• 16 School Street Rye, NY. 10580
  • GIVE US A CALL TODAY (914) 967-5735
  • 16 School Street
  • Rye, NY 10580
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At what age should my child visit the dentist?

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that a child's first visit to the dentist should occur by 12 months of age. This visit will enable the dentist to evaluate your child and introduce you to proper oral hygiene. Diet, fluoride, finger, and pacifier habits and tooth eruption will be discussed to ensure optimal dental health.

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Why are "baby teeth" important?

Primary teeth have been labeled "baby teeth." However, the first tooth is usually lost around age 6 and some primary molars must remain in place until 12 or 13 years of age. Primary teeth are necessary for proper chewing, speech, development of the jaws and esthetics. Care of the primary teeth is important not only for proper function, but also to avoid a number of unpleasant conditions, such as pain, that result from their neglect.

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How often should I have a dental exam and cleaning?

You should have your teeth checked and cleaned at least twice a year, though your dentist or dental hygienist may recommend more frequent visits.

Regular dental exams and cleaning visits are essential in preventing dental problems and maintaining the health of your teeth and gums. At these visits, your teeth are cleaned and checked for cavities. Additionally, there are many other things that are checked and monitored to help detect, prevent, and maintain your dental health. These include:

  • Medical history review: Knowing the status of any current medical conditions, new medications, and illnesses, gives us insight to your overall health and also your dental health.
  • • Examination of diagnostic x-rays (radiographs): Essential for detection of decay, tumors, cysts, and bone loss. X-rays also help determine tooth and root positions.
  • • Oral cancer screening: Check the face, neck, lips, tongue, throat, tissues, and gums for any signs of oral cancer.
  • • Gum disease evaluation: Check the gums and bone around the teeth for any signs of periodontal disease.
  • • Examination of tooth decay: All tooth surfaces will be checked for decay with special dental instruments.
  • • Examination of existing restorations: Check current fillings, crowns, etc.
  • • Removal of calculus (tartar): Calculus is hardened plaque that has been left on the tooth for sometime and is now firmly attached to the tooth surface. Calculus forms above and below the gum line, and can only be removed with special dental instruments.
  • • Removal of plaque: Plaque is a sticky, almost invisible film that forms on the teeth. It is a growing colony of living bacteria, food debris, and saliva. The bacteria produce toxins (poisons) that inflame the gums. This inflammation is the start of periodontal disease!
  • • Teeth polishing: Removes stain and plaque that is not otherwise removed during toothbrushing and scaling.
  • • Oral hygiene recommendations: Review and recommend oral hygiene aids as needed (electric dental toothbrushes, special cleaning aids, fluorides, rinses, etc.).
  • • Review dietary habits: Your eating habits play a very important role in your dental health.

As you can see, a good dental exam and cleaning involves quite a lot more than just checking for cavities and polishing your teeth. We are committed to providing you with the best possible care, and to do so will require regular check-ups and cleanings.

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Why is it important to use dental floss?

Brushing our teeth removes food particles, plaque, and bacteria from all tooth surfaces, except in between the teeth. Unfortunately, our toothbrush can’t reach these areas that are highly susceptible to decay and periodontal (gum) disease.

Daily flossing is the best way to clean between the teeth and under the gumline. Flossing not only helps clean these spaces, it disrupts plaque colonies from building up, preventing damage to the gums, teeth, and bone.

Plaque is a sticky, almost invisible film that forms on the teeth. It is a growing colony of living bacteria, food debris, and saliva. The bacteria produce toxins (acids) that cause cavities and irritate and inflame the gums. Also, when plaque is not removed above and below the gumline, it hardens and turns into calculus (tartar). This will further irritate and inflame the gums and also slowly destroy the bone. This is the beginning of periodontal disease.

How to floss properly:

  • • Take 12-16 inches (30-40cm) of dental floss and wrap it around your middle fingers, leaving about 2 inches (5cm) of floss between the hands.
  • • Using your thumbs and forefingers to guide the floss, gently insert the floss between teeth using a sawing motion.
  • • Curve the floss into a “C” shape around each tooth and under the gumline. Gently move the floss up and down, cleaning the side of each tooth.

Floss holders are recommended if you have difficulty using conventional floss.

Daily flossing will help you keep a healthy, beautiful smile for life!

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How often should I brush and floss?

Plaque is a film of food debris, bacteria, and saliva that sticks to the teeth and gums. The bacteria in plaque convert certain food particles into acids that cause tooth decay. Also, if plaque is not removed, it turns into calculus (tartar). If plaque and calculus are not removed, they begin to destroy the gums and bone, causing periodontal (gum) disease.

