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.

Take Care of Your Tiny Human’s Teeth | Hoboken Dentist

Our child’s mouths are very busy places from ages 6-12. They will shed twenty baby teeth, which they acquired by age three, en route to building a finished, full set of 28 adult teeth. Their jawbones and new teeth grow while their baby teeth fall out to make room. It’s a wonderful process to witness, and to celebrate with visits from the Tooth Fairy.

However, most children’s teeth do not come in perfectly straight. It’s very common to see new adult teeth crowded by other teeth, especially in a still-growing jaw. Bite misalignments may appear that cause awkward chewing and even jaw pain or teeth damage. Early intervention with orthodontics is a great way to stay ahead of problems and make the transition to permanent teeth a happy one.

In the past, dentists typically waited for patients to enter adolescence before intervention, but today’s technology allows pre-emptive treatment in children as young as six or seven. When the first signs of crowding appear, dentists can proactively help incoming adult teeth emerge into better positions in the mouth and sometimes even avoid pulling teeth. Children with crossbites, protruding teeth and small dental arches are good candidates and work done earlier may shorten the treatment term. The American Association of Orthodontics recommends that kids be screened for problems at age seven.

Of course, orthodontics provides cosmetic enhancement as well as medical benefits, and avoiding braces during the sensitive high school years is an added bonus. With early intervention, your child could have their beautiful smile completed ahead of schedule.

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, Weehawken, Jersey City, Union City, North Bergen, Newark 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.

Protect Your Little One’s Teeth | Hoboken Dentist

thumb suckingAccidents happen, especially when children are involved. And as parents, we try to do our best to protect our little human’s bumps and bruises. Sometimes you can slap a bandage on a “booboo”, but if it’s a dental accident, it’s a little bit tougher to know what to do in a pinch. Because knowing what to do when one occurs could be the difference between saving and losing a tooth. Preventative measures are always best to avoid the potential for accidental tooth damage, such as having your child wear a mouth guard when playing sports and avoid chewing hard candy. If your child does end up with a dental emergency here are a few tips to help you:

Broken tooth. Rinse mouth with warm water and apply a cold compress to reduce swelling. Call your dentist immediately.

Knocked out baby teeth. If it seems to be more serious than a knocked-out tooth, consider going to the hospital. If the injury looks like just a knocked-out tooth, call your dentist.

Knocked loose baby teeth. If a tooth is knocked loose, call your dentist for advice on how to proceed. He or she will likely advise a soft diet for the next few days to allow the tooth to re-implant into the jawbone.

Knocked out permanent teeth. Call your dentist immediately for an emergency appointment. It is critical to get your child and his or her tooth to the dentist within 30 minutes of the accident, as it may be possible to successfully re-implant the tooth. Keeping the tooth in good condition and receiving care immediately make the odds of successful re-implantation much higher.

To learn more about dental emergencies, 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

Should My Little One Use Mouthwash? | Hoboken Dentist

Instilling good dental hygiene habits is important for every new parent to know. The sooner you teach them, the easier it will be for them to take those lessons throughout life. But what about mouthwash? Is it safe for a little human to use mouthwash? According to the American Dental Association (ADA), children younger than six shouldn’t use mouthwash that contains fluoride. Better yet, they shouldn’t use mouthwash at all, unless advised by the dentist. This is because children that young tend to swallow when rinsing and may end up ingesting too much fluoride. While small amounts of fluoride help keep teeth strong and free of cavities, large amounts can lead to what’s known as fluorosis, or enamel discoloration.

When choosing a mouthwash for your kid, try to stay away from adult mouthwashes because most contain alcohol. Instead, choose a mouthwash that doesn’t contain alcohol. It’s a big plus if it’s specifically targeted towards children. Once you’ve chosen the right kind of mouthwash, it’s important to keep in mind these two tips:

Supervise your child. If your child is between 6 and 12, or even below 6, make sure that you’re always around while he or she is using mouthwash, so they don’t swallow it or use it as a substitute for brushing and flossing. Once they get the hang of it, you won’t need to monitor them anymore.

Keep mouthwash out of reach of children. Because most mouthwashes are brightly colored and well flavored, it’s best to store them way out of reach of your children.

