OUR SERVICES: INFANTS + SMALL CHILDREN
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that a child's first visit to the dentist be around age three unless any of these dental health risk factors exist:
Sleeping with a cup or bottle
CHILDREN'S ORAL HYGIENE
When your child's teeth begin to erupt, wipe them daily with a moist washcloth to remove tooth plaque.
As your child grows more teeth, use a soft child's toothbrush with non-fluoride toothpaste (like Baby OraGel) until your child is able to spit out the toothpaste.
When your child is ready to use fluoridated toothpaste, use only a small pea-size amount on the toothbrush. Swallowing too much fluoridated toothpaste can lead to staining of children's teeth (dental fluorosis).
Professional dental cleanings are important for maintaining great oral health. However, it is vital that you continue good dental hygiene at home as well.
Drs. Cohen and Urdaneta recommend that you brush your teeth at least twice per day for three minutes and to floss regularly. This helps prevent tooth decay, periodontal disease, and other oral health issues.
There are additional ways to help keep teeth strong and healthy. Toothpastes and mouth rinses with fluoride are available over-the-counter. Eating a balanced diet and limiting sugary snacks and sweetened or carbonated drinks can also contribute to good oral health.
Brushing and flossing are the best ways to help prevent cavities, but it’s not always easy to clean every nook and cranny of your teeth – especially those back teeth you use to chew (called molars). Molars are rough, uneven and a favorite place for leftover food and cavity-causing bacteria to hide.
Still, there’s another safety net to help keep those teeth clean. It’s called a sealant, and it is a thin, protective coating (made from plastic or other dental materials) that adheres to the chewing surface of your back teeth. They’re no substitute for brushing and flossing, but they can keep cavities from forming and may even stop early stages of decay from becoming a full-blown cavity.
In fact, sealants have been shown to reduce the risk of decay by nearly 80% in molars. This is especially important when it comes to your child's dental health. In October 2016, the Centers for Disease Control released a report on the importance of sealants for school-aged children, of which only 43% of children ages 6-11 have. According to the CDC, "school-age children without sealants have almost three times more cavities than children with sealants."
You may have many questions about sealants, and we have answers for you below. Read on to learn more about sealing out tooth decay.
HOW DO SEALANTS WORK?
Think of them as raincoats for your teeth. When the cavity-causing bacteria that live in everyone’s mouth meet leftover food particles, they produce acids that can create holes in teeth. These holes are cavities. After sealant has been applied it keeps those bits of food out and stops bacteria and acid from settling on your teeth—just like a raincoat keeps you clean and dry during a storm.
WHO CAN GET SEALANTS?
Children and adults can benefit from sealants, but the earlier you get them, the better. Your first molars appear around age 6, and second molars break through around age 12. Sealing these teeth as soon as they come through can keep them cavity-free from the start, which helps save time and money in the long run. Ask your dentist if sealants are a good option for you and your family.
HOW ARE SEALANTS APPLIED?
It’s a quick and painless process. Your dentist will clean and dry your tooth before placing an acidic gel on your teeth. This gel roughs up your tooth surface so a strong bond will form between your tooth and the sealant. After a few seconds, your dentist will rinse off the gel and dry your tooth once again before applying the sealant onto the grooves of your tooth. Your dentist will then use a special blue light to harden the sealant.
CAN SEALANTS BE PLACED OVER CAVITIES?
Sealants can be used over areas of early decay to prevent further damage to your tooth. Because some sealants are clear, your dentist can keep an eye on the tooth to make sure the sealant is doing its job.
ARE THERE ANY SIDE EFFECTS?
With the exception of an allergy that may exist, there are no known side effects from sealants.
IS THERE BPA IN SEALANTS?
Yes, there is a tiny amount of BPA in sealants but not enough to cause you or a loved one any harm. In fact, you get more exposure to BPA by simply touching a receipt, using cosmetics or coming in contact with dust.
Note: This information was obtained from American Dental Association’s Mouth Heathy ™ website
DR. JEFFREY COHEN
Dr. Cohen has now practiced general dentistry in Shrewsbury for 24 years, and has enjoyed practicing and living in Shrewsbury all of this time. He has three children who all attended Shrewsbury Schools.He especially takes pride and owes much of my success to the employees that have worked with him all these years. Two have been with the practice the full twenty four years, one twenty one years, and three for fourteen years. When not practicing, he enjoys traveling, attending sporting events, and most especially golfing.
Oral hygiene checkups are recommended every six months for most patients, and are an effective way to detect early stages of any problems that may be developing. Our hygienists will remove plaque from your teeth with a professional cleaning, measure your gingival pockets, and perform a visual examination of your mouth and surrounding areas. After your cleaning, your dentist will inspect your mouth, set up a treatment plan and answer your questions.