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Dental Care for Kids 101

Dr. Mary Ghattas, Pediatric Dentist at Brookline Dental SpecialistsFebruary is National Children’s Dental Health Month! Our team at Brookline Dental Specialists includes pediatric dentist Dr. Mary Ghattas and our entire clinical staff who are trained to help children, teenagers, and their parents have a comfortable, positive experience at the dentist! Did you know excellent oral home care begins at birth? Parents should care for their babies’ gums even before first teeth emerge and we recommend a first visit to the dentist by one year of age.

Proper Technique: Brush and Floss 101

Once that first tooth appears, there are many kinds of toothbrushes designed to meet children’s specific oral health needs and their different stages of development. Teach your children to have a good brushing routine at home. Use a small smear of toothpaste for children under 3 and a pea size amount for children 3-6 years old. You should brush the outer tooth surface of two to three teeth at a time along the gum line, using a gentle, circular motion. Move to the next group of two to three teeth and repeat. Be sure to brush the insides of the front teeth. Don’t forget to brush the all the chewing surfaces of the teeth. Flossers can help kids literally get a handle on cleaning between their teeth!

Once your child is comfortable with brushing, has formed good habits, and has developed the coordination to brush on their own teeth, be sure to continue to model and mentor by brushing with them! Try to make brushing a pleasant and fun part of the morning and bedtime routine.

Fluoride and Regular Hygiene Maintenance

Dr. Ghavamian giving a cleaningThe American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) recommends that a child go to the dentist by age 1 or within six months after the first tooth erupts. Primary teeth typically begin growing in around 6 months of age. Early checkups help prevent cavities and tooth decay, which can lead to pain, trouble concentrating, and other medical issues. We recommend a dental visit every six months to help prevent cavities and other dental health issues. Fluoride treatments and sealants are great preventative options we can offer in our practice. Sealants can prevent 80 percent of cavities in school-age children according to a new CDC report. Dental sealants are painted onto teeth by the dental hygienist and they create a protective coating that helps keep bacteria out of the nooks and crannies where tooth decay can form.

Healthy Options!

bowls of healthy food Help your children develop good eating habits and a liking for healthy snacks and foods. In fact, the fewer snacks kids eat, the better for their teeth! How frequently they snack is even more impactful than how much they eat. Snacking often, without brushing immediately afterwards, provides constant fuel to feed bacteria, which leads to tooth decay. One or two snacks a day, and brushing teeth immediately after, will reduce your child’s chance of cavities. Children should drink plain water instead of juice or soda. All juice, soda, and even milk contain sugar. Water does not harm the teeth and aids in rinsing food particles that may be sticking to teeth. Provide fresh fruits and vegetables to offer for snacking instead of sugary treats, or lots of carbohydrates. Choose fruits and vegetables that contain a high volume of water, such as pears, melons, celery and cucumbers.

We can help your children learn more about caring for their teeth when they come for their regular appointments with us. Providing a complete and convenient dental home for your entire family is what we do best, and our goal is to help every child we see have a lifetime of healthy smiles!

Schedule Your Appointment With Us Today

Summer is a very convenient time to schedule your dental appointments! When school is out and work schedules slow down for vacations and long weekends. Scheduling summer appointments with us is easy and makes sense compared to other times of the year. Instead of taking time away from work to take yourself or your children to the dentist, the lazy days of summer provide the perfect opportunity.

Brookline Dental Pediatric DentistryIn an effort to make care and treatment more available to patients our office is open every Saturday from 8am-3pm AND we offer parent/child tandem appointments as a helpful option so you can fit more into your busy schedule. We have pediatric specialists on our staff who work with children of all ages, an orthodontic specialist, and we even provide conscious sedation for children and who experience dental anxiety.

Do you or the kids have dental work that will require recovery time? Procedures like wisdom tooth extraction or root canal work often take a day or so of resting to help facilitate optimal healing. Taking a day off to rest in the summer can be lot more fun and relaxing than any other time of year!

