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The biggest threat to the health of your child’s smile is tooth decay. Although cavities are preventable, 42% of children under 11 years old have had at least one cavity. Despite the best brushing and flossing habits at home, it may not be enough to save your child’s teeth from decay. You can give them an added layer of protection using dental sealants. Your pediatric dentist in Amherst can quickly apply the protective barrier to their molars to seal out cavity-causing bacteria.

What are Dental Sealants?

Did you know 90% of cavities form on the chewing surfaces of the back molars? They contain small crevices that are hard to clean with a toothbrush. Food particles and bacteria can get trapped in the grooves, slowly eating away at your child’s enamel until a cavity develops.

The enamel is the hard outer layer of the tooth that protects the underlying dentin. The dentin contains tiny tubes connecting to the tooth’s nerve center called the pulp. If decay extends beyond the enamel and dentin, it can infect the pulp. Your child will need an invasive treatment to save their tooth.

A dental sealant reduces the risk of tooth decay in cavity-prone areas, like the back molars. In fact, research shows they can reduce decay by as much as 81%. The plastic-based material coats the chewing surface of a tooth to provide a protective barrier between the enamel and harmful bacteria. The sealant in clear in color, so no one will notice it is there while your child gains its protection.

What is the Process Like?

Dental sealants are recommended for children 6 to 14 years of age during routine preventive appointments. The process to apply them is pain-free and only takes a couple of minutes. After your child’s teeth are cleaned, a weak acid is applied to their enamel to create a secure bond with the sealant and their tooth. The clear coating is placed on the molars and hardened with a special light. Your child’s sealed teeth are protected for an average of 10 years; however, if a sealant is damaged before then, their dentist can easily replace it.

Protect Your Child’s Smile from Tooth Decay

Dental sealants are an excellent addition to your efforts to keep your child’s smile cavity-free. For maximum protection from cavity-causing bacteria, it is best to:

  • Brush their teeth twice a day using a fluoride toothpaste.
  • Floss daily.
  • Drink fluoridated water.
  • Limit their consumption of sugar.
  • Visit their dentist twice a year for preventive care.

Ask your pediatric dentist about the powerful protection of dental sealants during your child’s next routine visit. You can help safeguard their smile from tooth decay.

About Northampton Pediatric Dentistry PC

We are committed to providing child-friendly dental care to nurture healthy, beautiful smiles. We focus on prevention to keep our patient’s teeth and gums healthy. If it is time for your child’s next cleaning and checkup, ask us about the benefits of dental sealants. Schedule their appointment today.

The post Pediatric Dentist in Amherst Creates Cavity-Free Smiles with Dental Sealants appeared first on Northampton Pediatric Dentistry.

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Although the primary teeth are only in place for a few short years, they are invaluable to your child’s oral health and development. The biggest threat to their baby teeth is tooth decay. Despite being preventable, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates 20% of children between the ages of 5 to 11 and 13% adolescents between 12 to 19 years of age have at least one untreated cavity. To help keep your child’s teeth strong and healthy, it’s vital to learn what causes tooth decay in the first place. With the right oral hygiene habits at home and regular care from their pediatric dentist in Greenfield, you can save their smile from cavities.

What Causes Tooth Decay?

A cavity doesn’t form overnight. Instead, it’s a gradual process that often results from poor oral hygiene habits or techniques. Throughout the day, a sticky biofilm called plaque accumulates on the teeth. Bacteria found naturally in the mouth thrive on plaque. When your child consumes sugary foods and drinks, it causes the bacteria to turn to an acid when it combines with their saliva.

As it sits on their teeth, it slowly eats away at the hard outer layer of their tooth called the enamel. Eventually, a small hole develops. During this early stage of decay, the cavity can be treated easily with a filling. Unfortunately, if your child doesn’t visit their dentist regularly, it can cause the cavity to go undetected and untreated.

Over time, the decay will extend to the softer layer of the tooth underneath the enamel called the dentin. The bacteria will continue to destroy their tooth until it reaches the inner layer, known as the pulp. This is the nerve center of the tooth. If it becomes infected by the bacteria, it causes significant pain. Now, your child is at risk of losing their tooth if it isn’t treated quickly with a root canal.

How Can I Prevent Cavities?