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

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

Make Sure Your Little One’s Smile Stays Healthy | Hoboken Dentist

New parents typically have no shortage of questions they must answer when dealing with their child’s “firsts”. Pediatric dentistry is no exception – there are a number of “firsts” for children as it relates to their teeth, and navigating them effectively is key to setting the foundation for good oral health for their children.

The first question for new parents is typically when they should expect the first teeth. The two lower front teeth should erupt around 6 months of age, followed by the two upper center teeth. The remaining will appear in no predictable order – but all 20 baby teeth should be present by 3 years of age.

The next natural question is typically when the parent should schedule their child’s first dentist appointment. You should make sure the first appointment is within 6 months of the first tooth appearing, but definitely before the child’s first birthday. The first visit is typically a checkup to look for signs of decay, check the bite, and look for problems in the gums, jaw, and tissues within the mouth. The dentist will take this opportunity to provide guidance on topics such as brushing, fluoride, teething, and problems like thumb sucking.

Just like adults need to brush twice a day, parents also need to brush the teeth of young children. Your child’s first toothbrush should be a soft-bristled brush with a small head (age appropriate size). As an infant, you should clean the gums with a soft brush and water. Once teeth appear, start brushing twice a day with non-fluoride toothpaste; once your child can spit, you can transition to fluoride toothpaste.

To learn more about pediatric dentistry, call Dr. Flynne Weingarten at Dental Associates of Hoboken at 201-795-2111. Also visit the website at http://www.hobokenpediatricdentistry.com.

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.

 

Don’t Let Halloween Ruin Your Child’s Smile | Hoboken Dentist

We all know there’s no competing with Santa, but Halloween is 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:

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.

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.

To learn more about toothaches, call Dr. Flynne Weingarten at Dental Associates of Hoboken at 201-795-2111. Also visit the website at http://www.hobokenpediatricdentistry.com.

Do Dental Sealants Really Work For Kids Teeth? | Pediatric Dentist Hoboken

dental sealants


Thorough brushing and flossing are great for removing food particles and plaque from teeth, but those two alone are not enough. Especially when we’re talking about the depression and grooves found all the way back of your teeth.

This is where dental sealants come in, as they help add an extra layer of protection for those vulnerable from decay.

Why Children?

Fluoride has been proven to be very effective in preventing decay and protecting all the surfaces of your teeth. However, the chewing surfaces found on the back of your teeth are especially vulnerable to decay.

The main reason why children benefit from them the best is because their permanent molars don’t come in until between the ages of 6 and 12. This means that a dental sealant can be applied to them almost immediately when they come out. Additionally, this is also why dental sealants are more effective in children than they are in adults.

Why the Molars and Premolars?

As mentioned earlier, the chewing surfaces of the molars and premolars typically have deep fissures. And, it is these grooves and pits that make them very vulnerable to decay. However, dental sealants are not limited to the molars and premolars. Other teeth who also have deep fissures are also candidates for dental sealants to protect them from decay.

Sometimes, even baby teeth may be primary candidates for dental sealants, especially if they have grooves or pits, just for added protection.

What to Expect During the Procedure

  • Preparation – First, the dentist or dental hygienist removes plaque and other food particles from the tooth. The tooth is then isolated and left to dry out for a while. Once dry, the hygienist will start etching the surface of the tooth before rinsing off the material and leaving it to dry out again.
  • Application – Once fully dry, the dental sealant material is applied to the tooth’s surface using a brush. A self-curing light is then used to make sure that the sealant bonds well to the tooth surface.
  • Evaluation – Finally, the dental hygienist or dentist takes a look at the dental sealant to check for any remaining crevices. Once fully hardened, the dental sealant will look like a hard plastic coating that will serve to protect the molars and premolars from tooth decay.

What’s Next?

With dental sealants, your child’s molars and premolars are now well protected from the effects of tooth decay. That, however, does not apply to your other teeth. Both brushing and flossing are still just as important with dental sealants as they are without them.

While dental sealants do really work for children’s teeth, they are not permanent. Often, they only last for anywhere between five to ten years. Also, don’t forget to have them checked by your child’s dentist regularly.

Combined with good oral hygiene at home, a healthy diet and regular dental visits for checkups and cleaning, dental sealants are a great way to keep your child’s teeth clean, healthy and free from decay throughout their lives.

To learn more about dental sealants call Dr. Flynne Weingarten at Dental Associates of Hoboken at 201-795-2111. Also visit the website at http://www.hobokenpediatricdentistry.com.