flossing are necessary. It’s equally important that children enjoy themselves. With this mindset, they can practice good oral hygiene on their own without your constant guidance.
Some of the parents and guardians of our young patients ask us how to make dental care fun for children. So we’re going to share some tips here:
1. Let them help choose their own toothbrushes and toothpastes. Children feel much better about activities in which they have a say. Limit the choices to toothbrushes with soft bristles, and to toothpastes that come with the seal of approval from the American Dental Association.
2. Brush your teeth together with your child. Children tend to mimic, so they can brush their teeth properly just by copying you. And don’t forget to brush your tongue.
3. Make brushing fun. Smile a lot, or make funny faces. You can even have your own song for tooth brushing.
4. Watch lots of videos about cleaning and caring for the teeth. Some of them even feature songs that are just long enough to last an entire tooth-brushing session (about 2 minutes). You can find many of these videos online, and you can play them on your tablet by the sink as the two of you brush your teeth together.
5. You can also use a special timer when brushing your teeth so you can make sure you brush for 2 minutes. Timers using sand tend to fascinate children, or you can get special apps with bright colors and sound effects.
6. You can also implement a reward system so your child will continue to brush regularly. You can place a poster that shows the number of times they brush their teeth by adding a sticker each time they brush. The stickers can be dental care related, with images of teeth, toothbrushes, or even healthy snacks.
Children need to develop good oral care habits so they’ll maintain those habits into adulthood.
Between the costumes and the candy, Halloween ranks as one of the absolute best days of the year for kids. With a little bit of care and planning parents can be more comfortable that this day of fun won’t lead to a mouth full of cavities down the road.
With Halloween candy there certainly are some that are worse for your kid’s teeth than others. So that you can purchase your candy with some insight this year, below are some examples of the many varieties of candy and the pros and cons of each.
Chocolate by itself is one of the better candy options. It melts and is more easily washed off of teeth. Dark chocolate is better than milk chocolate because it has less sugar. Chocolate becomes a less optimal option when mixed with sticky fillings.
These types of candies represent some of the worst options for your child’s teeth. They have a very high sugar content and because they are sticky they are harder to remove from your child’s teeth and therefore give cavity-causing bacteria more time to do their job.
The acids used to create sour flavors also work to erode teeth. That coupled with the high sugar content which is used to balance the tartness in the candy is a bad combination for teeth.
Hard Candies have two issues working against them. Because they are hard they tend to linger in your child’s mouth coating every tooth in a sugary saliva mixture. Because they are so hard there is also a tendency to want to chew these types of candies and sometimes they can actually break teeth.
Chewing gum can be one of the best options for Halloween candy if you choose carefully. It stimulates the production of saliva, which helps clear away food, and reduces the levels of acid in your mouth that cause tooth decay. When choosing a gum look for one that contains a sugar replacement instead of natural sugar.
Regardless of what kind of candy you wind up purchasing, your kids will undoubtedly come home with way more candy than they can, or should, eat. With this in mind, Pediatric Dental Associates of Randolph will be collecting your wrapped surplus candy to be donated to the Ronald McDonald house. The kids staying at the Ronald McDonald house are all fighting difficult medical situations and are unable to go trick-or-treating at home this year. Your candy will brighten these kids day and are sure to bring lots of smiles.
We also are requesting you have your kids make cards of support to donate along with your candy. We will be accepting candy and cards in our office through 5pm on November 10th. Happy Halloween!
We follow the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry and American Academy of Pediatrics recommendations which state that a child’s first visit to the dentist should occur when the first baby teeth appear or by their first birthday. Our goal is to establish a Dental Home for your child, an ongoing relationship between our pediatric dentist and your child, allowing care to be delivered in a comprehensive, continuously accessible, coordinated and family-centered way.
Why so Early?
There are several reasons why you should take your child to a dentist early. First, it helps your child feel at ease around the dentist. This reduces the chances that they will feel overly anxious about visiting the dentist as they get older. As a parent, you want to instill good habits in your children, and one good habit they must develop as an adult is to visit their dentist regularly.
Another reason is that the dentist will be able to oversee the development of the child’s teeth. Our dentists make sure that your child’s teeth and gums are all healthy and educate them on proper nutrition and brushing habits. We also recommend fluoride treatment to help keep your baby’s teeth strong and diagnose and treat any potential issues before they get worse.