Although tooth decay is common, there are several things you can do to keep your child’s smile cavity-free:

  • Teach your child to brush their teeth twice a day using a fluoride toothpaste and soft-bristled toothbrush.
  • Show your child how to clean all surfaces of their teeth for at least 2 minutes every time they brush.
  • Encourage your child to floss their teeth daily.
  • Limit their diet of sugary foods and drinks.
  • Take them to their dentist twice a year for a cleaning and checkup.
  • Give your child the protection of dental sealants.
Enjoy a Cavity-Free Smile

You can help to keep your child’s smile free from tooth decay by remaining proactive about their oral hygiene habits at home. Do not forget to schedule a semi-annual appointment for a cleaning and checkup to nurture a healthy smile.

About Northampton Pediatric Dentistry PC

Northampton Pediatric Dentistry PC is committed to providing compassionate dental care young children need for lasting oral health. We focus on prevention to keep their teeth and gums healthy. If it is time for your child’s next visit, contact our office today to schedule an appointment.

The post Discover the Causes of Cavities with Your Pediatric Dentist in Greenfield appeared first on Northampton Pediatric Dentistry.

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Do you know what it takes to keep your children’s teeth healthy? Did you know that tooth decay can become a serious problem if your child’s teeth are not properly cared for or maintained? Apart from visiting the dentist every six months for a regular checkup, your children’s dentist in Northampton wants you to take proper measures at home to keep tooth decay at bay.

Limit Sugar Intake

We get it: your child loves sugar, and if they can get their hands on anything that is chocolate or sugar-coated, you can bet they’re going to eat it. The problem is that not only does this promote unhealthy eating habits, but it can cause tooth decay because of the amount of bacteria that builds on the teeth. When sugar is allowed to sit on the teeth, it can cause bacteria to burrow and create holes, otherwise known as cavities. Limit your child’s sugar intake, and make sure they’re eating enough healthy fruits and vegetables.

Brush and Floss Regularly

If it’s easier for you and your child to brush and floss together, make it a family affair! Make sure your child is brushing their teeth twice a day for two minutes. They also need to floss between their teeth to remove any harmful bacteria and food particles that may be left behind. If your child has a difficult time flossing, talk to their dentist about kid-friendly alternatives that can achieve the same results.

Fluoride Treatments

Fluoride treatments can help to combat tooth decay by strengthening tooth enamel and making it harder for bacteria to penetrate. Talk to your child’s dentist about this type of treatment at their next dental appointment.

Dental Sealants

These are typically placed on the first permanent molars. These have grooves or “fissures” that make them vulnerable to decay. Just like fluoride treatments are beneficial for combatting tooth decay, dental sealants can provide an added layer of protection for the pitted areas of your child’s teeth that are easily susceptible to tooth decay.

Visit the Dentist

One of the best ways to prevent tooth decay from developing is to make sure you take your child to see a children’s dentist every six months. It is crucial for them to have regular checkups, as it allows the dentist to thoroughly examine your child’s teeth, gums, and overall oral health. If any problems or issues are detected, a treatment plan can be put into place quickly to prevent further damage or decay.

Tooth decay and cavities are a real problem for young children. By taking the necessary steps, you are giving your child a better chance for a healthier mouth.

About the Practice
At Northampton Pediatric Dentistry, we know how to take care of your child’s unique dental needs. Worried about tooth decay? We offer preventative dentistry to ensure your child’s primary teeth receive the care they need to stay healthy and clean. If you want to learn more about us and our services, contact us at (413) 584-7773.

The post Your Children’s Dentist in Northampton Shares 5 Ways to Prevent Tooth Decay appeared first on Northampton Pediatric Dentistry.

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The health and development of your child’s smile rely on more than just brushing and flossing. They also need to see a dentist twice a year for a cleaning and checkup. You could take them to a general dentist to get the care they need; however, you could choose the expertise of a pediatric dentist in Amherst instead. A pediatric dentist specializes in the unique oral health needs of children to set the foundation they need for a lifelong healthy smile.

Why Choose a Pediatric Dentist?

