Looking After Your Child’s Dental Health | Hoboken Dentist

children losing teethBecause we are aware that children will lose their first set of teeth, we tend to think that their dental hygiene isn’t all that important. After all, the first set completely falls out – why do they need to be looked after? They shouldn’t be overlooked because the first set sets to tone for the second set. If you have dental issues in the beginning, it is possible for those same issues to plague the following set. So, as soon as you child begins to show they are beginning to teethe, or it’s their first birthday, take them to a dental professional. They will not only give you indications of any issues that may arise in the future but can also alleviate any dental anxiety going forward.

Plaque has bacteria that produces toxins and damages gums. The bacteria gather around pockets in your gums. Gum disease is caused by a buildup of plaque on your teeth and gums. This will lead to bleeding gums and gums pulling away from the teeth. Eventually teeth will become loose and possibly fall out. As you begin to teach your child dental hygiene practices, keep these tips in mind to help your child ward off gum disease:

  • Be sure your child brushes twice a day for two minutes and flosses as well
  • Brush with toothpaste that has fluoride
  • Use a soft bristled toothbrush; replace every 3 months or after any illness
  • Make sure your child eats a healthy diet. Avoid sugary snacks and junk food
  • Take your child for regular dental visits for checkups and cleanings

To learn more about pediatric dental hygiene, call Dr. David Musarra at Dental Associates of Hoboken at 201-795-2111. Also visit the website at www.hobokenpediatricdentistry.com.

Dr. David Musarra proudly accepts patients from Hoboken and all surrounding areas.

A New Parent’s Guide to Dental Hygiene | Hoboken Dentist

When we have a newborn, we are consumed with all the different ways we can be perfect parents. We buy the books, we dote on our child and put up a proverbial force field around them. One aspect of health we tend to overlook is dental health. Because you are in charge of your child’s dental health until they can do it themselves, get a head start from infancy with these tips:

Clean your infant’s gums with a clean, damp cloth after each feeding.

As soon as the first teeth come in, begin brushing them with a small, soft-bristled toothbrush and water. If you are considering using toothpaste, ask your dentist first. It’s usually unnecessary the first two years.

To avoid baby bottle tooth decay and teeth misalignment due to sucking, try to wean your child off of the breast and bottle by one year of age, and monitor excessive sucking of pacifiers, fingers and thumbs. Never give your child a bottle of milk, juice or sweetened liquid as a pacifier at naptime or bedtime.

Let the child brush their teeth first to build self-confidence, then the parent can follow up to ensure that all plaque is removed.

Usually by age 5 or so, the child can learn to brush his or her own teeth with proper parental instruction. The best way to teach a child how to brush is to lead by example. Allowing your child to watch you brush your teeth teaches the importance of good oral hygiene. Make it a family affair!

To learn more about pediatric dental hygiene, call Dr. David Musarra at Dental Associates of Hoboken at 201-795-2111. Also visit the website at www.hobokenpediatricdentistry.com.

Dr. David Musarra proudly accepts patients from Hoboken and all surrounding areas.

Take a Deeper Look at Your Little One’s Teeth | Hoboken Dentist

thumb suckingWe want nothing but the best for our children, especially when it comes to their health. And while a fact of life that they will lose those baby teeth, it doesn’t give any reason to neglect their dental health. Dental appointments should start early, so any issues can be caught before they become worsened. X-rays are valuable diagnostic tools dentists may use to help evaluate your child’s teeth and your dentist may suggest getting one done every six months in order to track progress. Here is a quick x-ray rundown:

Bitewing x-rays. These X-rays are used to view the areas between teeth to show where cavities are starting, but only done once the molars make contact. In some children, this doesn’t happen until the first permanent molar has erupted.

Periapical x-rays. Periapical x-rays show the supporting bone structure of the teeth and the permanent teeth growing below the baby teeth and used to look for abscesses and gum disease.

Panoramic x-rays. These x-rays are used to view all of the teeth on one film, especially to show the upper and lower jaws, the temporomandibular joints (TMJs) and the sinuses above the upper teeth. They are often used if a child has hurt his or her face, has orthodontic problems, or is mentally or physically disabled.

Occlusal x-rays. Used to view most of the upper or lower teeth on one film, these are useful when the dentist does not have a panoramic x-ray machine.

Orthodontic x-rays (cephalometric or lateral skull). Used to evaluate growth of the jaws and the relationship of bones in the skull, these help to make an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan.

