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Why should my child see a pediatric dentist?

In addition to 4 years of graduate school, pediatric dentists attend an extra 2 years of schooling to specialize in working with children. In his residency, Dr. Shah learned how to work with younger children and how to make their dental experience a pleasant one. His training included specialization in nitrous oxide, oral sedation, and general anesthesia. A pediatric dentist is also trained in understanding growth and development of teeth, and can offer advice on early treatment of crooked or misaligned teeth.

Dr. Shah’s philosophy is if you take your child to a pediatrician, then you should also take your child to a pediatric dentist.

When should my child first see a dentist?

Your child should first see a dentist at the sign of his or her first tooth, or by 1 years of age. Childrens’ teeth normally start erupting around 5 to 6 months of age. At the age of 1, Dr. Shah will evaluate the existing teeth, as well as the rest of the head and neck area to make sure everything is healthy and normal. He will be able to share his knowledge on diet and oral health care and answer any questions you may have regarding your child’s health.

Dr. Shah’s philosophy is if you find a problem early on, it’s better than dealing with it later on.

When should I start brushing my child’s teeth?

You should begin brushing your child’s teeth when his or her teeth first come in. In areas where teeth have not com in yet, use a piece of gauze with water to clean and remove any food that may be present.

A “smear” of toothpaste that contains fluoride can be used when teeth begin to erupt. The amount of fluoride in a smear is very low and will not affect your child if they were to accidentally ingest it.

When your child turns 3, they may begin using a “pea” size amount of toothpaste with fluoride.


Smear VS Pea Size


When can my child begin brushing his/her own teeth?

At a young age, children are very excited to be independent and brush their own teeth. Unfortunately, they do not have the motor skills or knowledge to adequately clean all the areas of their mouth until 6 to 7 years of age.

Let your child have the satisfaction of brushing his or her own teeth, but make sure you follow up and give their teeth an extra scrub.

How do I prevent my child from being scared of the dentist?

The first step is to bring your child to the dentist as early as the age of 1. The earlier your child becomes acclimated to a dental environment, the more comfortable he or she will be. Remember, the earlier you bring your child in the more preventative care Dr. Shah can provide, such as finding a dental problem earlier and treating it sooner than later. By bringing your child in every 6 months for a routine cleaning, they will become more comfortable and have a better experience each time.

Also, parents tend to inadvertently project their own fears of the dentist upon their child. It’s your job to realize your child is not aware of your experiences, therfore you should try to create a positive and fun experience for him or her. As a pediatric dentist, Dr. Shah specializes in reducing fears and makes each child feel at ease.

Finally, never use the dentist as a scare tactic. If your child is uncooperative, allow Dr. Shah to talk to him or her and give them support and positive reinforcement. With proper management, even the most difficult procedure can be easy.

Why would my child need a crown?

A dental crown is needed if a cavity is too large, or close to a nerve. Dr. Shah will try his best to save the tooth with a “white” filling, however, with a larger cavity a crown is the best method to restore the tooth.

Baby root canals (pulpotomies) are done when the decay is close to the nerve. By removing the superficial nerve, the bacteria has less of a chance of infecting the tooth and can extend the life of the tooth.

How do I know my child has a cavity?

Cavities come in all colors, shapes, and sizes. As a result, coming every 6 months is crucial to your dentist recognizing a smaller cavity and fixing it before it becomes enlarged.

X-rays, are they safe?

Starting at the age of 4, your child should receive four x-rays to check for cavities in between the teeth, as well as pathology that might be present in the bone.

At Central Park South Pediatric Dentistry, we use a state of the art digital sensor that produce less radiation than a traditional sensor, ensuring your child gets the safest and best treatment possible.

When monitoring cavities, it is possible that certain x-rays may have to be taken every 6 months to 1 year to track progression.

My child grinds his or her teeth, what should I do?

Teeth grinding in children is very common and should not be worried about. However, if your child starts having jaw pain or pain in his or her teeth, due to grinding, then we recommend bringing he or she in for Dr. Shah to evaluate it.