A pediatric dentist has undergone special training in the oral health needs of children from infancy through the teen years. They have the qualifications necessary to care for their teeth, gums, and mouth through all stages of childhood. Besides earning their dental degree, they must complete two additional years of residency that focuses on pediatric dentistry. This provides a higher level of care as they:

  1. Specialize in Children’s Teeth

Pediatric dentists are specially trained to address the unique oral health issues young children face, such as tooth decay and gum problems. They also have an understanding of complex problems that can impact their oral growth and development. Besides their dental needs, pediatric dentists also cater to the comfort level of children to provide worry-free appointments.

  • Child-Friendly Equipment

Children have small mouths. As a result, standard dental equipment may be too large for them while also having a “scary” appearance. A pediatric office uses equipment that is specially designed for young patients to make treatments and procedures comfortable and easy.

  • Fun Environment

Pediatric dentists cater to young children to create an atmosphere that makes it fun. Their offices are often brightly colored while also offering toys to keep your child occupied while they are there. Some locations play cartoons on a TV or have other amenities for children to help them feel comfortable and relaxed.

  • Focuses on Prevention

Your child’s teeth can last for a lifetime with the right care over the years. Their pediatric dentist focuses on prevention to keep their teeth and gums healthy. Besides cleanings, checkups, dental sealants, and fluoride treatments, they also educate their patients to care for their smiles at home in between their appointments.

Find a Pediatric Dentist Today!

Your child deserves nothing but the best when it comes to their dental care. Do not choose any dentist. Take the time to find the right one by following these simple steps:

  • Ask your friends or family for recommendations.
  • Review their qualifications and experience.
  • Look for complete services.
  • Choose advanced technologies.
  • Review online testimonials and reviews.

With the right dentist by your child’s side, you can help to ensure they develop and maintain a healthy, beautiful smile.

About Northampton Pediatric Dentistry PC

Northampton Pediatric Dentistry PC is committed to caring for the young smiles in our community. We provide the preventive care they need for lasting oral health. If your child needs a new dentist, experience the difference today. Contact our office to schedule their first visit.

The post 4 Reasons to Choose a Pediatric Dentist in Amherst appeared first on Northampton Pediatric Dentistry.

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February is National Children’s Dental Health Month, which is dedicated to bringing thousands of dental professionals together to educate the public about the importance of good oral health for children. Now in its 63rd year, dentists from around the world come together to help young smiles thrive with healthy teeth and gums. Your pediatric dentist in Northampton provides the individualized solutions your child needs to create the foundation for a lifelong healthy smile.

Oral Hygiene for Children

Although the baby teeth are only in place for a few short years, they serve an important role. Not only do they allow your child to learn how to chew and speak, but they also act as placeholders for their permanent teeth. To ensure they stay strong and healthy, your child needs to practice proper oral hygiene habits at home and regular care from their dentist.

It’s Never Too Early

Often, it is thought your child does not need an oral hygiene routine until after a few baby teeth erupt, but this is untrue. It is never too early to introduce oral hygiene. Even before the first baby tooth erupts, use a soft cloth to clean your infant’s gums. This not only removes harmful bacteria, but it also gets your child in the habit of caring for their smile.

After your child’s first baby teeth emerge, introduce a soft-bristled toothbrush that accommodates the size of their mouth. Use a fluoride toothpaste to gently clean their teeth twice a day. As your child becomes older, they can begin brushing their own teeth under your supervision.

Flossing is not necessary when they are a baby unless something gets caught in their teeth. Around the age of 6, your child’s teeth will move closer together. Now is the time to introduce a high-quality dental floss. Clean in between each tooth before going to bed to remove anything that has been left behind by their toothbrush.

Regular Dental Care

Your child should see their dentist before their first birthday. Although they may only have a few teeth, it builds the foundation they need to enjoy going to the dentist. A regular cleaning and checkup teach your child the importance of routine dental care while also building a trusted relationship with their dentist for stress-free visits.

The dentist monitors their oral health over the years to ensure they develop a healthy, beautiful smile that lasts.

Invest in a Healthy Smile

You can give your child the beautiful smile they deserve by incorporating oral hygiene into their daily routine from a young age. Your dentist creates individualized solutions to help them maintain healthy teeth and gums over the years.

About Northampton Pediatric Dentistry, PC

Northampton Pediatric Dentistry, PC is committed to fostering the health of the young smiles in our community. We focus on prevention to ensure your child maintains healthy teeth and gums through all stages of oral development. If it is time for their next cleaning and checkup, contact our office today for an appointment.