To learn more about x-rays, call Dr. David Musarra at Dental Associates of Hoboken at 201-795-2111. Also visit the website at www.hobokenpediatricdentistry.com.

Dr. David Musarra proudly accepts patients from Hoboken and all surrounding areas.

Don’t Let Halloween Ruin Your Teeth | Hoboken Dentist

We are on the eve of the sweetest holiday of all. Yes, it’s a dentist’s archenemy – Halloween. If you have a family, you are sure to be carving pumpkins and dressing up in your scariest costumes to venture out into the night in search for candy confections. It is a fun time for the entire family, but it is also very important not to forget about our dental hygiene during these candy-covered events. After feasting on these spooky treats, keep these dental tips in mind:

Babies and children:

  • Clean each new tooth gently with a clean wet washcloth. As your baby grows you can switch to a child’s toothbrush.
  • Do not use toothpaste on a child younger than 2 years old.
  • Do not let your baby fall asleep with a bottle. This leads to what is called “baby bottle tooth decay.”
  • Take your child to the dentist regularly starting at 1 year of age.

Teenagers:

  • Brush twice a day with fluoride toothpaste.
  • Floss at least once a day.
  • Don’t smoke or chew tobacco.
  • If your teenager plays sports be sure they wear a protective mouth guard.
  • Make sure they see the dentist for all regular checkups.

Adults:

  • Brush teeth at least twice a day with fluoride toothpaste.
  • Floss at least once a day.
  • Don’t smoke or chew tobacco.
  • Check with your doctor to make sure any medications you are taking might damage your teeth.
  • Check your mouth regularly for sores, red swollen gums or anything out of the ordinary.
  • See your dentist every six months for regular checkups and cleanings.

To learn more about dental hygiene, call Dr. David Musarra at Dental Associates of Hoboken at 201-795-2111. Also visit the website at www.hobokenpediatricdentistry.com.

Dr. David Musarra proudly accepts patients from Hoboken and all surrounding areas.

Tips for Parents: Dental Anxiety Edition | Hoboken Dentist

Believe it or not, but dental anxiety is a real issue. In fact, it is so real that people have now been diagnose with dental anxiety when they have a legitimate fear of going to the dentist. As adults, we can rationalize the need to go to the dentist with the continuation of good dental health. As a child, these types of fears are real and scary and difficult to shake.

It is estimated that over 50 percent of dental predicaments occur because children refuse to see the dentist due to fear and anxiety. And since 50 percent of these dental predicaments can easily be solved, so when you are preparing your tiny human for their first dental visit, think about these simple suggestions to make visiting the dentist something silly to fear:

Avoid a late start. Ideally, your child should be visiting a pediatric dentist after the eruption of their first tooth, which usually appears at the age of one. Schedule appointments as soon as possible so that your little one is comfortable with a dental office. Avoid bringing your child at a later age, as this could lead to a fear of a dental office.

Keep procedures simple. Do not start the first dental visit with extensive procedures. Dental examinations and teeth cleaning are perfect for the first couple visits to a pediatric office.

Frequent visits. We encourage parents to regularly visit our office not only to ensure that your child has good oral health, but to alleviate any fears of the dentist.

To learn more about pediatric dentistry, call Dr. David Musarra at Dental Associates of Hoboken at 201-795-2111. Also visit the website at www.hobokenpediatricdentistry.com.

Dr. David Musarra proudly accepts patients from Hoboken and all surrounding areas.

Don’t Give Your Little One Too Much of a Good Thing | Hoboken Dentist

You would be hard-pressed to find a baby without the cutest smile imaginable. And when you become a parent, the desire to keep that smile the brightest and healthiest it can be is incredibly important to every parent. And when it comes to dental health, it has been ingrained in our minds that fluoride is important to protecting your teeth from future dental issues. Even though fluoride is necessary to prevent tooth decay, dental professionals will not deny that giving your little one too much fluoride can begin to develop a condition known as Fluorosis.

Fluorosis is a harmless dental condition which is characterized by brown, mottled or discolored areas on your tiny human’s tooth enamel. But how it develops might surprise you. As we know, most breast milk and ready-to-feed formulas contain infant-safe levels of fluoride because it is important to your child’s dental development. What we don’t consider is the fact that formulas that require water can increase this level of fluoride since community or well sources usually contain the highest amount of fluoride proven to be beneficial in preventing tooth decay. So instead of giving your tiny human the necessary amount of fluoride to protect their teeth, the added dose of it produces adverse effects after time.

