Pediatric Dental Topics
- What is a Pediatric Dentist?
- Why are the Primary Teeth so Important?
- Eruption of Your Child's Teeth
- DENTAL EMERGENCIES
- Dental Radiographs (X-rays)
- What's the Best Toothpaste for my Child?
- Does Your Child Grind His Teeth at Night? (Bruxism)
- Thumb Sucking
- Good Diet = Healthy Teeth
- How Do I Prevent Cavities?
- Seal Out Decay
- Mouth Guards
- Beware of Sports Drinks
A pediatric dentist is a specialist trained to provide comprehensive treatment to all children from infancy through adulthood.
Why Are The Primary Teeth Important?
It is very important to maintain the health of the primary teeth. Neglected cavities can and frequently do lead to problems which affect developing permanent teeth. Primary teeth, or baby teeth are important for (1) proper chewing and eating, (2) providing space for the permanent teeth and guiding them into the correct position, and (3) permitting normal development of the jaw bones and muscles. Primary teeth also affect the development of speech. While the front 4 teeth last until 6-7 years of age, the back teeth (cuspids and molars) aren’t replaced until age 10-13.
Eruption Of Your Child's Teeth
Children’s teeth begin forming before birth. As early as 4 months, the first primary (or baby) teeth may begin to erupt. Tooth eruption sequence and timing of eruption may vary. Eruption of primary and adult teeth will be discussed with Dr. Lambert at each preventative visit.
All dental emergencies must be evaluated by Dr. Lambert in the office for proper dental advice and/or treatment. Please call us to schedule an emergency visit at 212-240-4040
Toothache: All toothaches must be evaluated for proper dental advice and/or treatment.
Cut or Bitten Tongue, Lip or Cheek: Apply ice to injured areas to help control swelling. If there is bleeding, apply firm but gentle pressure with a gauze or cloth. If bleeding cannot be controlled by simple pressure, please visit the hospital emergency room.
Knocked Out Permanent Tooth: If possible, find the tooth. Handle it by the crown, not by the root. The patient must see Dr. Lambert IMMEDIATELY! Time is a critical factor in saving the tooth.
Knocked Out Baby Tooth: If possible, find the tooth. Unlike with a permanent tooth, the baby tooth should not be replanted due to possible damage to the developing permanent tooth.
Chipped or Fractured Permanent Tooth: Contact Dr. Lambert immediately. Quick action can save the tooth, prevent infection and reduce the need for extensive dental treatment. Rinse the mouth with water and apply cold compresses to reduce swelling. If possible, locate and save any broken tooth fragments and bring them with you to the appointment.
Chipped or Fractured Baby Tooth: Contact your pediatric dentist.
Severe Blow to the Head: Take your child to the nearest hospital emergency room immediately.
Possible Broken or Fractured Jaw: Keep the jaw from moving and take your child to the nearest hospital emergency room.
Dental Radiographs (X-Rays)
Radiographs (X-Rays) are a vital and necessary part of your child’s dental diagnostic process. Without them, certain dental conditions can and will be missed.
Radiographs detect much more than cavities. For example, radiographs may be needed to survey erupting teeth, diagnose bone diseases, evaluate the results of an injury, or plan orthodontic treatment. Radiographs allow dentists to diagnose and treat health conditions that cannot be detected during a clinical examination. If dental problems are found and treated early, dental care is more comfortable for your child and more affordable for you.
Dr. Lambert is particularly careful to minimize the exposure of her patients to radiation. With contemporary safeguards, the amount of radiation received in a dental X-ray examination is extremely small. Lead body aprons and shields will protect your child. Today’s equipment filters out unnecessary x-rays and restricts the x-ray beam to the area of interest.
What's The Best Toothpaste For My Child?
Tooth brushing is one of the most important tasks for good oral health. In general, when looking for a toothpaste for your child, make sure to pick one that is recommended by the American Dental Association as shown on the box and tube. These toothpastes have undergone testing to insure they are safe to use.
Remember, children should spit out toothpaste after brushing to avoid getting too much fluoride. If too much fluoride is ingested, a condition known as fluorosis can occur. If your child is too young or unable to spit out toothpaste, consider providing them with a fluoride free toothpaste, using no toothpaste, or using only a "pea size" amount of toothpaste.
Dr. Lambert will provide a specific recommendation at each preventative visit.
Does Your Child Grind His Teeth At Night? (Bruxism)
If your child is grinding their teeth during the day or while sleeping, Dr. Lambert will evaluate the grinding habit and provide the necessary advice.