The post Pediatric Dentist in Northampton for a Healthy Smile appeared first on Northampton Pediatric Dentistry.

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Although they eventually fall out, your child’s primary teeth serve an important role while they are in place. They help them learn how to chew and speak while also acting as placeholders for the adult teeth. The biggest threat to the health of their baby teeth involves tooth decay. While it is preventable, it remains the most common chronic conditions in America. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates 20% of children aged 5 to 11 and 12% of adolescents have at least one untreated cavity. Your pediatric dentist in Northampton encourages you to follow a few simple tips to keep your child’s smile cavity-free.

  1. Home Oral Hygiene Habits

Your child’s home oral hygiene habits are their first line of defense against tooth decay. As soon as the first baby tooth erupts, it is time to introduce a toothbrush. Choose one that accommodates the size of their mouth and one that has soft-bristles. Brush their teeth twice a day using a fluoride toothpaste, which helps to strengthen their enamel.

As your child’s teeth begin to move closer together, around the age of 6, it is time to start flossing. Choose a high-quality dental floss that has earned the American Dental Association’s Seal of Acceptance to clean in between each tooth daily.

  • Early Dental Care

Your child should visit their dentist for the first time before they turn 1 year old. This allows your dentist to keep their teeth clean while also monitoring the development of their teeth. Besides a cleaning and checkup, semi-annual appointments allow your child to enjoy preventive treatments that can reduce the occurrence of decay, like a fluoride varnish or dental sealants.

  • Snack Smart

Foods that are high in sugar or acid slowly eat away at your child’s enamel. In as little as 20 minutes, they can begin to dissolve the outer layer of their teeth. It is best to limit their consumption of sugary or acidic foods and drinks. Instead, choose plenty of low-fat dairy products, fruits, and vegetables.

  • Break Bad Habits

Certain bad habits, like going to bed with a bottle, harm your child’s dental health. The sugars found in fruit juices or formula sit on their teeth throughout the night, leading to decay. It is best to break the habits as soon as possible or only give them water when going to sleep at night.

Nurture a Healthy Smile

Although tooth decay is common, you can help keep your child’s smile cavity-free with a proactive approach at home. Ask your dentist about other tips you can use to nurture the health of your child’s smile.

About Northampton Pediatric Dentistry PC

Northampton Pediatric Dentistry PC provides compassionate dental care to young patients. We strive to create a foundation to ensure lasting oral health. We offer the complete services your child needs through all stages of development. If it is time for your child’s next cleaning and checkup, contact our office today to schedule an appointment.

The post 4 Tips from Your Pediatric Dentist in Northampton for Cavity-Free Smiles appeared first on Northampton Pediatric Dentistry.

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Besides their home oral hygiene routine, your child’s oral health also relies on the care they receive from their pediatric dentist in Northampton over the years. Unfortunately, visiting the dentist is not an easy experience for everyone. Dental fears and phobias can make the dentist a scary place, especially for young children. As a parent, there are several things you can do to help your child conquer their anxiety for stress-free visits.

Overcoming Pediatric Dental Fears

Your child’s fear of the dentist can stem from several factors, such as worrying about the unknown, pain, or the environment in general. As the parent, you play a significant role in your child’s comfort level during their appointment. In fact, research shows a father’s fear of the dentist impacts a child more than their mother’s; however, women tend to have more apprehension about their child’s upcoming appointment than men. It is thought the trend could be linked to their own childhood hesitations about the dentist.

While the level of fear varies from child to child, you can help to set the foundation for stress-free appointments at home using a few simple tips.

  • Start Appointments Early: It is recommended your child visits the dentist before their first birthday. Not only is this important for their oral development, but it helps them build a trusted relationship with their dental team from a young age. The dental office becomes a familiar place, decreasing the fear of the unknown.
  • Create the Right Image: Set the example for your child regarding dental visits. If your child hears you talk about your appointments in a positive light, they are more likely to feel at ease when it comes time for their visit.
  • Choose the Right Dentist: The dentist you choose for your child is one of the single most important factors that influence their comfort. Choose one who is experienced with children and handling their emotional needs. A caring and compassionate dental team help your child build trust over the years, so they know they have nothing to fear.
  • Pain-Free Appointments: One painful appointment is enough to prevent any child from wanting to visit the dentist ever again. Choose a dentist who offers pain-free treatments when a procedure is needed, like sedation dentistry.
Give Your Child a Healthy Smile

Your child will require dental care throughout their life to keep their teeth and gums healthy. If they enjoy their time at the dentist while they are young, they are more likely to maintain their dental needs into adulthood. You can help set the foundation they need for a lifelong healthy smile by encouraging fear-free appointments as they grow.

