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Kids' Corner

Welcome to our Kids’ Corner!
Your teeth are one of your most important possessions. Your teeth help you chew your food. They help you talk and they are the best part of a great smile. At Hillcrest Dental Care we want to help you keep your teeth healthy for your whole life.

Learning good dental habits early will set you up for a lifetime of great smiles!

We know you may have some questions about going to the dentist, so we have prepared this list of commonly asked questions.

Children's Dentistry In The Berkshires, Dentists Pittsfield MA, Oral Surgeons In The Berkshires, Dentists North Adams MA
  • How often should I Visit the Dentist?
    The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends visits to the dentist at least once every six months for a professional exam and cleaning. Regular dental visits are necessary for the maintenance of healthy gums and teeth. Your dentist may recommend more frequent visits, depending on the status of your oral health.
  • Why should I go to Hillcrest Dental Care?
    We offer great value coupled with fair pricing and from a highly-trained compassionate staff dedicated to making beautiful smiles for the entire family.
  • Is it going to hurt?
    We make every effort to make this experience comfortable for you as we are here to help, not hurt you.
  • Do you offer tooth-colored fillings? Can they replace my old metal fillings?
    The placement of tooth-colored fillings is one of the most commonly performed general dentistry procedures. In addition to filling new cavities, these beautiful restorations can replace old metal fillings that have blackened, fractured, popped out, or that simply take away from the beauty of your smile.
  • What causes sensitive teeth?
    Sensitive teeth can be caused by a range of factors. The porous part of the tooth, called dentin, is the region that registers pain, and dentin can become exposed due to: Fractured or chipped teeth. Teeth injured by clenching or grinding. Receding gums caused by gum disease or improper brushing.
  • How can sensitive teeth be managed?
    Pain from sensitive teeth often comes and goes, but if you experience constant pain, you may have a more serious problem. There are many effective treatments for sensitive teeth, including: A soft-bristle toothbrush to prevent gum irritation. Toothpaste designed to insulate the nerve that registers pain. RA fluoride rinse or gel, available at Astoria Dental Group.
  • How does fluoride help prevent tooth decay?
    Fluoride helps reverse and prevent tooth decay in three ways: Promoting Tooth Remineralization Acids can demineralize a tooth — that is, create a weak spot that develops into a cavity. Fluoride helps promote the opposite process, called remineralization, which can reverse the very early stages of tooth decay. Helping Teeth Become More Resistant to Tooth Decay Fluoride actually strengthens teeth, giving them natural protection against future tooth decay. Inhibiting Oral Bacteria’s Ability to Create Tooth-Attacking Acids Fluoride disrupts bacteria’s ability to metabolize sugars, the process that leads to the attack of tooth enamel.
  • Tongue Piercing – Is it Really Cool?
    You might not be surprised anymore to see people with pierced tongues, lips or cheeks, but you might be surprised to know just how dangerous these piercings can be. There are many risks involved with oral piercings including chipped or cracked teeth, blood clots, or blood poisoning. Your mouth contains millions of bacteria, and infection is a common complication of oral piercing. Your tongue could swell large enough to close off your airway! Common symptoms after piercing include pain, swelling, infection, an increased flow of saliva and injuries to gum tissue. Difficult-to-control bleeding or nerve damage can result if a blood vessel or nerve bundle is in the path of the needle. So follow the advice of the American Dental Association and give your mouth a break– skip the mouth jewelry.
  • How long should a patient wait to smoke after an extraction?
    A patient should not smoke for at least 72 hours after having an extraction because if increases the chances for having a dry socket and it prolongs the healing.
  • What kinds of toothbrush is the most effective in cleaning teeth?
    Studies show that electric tooth brushes provide the best results in plaque removal. They are easy to operate and they do all the work for a patient. They are especially effective for patients with fine motor difficulties. Although they are pricey ($30-$100), in the long run it is an investment that pays off. If your brushing technique is correct and you put a sufficient amount of time (2-3 minutes) into your tooth brushing the results can be similar to those of an electric tooth brush.
  • What should I use to clean my baby's teeth?
    A toothbrush will remove plaque bacteria that can lead to decay. Any soft-bristled toothbrush with a small head, preferably one designed specifically for infants, should be used at least once a day at bedtime.
  • When should I take my child to the dentist for the first check-up?
    In order to prevent dental problems, your child should see a dentist when the first tooth appears or no later than his/her first birthday.
  • What should I do if my child has a toothache?
    First, rinse the irritated area with warm salt water and place a cold compress on the face if it is swollen. Give the child acetaminophen for any pain, rather than placing aspirin on the teeth or gums. Finally, see a dentist as soon as possible.
  • Are baby teeth really that important to my child?
    Primary, or "baby," teeth are important for many reasons. Not only do they help children speak clearly and chew naturally, they also aid in forming a path that permanent teeth can follow when they are ready to erupt.
  • Are thumb sucking and pacifier habits harmful for a child's teeth?
    Thumb and pacifier sucking habits will generally only become a problem if they go on for a very long period of time. Most children stop these habits on their own, but if they are still sucking their thumbs or fingers when the permanent teeth arrive, a mouth appliance may be recommended by your pediatric dentist.
  • How can I prevent decay caused by nursing?
    Avoid nursing children to sleep or putting anything other than water in their bed-time bottle. Also, learn the proper way to brush and floss your child's teeth. Take your child to a pediatric dentist regularly to have his/her teeth and gums checked. The first dental visit should be scheduled by your child's first birthday.
  • How often does my child need to see the pediatric dentist?
    A check-up every six months is recommended in order prevent cavities and other dental problems. However, your pediatric dentist can tell you when and how often your child should visit based on their personal oral health.
  • How do dental sealants work?
    Sealants work by filling in the crevasses on the chewing surfaces of the teeth. This shuts out food particles that could get caught in the teeth, causing cavities. The application is fast and comfortable and can effectively protect teeth for many years.
  • Toothpaste: when should we begin using it and how much should we use?
    Fluoridated toothpaste should be introduced when a child is 2-3 years of age. Prior to that, parents should clean the child's teeth with water and a soft-bristled toothbrush. When toothpaste is used after age 2-3, parents should supervise brushing and make sure the child uses no more than a pea-sized amount on the brush. Children should spit out and not swallow excess toothpaste after brushing.
  • How do I make my child's diet safe for his teeth?
    Make sure your child has a balanced diet, including one serving each of: fruits and vegetables, breads and cereals, milk and dairy products, and meat fish and eggs. Limiting the servings of sugars and starches will also aid in protecting your child's teeth from decay. You can also ask your pediatric dentist to help you select foods that protect your children's teeth.
  • How do I know if my child is getting enough fluoride?
    Have your pediatric dentist evaluate the fluoride level of your child's primary source of drinking water. If your child is not getting enough fluoride internally through water (especially if the fluoride level is deficient or if your child drinks bottled water without fluoride), then your pediatric dentist may prescribe fluoride supplements.
  • What can I do to protect my child's teeth during sporting events?
    Soft plastic mouth guards can be used to protect a child's teeth, lips, cheeks and gums from sport related injuries. A custom-fitted mouth guard developed by a pediatric dentist will protect your child from injuries to the teeth, face and even provide protection from severe injuries to the head.
  • What should I do if my child falls and knocks out a permanent tooth?
    The most important thing to do is to remain calm. Then find the tooth. Hold it by the crown rather than the root and try to reinsert it in the socket. If that is not possible, put the tooth in a glass of milk and take your child and the glass immediately to the dentist and/or emergency room.

Want to learn more? Here are some helpful links to the America Dental Hygienists’ Association - Kids Stuff:

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