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You have questions? We have answers! Check out some frequently asked questions about Children Dentistry and Orthodontics.

  • Who are Pediatric Dentists and what do they do?
    Pediatric Dentists are dentists who have undergone special training to tackle the multifaceted oral health concerns of children. They are equipped with skills like making an accurate diagnosis, coming up with astute treatment plans along with management of little ones, and education of young parents regarding their child's oral health.
  • Do you have any special training in Pediatric Dentistry?
    Currently and since 2014 I am a Board Certified Pediatric Dentist. This was granted to me after successfully passing a rigorous written examination and passing The Oral Clinical Examination which is the second of a two-part American Board of Pediatric Dentistry certification process. After graduating from Columbia University College of Dental Medicine, In The City of New York in 2011, I applied for additional training in pediatric dentistry and was selected to study and train at Howard University in Washington DC, through the prestigious HRSA Scholarship Grant. For two years after dental school I received training and education on pediatric dentistry. It was there where I read countless textbooks, scientific journals and dived into the world of pediatric dentistry. My efforts paid dividends, because on graduation day I was awarded, The postdoctoral with the highest academic average during the two years of study." Finishing Top of the Class, was the first time I graduated number one and this time it was when it mattered the most because I was now going to be a professional tasked with the care of children.
  • How long have you been practicing pediatric dentistry?
    I started practicing pediatric dentistry in 2013. I graduated the 30th of June and shortly thereafter began working in northern Orlando, in a town called Orange City. I really loved my time there because I saw many young children and was able to do what I love, which is to provide positive dental experiences for children. After about three years I moved back home to Miami. This is where my parents and siblings live and where I was raised.
  • What is your experience with treating children of my child's age?
    In my childhood, I had positive dental experiences and always enjoyed going to the dentist. As a young child I was impressed that my dentist-doctor wanted to fix my teeth, and essentially improve my previously damaged teeth. I remember the dentist from my youth greeting me with a big smile and being so kind to me. Later on in college when deciding on a profession in healthcare, I felt that I too wanted to better the lives of children's oral health. Treating children and delivering great dental work and painless dentistry is my goal for each child. My passion is to deliver pain-free dentistry comfortable dentistry for children.
  • What is the ideal age to bring my child to the clinic for their first dental checkup?
    The ideal time to schedule your child's first dental visit is within the first 6 months of the first tooth appearing. This visit helps to familiarise the child with the clinic surrounding and establish a line of communication with the child and the parent. After the initial checkup, dental visits should occur regularly every 6 months.
  • What things should I be concerned about when my child's teeth start to erupt?
    Your child's first tooth will start erupting between 4-7 months. The first teeth to erupt are the two bottom front ones known as the central incisors. This process is known as 'Teething'. When teething begins you should start using cleaning aids like toothbrushes and toothpaste to clean the teeth of the young one. Gently wipe your child's face often to remove the drool and prevent rashes from running rampant. Along with that, give your baby something to chew on as a teething aid.
  • How should I clean my child's teeth?
    Cleaning methods depend upon the number of teeth in your child's oral cavity. If the young one doesn't have any teeth, gently wipe the gums and cheeks with a soft wet cloth. As soon as teething begins, start brushing their teeth twice daily. As more primary teeth erupt you can include flossing into the daily oral hygiene routine.
  • How do I ensure that my child's teeth remain caries free?
    The age-old adage that prevention is better than cure, is the best way to make sure that your child's teeth remain caries-free. Regular dental checkups and proper oral hygiene with routine fluoride applications ensure that your child's teeth are healthy and sound.
  • Is bottle feeding bad for my child's oral health?
    Bottle feeding is not always a bad thing and in some cases it is necessary. However, excessive use of the bottle coupled with improper bottle-feeding practices can lead to problems like rampant tooth decay also known as nursing bottle caries.
  • Do primary teeth fall off on their own?
    For the most part, yes. As your child grows and the time for permanent teeth eruption comes near, the baby teeth or the milk teeth will fall off. These teeth fall out naturally but in case they don't, a visit to the dentist is advisable to safely remove them. Since most of the teeth shedding happens at home, it's advisable to make this activity a fun one for the kids. For eg. Introducing the tooth fairy to them is a good way of making them less scared about this seemingly scary process.
  • What should I do if I notice a cavity in my child's tooth?
    The first thing you must do is realize that a cavity is a treatable condition. The second thing involves a visit to your pedodontist. Based on the extent of the cavity and whether the tooth is primary or permanent, the doctor will advise you on the relevant treatment options. Untreated cavities can progress resulting in the death of the pulp inside the tooth, abscess and pus formation, etc. Thus you must take measures to stop the further spread of this disease the first time you spot a cavity.
  • Do pediatric dentists deal with habits like thumb sucking and mouth breathing?
    Oral habits like thumb sucking, mouth breathing, and tongue thrusting fall under the purview of pedodontists and orthodontists. These habits, if not identified and intercepted early, can cause a lot of problems like proclined teeth, weak chin, improper lip seal and so forth later on.
  • What are your policies on Sedation Dentistry Nitrous Oxide (laughing gas)?
