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Hewlett, New York 11557
(516) 459-8828
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When should I take my child to the dentist for the first check-up?
Your child's first pediatric dental appointment should be when the first tooth appears or by his/her first birthday, whichever comes first.  The first dental visit allows you and your child to become familiar with Dr. Denise and the examination experience.  More importantly, this early visit gives Dr. Denise the opportunity to discuss with you important topics such as oral hygiene and diet so you and your child will develop good habits that will lead to a lifetime of warm smiles.

What should I say to prepare my child for the first visit?
You play the most important role in making your child feel relaxed about visiting the dentist.  If you show trust in us, your child will trust us too.  Avoid saying things like “it won’t hurt” or “don’t be scared."  They may seem like comforting statements but they actually send up red flags in young minds.  Instead, share with your child that going to the dentist is fun and that the dentist helps keep teeth happy and healthy.  Remember, your attitude determines your child's attitude.

How often does my child need to see the pediatric dentist?
According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, a check-up every six months is recommended in order prevent cavities and other dental problems.  Some children need to be seen more frequently.  After your visit, Dr. Denise will tell you how often to schedule dental appointments based on his or her oral health.

How do I keep my child's teeth and mouth clean?
Starting at birth, clean your child’s gums with a soft infant toothbrush and water or a cloth and water.  As soon as teeth begin to appear, start brushing twice daily using fluoridated toothpaste and a soft, age-appropriate sized toothbrush.  Use only a "smear" of toothpaste to brush the teeth of a child less than 2 years of age.  For the 2 to 5 year old, dispense a "pea-size" amount of toothpaste and perform or assist your child’s toothbrushing.  Remember that young children do not have the ability to brush their teeth effectively and they need your help.  Don't forget to brush the tongue as the tongue can accumulate plaque and bacteria just like teeth do.  Children should spit out excess toothpaste after brushing.  Floss your child's teeth daily in order to clean the areas between teeth.

Should I accompany my child in the treatment area?
While Dr. Denise allows parents in the treatment rooms, many children have a better experience when the parent is not present.  By allowing your child to go on his or her own to the treatment area, you are showing your child that you trust Dr. Denise, which in turn will help your child trust Dr. Denise as well.  Of course, all children and situations are unique and Dr. Denise will discuss with you the best manner to care for your child.

Why do baby teeth need fillings if they are going to fall out anyway?
While cavities may not hurt at first, untreated cavities get bigger and can lead to pain and infection.  These infections can spread to the rest of the face, and severe infections may require hospitalization.  When possible, it is best to fix the cavity in a baby tooth instead of pulling the baby tooth.  Baby teeth are important not only for appearance and chewing, but they also hold the space for the adult teeth that replace them.  If a baby tooth is removed early, it may lead to future orthodontic and spacing problems.  For these reasons, it is best to treat cavities in baby teeth as quickly as possible after they are diagnosed.

Are there any food restrictions before or after my child’s dental visit?
It’s best to avoid eating anything heavy within 1 hour before your child’s appointment.  Children shouldn’t eat or drink anything for 30 minutes after fluoride treatments.  Following a visit involving the use of "novocaine," children should not eat anything crunchy or chewy until the numbness wears off, which usually takes about 2 hours.  They can eat soft, mushy foods before the numbness wears off.

What can I do to protect my child's teeth during sporting events?
Soft plastic mouthguards can be used to protect a child's teeth, lips, cheeks and gums from sport-related injuries.  A custom-fitted mouthguard made by your pediatric dentist will protect your child's teeth and mouth from injuries.

FAQs