About Northampton Pediatric Dentistry PC

Northampton Pediatric Dentistry PC provides comfortable dental care for young smiles. We strive to promote your child’s oral development while also building a trusted relationship with them. We cater our treatments to your child’s comfort level to help them relax during their appointments. Our experienced team takes the time to get to know your child and works at their pace to help them feel at ease. If your child is fearful of the dentist, we can help. Contact our office today to learn more.

The post Pediatric Dentist in Northampton Has Tips for Fear-Free Visits appeared first on Northampton Pediatric Dentistry.

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One of the most important skills your child learns in life is how to care for their teeth and gums. Unfortunately, you may face an uphill battle. Often, young children view brushing and flossing as a chore, so they rush through it or skip it all together. You can help to make it fun while allowing them to develop the techniques they need using simple tips from your pediatric dentist in Northampton.

Developing Brushing Techniques

Even before their first tooth erupts, it is best to get your child into the habit of oral hygiene. Use a soft cloth or wet gauze to clean their gums and tongue. As they get their baby teeth, incorporate a toothbrush.

  • Use a soft-bristled toothbrush designed for infants to brush their first teeth twice a day. It is best to avoid any toothpastes until after their 1st
  • After the age of two, use a fluoride toothpaste and a soft-bristled toothbrush to clean all surfaces of your child’s teeth. It is best to do it in front of a mirror, so they can watch what you are doing.
  • Around the age of 6, your child can start brushing their teeth on their own; however, you should inspect their teeth when they are done to look for areas they may be missing. To make the task easier, an electric toothbrush can be used.

Encourage your child to brush their teeth twice a day by holding their toothbrush at a 45-degree angle. Show them the proper movements to use and how to clean hard to reach places, like the back molars.

Explain to them the importance of using the right amount of toothpaste and spitting it out instead of swallowing it.

Getting in the Habit of Flossing

As the spaces between your child’s teeth close, it is time to introduce flossing. Use a short length of high-quality dental floss to clean between each tooth. As your child develops their motor functions, they can floss on their own.

  • Teach them to hold the floss between their thumb and floss to insert it between two teeth.
  • Form a “C” shape around a tooth and slide it down to the gum line and back up to the crown.
  • Use a new section of floss for each tooth to avoid placing plaque and bacteria back onto the teeth.

It is not uncommon for young children to struggle with flossing. To make it easier, they can use a flosser or interdental brush.

Invest in Your Child’s Smile

With the right oral hygiene habits from a young age, you give your child the foundation they need to remain committed to their dental health throughout their life. Give them the gift of a healthy smile with proper brushing and flossing.

About Northampton Pediatric Dentistry PC

Northampton Pediatric Dentistry PC provides complete dental services for our young patients. With a focus on prevention, we work to ensure the health and development of their teeth. If you have questions about your child’s oral hygiene routine, contact our office today.

The post Pediatric Dentist in Northampton Has Oral Hygiene Tips for Children appeared first on Northampton Pediatric Dentistry.

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Halloween is right around the corner. As you prepare for the festive day with creative costumes and fun decorations, your child looks forward to a night of overindulging on candy and sweet treats. While it may only be one day, too much candy can lead to tummy aches and future cavities. Do not let it lead to bad news at their next dental appointment. Your pediatric dentist in Northampton has simple tips to protect your child’s smile and their wellness.

Healthy Halloween Smile

Every child looks forward to Halloween, but it is a potentially hazardous day for their oral health. Eating large amounts of candy and treats can begin the process of enamel erosion, which can lead to the detection of a cavity during their next cleaning and checkup. To ensure their smile stays healthy, there are a few important tips to follow.

  1. Be Picky About Candy

Not all candies are created equally. Some are more likely to lead to cavities than others. Those that are gummy or chewy tend to stick in the crevasses of the teeth, like the back molars. This makes it difficult to remove them. They will sit there and eat away at their enamel. A safer option for their smile is chocolates or powdered candies because they can be rinsed away easier.