Prepping your kids for school often includes check-ups and physicals. By visiting our office for a cleaning, and any other necessary treatment, in the summer you won’t have to be concerned about juggling appointments with school or work time. Your kids will start school with their teeth in perfect shape which means no worries about toothaches or cavities for a while. And, their smiles will be fresh and ready for those school pictures in the beginning of the year!

Dentist Reviewing Teeth for Invisalign or BracesThis is also a great time to set up a free Invisalign consultation! Did you know that braces are not just for kids? We can help you make a treatment plan to straighten your teeth and discover your dream smile. Dr. Mariam Ghavamian, our orthodontic specialist, will make a customized plan for you using state of the digital technology for a safe and optimal outcome. DIY orthodontics, or products that are advertised and on the market that do not include a trained and experienced orthodontist can be unpredictable and risky. Our summer schedule is now open for Invisalign consultations with convenient evening and Saturday appointments.

If snoring wakes you up at night, or you are grinding your teeth when you sleep you could benefit from a sleep appliance to realign your bite and jaws. Do you wake up with a sore jaw, or headache? Let our dental specialists evaluate the cause and create a customized night guard to protect your teeth and help you sleep better. We are scheduling now for the summer sleep consultations and offer convenient appointments including evenings and Saturdays. Let us help get you on a path to better sleep and overall health.

We welcome new patients and have specialists in our practice to provide any care and treatment you and your family may need all in the same convenient location in Brookline. Give us a call today!

Brookline Dental Specialists

How do I know if my child will need braces? At what age should they be evaluated with an orthodontist? How do I find an orthodontic specialist that I can trust? What can happen if my child needs braces but doesn’t get them? These are all common and important questions parents have about orthodontics and braces for their children and we have the answers!

Girl smiling at cameraAccording to the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) children should have their first check-up with an orthodontist no later than age 7. Children that age still have a mixture of baby (primary) and permanent teeth. This examination is done when permanent teeth are replacing the baby teeth, and as your child’s face and jaws are still growing in order to give your orthodontist as much information as possible. Existing or developing problems can be identified and a treatment plan can be recommended and designed at that point. This type of examination with an orthodontic specialist can reveal if your child has an existing orthodontic problem, or if one is developing. You might also learn that no issues exist at the present time. At Brookline Dental Specialists we offer this exam at no charge and with no obligation. Our goal is to help parents get the proactive evaluation they need to make the best decisions for their child’s oral health now and into the future.

Image of teeth with bracesThere are several issues that braces can correct including a misaligned jaw and misaligned teeth due to overcrowding, spaces between teeth and misshapen teeth. An orthodontist strategically places brackets and bands and then the braces gradually alter the alignment of the teeth. This movement realigns the overbite or underbite and helps close the gaps between the teeth. Left untreated a misaligned bite can increase the risk of permanent damage to your child’s teeth, jaw, and mouth.

There are other long-term health benefits of orthodontic treatment as well. Straight, properly aligned teeth are easier to brush and floss. This can contribute to a reduced rate of tooth decay, gum disease and gingivitis. A correct bite allows the teeth and mouth to chew food more efficiently. Proper alignment protects adjacent teeth from excessive wear which can cause problems down the line. Correctly aligning teeth can even help to improve some speech issues.

Orthodontist in Brookline, Dr. Ghavamian. At Brookline Dental Specialists we have an orthodontic specialist on our staff at our Brookline offices who is an expert and able to collaborate directly with the pediatric and general dentists right in our own practice to provide a complete and convenient dental home for your entire family. Our clinical team strives to help young patients feel comfortable and have positive experiences at the dentist! Our pediatric dentists work with the ortho team to provide all the care your child needs in one convenient, Brookline location. New patients are welcome and we offer a free orthodontic consultation for children with Dr. Ghavamian, D.M.D, M.M.S.c. Give us a call today and let’s get your child scheduled for this important evaluation.

Online Booking is Now Available for Hygiene Appointments!