Your Dental Questions Answered

We have a loose tooth in the house.  Finally.  My eldest has been living for the day when her teeth fall out.  Most of her classmates are toothless and boy, does she think it's cool.  Never mind how difficult it is for many of them to eat.  I think she realized this when she tried biting into an ear of corn last night.  She just thinks it's the coolest thing.  The only problem is that the adult tooth apparently couldn't wait for the baby tooth to move out before setting up shop.  Behind it.  Great.  I think we see braces payments in our future.  Maybe even Invisalign. I could pull it.  It's almost on the verge of popping out but it's a stubborn little thing.  Just like it's owner.

I'm not sure if I should pull it out with string fastened to the door like my parents did either I or my sister.  I can visualize the action but can't remember whose tooth the string was around.  It's all blurry from blocking out the trauma or maybe just old age.

Dealing with this tooth issue reminded me that I neglected to share the details of my visit with Dr. Stephen Bernstein, DMD, FAGD of Dental Associates of Valley Stream in March.  Blame it on being 40.  Blame it on motherhood. Dr. Bernstein was extremely informative and patient after experiencing my attention starved 3 year old who kept interrupting us.  I guess I need to have an etiquette session with him.  My son, not the Dr.

For those of you wondering at what age to take your child to the dentist or how to prepare your child for this experience, which can go either way let me tell you, I have the answers.  I got peed on by one of my kids.  The experience was just too much too soon for them.  Here's a few dental details courtesy of Dr. Bernstein.  Hopefully you won't get peed on.

Dr. Bernstein says:

1.  Take your child for his/her first dental visit around the age of 3 - 3.5. (I took mine at 2.  Bad move)

2.  Make sure the child is comfortable

3.  Take reading materials and read a book about going to the dentist

4.  Call the water tool a water gun which most children may love and won't be frightened of

5.  He introduces all of the equipment to the child during the visit

6.  There is no need for alot of toothpaste.  A pea sized amount is all you need.

7.  X-rays should be taken by age 4

8.  Kids can begin using adult toothpaste when they stop swallowing and can spit.  (My son has become a pro at this.  I think about entering him into one of those state fair spittin' contests.  Must be the Midwestern blood in his bones.)

Most of us have been taught to brush a child's teeth while singing the ABC's or Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, which is the same song when you think about it.  He says to brush as long as you feel necessary.

There isn't really much different between a traditional and mechanical toothbrush.  Just that one needs batteries.

Back in March, I asked him, for my daughter's sake, when her teeth will begin to fall out.  He said the two lower teeth will loosen and come out first. Spaces between a child's baby teeth are better.  That means the permanent teeth will be bigger. (I think we're in trouble over hear).

I'm actually looking forward to this experience with my children.  Now that we have a visit from the tooth fairy soon to come, but 3 year old all of a sudden has loose teeth.  LOL.

For those new to Valley Stream or Nassau County, we don't have fluoride in our tap water.  In my world, my dentist prescribes a fluoride based vitamin.  Some pediatrician's prescribe it as well.  You may want to speak with both to see who is going to write the prescription.  Either way, your child needs it.

Leave a Question

If you have any questions you would like to ask Dr. Bernstein, please leave them in the comment box below.  I'm sure he will be happy to answer all of your questions.  Or...would you be interested in attending an "Ask the Doctors" event with a dentist, pediatrician, child therapist, etc.?  Let me know and I'll make it happen.

Dental Associates of Valley Stream proudly serves Valley Stream, Lynbrook, Malverne, Franklin Square and Hewlett.

Dr. Stephen Bernstein, DMD, FAGD
Stephen M Bernstein, DMD, FAGD
Dr. Bernstein has been providing dental care to the residents of Valley Stream and the surrounding communities for more than 35 years. Dr. Bernstein received a Doctor of Dental Medicine degree from the School of Dental Medicine at Fairleigh Dickinson University in 1974.
He is a Fellow of the Academy of General Dentistry, and member of the American Dental Association, the Dental Society of the State of New York and the Nassau County Dental Society.

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