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    Children can experience sensitive teeth too. Here are some reasons and solutions.

    Last updated 3 years ago

    Has your child ever cried or complained about pain or discomfort whenever they consume foods or drinks that are very hot or cold? Little ones, unable to verbalize this, may suddenly hold their hand to their face or rub their mouth when they eat. They may be suffering from sensitive teeth or more often a sensitive tooth condition. Though it is unlikely for children to have the kind of tooth sensitivity, known as dentinal hypersensitivity, that is a result of gum recession and exposed roots, typically caused by excessive and improper tooth brushing, or by gum disease (periodontitis). These are generally conditions beginning in adolescence and progressing through adulthood. If you feel that your child’s vigorous brushing has worn away some of the tooth enamel, switch to a softer toothbrush and consult your pediatric dentist before using any of the desensitizing toothpastes, generally made for adult use. If your child’s teeth continue to be sensitive, your pediatric dentist may apply a fluoride gel to the affected teeth.

    Park View's Point of View

    At Park View Pediatric Dentistry, we believe that catching and addressing any oral health problems early is important, since it will get worse the longer it goes untreated. The first time your child complains of tooth sensitivity it may be something simple, like a piece of food stuck in between the teeth or gums. You may want to rinse the child's mouth with warm water to loosen any food particles that you cannot see. If you notice food stuck between the teeth, gently remove it with dental floss. If your child continues to have discomfort and complains about sensitivity, make an appointment with your pediatric dentist. As we are well aware, children are at risk for cavities, and that can be a major cause of tooth sensitivity. Your child could also have an oral infection or have a filling that is loose, which may result in additional decay. This could potentially lead to an infection. Children may also develop sensitivity after a tooth cracks or breaks. Cracked or broken teeth may be the result of biting on ice or hard candy, playground/sports injuries, using the teeth as a tool to loosen objects and caps, or teeth grinding.

    At Park View Pediatric Dentistry, we treat all of the above conditions that may cause tooth sensitivity from filling cavities to bonding and repairing cracked or broken teeth. However, one of the areas that we pride ourselves on in our practice is oral health education. We not only include the prevention of cavities, but tooth safety as well. The goal is to nip any of the causes of tooth sensitivity in the bud, so your child never has to experience discomfort from an oral condition.

    Prevention of Cavities

    1. Teach your children proper bushing habits.  Use a soft bristled toothbrush, both in the morning and before bed. See our past story on teaching and helping children to brush their teeth, and when to incorporate toothpaste.

    2. Flossing is equally important. See our past story on flossing your child’s teeth.

    3. Starting as early as the first birthday, you should schedule pediatric dental visits twice a year.

    Prevention of Tooth Injuries

    1. Always use a seat belt or age-appropriate child seat in the car.

    2. Teach children playground safety.

    3.  Instruct children never to use the teeth as tools for opening bottle caps or packaging.

    4. If they do have an occasional hard candy, impress upon them that it will last longer if they suck on it, rather than bite it. Always brush afterwards.

    5. If your child plays sports, make sure that they get and use a properly fitted mouth guard at all times.

    You can contact us at:

    Park View Pediatric Dentistry
    212-879-6518
    www.ParkViewPedDent.com

    The new year is the perfect time to evaluate your children's oral health routine!

    Last updated 3 years ago

    At we approach the end of 2013, and the holiday festivities are about to come to a close, many children got a temporary free pass when it came to holiday sweets, with the promise of getting back into healthy oral habits in the new year. As the start of 2014 rapidly approaches, it is an excellent time to evaluate your children’s oral health routine, diet and pediatric dental visit schedule.

    Park View's Point of View
    At Park View Pediatric Dentistry, we promote oral health education throughout the year, including dietary advice. The goal at our practice is to always report cavity-free visits and educate our parents and young patients on the necessary steps needed to create a lifetime of healthy smiles. Throughout the year we offer articles on our blog on all aspects of your child’s oral health and provide valuable information on our website geared towards setting the foundation for that super star smile. The following checklist will reference and link you to highlights of the past year. It is a good place to start for your own family oral health checklist.

    1. First Year Tooth Care
    Taking care of your baby’s new teeth on a daily basis may seem like a chore, but it is a very important, necessary parental job. Taking on the role of the “Tooth Police” right from the start will pay off toward a future of cavity-free dental visits.
    Read more.

    2. Caring for Baby Teeth—Early Brushing Techniques
    Baby teeth, and how they are cared for, are the foundation for permanent adult teeth. When your child is about six years old, it is time to start teaching them to brush and care for their own teeth. Teaching basic oral hygiene techniques and habits begin in toddlerhood and is an important process that continues throughout the childhood years. We have put together a helpful step-by-step list that will guide you through this process and are happy to help you during our oral education sessions.

    3. Children’s Flossing—A Must for Oral Care
    Much has been written about the importance and teaching of brushing, however flossing is equally important. Flossing helps to remove food and plaque from in between the teeth where the toothbrush cannot reach. Experts concur that flossing is necessary once your child has two teeth that touch. This usually happens initially with the last two molars (around age 2- 2 1/2). This is the time to get in the habit of flossing every night at bedtime before brushing. We are happy to help guide you in flossing your young toddler’s teeth and making it a positive experience!
     

