"Being able to connect with children to help alleviate their fears and build their confidence is wonderfully satisfying. It’s all about having a good time here at CreatingSmiles. In fact, I have the best of both worlds- to care for children and treat their teeth… keeping them happy and healthy!"
- Dr. Helen
Prior to your first visit, be sure to review the patients forms.
Preparing for the first visit
Taking your child to the dentist for the first time may seem like a daunting prospect, but this will not be the same
experience you may remember from your youth. If you as a parent are nervous about your child’s first dental appointment, your negative words or comments to your child will only cause increased fear of an unknown experience. You also cannot hide your anxiety from a child (they have an amazing radar for these things). Instead, only discuss the positive aspects of dentistry or please let Dr. Helen explain to your child what will be involved during this initial visit as she is uniquely trained to handle and alleviate any fears and anxiety. Our staff also likes to keep positive and excels at putting children at ease during treatment . Remember that preparing for each dental visit with a positive attitude goes a long way toward making your child comfortable with regular checkups. Your child’s reaction to their first dental visit may surprise you!
First dental visit
“First tooth, First visit” is Dr. Helen’s recommendation for your little one’s teeth. Since decay can occur once a tooth emerges, the earlier your child visits us, the more likely we can prevent problems down the road. The first visit will be short and simple as Dr. Helen will focus on getting to know your little one better. Dr. Helen will check your child's teeth for position, shape, and health, and will look for any signs of early problems with the gums and jaws. Toothbrushing demonstrations will also be part of the first visit. Any questions you may have about how to best care for your little one's teeth as they develop will also be also reviewed. This is a critical stage in establishing a solid foundation for healthy, cavity-free teeth!
How will my child react?
Have no fear! Children typically respond to an unfamiliar dental office in the same way they respond to a new pediatrician, new child care provider, or first visit to someone’s home. Some are totally comfortable; others are fearful in the new or unfamiliar situation. Dr. Helen is uniquely trained in communicating with children in an effective, gentle, and welcoming manner.
Oral health is a smart investment- decay is preventable. Preventive dental care is the most cost effective way of preventing caries. At CreatingSmiles, Dr. Helen will review early and regular preventive care measures that are effective in reducing caries. Come see what tips and tricks Dr. Helen offers!
WHY VISIT A PEDIATRIC DENTIST?
Do you bring a child to pediatrician?
Then why not bring your child to a specialist in Pediatric Dentistry?
Pediatric dentists have chosen their profession because they love children. We have a natural affinity and passion to dedicate our life-long career for children and children’s oral health. At CreatingSmiles, Dr. Helen is a board certified pediatric dentist who is uniquely qualified and dedicated to working with infants, toddlers, children, adolescents and children with special needs.
Yes, taking your child to the dentist for the first time can be a frightening experience but this will not the same frightening experience you may remember from your youth. A well trained Pediatric dentist will strive to soothe you and your child’s fear and feelings of uneasiness. Here at CreatingSmiles, Dr. Helen will change the way you and your child feels about going to a dentist.
Pediatric dentists are taught to assess for early signs of a child’s risk for cavities, have knowledge of the ideal timing for an Orthodontic referral, and practice the skills of child preventive dentistry. Very often, parents want what is best for their child and ways to avoid cavities. Put your trust in someone who is knowledgeable in this field, someone who can give you answers to your pressing concerns and knows how to meet these needs. At CreatingSmiles, Dr. Helen will discuss ways to prevent cavities, monitor proper jaw growth and development, and care for your child’s teeth early on so that they will last a lifetime.
Each child responds in his or her own way to a dental visit. Pediatric dentists stand ready with a variety of methods to help an individual child feel comfortable with dental treatment. Our gentle touch and special way with kids will have your child begging to not leave our office. Dr. Helen and staff love children and are specially trained to communicate with the child on his or her level. We teach your children the proper way to take care of their teeth while simultaneously reinforcing that going to the dentist can be fun! Come see what tips, tricks and more Dr. Helen can offer to provide the best recommendation to care for your child’s teeth.
We are here to provide a safe, pleasant and non-traumatic experience for years to come!
Suggestions for a lifetime of healthy smiles:
Caring for the gums
Before the first tooth makes their first appearance, the gums need special attention. Wipe the gums with a moist cloth after every breast- or bottle-feeding. This practice reduces oral bacteria and helps ready the baby for the teeth cleaning to come.
It is completely normal for infants to suck on a pacifier as it offers a soothing and secure feeling. However, we recommend to NOT dip your baby's pacifier into sweet substances as this may lead to early tooth decay.
Once that first tooth makes an appearance, it’s time to switch over to a soft bristle toothbrush designed for your child’s mouth. Don’t give up if your little one doesn’t react well to the new routine. With time, it will get easier!
Use a floss pick as soon as your child’s teeth touch or where there are no gaps in between the teeth.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) recommend that children be seen by a dentist within 6 months of eruption of the first tooth or 12 months of age, whichever comes first.
INFANT ORAL CARE
Congratulations on the arrival of your new baby! Are you prepared for the arrival of your baby's first tooth?
For an emergency visit, call us at 973-325-3000.