So, what do we do as parents? When using formula that requires water, use bottled water that is low in fluoride, fluoride-free or filtrated tap water. If fluorosis is corrected in primary teeth, fluorosis will not likely be a problem when permanent teeth surface.

To learn more about fluorosis, call Dr. David Musarra at Dental Associates of Hoboken at 201-795-2111. Also visit the website at www.hobokenpediatricdentistry.com.

Dr. David Musarra proudly accepts patients from Hoboken, Weehawken, Jersey City, Union City, North Bergen, Newark and all surrounding areas.

X-rays: Aids to Your Child’s Dental Health | Hoboken Dentistry

X-rays are valuable diagnostic tools dentists may use to help evaluate your child’s teeth. There is no official standard time in which your child’s mouth should be x-rayed, as this varies with the child’s development and dental health. If your child has had many x-rays, your dentist may suggest getting one done every six months in order to track progress. There are five types of x-rays that your dentist may use for your child depending on the goal:

Bitewing x-rays (also called cavity-detecting x-rays). These x-rays are used to view the areas between teeth that cannot be seen directly to check for cavities, but needed only after the teeth in the back of the mouth are contacting each other.

Periapical x-rays. The x-rays also will show the supporting bone structure of the teeth. This type of X-ray lets the dentist see a child’s permanent teeth growing below the baby teeth, and to look for abscesses and gum disease.

Panoramic x-rays. These x-rays are used to view all of the teeth on one film, used if a child has hurt his or her face, has orthodontic problems, or is mentally or physically disabled. Also helpful for children who gag easily or who have small mouths.

Occlusal x-rays. These are used to view most of the upper or lower teeth on one film. This is useful when the dentist does not have a panoramic x-ray machine.

Orthodontic x-rays (also called cephalometric or lateral skull). This type of x-ray is used to evaluate growth of the jaws and the relationship of bones in the skull to make an accurate diagnosis and develop a treatment plan.

 

Can Children Get Gum Disease?

Most people know that bleeding gums aren’t a good sign in adults. But, most don’t know that it’s just as bad of a sign in children. In fact, children are just as prone to gun infection and inflammation as adults are. Even worse, gum disease in children carries very serious consequences down the line.

So, for the parents out there, do know that your child is at a very real risk of gum disease.

Are Bleeding Gums Always A Bad Sign?

While it’s definitely not a good thing, bleeding gums is not always a sign that your son or daughter has gum disease. Case in point, he or she may just be brushing or flossing too aggressively, causing the gums to bleed. This is why it’s recommended for parents to supervise and assist their children until they are old enough. Do remember that gently brushing teeth with a soft-bristled toothbrush and flossing slowly is more than enough. Also, if your child flosses every day and then suddenly skips for a few days, a bit of bleeding is to be expected as soon as he or she starts flossing again.

What Causes Gum Disease In Children?

Gum disease affects children for the same reason it affects adults and the elderly. This means that lack of proper oral hygiene is still the main culprit. Of course, genetics also play a key role, as some people are just genetically more susceptible to gum disease, despite practicing aggressive oral care habits.

Keep in mind that children are a special case in that gum disease doesn’t just cause pain and infection in them. It also affects their growth and can have serious consequences on their speech and jaw development, especially if left to progress and not treated immediately.

Symptoms To Watch Out For

The earliest symptoms of gum disease are puffy, swollen or reddish gums. Such gums are much more sensitive and often bleed quite easily during brushing and flossing. Do also watch out for chronic bad breath that doesn’t go away with regular brushing or flossing. If not caught early enough, your child’s teeth may to wiggle and become loose, and around the same time, the gums may develop pockets that make for ideal breeding grounds for bacteria such as plaque.

Prevention and Treatment

Ideally, you’ll want to prevent your child from getting gum disease, and the best way to do so is to encourage good dental hygiene. You should always remind our child to brush his or her teeth at least twice a day, and floss at least once. You should also make it a point to visit the dentist every six months for cleanings and checkups. By establishing a habit early on and setting an example, you will have put your child on the right path to enjoying a lifetime of good oral health.

Unfortunately, you can’t always prevent gum disease, so the next best thing you can do is to make sure that it’s caught as early as possible. Frequent dental checkups and cleaning increase the likelihood of gum disease being caught early on. Also, as soon as you notice your child’s gums becoming puffy, swollen o reddish, and/or notice any signs of bleeding, don’t hesitate to visit your dentist immediately.

