Frequently Asked Questions

Pediatric Dental Questions Westchester County


Smiling Young Kid at Scarsdale Pediatric Dental

Regarding Tooth Loss

Q. What should I do if my child’s baby tooth is knocked out?

A. Baby teeth are not re-implanted due to possible damage to developing permanent teeth. Please contact our office to make an appointment for one of the dentists to evaluate your child’s teeth.

Q. What should I do if my child’s permanent tooth is knocked out?

A. Gently rinse the knocked-out tooth with water to remove any foreign debris. Do not scrub the tooth. If possible, replace the tooth in the socket and hold it there with clean gauze. If you can’t put the tooth back into the socket, place the tooth in a container of milk (water if milk is not available.) Come to our office immediately. Feel free to call our office if it is after hours. The tooth has a better chance of being saved if you act immediately.

Q. What should I do if my child’s tooth is fractured or chipped?

A. Please contact our office. We will help you evaluate the need for treatment. It’s possible that if you can find the broken tooth fragment, that it can be bonded back to the tooth.

Q. What do I do if my child has a toothache?

A. Call our office to schedule an appointment.

Q. How can we prevent dental injuries?

A. Simple. Sport-related dental injuries can be reduced or prevented by wearing mouth guards. Childproofing your home can help reduce injuries at home. In addition, regular dental checkups will contribute to preventative care

Regarding Sealants

Q. What are sealants?

A. Tooth Sealants refer to a coating that a dentist bonds into the grooves of the chewing surface of a tooth as a means of helping to prevent the formation of tooth decay.

Q. How do sealants work?

A. In many cases, it is near impossible for children to clean the tiny grooves on their teeth. When a sealant is applied, the surface of the tooth is somewhat flatter and smoother. There are no longer any places on the chewing part of the tooth that the bristles of a toothbrush can’t reach and clean. Since plaque can be removed more easily and effectively, there is much less chance that decay will start.

Q. What is the life expectancy of tooth sealants?

A. The longevity of sealants can vary. Sealants that have remained in place for three to five years would be considered successful, however, sealants can last much longer. It is not uncommon to see sealants placed during childhood still intact on the teeth of adults. Our office will check your child’s sealants during routine dental visits and will recommend repair or reapplication when necessary.

Q. Which teeth should be sealed?

A. Sealants are usually recommended to be placed on the permanent first and second molars. These are the teeth with the deepest pits and fissures. Sealants protect these vulnerable areas by sealing out plaque and food.

Q. What is the procedure for placing sealants?

A. Generally the procedure takes just one visit. Placing dental sealants can be a very easy process. The tooth is cleaned, conditioned and dried. The sealant is then flowed onto the grooves of the tooth where it is hardened with a special blue light. All normal activities can occur directly after the appointment.

Q. How important is brushing and flossing after sealants are applied?

A. It is just as important for your child to brush and floss their teeth. Sealants are only one part of the defensive plan against tooth decay.

Regarding Mouth Protectors

Q. What are mouth guards?

A. Athletic mouth protectors are comprised of soft plastic. They come in standard or custom fit to adapt comfortably to the upper teeth.

Q. Why are mouth guards important?

A. Mouth guards protect the teeth from possible sport injuries. They not only protect the teeth, but the lips, cheeks, tongue, and jaw bone as well.

Q. When should my child wear a mouthguard?

A. During any sports-based activity where there is a risk of head, face, or neck injury. Such sports include Hockey, Soccer, Karate, Basketball, Baseball, Skating, Skateboarding, as well as many other sports. Most oral injuries occur when children play basketball, baseball, and soccer.

Q. How do I select a mouth guard for my child?

A. Choose a mouth guard that your child feels is comfortable. If a mouth guard feels bulky or interferes with speech to a great degree, it is probably not appropriate for your child.

There are many options in mouth guards. Most guards are found in athletic stores. These vary in comfort, protection as well as cost. The least expensive tend to be the least effective in preventing oral injuries. Customized mouth guards can be provided through our practice. They may be a bit more expensive, but they are much more comfortable and shock absorbent.

Regarding Diet and Cavity Prevention

Q. How do I know if my child is getting the appropriate amount of fluoride in their diet?

A. If you do not reside in a community that has fluoridated water or have the appropriate amount of natural fluoride in your well water, your child will need some sort of supplement in their diet. We can help you determine how much of a supplement your child needs based upon their weight, age, current water fluoride levels, and brand of toothpaste.

Q. What is an appropriate diet for my child?

A. It is important that your child receives a naturally balanced diet that includes the important nutrients your child needs in order to grow. A daily diet that includes the major food groups of Meat, Fish and Eggs, Vegetables and Fruits, Breads and Cereals as well as Milk and Other Dairy Products.

Q. Can my child’s diet affect their dental health?

A. Absolutely. It is important that you initiate a balanced diet for your child so that their teeth develop appropriately. In addition, this will positively affect healthy gum tissue surrounding the teeth. Please note that a diet high in sugar and other forms of carbohydrates may increase the probability of tooth decay.

Q. How do I create a diet safe my child’s teeth?

A. As we stated earlier, initiate a balanced diet. Analyze the frequency in which starch-based foods are eaten. These types of foods include breads, pasta, potato chips, etc. In addition, sugar is found in more than just candy. All types of sugars can promote tooth decay. For example, most milk-based products contain sugar. A Peanut butter and jelly sandwich is a favorite for bag lunches. Unfortunately, it includes sugar not only in the jelly, but also in the peanut butter. For less sugar and more flavor and nutrients, try replacing jelly with fresh fruit slices (apples, pears, or bananas). Go easy on the peanut butter, though it’s high in fat. Choose the no-salt-added kind for less sodium.

Q. Should I eliminate all sugar and starch from my child’s diet?

A. Of course not. Many of these foods are incredibly important to your child’s health. Starch-based foods are much safer to eat for teeth when eaten with an entire meal. Foods that stick to teeth are also more difficult to wash away by water, saliva, or other drinks. It’s important you talk to our staff about your child’s diet and maintaining proper dental care.

Q. What helpful information can you give me regarding tooth decay in infants?

A. Most importantly, don’t nurse your children to sleep. Nor should you put them to bed with a bottle of milk, juice, or formula. When a child is sleeping, any liquid that remains in the mouth can support the bacteria that produce acid and harm the teeth. A simple pacifier or bottle of water is fine.

Other questions? Call us at Scarsdale Pediatric Dental Associates, LLP Phone Number 914-472-9090 or send us an email with any questions you may have.