Plaque formation and growth is continuous and can only be controlled by regular brushing, flossing, and the use of other dental aids.

Toothbrushing – Brush your teeth at least twice a day (especially before going to bed at night) with an ADA approved soft bristle brush and toothpaste.

  • • Brush at a 45 degree angle to the gums, gently using a small, circular motion, ensuring that you always feel the bristles on the gums.
  • • Brush the outer, inner, and biting surfaces of each tooth.
  • • Use the tip of the brush head to clean the inside front teeth.
  • • Brush your tongue to remove bacteria and freshen your breath.

Electric toothbrushes are also recommended. They are easy to use and can remove plaque efficiently. Simply place the bristles of the electric brush on your gums and teeth and allow the brush to do its job, several teeth at a time.

Flossing – Daily flossing is the best way to clean between the teeth and under the gumline. Flossing not only helps clean these spaces, it disrupts plaque colonies from building up, preventing damage to the gums, teeth, and bone.

  • • Take 12-16 inches (30-40cm) of dental floss and wrap it around your middle fingers, leaving about 2 inches (5cm) of floss between the hands.
  • • Using your thumbs and forefingers to guide the floss, gently insert the floss between teeth using a sawing motion.
  • • Curve the floss into a “C” shape around each tooth and under the gumline. Gently move the floss up and down, cleaning the side of each tooth.

Floss holders are recommended if you have difficulty using conventional floss.

Rinsing – It is important to rinse your mouth with water after brushing, and also after meals if you are unable to brush. If you are using an over-the-counter product for rinsing, it’s a good idea to consult with your dentist or dental hygienist on its appropriateness for you.

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Are amalgam (silver) fillings safe?

Over the years there has been some concern as to the safety of amalgam (silver) fillings. An amalgam is a blend of copper, silver, tin and zinc, bound by elemental mercury. Dentists have used this blended metal to fill teeth for more than 100 years. The controversy is due to claims that the exposure to the vapor and minute particles from the mercury can cause a variety of health problems.

According to the American Dental Association (ADA), up to 76% of dentists use silver containing mercury to fill teeth. The ADA also states that silver fillings are safe and that studies have failed to find any link between silver containing mercury and any medical disorder.

The general consensus is that amalgam (silver) fillings are safe. Along with the ADA’s position, the Center for Disease Control (CDC), the World Health Organization, the FDA, and others support the use of silver fillings as safe, durable, and cost effective. The U.S. Public Health Service says that the only reason not to use silver fillings is when a patient has an allergy to any component of this type of filling. The ADA has had fewer than 100 reported incidents of an allergy to components of silver fillings, and this is out of countless millions of silver fillings over the decades.

Although studies indicate that there are no measurable health risks to patients who have silver fillings, we do know that mercury is a toxic material when we are exposed at high, unsafe levels. For instance, we have been warned to limit the consumption of certain types of fish that carry high levels of mercury in them. However, with respect to amalgam fillings, the ADA maintains that when the mercury combines with the other components of the filling, it becomes an inactive substance that is safe.

There are numerous options to silver fillings, including composite (tooth-colored), porcelain, and gold fillings. We encourage you to discuss these options with your dentist so you can determine which is the best option for you.

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What are dental sealants and who can benefit from them?

The chewing surface of children's teeth are the most susceptible to cavities and least benefited from fluorides. Sealants are adhesive coatings that are applied to the tops of the teeth and can be very effective in preventing tooth decay. Current research has shown that 4 out of 5 cavities in children under age 15 develop on the biting surface of back molars. Molars are the most decayed teeth because plaque accumulates in the tiny grooves of the chewing surfaces. Sealants prevent the cavities that fluoride cannot effectively reach.

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How important is a child's diet in the prevention of cavities?

Although a well-balanced diet is important in preventing cavities and to ensure good general health, cavities are not only the result of what children eat, but also the frequency of meals. Frequent snacking without brushing leaves food on the teeth longer and increases the likelihood of a cavity developing. Additionally, frequent "sipping" on sugar-drinks (including juice and soda) in a baby bottle, "sippy" cup, or re-sealable bottle can cause widespread dental cavities.

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What do I do if my child is in an accident?

If your child has an accident, please call our office as soon as possible. We will see your child immediately. If it is an after-hours emergency, the answering service will contact the Doctors' as soon as the message is received.

The first 30 minutes after an accident are the most critical to treatment of dental trauma. If a permanent tooth is knocked out, gently rinse, but do not scrub the tooth under water. Replace the tooth in the socket if possible. If this is impossible, place the tooth in a glass of milk or a clean wet cloth and come to the office immediately. If the tooth is fractured, please bring in any pieces you can find.

