A Pediatric Dentist, like Dr. Parmar, is a specialist dedicated to the oral health of children from infancy through adolescence. Pediatric dentistry is a specialty that adapts techniques and procedures from general dentistry and specialties to provide primary and comprehensive preventive and therapeutic oral health care for children. Our office is designed and qualified to care for a child’s teeth, gums, and mouth throughout the various stages of childhood. In our opinion, taking your child to see a pediatric dental specialist is as important as taking them to see a pediatrician.
When a Pediatric Dentist is Board Certified it means that the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry or ABPD certifies that the dental care being provided is based on standards of excellence that lead to high quality oral health care for infants, children, adolescents and patients with special health care needs.
Certification by the ABPD provides assurance to the public that a pediatric dentist has successfully completed accredited training and a rigorous examination process designed to continually validate the knowledge, skills, problem-solving abilities and experience necessary to the delivery of quality patient care.
A pediatric dentist certified by ABPD is also known as a Diplomate of American Board of Pediatric Dentistry. Dr. Mrunal Parmar is a Diplomate of the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry.
Before your child receives his or her first tooth, clean the gums after each feeding with a soft, damp washcloth. As soon as the first tooth erupts, you can begin using a toothbrush. Be sure to use a brush with soft bristles and a small head. Regular tooth brushing will remove plaque and bacteria that can lead to decay. Use the toothbrush at least twice a day and once before bed.
In order to prevent any problems with oral health and establish a dental home, you should bring your child to the dentist six months after the first tooth erupts or no later than twelve months of age.
The single most important thing you can do as a parent to prepare your child for this first visit is to have a positive attitude. Children are remarkably adept at picking up attitudes from those around them and will tune in if you are nervous. If you make negative comments about dentists or dental visits, your child will anticipate a negative experience. We ask that you avoid using words that could create dental fear, such as “needle” or “shot”, “hurt” or “won’t hurt” and “don’t be afraid.” To help prepare your child for the visit, show your child a picture of the office and the dentist on the office’s website. Tell your child how important it is to have healthy teeth and that the dentist will help you in this goal. If you wish, you can call us for suggestions or stop by for a tour so your child can see the office prior to his or her visit.
When the baby’s first tooth erupts, you can use a tiny “smear” of fluoridated toothpaste. When the child reaches the age of three or is able to thoroughly spit, you can increase this to a pea-sized amount. Be sure to supervise the brushing process to ensure that the child is using an appropriate amount of toothpaste.
Certain bacteria live in the mouth of each person. When these bacteria come in contact with sugar from foods and liquids, they produce acids which dissolve the enamel of the teeth. The resulting holes in the teeth are called cavities.
One form of serious tooth decay found in infants and toddlers is called “baby bottle tooth decay” or Early Childhood Caries. This is caused by frequent exposure to liquids that contain sugar including milk, breast milk, formula, fruit juice and other sweetened drinks. If a young child is put to bed for a nap or at nighttime with any drink other than water, it can cause rapid and devastating tooth decay. The sweetened, sugary liquids can pool around the child’s teeth, giving the bacteria in plaque the sugar they need to make acid that ultimately causes tooth decay. When feeding your baby at night, wipe his or her gums and teeth with a damp cloth, tooth wipe or toothbrush afterwards. For toddlers and older children using Sippy cups during the day, offer only water between meals.
Baby teeth serve multiple functions. Several of these are listed below.
Baby teeth help the child chew his or her food well and to eat a balanced diet. Children whose baby teeth are suffering from multiple cavities may become underweight from an inability to eat a healthy diet. Cavities can cause toothaches that prevent a child from chewing certain foods.
Fillings are important to repair cavities in baby teeth and help protect the development of the adult teeth below. Cavities that are left unattended will eventually reach the core of the tooth and destroy the nerve. The result is a dental abscess that often results in the loss of the tooth and can damage the developing adult tooth below. The most severe cases will require emergency hospitalization. To help prevent abscesses, cavities in baby teeth should be cared for promptly.
To help protect a child’s self-esteem, it’s important to give them the gift of a beautiful smile. Missing teeth or teeth with spots can have a negative impact on a child’s outlook in life.
Baby teeth serve as placeholders for permanent teeth. Children who lose teeth prematurely are at risk of having their adult teeth come in crooked or misplaced.
General health in all people is influenced by the heatlh of the teeth and gums. Thus, it is very important to maintain a healthy oral structure in your child’s mouth!
Sealants fill in the deep crevices on the chewing surfaces of each tooth. They block food particles from coming in contact with the teeth and causing cavities. Sealants are simple to apply and are an effective method of cavity prevention. We recommend sealants as a safe and effective way to prevent cavities in your child’s mouth.
Dental x-rays pose very little risk for children. Pediatric dentists are extremely careful about the amount of radiation to which their patients are exposed. Lead aprons and digital machines are used in our office to ensure the safety of the children and to minimize the amount of radiation.
Children who are actively involved in sports should wear a mouth guard. If your child plays a high-intensity sport such as basketball, hockey or football, ask us about obtaining a custom mouth guard to protect the lips, teeth and gums from injury. Make sure your child always wears a helmet when riding a bicycle to avoid damage to the head and oral structures.
Parents should take their children to the dentist regularly, beginning with the eruption of the first tooth. Then, the dentist can recommend a specific program of brushing, flossing, and other treatments for parents to supervise and teach to their children. These home treatments, when added to regular dental visits and a balanced diet, will help give your child a lifetime of healthy habits!