    For use of nitrous oxide analgesia (laughing gas), I follow the Policies and Guidelines set forth by the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry. At our office we use nitrous oxide on young patients needing dental fillings, crowns, or extractions of their teeth. We start by first reviewing the patient's medical history and if all is clear we show the patient how the air is delivered by showing them the nasal hood which is a device that is like a hat but for the nose. We start the procedure by giving the patient 100% for five minutes to saturate their and then through slow-induction, we introduce the nitrous oxide air up until the patient is receiving 50/50 mixture. We tell patients that the air has a sweet aroma and that it will reduce their fears throughout the appointment. nitrous oxide does not put children to sleep and throughout the appointment the patient is wearing a pulse oximeter which measures blood oxygen saturation. Procedures last from 10-30 minutes on average. Then once we end the procedure, we turn off the nitrous oxide and give 100% oxygen for a minimum of five minutes and assure the patient is as responsive when compared to the start of the appointment.
  • Do you offer any amenities or distraction techniques to help ease kids' anxiety about dental visits?
    As soon as children enter our office, they are invited to pick a toy from the treasure chest. Then our assistant meets the patient and the parent in the waiting room and are brought to the room. At our clinic the best amenities is our team, and you will notice that every personnel is equipped to give children the best dental experience. We also have relaxing acoustic music playing throughout the office as a way to relax and ease children. Our assistants tell the child in friendly terms on what will be done for them during the visit. Parents are welcomed back during examinations and cleanings. Each dental room is equipped with a large 50 inch television showing kids shows and movies. And in each dental room the color themes are comforting and the dental chairs are brand new. Sometimes we have the air conditioner very low and if patients need it, we offer them blankets. At the end of the appointment children and their parents are walked back to the waiting room and they get to see our, "Wall of Champions," which is small polaroids of some of our most memorable patients.
  • What are your policies on dental sealants and fluoride treatments?
    We use fluoride and dental sealants based on Policies and Guidelines set forth by the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry. Our teeth are made of minerals and complex molecules that are held together by strong forces. Whenever we eat or drink liquids, it changes the chemistry balance in our mouth, specifically the potential of hydrogen, which colloquially known as "pH," is a measure of acidity and alkalinity. Too frequent and prolonged changes in the pH, can unfortunately destabilizes the balance of molecules our teeth have and we call this an acid challenge. Junk foods such as: chip, Doritos, goldfishes, gummies, pretzels, and other readily available "bad snacks for your teeth" are easily digested by bacteria in your saliva which in turn converts those junk foods to acids! That then accelerates more mineral loss off the tooth surface exposing our teeth to damage. Fluoride incorporates into the tooth structure and insulates your teeth from daily acid challenges and protects our teeth from releasing minerals.  On the chewing surfaces on our teeth we have many shapes and at the deepest part there lines called "grooves and fissures." At a microscopic level food and bacteria (from our mouth) can get caught and as described above can lead to our tooth surface dissolving minerals, which is a process called, dental caries. To prevent that from happening, at our clinic we place dental sealants on the chewing surfaces of molars. Note children have their first permanent molars at around age seven. Also dental sealants are primarily placed on permanent molars.
  • What is your policy on x-rays – how often are they taken and why?
    We use a principle called, ALARA, also known as, As Low As Reasonably Achievable. To obtain this, we use the latest technology for x-rays by: minimizing x-ray exposure time, distance and reducing number of repeated takes. We place lead aprons on all of our patients and explain to them what we need to do. When deciding on taking x-rays there needs to be a reason for use to take the radiograph (x-ray). The most common reason is visible dental caries and if we suspect gum disease. Other reasons to take x-rays include: trauma to teeth, checking for missing teeth, diagnosing purposes for orthodontics, just to name a few. The frequency of x-rays can be two times per year, or once every 16 months, and that mostly depends on the cavity risk and gingival health of the patient.
  • How do I know whether my child requires orthodontic treatment?
    There are a lot of conditions wherein your child may require orthodontic treatment. However, the most common condition in which orthodontic treatment is a must is crooked teeth. Crooked teeth may occur due to a variety of reasons ranging from less space in the oral cavity for the teeth to erupt to prolonged retention of primary teeth. Apart from that oral habits like mouth breathing, thumb sucking, unusual facial features, and facial skeletal abnormalities are other conditions where orthodontic treatment is essential.
  • What is the ideal age to start orthodontic treatment?
    By age 7 some of the permanent teeth will have erupted in your child's oral cavity. At this stage, the pedodontist is well equipped to judge whether or not your child requires interceptive orthodontic treatment. So age 7 is when you should schedule the first orthodontic appointment.
  • My child has developed a space between his upper front teeth. Should I consider orthodontic treatment?
    Spaces present in the teeth of young children are normal. These spaces are essential for the proper eruption of permanent teeth. So if you encounter any teeth spacing in your child, don't worry, it's perfectly normal and requires no orthodontic intervention.
  • Will my child have to get braces to correct his teeth?
    Not always. Braces are an important part of orthodontic treatment but they are not the go-to treatment in every case. Whether or not braces are required will be decided by the orthodontist based on the needs of the child.
  • How long does orthodontic treatment usually last?
    The duration of orthodontic treatment is heavily influenced by two things; the type of correction needed and the compliance of the child. A typical orthodontic treatment takes 12 to 18 months. Difficult cases can go up to 30+ months.
  • Are there any restrictions on what my child can eat with braces on?
    Yes, once your child gets braces you'll have to put brakes on some of their favorite food items. These include sweet and sticky stuff like candies, caramel, taffy, etc. Also avoid raw vegetables, ice, and other hard food substances.
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