    4. Visiting Your Pediatric Dentist Twice a Year 
    With the holiday vacation about to end, after school activities, sports and lessons are about to ramp up again. It is often hard to schedule those all-important dental visits even just once a year, let alone twice. Many parents often question the need for that second visit. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry not only recommends, but continually stresses the importance of visiting your dentist twice a year, as an essential factor in maintaining healthy teeth and gums. A new cavity can actually form within a six month time period. Like any other problem, the longer it goes unattended, the worse it can get. Coming in every six months is also a good checkpoint to monitor whether or not your child needs early orthodontic care. We have listed several other reasons for maintaining the twice a year pediatric dental schedule. Read more.

    5. Additional Answers to Your Pediatric Oral Health Questions
    Many of the parents that we see have several important questions throughout the year. From tooth accidents and toothaches to preventive techniques, like fluoride and sealants, we provide answers and advice. You may want to review and consider some of these points as you compile your oral health checklist for 2014. We have put these frequently asked questions in one place on our website for your convenience. Read more.

    Here’s to Happy New Yew!

    Contact us at:
    Park View Pediatric Dentistry
    212-879-6518
    www.ParkViewPedDent.com

    In the midst of all the holiday festivities, remember that teeth are not tools!

    Last updated 3 years ago

    During the holiday season there is so much fun and activity all around. From baking and parties, to decorating and gift giving, children get caught up in the excitement of the moment. So much so, that they may impulsively use their teeth to rip open ribbon on a gift or packaging on a new toy. Others may try to use their pearly whites to crack open a nut or twist off a cap on a bottle, while adults are busy preparing holiday meals. It is true that the enamel on the teeth is the hardest part of the human body, but teeth should never be used as tools under any circumstances. What could be worse than having holiday fun turn into an emergency dental situation?

    Park View's Point of View

    At Park View Pediatric Dentistry, we are concerned about our patients’ oral health at all times, which is why we are big on oral health education. In addition to learning how to prevent cavities, we offer safety tips on how to prevent accidents and tooth breakage. Throughout the years, we have found that accidents involving children’s teeth happen frequently around holiday times. Here are some helpful suggestions to keep your holidays safe and happy:

    1. Present Opening

    Opening gifts is usually an energy charged event, with lots of activity going on. It is wise to include a pair or two of child-friendly scissors on the scene and inform the family of where they are located. Remind children to never use their teeth for opening gifts or packaging, and offer assistance when needed. Also, why not make a conscious effort to slow down the process and enjoy each person’s present opening. Let the fun be more focused and last longer.

    2. Nuts

    What says holiday time more than a large bowl of nuts in their shell? Eager children wanting to enjoy these healthy tidbits should be cautioned never to use their teeth to crack them open. Large bowls of nuts should include one or two nutcrackers. A fun, family activity could also involve teaching children how to use them. There are always interesting character type nutcrackers available on the market; both new or vintage (think Nutcracker’s Suite). These fun nutcrackers could become part of the family holiday ritual, making their appearance once a year.

    3. Hard Candy

    Although we do not recommend having hard candy around, we recognize that exceptions are often made at holidays, especially with people dropping by and bringing treats. Remind children to suck on candy canes, and not bite into them. You should also monitor their intake and have them brush their teeth or rinse their mouths afterwards, as you do at other times throughout the year.

    4. Opening bottles and cartons

    Again, always warn children about the dangers of using their teeth as a bottle cap twister or carton opener. Remind them of the effort you put out all year to care for their oral health, and tell them that their beautiful smiles need to last a lifetime!

    Here’s to happy and safe holidays!

    Contact us at:

    Park View Pediatric Dentistry
    212-879-6518
    www.ParkViewPedDent.com

    Non-sweet snacks—'Tis the season to go savory!

    Last updated 3 years ago

    During the holiday season with cookie baking, parties, events and candy canes galore, it is hard to avoid having your children eat a bit more sweets than normal. Therefore, we suggest that extra attention is paid at home in coming up with some creative savory snacks, especially if you are throwing your own holiday party, dinner or gathering.

    Park View's Point of View

    At Park View Pediatric Dentistry, we are all about oral education and working with both our young patients and their parents to report cavity-free visits. In addition to the preventative treatments that we offer, like fluoride and sealants, we are big on offering dietary suggestions that do not have added sugar.

    Here are some of our favorite non-sweet snacks. Most can be made in minutes and you’ll be surprised how no one will miss the sugar!

    1. Hail to Kale Chips
    Kale has been all the rage lately! Whether cooked or in salads, it contains good nutrients including Vitamin A, Vitamin C, calcium and fiber. Why not give your kids an early introduction to this super veggie by turning it into a sought-after snack.

