Before Childrens Dentistry
A child’s first appointment, and even the days and weeks preceding it, can make a huge impact on how your child views dentistry in general. This is an exciting time with a lot of change! Teeth are growing in, then they’re falling out, a fairy comes to the rescue and then they grow in again….we just don’t want them to fall out again!
Oral care and the attitude at home about it should be seriously taken into account. Monkey See Monkey Do (as they say). If mom is afraid, child will likely be afraid. If mom is excited to go to the dentist, and takes great pleasure in taking great care of her teeth, the chances are likely that her child will be more apt to take the same pleasure.
Things to do
- As soon as the first tooth erupts, it’s time for a toothbrush (just one that has a smaller head).
- Brush your child’s teeth twice a day and try singing a fun song while you do it! There are fun videos that can become an excellent association for your child to grasp this important habit.
- Diet is important! Sugar will eventually cause cavities - therefore limit it! Things that have more sugar than you expected? Dried mangos, raisins and most dried fruit in general. Go for the real fruit instead.
- Sippy cups. If there’s a curse word in childrens dentistry, it’s sippy cups. Please only put water in them. Your child will likely drink out of these cups all day, sit down and read with them, fall asleep in a car with them. After a while, they will develop a ton of cavities because of sippy cups. If you make a rule, only water in the sippy cup, then you have nothing to worry about.
- Fluoride is a hot topic; there are those for and against it. Fluoride reduces cavity formation in several ways: low levels of fluoride in plaque and saliva inhibit the demineralization of sound enamel and promote the remineralization of demineralized enamel.
*Adding fluoride to our water systems (systemic approach) and to toothpaste (topical approach) has resulted in a decline in cavities in both children and adults. Research has shown a great effect in communities that don’t have regular access to a dentist, making systemic fluoride an important tool for developing communities. The rules and regulations have changed as to when you should start using fluoride for your child. Read below to learn what the latest suggestion is:
NO FLUORIDE for any child under six months of age.
From six months-three years old use a rice grain or small smear of fluoride toothpaste on the brush. Your child will not be able to spit at this age and hence the reason we reduce the amount on the toothbrush (check picture to see the difference between these amounts).
From age three-six years old-apply a pea sized amount to the toothbrush bristles and start brushing. Rinsing afterwards should be avoided to increase the benefit of fluoride protection.
After six years old a normal amount can be applied.
In New York City, our water is fluoridated at 1ppm (1 part per million), therefore supplementation in pill form is not necessary as it would be in a non-fluoridated community. Don’t worry, if you’re using a PUR or BRITA filter, these filters do not remove the fluoride content from the water. If you’re only drinking bottled water, then you can consider your options of supplementation - or save the environment from plastic overload and turn on that faucet!
First visit no later than one year of age. Can’t wait to meet you!
Before your treatment
- Please make sure to eat a big meal so you aren’t looking for your next meal soon after your treatment. Numbing usually takes a few hours to subside, and we want you to only heal from the tooth extraction, not a bitten lip and tongue as well.
- If you need to be premedicated with an antibiotic before dental work, please be sure to take your medication as prescribed by Dr. Plotnick one hour prior to your appointment time.
- Refrain from daily use of aspirin or any other blood thinning medication that is not prescribed by a medical professional.
- A consent form will be reviewed and signed explaining the benefits and risks of treatment (review that consent form here).
- The area will be numbed with local anesthetic.
- Post-operative instructions will be given to you, along with extra gauze to compress clot.
- A suture may be placed (in which we'll have you return in 7-10 days to remove it).
- The evening and day after the extraction will be when the area is most sensitive.
- Refrain from spitting, smoking, using straws and chewing on food on the affected side of your mouth.
- Treat the healing clot with caution; blood is filling the extraction site bringing new bone cells with it.
- Slight swelling is normal. To reduce swelling, place a bag of frozen peas on your face and try to use a used tea bag instead of gauze to reduce swelling to the clot site.
- Over the counter medication is sufficient for pain relief, such as Tylenol or Advil.
- If swelling or pain increases, please visit or call our office.
The area should be healed comfortably for regular eating within one and a half-two weeks and completely within two months.
Root Canal Treatment
- Sometimes we prescribe an antibiotic for you to take two days prior to the procedure and then five days after. Please take any medication as prescribed by Dr. Plotnick.
- If you need to be premedicated prior to your dental procedures, please consult with the doctor and take this medication as prescribed one hour prior to your appointment time.
- Make sure to plan an easy evening and get some rest.
- A rubber dam will be used to isolate the tooth in treatment, and a bite block can be used to relax your jaw while keeping your mouth open.
- Full local anesthesia will be achieved and treatment will be completed in either one-two appointments based on the status of health of the pulpal tissue (e.g. if your tooth was severely infected we will opt to place a medication in your canals for a few weeks prior to completing the root canal to effectively decontaminate the environment).
- A temporary filling will be used in between treatments to keep the area sterile.
- The height of the tooth will be reduced so that your tooth isn’t an active player in the bite (this helps to relieve associated pain and will be restored when the crown is completed).
- Wait until area is no longer numb to eat (drinking smoothies or juice is fine).
- Taking 600mg of Ibuprofen (Advil) every six hours is a great medication to help the inflamed area.
- After treatment, the area may be experiencing a similar pain status as before treatment was started for 24-48 hours. This is normal and should be managed with analgesics.
- Refrain from chewing on that tooth for a couple of days until the tenderness has subsided.
- Dr. Plotnick will have prescribed an appropriate final restoration for the tooth. Please be timely with that restoration so the tooth doesn’t fracture. Teeth with root canals have a higher percentage of fracture.
Whitening treatments are an excellent and low risk way to achieve a brighter smile!
If you have very sensitive teeth to start with, consider using an anti-sensitivity toothpaste for 2 weeks before the procedure.
Treatments usually take about an hour to an hour and 15 mins. No numbing is necessary.
Stay away from heavily pigmented foods and beverages for 2 days after treatment. Continue using anti sensitivy toothpaste if needed. Make sure to take lots of selfies and tag our office 🙂
Dental trauma involving a lost tooth IS a dental emergency.
- If your permanent tooth falls out of your mouth because of trauma, please gently clean off the root if still in tact and try to replace it in the socket in the appropriate orientation and go to an orthodontist immediately. If you can replace the tooth within 30 minutes, research shows a much higher percentage of keeping that tooth!
- Storing the tooth in saliva (like in your cheek) or milk is the next best solution.
- Do not wait over two hours to be seen.
Dental Trauma involving a broken tooth
- This is a dental emergency. If you’re experiencing pain, please come to see us ASAP and we’ll do our best to squeeze you into todays’ schedule.
- This IS a dental emergency and should be treated immediately. These swellings could spread and turn into dangerous situations if not treated appropriately.
- If your gums are spontaneously bleeding, yet you get regular cleanings and checkups, this IS a dental emergency. Please see your medical doctor immediately to check the status of your health and let Dr. Plotnick know immediately. Bleeding gums could be a sign of more serious health problems.
Broken Cusp of a Molar
- Unless you’re in great pain, this is NOT a dental emergency. We will book you at the next available spot.
STILL HAVE QUESTIONS?
CALL US! 917-257-9006