  1. Limit Candy

If you let your child, they will eat all their candy in one night, but that is never a good idea. Instead, give them have a few pieces and then place the rest in the freezer. A couple of times each week, allow them to have one or two pieces until their stash is gone. When giving them candy, timing is everything. It is best to have it with a meal because food helps remove harmful sugars from their teeth.

  1. Drink Up

Have your child drink plenty of water throughout the evening. Not only will it keep them hydrated, but it will also cleanse the teeth in between brushing.

  1. Brush and Floss

When the evening is over, it can be a rush to get your child in bed for the night. While it may be a bit chaotic, make the time to have them brush and floss their teeth well before going to sleep.

  1. Snack Smart

Give your child healthy alternatives to candy. Apple slices, grapes, or low-fat cheese are great compromises to a piece of candy.

Protect Your Child’s Smile

Do not let a night of overindulging place your child’s smile at risk. A proactive approach throughout the evening will help ward off tooth decay for great news at their next dental appointment.

About Northampton Pediatric Dentistry PC

Northampton Pediatric Dentistry PC strives to provide families with the dental services they need to develop and maintain healthy smiles. With a focus on prevention, we work to keep teeth cavity-free. If your child needs a cleaning and checkup, contact our office today to schedule an appointment.

The post 5 Halloween Candy Tips from Your Pediatric Dentist in Northampton appeared first on Northampton Pediatric Dentistry.

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As a parent, nothing is worse than seeing your child in pain. Over the years, you expect to see bumps, bruises, and maybe even a broken bone; however, you may not be prepared for a dental-related emergency. Although you never think you will face this situation, it is estimated 50% of children will have some type of dental emergency during childhood. Whether due to an accident, an injury, or another cause, you must know how to react and when to call their pediatric dentist in Northampton.

What Do I Do During a Dental Emergency?

Dental emergencies can take many forms, such as a severe toothache or a dislodged tooth. No matter the issue at hand, time is of the utmost importance to save their tooth. It is best to react accordingly at home and then call their dentist right away.

Knocked-Out Tooth

If your child has a baby tooth knocked out, there is no need to try to preserve it, but you should still contact their dentist. When it is an adult tooth, hold it by the crown and rinse it with water. Do not scrub it, dry it, or use any cleaners. Keep it moist by placing it in a cup of milk or water.

Dislodged Tooth

A tooth can be moved out of its socket but not completely out of the mouth. If you can, gently try to push it back into position and have your child bite on a piece of gauze.

Cracked or Chipped Tooth

Immediately have your child rinse their mouth with warm salt water and apply cold compresses to the outside of their face.

A Toothache

This can be a sign of an untreated cavity or an infection. It is best to contact their dentist right away. In the meantime, use over-the-counter pain relievers to manage their discomfort.

Tongue or Lip Bleeding

Your child will bite their lip or tongue at some point. In most cases, it is not an emergency unless you cannot control the bleeding using gentle pressure. To manage any swelling that may occur, apply a cold compress.

Broken Jaw

If you suspect that your child has broken their jaw, apply a cold compress and head to your local emergency room.

Object in Teeth

Gently try to remove it with floss. If it is ineffective, do not try to take it out with a sharp or metal instrument. Instead, call their dentist.

Can Dental Emergencies Be Avoided?

Although there is no 100% means to prevent dental injuries, there are several things you can do to help reduce the likeliness of one, such as:

  • Promote proper oral hygiene habits at home.
  • Take them to their dentist twice a year.
  • Use an athletic mouthguard when participating in sports.
Protect Your Child’s Smile

If you are ever in doubt about an issue that your child is having with their teeth or gums, do not wait. Contact their dentist for advice to help you through the situation.

About Northampton Pediatric Dentistry PC

Northampton Pediatric Dentistry PC is committed to fostering the health and development of young smiles. We provide the compassionate care children need to feel at ease while at the dentist. We believe in always being there for our patients, even during times of emergency. If you need a pediatric emergency dentist, contact our office today!

The post Do I Need to Call an Emergency Pediatric Dentist in Northampton? appeared first on Northampton Pediatric Dentistry.

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