Ultimately, you are your child’s first line of defense against gum disease. And, by teaching your child how to take care of his or her teeth right now, you make sure that your child gets to enjoy having a healthy set of pearly whites for years to come.

For more information on children’s oral health call Dr. Flynne Weingarten at Dental Associates of Hoboken at 201-795-2111. Also visit the website at http://www.hobokenpediatricdentistry.com.

Take Care of Your Child’s Smile | Hoboken Dentist

475936549Parents usually provide oral hygiene care until their child is old enough to take responsibility for their daily dental health routine of brushing and flossing. A proper routine of preventive pediatric dental home care is important from the day your child is born.

  • Before Teething. Clean your infant’s gums with a clean, damp cloth after each feeding.
  • Baby Teeth. As soon as the first teeth come in, begin brushing them with a small, soft-bristled toothbrush and water.  If you are considering using toothpaste before your child’s second birthday, ask your dentist first.
  • Avoid Sugary Drinks to Sleep. To avoid baby bottle tooth decay and teeth misalignment due to sucking, try to wean your child off of the breast and bottle by one year of age, and monitor excessive sucking of pacifiers, fingers and thumbs. Never give your child a bottle of milk, juice or sweetened liquid as a pacifier at naptime or bedtime.
  • Let Them Do It. Help a young child brush at night, the most important time to brush, due to lower salivary flow and higher susceptibility to cavities. Perhaps let the child brush their teeth first to build self-confidence, then the parent can follow up to ensure that all plaque is removed. Usually by age 5 or so, the child can learn to brush his or her own teeth with proper parental instruction.
  • Lead by Example. The best way to teach a child how to brush is to lead by good example. Allowing your child to watch you brush your teeth teaches the importance of good oral hygiene.

For more information on ways to keep your child’s smile healthy, contact Dental Associates of Hoboken at 201-795-2111. Learn more about their practice by visiting www.dentalassociatesofhoboken.com.

Accepting patients from Hoboken, Weehawken, Jersey City, Union City, North Bergen, Newark and all surrounding areas.

How Do I Keep My Child from Binging on Halloween Candy?

thinkstockphotos-128958877It’s Halloween…that one day of the year that children hold dear to their hearts. Sure, there is Christmas. We all know there’s no competing with Santa. But it’s the one day of the year that everyone can be anyone or anything they want to be. And above all that, there’s candy. Lots of candy given simply by saying those three magic words: trick or treat. No need to be good in order to dodge the coal in the stocking. In fact, the ‘trick’ in trick or treat almost praises bad kid behavior if candy ISN’T received. But as your children are scouring the neighborhood for a larger haul than the year before, ask yourself – how can I monitor my child’s oral health during this sugar-infused time of year?

Here are some pediatric dental tips to keep in mind when going through your little monsters’ stash:

Limit the intake. Halloween has to be the coolest time of year for your child’s imagination. For one day, they have the freedom to munch on candy while “fighting crime” dressed as a superhero or riding a unicorn in as fairy. Tiny humans live for this day. Depriving them of what some would call a major part of the holiday will not only make your child upset, but won’t make life at home very peaceful. So instead of denying them the sweets, have them choose a set number of candies they want the most and let them have them. Whatever they don’t choose, throw it out or freeze it for later. Not only will you know that what they are eating is safe, but you can rest at ease that they aren’t sneaking it behind your back, unleashing the cavities while you aren’t looking.

In addition to the limitation of sweet treats, set up a time of day that your child will be able to eat that candy. Similar to snack time at school, having a time when your little one knows a snack is allowed teaches them that snacking isn’t an all-day event, making them less inclined to crave sweets all day.

Of course, the main defense against Halloween candy-driven cavities is always going to be good dental hygiene. Brushing and flossing before bed will prevent cavities from attacking while your little one sleeps. In case you aren’t sure if your child is brushing thoroughly enough, there are various disclosing products you can give your child to find out if their doing a good job brushing by coloring areas in their teeth that have plaque buildup. If they are fully against brushing, entice them to making a change by letting them pick out their own dental stuff. Kids are often swayed by doing grown up things. The key is to make brushing less of a chore and more of a fun way to fight “cavity crime”. Not only will they continue to love Halloween, but they can be their teeth’s superhero all year ‘round!

For more information on ways to keep your child’s smile healthy during Halloween, contact Dental Associates of Hoboken at 201-795-2111. Learn more about their practice by visiting www.dentalassociatesofhoboken.com.

Accepting patients from Hoboken, Weehawken, Jersey City, Union City, North Bergen, Newark and all surrounding areas.