Why are primary teeth so important?
Quite a few parents don’t realize the importance of primary teeth.
1. Having a complete set of teeth promotes a healthy smile, which helps a child’s confidence.
2. Teeth are crucial for proper speech development. With missing teeth, a child may develop speech defects that can affect them now as well as later in life.
3. Children also need teeth to chew food properly. If a child has no teeth until the permanent teeth arrive, the inability to chew the food properly may lead to poor nutrition, and ultimately, poor health.
4. Primary teeth also act as placeholders for the permanent teeth. When a child loses a primary tooth, the adjacent teeth can drift into the empty space, and decrease the space available when the permanent tooth comes out.
Keep in mind that visiting the dentist early also benefits the parents. During these early visits, our Team will provide all sorts of great oral care tips that will benefit you and your child!
Many new parents are often unsure about proper oral care for their children. One of our missions is to educate parents about the oral hygiene needs of babies, toddlers and young children and how oral care should evolve as a child grows. The dentists and hygienists at Pediatric Dental Associates of Randolph are all experts in the oral care of babies and children.
At all routine visits, they educate parents and caregivers on the age specific oral care needs of their children. Dental care for children is ultimately about teaching them to develop good oral care habits they can carry with them as they grow older. Following proper oral care, guidelines are important in avoiding tooth decay. In the US, it’s estimated that more than 25% of children get a cavity as early as 4 years old.
So what do you need to know about dental care for your children? Here are some helpful facts and suggestions:
1. Dental care should start even before your baby has teeth. You should run a clean damp washcloth over your baby’s gums after feeding in order to get rid of harmful bacteria.
2. Brushing should begin with the eruption of the very first teeth. A specially size toothbrush designed for infants should be used along with a baby fluoride toothpaste with the ADA (American Dental Association) seal of acceptance.
3. In order to minimize the amount of fluoride toothpaste, your baby will swallow, only use an amount of toothpaste equal to the size of a grain of rice.
4. Flossing should also start when your child has 2 teeth touching each other. With flossing, you can clean the areas in between them that the toothbrush bristles can’t reach.
5. Kids should learn to spit while brushing around the time they’re 2 years old. Don’t give them water to swish and spit, as they’re just more likely to swallow the water along with the toothpaste instead.
6. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, you should schedule a visit to a dentist when your child turns 1 year old. In support of this recommendation, Pediatric Dental Associates of Randolph offers free exams for children under the age of two.
7. Good dental care also involves proper feeding habits. Always avoid putting your baby to sleep with a bottle in his or her mouth. While it may be an easy way to get babies relaxed for sleeping afterward, the natural sugars in breast milk, formula and cow’s milk can cause tooth decay if allowed to linger for hours on teeth and gums.
8. Sucking on a bottle all day can also harm the teeth. Once children reach the age of one, switch them from a bottle to a sippy cup with a hard spout or straw. At 12 months children should be old enough to learn to drink from a cup on their own.
A child’s first experience at the dentist can have a significant impact in their long term outlook toward oral care. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that children first be seen by a dentist with the eruption of their first teeth.
Pediatric Dentists receive at least two additional years of training beyond dental school to make them uniquely trained to care for a child’s developing teeth. The staff and environment of a pediatric dental office is focused solely on the unique needs of children and their oral care.
The first dental appointment is generally a brief appointment where the dentist will check for tooth decay and examine the child’s bite and look for any potential problems with developing teeth, gums, jaw and oral tissues. A hygienist will clean teeth and apply fluoride if indicated. During this visit the hygienist and/or dentist will also talk about oral hygiene at home and discuss proper nutrition and any foods that may contribute to tooth decay, such as going to sleep with a bottle of milk.
The Pediatric Dentists, hygienists and front desk staff at Pediatric Dental Associates of Randolph have a long standing reputation of excellence and are committed to making your child’s first visit and everyone there after a positive experience. They believe that starting dental care with the eruption of the first baby teeth is so vital that they offer free exams for all children under the age of two. Additionally they are happy to answer any questions in advance of your appointment and welcome you to bring your child in to get comfortable in the office prior to their first appointment.