July 29, 2018

Our Blog

  • Truth: Going to the Dentist is NOT Always a “Walk in the Park” February 5, 2019 by Dr. Karen Benitez - For some kids, going to the dentist is absolutely NOT “a walk in the park”! Certainly, for many kids, we can make the experience exceptionally fun and enjoyable. Some might present timid and withdrawn. They might be better doing their exam and cleaning in a varied position, but for the most part, we get them through the exam and cleaning in a calmer manner. We can design and theme our office till high-noon and do all the pop-in tours and tell-show-do and have a happy and kind staff, but there are some kids for whom this does not have the effect of acceptance. Our armamentarium of toys and stickers (or any additional rewards), does not always work with significant progress. It is these children I am speaking of and it is OK! I present this subject because I am a… [...]
  • Let’s Talk Fluoride & Sealants February 5, 2019 by Dr. Karen Benitez - Most of us have heard of these two things when going to the dentist. It is rather familiar territory, but let’s talk about why we provide them or discuss their home use (fluoridated toothpaste). These two discussion points are considered part of a cavity-reducing regimen. Sealants are only provided in a dental setting and fluoride is both in your toothpaste and as an in-office professional strength application. Fluoride is discussed as a systemic versus topical use. Most of us experience topical use in our toothpaste or mouthwash. I introduce the topical fluoride toothpaste discussion early on during our toddler exams, following the AAPD guidelines on the use of conservative, age-appropriate measures of fluoridated toothpaste once they have teeth. I begin with identifying how close to 20 baby teeth your baby has at our toddler exam. I indicate night-time use to… [...]
  • Caring For Your Child’s Teeth January 6, 2019 by Dr. Karen Benitez - Limit sugary snacks and beverages. High starch diets can behave similarly to sugary attacks. Brush & Floss twice a day: after breakfast and before bed. Colorful flossers help here! Go over your child’s brushing after them. It helps to ensure it’s done appropriately while allowing them to learn proper brushing. Under 3 years age: grain of rice/smear amount of fluoridated toothpaste. Over 3 years age: pea-sized amount of fluoridated toothpaste. Sing a song or play music for duration. Here are some examples from the ADA: http://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/kids-brushing-playlist Regular 6 month visits to the dentist starting by age 1: able to learn best brushing technique methods and approaches, catch early signs of cavities and learn good eating habits. Professional strength topical fluoride may be applied, if needed. Wear mouth guards for sports practices and games. It can save your teeth against injury.… [...]
  • My Best Advice on Brushing and Flossing Your Littles November 7, 2018 by Dr. Karen Benitez - When I first meet families in the office, I like to understand their home care routine. I ask parents if they brush and floss for their kids. I’ll admit most are brushing, but it’s hit or miss who already flosses. I would like to really discuss my best advice because I have seen how much it can help kids who are not only developing in their dexterity and comprehension, but are gaining confidence in their dental visits. Considering the last blog of food and drink choices, it seems like a great point on how to protect their pearly whites through hygiene. Simple as it may seem, brushing (and flossing) can be a bit challenging for many families. Let’s break down the discussion by ages: infants, school-age kids and teens. For my toddler screenings (beginning by age 1 year) I begin… [...]
  • Tooth Brushing for Your School-age Child October 31, 2018 by Dr. Karen Benitez - [...]
  • All About a Toddler Screening October 2, 2018 by Dr. Karen Benitez - [...]
  • How I Clean Your Child’s Teeth October 2, 2018 by Dr. Karen Benitez - [...]
  • Let’s Talk Food & Drink Choices September 16, 2018 by Dr. Karen Benitez - I have to be honest, I find this a relatively sensitive subject to address. I mean, it’s a personal subject that which we elect to eat and, in turn, introduce to our children. All the same, it’s a great subject due to the fact that what we take up into our bodies begins in our mouth and healthy choices are a great topic of discussion! This blog subject is to address our food choices and how they really relate to an increased risk of cavities (not to mention overall body health). Let me make a disclaimer that I am not a sugar-free, carbohydrate-free mommy of three. I too juggle rushing out the door and what will we all have for dinner as we dart in and out of after school engagements. Our weekends can be rather hectic and some food… [...]
  • My Child Has Cavities, Now What? September 15, 2018 by Dr. Karen Benitez - Upon learning that your child has cavities, most parents want to learn what the next steps would be towards treatment. The variety of treatment approaches is a complex subject matter because it varies vastly per patient and situation, as well as within a family. These options are specific to each child and as we all know, our kids can be different. As a general rule, I prefer not discussing cavities in the presence of your young or nervous child. We keep them occupied by allowing them to select a prize for their hard work, allowing some privacy between ourselves to discuss the findings. Some kids are upset by the news of cavities and to alleviate this, we maintain a distance in the conversation and phrase their upcoming visit in very friendly terms. I begin by outlining possible treatment approaches. Some… [...]
  • Why an Orthodontic Referral for my 7-year old? August 6, 2018 by Dr. Karen Benitez - Keeping in line with Why Do My Kids Need X-rays, it seems only fitting to introduce the subject of an orthodontist. I chose to follow the radiograph blog with a related subject I briefly introduced in the blog. Most kids approximately 7-8 years age will be advised to have a radiograph taken: the panoramic image. This is the image I had mentioned in the last blog, used to determine the development and angulations/eruption paths of the permanent teeth. It is a key tool in a pediatric dentist’s treatment plan consideration to determine dental age, cavity treatment options and whether your child is advanced or delayed in the exfoliation process. Truth is, the panoramic image is also a key radiographic tool for both the pediatric dentist and orthodontist to collaborate and devise a treatment plan for your child to maximize growth… [...]