    —   Start with a large bunch of kale, wash, cut away the stems and rip into large pieces. Or use a large pre-washed bag. Make sure that the thick stems are removed.

    —   Toss with 2 teaspoons of olive oil and lay on a large baking sheet., sprinkle with salt, parmesan, sesame seeds or your favorite spice mix, depending on desired flavor.

    —   Bake at 275º for about 30 minutes until leaves are crispy. Cool on cooling rack or on a parchment sheet.

    2. Ready for Retro Party Mix
    Yep, it’s back and more popular than ever—the party mix. This age-old blend of crunchy and salty is always a favorite amongst any generation.

    —   Start with large handfuls of your favorite square cereal like Mini Shredded Wheat or of any of the Chex brands, and place in large bowl. Make sure that your choice is not a sugar-coated variety.

    —   Add your favorite raw or salted roasted nuts, depending on the desired flavor. Though peanuts have always been a favorite in this snack mix, we find that roasted almonds or pecans give it a more updated taste. If you use raw nuts, you may want to lightly salt the finished mix.

    —   Add your favorite small bite pretzels. Make sure they do not contain sugar.

    —   Mix and enjoy. Have more ingredients on hand for a quick
    second batch!

    3. Popcorn Plus
    What can be better than a large bowl of savory flavored popcorn? And, the sky is the limit in terms of the varieties you can create. Popcorn is also a high-fiber snack that is not high in calories.

    —   Start with a large bowl of your favorite microwave (not buttered flavored), homemade or air-popped popcorn.

    —   Toss with 2 teaspoons of your favorite light, healthy oil, like olive or canola. For a salt and vinegar flavor, add a few dashes of white or malt vinegar and toss with sea salt.

    —   For other varieties, place the popcorn in a large bag and shake with your favorite herb mix depending on your theme. Make sure that any store mix does not contain MSG.

    Here are some suggestions:

    —Italian— A blend of dried Italian herb, garlic salt and grated parmesan.

    —Mexican— Chili powder, dash of cumin, onion salt and a dash of fresh lime when tossing with the oil.

    —Cajun— Mix with a good Cajun spice mix and salt.

    Be creative!

    Here’s to a happy and healthy holiday season!

    Contact us at:

    Park View Pediatric Dentistry
    212-879-6518
    www.ParkViewPedDent.com

    Holiday Season Doesn't Have to Mean Sugar Overdose Season!

    Last updated 3 years ago

    With Thanksgiving Day rapidly approaching and the official kick-off of the holiday season under way, dinners, parties and gathering are bound to include a lot of sugary choices and treats. Most parents spend a good deal of time during the year monitoring their children’s sugar intake. While you want them to enjoy some special holiday indulgences, there are still many things you can do to keep the sugar under control and not have your all of your efforts come undone.

    Cutting down on sugar doesn’t have to mean sacrificing flavor.

    Since it is a time of year of abundant desert choices, why add extra sugar to your food? Many families enjoy sweet potatoes with that baked marshmallow layer, but these little white spongy treats are simply pure sugar. The reason that the “sweet potato” has its name is because they are naturally sweet. Baked whole or mashed, the delicate sweet flavor always comes through. For a little additional treat, many recipes include ingredients such as chopped walnuts, lemon zest or chopped sage.

    The same rule applies to all of your other side dish recipes. You really do not need to add sugar or syrups to stuffing, vegetable or potato dishes. Instead, it is wonderful to depend on fresh or dried herbs, fresh citrus juices, apples, pears, nuts or seeds to jazz up your holiday favorites. In the case of homemade cranberry sauce, it is wise to dramatically cut down on the sugar from the recipe and include your favorite sugar substitute. A little fresh grated ginger and the juice of an orange is also a nice addition to this must-have holiday condiment. Teaching your children to depend on the natural flavors of fruits and vegetables will also pay off during their adulthood in maintaining healthy dietary habits.

    It is also a smart idea to keep a bowl of fresh fruits and nuts out on the table. Snacking on these before desert, will limit desert portions. Many of the lower calorie pies available on the market are also lower in sugar. And naturally, if you bake your own, you can control or substitute the sugar.

    Park View's Point of View

    At Park View Pediatric Dentistry we want our young patients to enjoy the holiday season, but not let the sugar intake get out of hand. In addition to the helpful suggestions above, we would also like to include these healthy reminders.

    —   500ml of cola contains the equivalent of 17 cubes of sugar.

    —   Never serve sugary sodas with your meal, especially during the holidays when deserts will be served. Opt instead for fresh or sparkling water (plain, flavored or with a squeeze of citrus).

    —   There are many types of sugars and lots of different names used to describe “sugar” such as sucrose, glucose, fructose, maltose, hydrolysed starch, invert sugar, corn syrup and honey. Be on the lookout for them on labels when you shop.

    —   If your child does partake in holiday ciders or deserts, pay extra attention and lend support in doing a super thorough floss and brush job throughout the season!

    Happy Holidays!

    Contact us at:

    Park View Pediatric Dentistry
    212-879-6518
    www.ParkViewPedDent.com

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