Sucking is a natural reflex for infants and young children. Non-nutritive habits such as thumb sucking or pacifier use should be discussed with Dr. Lambert starting from age 1.
Early Infant Oral Care
Perinatal & Infant Oral Health
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) recommends that all pregnant women receive oral healthcare and counseling during pregnancy. Research has shown evidence that periodontal disease can increase the risk of preterm birth and low birth weight. Talk to Dr. Lambert and team about ways you can prevent periodontal disease during pregnancy.
Additionally, mothers with poor oral health may be at a greater risk of passing the bacteria which causes cavities to their young children. Mother's should follow these simple steps to decrease the risk of spreading cavity-causing bacteria:
- Visit your dentist regularly.
- Brush and floss on a daily basis to reduce bacterial plaque.
- Proper diet, with the reduction of beverages and foods high in sugar & starch.
- Don't share utensils, cups or food which can cause the transmission of cavity-causing bacteria to your children.
Your Child's First Dental Visit - Establishing A "Dental Home"
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the American Dental Association (ADA), and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) all recommend establishing a "Dental Home" for your child by one year of age. Children who have a dental home are more likely to receive appropriate preventive and routine oral health care.
It is best if you refrain from using words around your child that might cause unnecessary fear, such as needle, pull, drill or hurt. Dr. Lambert and team make a practice of using words that convey the same message, but are pleasant and non-frightening to the child.
Teething, the process of baby (primary) teeth coming through the gums into the mouth, is variable among individual babies. Some babies get their teeth early and some get them late. In general, the first baby teeth to appear are usually the lower front (anterior) teeth and they usually begin erupting between the age of 6-8 months.
Baby Bottle Tooth Decay (Early Childhood Caries)
One serious form of decay among young children is baby bottle tooth decay. This condition is caused by frequent and long exposures of an infant’s teeth to liquids that contain sugar. Among these liquids are milk (including breast milk), formula, fruit juice and other sweetened drinks.
A visit with Dr. Lambert by the age of ONE is essential is preventing this serious and rapid tooth decay.
Care Of Your Child's Teeth
Good Diet = Healthy Teeth
Healthy eating habits lead to healthy teeth. Like the rest of the body, the teeth, bones and the soft tissues of the mouth need a well-balanced diet.
How Do I Prevent Cavities?
Good oral hygiene removes bacteria and the left over food particles that combine to create cavities. For infants without teeth, use a wet gauze to wipe the plaque from teeth and gums.
For older children, brush their teeth at least twice a day. Also, watch the number of snacks containing sugar that you give your children.
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends a preventative visit every six months to the pediatric dentist, beginning at your child’s first birthday. Routine visits will start your child on a lifetime of good dental health.
Dr. Lambert will recommend specific holistic methods to reduce risks of cavities at each preventative visit.
Seal Out Decay
A sealant is a protective coating that is applied to the chewing surfaces (grooves) of the back teeth (premolars and molars). This sealant acts as a barrier to food, plaque and acid, thus protecting the decay-prone areas of the teeth.
Before Sealant Applied
After Sealant Applied
Dr. Lambert will provide advice and recommendations specific to your child during each preventative visit.
When your child begins to participate in recreational activities and organized sports, injuries can occur. A properly fitted mouth guard, or mouth protector, is an important piece of athletic gear that can help protect your child’s smile. These should be used during any activity that could result in a blow to the face or mouth.
Mouth guards help prevent broken teeth, and injuries to the lips, tongue, face or jaw. A properly fitted mouth guard will stay in place while your child is wearing it, making it easy for them to talk and breathe.
Ask Dr. Lambert about custom and store-bought mouth protectors.
Beware of Sports Drinks
Due to the high sugar content and acids in sports drinks, they have erosive potential and the ability to dissolve even fluoride-rich enamel, which can lead to cavities.
To minimize dental problems, children should avoid sports drinks and hydrate with water before, during and after sports.
If sports drinks are consumed:
- reduce the frequency and contact time
- swallow immediately and do not swish them around the mouth
- neutralize the effect of sports drinks by alternating sips of water with the drink
Tongue Piercing & Tobacco Use
Two common topics to discuss with Dr. Lambert amongst adolescents is face or mouth piercings and tobacco use. If applicable, Dr. Lambert will provide advice and recommendations necessary to maintain oral health.
Please let Dr. Lambert know if there are any other concerns you would like her to review with your adolescent.