First, assess whether or not your child's injury involved hitting the head causing them to lose consciousness even for a brief moment, or if there are any medical concerns. If this is the case, call your pediatrician first or go to a hospital emergency room. Worry about the teeth later.
Broken or swollen lip(s) or tongue
If your child’s lip or tongue is bitten or swollen, clean the area gently with water and use a cold compress (a cold, wet towel or washcloth pressed firmly against the area) to reduce or avoid swelling. Children's pain relievers may be taken to relieve any discomfort. Give us a call to help determine how serious the bite is.
Broken, chipped, or fractured teeth
Rinse your child's mouth with warm water and apply cold compresses to reduce any swelling. Try to locate and save the broken tooth fragments and bring them with you to our office. A fragment can often be bonded back onto the tooth. Even without the broken piece, a dentist can restore the tooth to its natural appearance with bonding.
Baby teeth: Contact our office as soon as possible. We do not re-implant baby teeth but it is important to examine your child to be sure no fragments of tooth are embedded in the gums, lip or tongue, as well as determine the extent of trauma to other teeth in the area. Bring along the knocked out tooth.
Adult teeth: Find the tooth! Hold the tooth by the crown (top) and rinse it gently using only cold water. Do NOT scrub it nor clean with soap! If possible, replace the tooth back in the socket and hold it there with clean gauze or a washcloth. If you can't put the tooth back in the socket, place the tooth in a clean container with milk or your own saliva. Milk is the best choice. Call your dentist immediately.
Teeth that have been knocked out will almost always require root canal therapy, but they can often survive for years if treated promptly. The quicker you act, the greater your chances of saving the tooth.
If your child has a very loose tooth, it should be removed to avoid being swallowed or inhaled. Baby teeth naturally fall out as their roots are dissolved away by an erupting adult tooth. Loose teeth are often uncomfortable to brush or eat with. Though not an emergency, if your child is uncomfortable with a loose tooth, you can make an appointment and bring them in to be checked.
If your child complains of a toothache, gently brush your child’s teeth and gums, and inspect whether a sore or swelling is present, gums are bleeding or if food is trapped around the teeth. If nothing obvious is observed, schedule an appointment with our office to investigate further. Children's pain relievers may be taken to relieve any discomfort.
Why fill baby teeth when they will fall out anyway?
While it is true that baby teeth do eventually fall out, it also true that they are important to your child in the meantime. Children need their baby teeth to speak clearly, eat comfortably, and smile with self-confidence. Also, baby teeth hold space for the permanent teeth to erupt properly. If a baby tooth is lost, the remaining teeth shift into the empty space. This often results in crowding issues in the future. In addition, a decayed baby tooth can become infected, discolor and damage adult teeth and cause severe pain for a child. Please keep in mind, some baby molars are not replaced until age 9-13, so they must last for years. Healthy baby teeth = healthy adult teeth!
What is nitrous oxide, or "laughing gas"?
If a child is worried by the sights, sounds or sensations of dental treatment, your child may respond more positively with the use of nitrous oxide/oxygen. Nitrous oxide/oxygen, which you might know better as happy gas, can reduce mild anxiety and gagging in children and make long appointments easier. One of the safest sedatives in dentistry, nitrous oxide gas is non-addictive, non-allergenic and very well tolerated. The child breathes the gas through a mask placed on his or her nose and remains fully conscious and responsive throughout treatment. Recovery after treatment is rapid and complete.
What are sealants?
Dental sealants are thin, clear protective coatings that are applied to children’s most cavity-prone, hard-to-reach teeth (usually the molars) in order to help to seal out bacteria. We recommend sealants as a safe, simple and effective way to help your child avoid cavities. Sealants have been shown to reduce tooth decay by up to 60 percent.
What is xylitol?
“The decay-preventive sweetener” is a natural sweetener that helps prevents cavities. It can be found in berries, fruit, vegetables, mushrooms, and birch bark. Xylitol inhibits the growth of the bacteria thus reducing the number of new cavities. Xylitol is often found in chewing gum and mints. Generally, xylitol must be listed as the first ingredient for the amount to be at decay-preventing levels. Xylitol has been approved as safe by a number of agencies, including the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and the World Health Organization’s Joint Expert Committee on Food Additives.
What is "sedation dentistry"?
This technique uses medications for your child’s safety and comfort during dental treatment. Sedation can help increase cooperation and reduce severe anxiety and/or discomfort associated with dental procedures. In particular, it can prevent injury by helping a child stay still around the sharp or fast-moving instruments needed for treatment. For this technique, the pediatric dentist selects a medication and dose based upon your child’s overall health, level of anxiety and dental treatment recommendations. It is not intended to cause a loss of consciousness. In other words, the child is relaxed but not asleep and is able to respond to touch or voices. This approach may be recommended for apprehensive children, very young children and children with special health care needs who would not be able to receive necessary dental care in a safe and comfortable manner without it. Sedation is safe for children when it is administered by a pediatric dentist who follows the sedation guidelines of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry. Parents should feel free to discuss the different medications and sedation options with Dr. Helen, as well as the special monitoring equipment used for patient protection.