Healthy Smiles Begin with Pediatric Dentistry

Pediatric Dentistry - New York, NY

Feb 9, 2016 — by Ernest Robertson D.D.S.
Tags: Pediatric Dentistry Restorative Dentistry

Two children with healthy smiles Dental damage sustained in childhood can follow us into adulthood, which is why establishing proper dental care habits young is so important to maintaining a healthy smile for life. General dentistry treatments are a key component of pediatric dentistry, helping to prevent dental damage and protect oral health. For your family's pediatric dentistry needs, we welcome you to contact our New York, NY practice, Harlem Center for Aesthetic Dentistry.

Pediatric Dentistry Treatments

Pediatric dentistry focuses on educating young patients, and their parents, on proper oral hygiene techniques. At Harlem Center for Aesthetic Dentistry, the comfort of our young patients is important to us and parents are welcome to stay with their children during dental visits. 

Although preventing dental damage is one of the biggest priorities when it comes to pediatric dentistry, some children may require restorative treatment. Some treatments that can protect or improve children's oral health include:

  • Dental sealants: Dental sealants can be applied to the teeth to help prevent decay. Sealants are particularly beneficial for children who have developed their permanent teeth.
  • Dental fillings: Dental cavities are a common dental issue and should be treated as soon as possible to prevent further damage. Dental fillings are available in a variety of materials including silver amalgam and tooth-colored composite resin.
  • Root canal therapy: In some cases, tooth decay can allow bacteria to infect the nerve and pulp tissues within the root canal, leading to very painful toothaches. Root canal therapy can be used to remove infected dental tissues and alleviate tooth pain. 
  • Regular dental exams and cleanings: Regular dental exams beginning around the age of one can prevent and catch dental damage, and cleanings keep the teeth free of plaque and tartar build up.

Dental Care Tips for Children

It's important to establish proper dental care habits early in childhood. You can help ensure your child's smile will be healthy for years to come with these dental care tips:

  • Begin caring for teeth in infancy: Dental care begins in early infancy, as soon as teeth begin to develop. It's important to clean your baby's teeth after feedings. You may clean your baby's teeth by gently wiping them with a moist gauze pad or soft-bristled child toothbrush.
  • Parents should help children floss: Flossing also needs to begin in infancy, as soon as a baby has two or more teeth next to each other. Parents will need to help their children floss until they are old enough to do so on their own.
  • Establish good brushing habits: It's important to establish good brushing habits in early childhood so children will continue to properly care for their teeth as they age. Children should be taught to brush at least twice a day for a full two minutes using small strokes on all surfaces of the teeth. Using a timed electric toothbrush or teaching your child a two-minute song can help ensure your child doesn't rush brushing. 
  • Begin dental visits around the age of 1: Regular dental exams should begin around a child's first birthday. This helps children become comfortable with regular dental visits and, more importantly, helps keep children's smiles healthy at a young age.
  • Don't let toddlers use pacifiers: Using a pacifier after infancy and into the toddler years can interfere with tooth and jaw development. 
  • Limit bottle or sippy cup use: Allowing children to suck on bottles or sippy cups can increase the risk of tooth decay.
  • Limit sugary foods and drinks: Sugary foods and drinks greatly increase the risk of tooth decay and should be limited in a child's diet.

Establish Proper Dental Care Early

Establishing proper dental care habits, including regular dental exams, is key to ensuring the health of your child's smile. Schedule your child's next dental appointment with our team at the Harlem Center for Aesthetic Dentistry.

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