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50 Route 111 Suite 214 Smithtown, NY 11787 | (631) 265-3266

FAQ

What should I use to clean my baby's teeth?

A toothbrush will remove plaque bacteria that can lead to decay. Any soft-bristled toothbrush with a small head, preferably one designed specifically for infants, should be used at least once a day at bedtime.

When should I take my child to the dentist for the first check-up?

At Kids-Smile Children's Dentistry, we recommend that a child first visit the pediatric dentist by age one or when the first four teeth grow in, but no later than two years old.

What is the difference between a pediatric dentist and a family dentist?

Pediatric dentists are the pediatricians of dentistry. A pediatric dentist has two to three years of specialty training following dental school and limits his/her practice to treating children only. Pediatric dentists are primary and specialty oral care providers for infants and children through adolescence, including those with special health needs.

Are baby teeth really that important to my child?

Primary, or "baby," teeth are important for many reasons. Not only do they help children speak clearly and chew naturally, they also aid in forming a path that permanent teeth can follow when they are ready to erupt.

What should I do if my child has a toothache?

A toothache can be caused by many factors.  We consider a toothache to be an emergency.  Please contact our office at (631) 265-3266 to schedule an appointment so we can evaluate the cause of your child's toothache.  Over the counter pain medicines such as Orajel or ibuprofen can be used in the interim as needed. 

Are thumbsucking and pacifier habits harmful for a child's teeth?

Thumb and pacifier sucking habits will generally only become a problem if they go on for a very long period of time. Most children stop these habits on their own, but if they are still sucking their thumbs or fingers past the age of three, they might increase their chances of developing an overbite. At Kids-Smile Children's Dentistry, we recommend using positive reinforcement to assist your child to give up his/her sucking habits by age three.

How can I prevent decay caused by nursing?

Avoid nursing children to sleep or putting anything other than water in their bed-time bottle. Also, learn the proper way to brush and floss your child's teeth. Take your child to a pediatric dentist regularly to have his/her teeth and gums checked. The first dental visit should ideally be scheduled no later than two years old or when the first four teeth grow in.

How often does my child need to see the pediatric dentist?

A check-up every six months is recommended in order prevent cavities and other dental problems. However, your pediatric dentist can tell you when and how often your child should visit based on their personal oral health.

Toothpaste: when should we begin using it and how much should we use?

Start brushing twice daily using a soft age appropriate sized toothbrush.  Your child should only use non-flouridated training tooth gel or paste until he/she learns to effectively spit out toothpaste.  Once your child learns how to spit out toothpaste andNOT swallow it, he/she may then begin using an ADA approved fluoride containing toothpaste. Remember that young children do not have the ability to brush their teeth effectively, therefore we encourage a parent/guardian to assist with toothbrushing until the child is at least six years old. 

How do I make my child's diet safe for his teeth?

Make sure your child has a balanced diet. Limiting the servings of sugars and starches will also aid in protecting your child's teeth from decay. You can also ask your pediatric dentist to help you select foods that protect your children's teeth.

How do dental sealants work?

Sealants work by filling in the crevices on the chewing surfaces of the teeth. This shuts out food particles that could get caught in the teeth, causing cavities. The application is fast and comfortable and can effectively protect teeth for many years.

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 developed by a pediatric dentist will protect your child from injuries to the teeth, face and even provide protection from severe injuries to the head.

What should I do if my child falls and knocks out a permanent tooth?

The most important thing to do is to remain calm. Then find the tooth. Hold it by the crown rather than the root and try to reinsert it in the socket. If that is not possible, put the tooth in a glass of milk and take your child and the glass immediately to the pediatric dentist.

How safe are dental X-rays?

At Kids-Smile Children's Dentistry, we use digital x-ray technology to reduce your child's exposure to radiation by 25% or more versus traditional non-digital x-rays.  Because of this, there is very little risk. 

How can parents help prevent tooth decay?

Parents should take their children to the dentist regularly, beginning with the eruption of the first four teeth. Then, the dentist can recommend a specific program of brushing, flossing, and other treatments for parents to supervise and teach to their children. These home treatments, when added to regular dental visits and a balanced diet, will help give your child a lifetime of healthy habits.

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