Our schedule may be delayed in order to accommodate an injured child. Please accept our apologies in advance should an emergency occur during your child's appointment.

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Tips for helping children develop positive dental habits.
  • • Set a good example
  • • Make good oral health a family effort.
  • • Show children that daily brushing and flossing, limited snacking and regular dental checkups are necessary for good oral health
  • • Support your child when they are able to brush and floss on their own-assisting and performing spot checks as needed
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What should I do if my child or I have bad breath?

Bad breath (halitosis) can be an unpleasant and embarrassing condition. Many of us may not realize that we have bad breath, but everyone has it from time to time, especially in the morning.

There are various reasons one may have bad breath, but in healthy people, the major reason is due to microbial deposits on the tongue, especially the back of the tongue. Some studies have shown that simply brushing the tongue reduced bad breath by as much as 70 percent.

What may cause bad breath?

  • • Morning time – Saliva flow almost stops during sleep and its reduced cleansing action allows bacteria to grow, causing bad breath.
  • • Certain foods – Garlic, onions, etc. Foods containing odor-causing compounds enter the blood stream; they are transferred to the lungs, where they are exhaled.
  • • Poor oral hygiene habits – Food particles remaining in the mouth promote bacterial growth.
  • • Periodontal (gum) disease – Colonies of bacteria and food debris residing under inflamed gums.
  • •  Dental cavities and improperly fitted dental appliances – May also contribute to bad breath.
  • • Dry mouth (Xerostomia) – May be caused by certain medications, salivary gland problems, or continuous mouth breathing.
  • • Dieting – Certain chemicals called ketones are released in the breath as the body burns fat.
  • • Dehydration, hunger, and missed meals – Drinking water and chewing food increases saliva flow and washes bacteria away.
  • •  Certain medical conditions and illnesses – Diabetes, liver and kidney problems, chronic sinus infections, bronchitis, and pneumonia are several conditions that may contribute to bad breath.

Keeping a record of what you eat may help identify the cause of bad breath. Also, review your current medications, recent surgeries, or illnesses with you dentist.

What can my child do to prevent bad breath?

  • • Practice good oral hygiene – Brush at least twice a day with an ADA approved fluoride toothpaste and toothbrush. Floss daily to remove food debris and plaque from in between the teeth and under the gumline. Brush or use a tongue scraper to clean the tongue and reach the back areas. Replace your toothbrush every 2 to 3 months. If you wear dentures or removable bridges, clean them thoroughly and place them back in your mouth in the morning.
  • • See your dentist regularly – Get a check-up and cleaning at least twice a year. If you have or have had periodontal disease, your dentist will recommend more frequent visits.
  • • Drink water frequently – Water will help keep your mouth moist and wash away bacteria.
  • • Use mouthwash/rinses – Some over-the-counter products only provide a temporary solution to mask unpleasant mouth odor. Ask your dentist about antiseptic rinses that not only alleviate bad breath, but also kill the germs that cause the problem.

In most cases, your dentist can treat the cause of bad breath. If it is determined that your mouth is healthy, but bad breath is persistent, your dentist may refer you to your physician to determine the cause of the odor and an appropriate treatment plan.

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What is a Dental Home?

Dental Home is term used to describe a place where your child's oral health care is managed in a comprehensive, continuously accessible, coordinated, and family-centered way by a dentist properly trained to treat a young child's growing needs. Topics including growth and development, trauma and diet are a few of the topics that will be discussed with the parents Establishing a Dental Home also allows the dentist to instruct both parents and children about proper hygiene and home-care techniques that, when used in conjunction with the preventative services a pediatric dentist can offer, will provide the best environment for a successful dental experience during the child's development.

Previously, cavities in baby teeth were on the decline from the early 1970's to the mid 1990's. More recently however, dental cavities in the age group of 2 to 11 have shown a small, but significant increase. To help reduce a child's risk of decay, it is now recommended that a "Dental Home" be established no later than 12 months of age Tooth decay, if left untreated, can have serious effects on a child's long-term health and well-being. Dental problems can begin early. A big concern is Early Childhood Caries (also known as baby bottle tooth decay or nursing caries). Children risk severe decay from using a bottle during naps or at night or when they nurse continuously from the breast. Childhood cavities have been linked to lower than ideal body weight and lost time in school. Some of us may be all too aware that the effects of poor oral health may be felt for a lifetime. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) and the American Dental Association (ADA) support the concept of a “Dental Home”.

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  • RyeSmiles Pediatric Dentistry
  • 16 School St. Rye, NY 10580
  • PH: 914.967.5735
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