At Smile More Kidz, we offer families the best of both options. We have a skilled pediatric dentist and a kid-friendly office that’s perfect for your children’s smiles, and when it's time to care for their adult smiles, our same team will be there with them throughout the transition.
Along with an annual physical, new
clothes and backpacks, a visit to the dentist helps ensure that your child’s
education and development won’t be interrupted by oral health problems.
After all, dental disease is the most prevalent childhood disease!
Back-to-school dental care can help prevent dental emergencies and missed
valuable school days, while giving kids more confident smiles……all year long.
In a scientific study published in the Journal of Pediatrics, it was
concluded that dental problems were significantly associated with reductions in
school performance and psychosocial well-being. Children with undiagnosed
dental problems and infections were more likely to have problems at school, miss
school and were less likely to do all required homework. This was
prevalent with children 14 years and younger, since this age group seldom
complains to their parents about dental pain.
Dental malocclusion (crooked teeth) were also
associated with shyness, unhappiness, feeling of worthlessness, and reduced
friendliness. The effects of dental malocclusion were largest for adolescents
between 15 and 17 years. The study concluded that preventing and treating
dental problems and improving dental health may benefit a child’s academic
achievement, cognitive and psychosocial development.
Here are some things
that can be done to ensure your child’s teeth and gums are healthy and that
they grow up to have a more positive and enjoyable experience with their dental
Healthy smiles start at home. Serve
as a good role model by practicing good dental hygiene habits yourself.
Make sure your children brush and floss daily. A diet light on sugary
snacks and drinks and rich in raw fruits and vegetables goes a long way towards
maintaining good oral and overall health.
Schedule routine dental exam and
professional cleanings 2x/year with a Pediatric Dentist.
Food and decay-causing plaque are easily trapped in between teeth and in the
deep grooves of the chewing surfaces of teeth. Even if your child brushes
and flosses well, it’s important that he/she has a professional cleaning to
prevent cavities from forming in those hard-to-clean areas. A thorough
dental exam can catch early decay, preventing pain, infections and more
to schedule a dental appointment with a Pediatric dentist
day can make or break your child’s appointment. It’s important for a child of
any age who’s used to a nap to not schedule during naptime. If your child is
always cranky after waking up, factor that in too.
children, avoid cramming in a dentist appointment right after day camp or
school. Not all kids have the energy to do that. I will have parents who
want to do very elaborate operative (fillings) work after school because that’s
when the kids can come out. But if the child has already been exhausted or had
a bad day or had tests, they just may not have the stamina or positive energy
to make it through the appointment successfully. For the convenience of
our patients, we have Saturday hours.
Child a Model
scheduled back-to-back appointments for your children, there’s a simple way to
decide who goes first: Choose the child who’s had the most positive experiences
at the dentist. Every child is going to be a little bit different in
their temperament about how they approach a visit. you generally want the
ones first who are more successful because the others get to see how it goes.
Anxiety at the Door
heart races at the very thought of the dentist, your child can probably tell.
Kids pick up on parents’ anxiety. It’s important with kids, especially at
4, 5 and 6, because I believe the phobic adults are the ones who had bad
experiences when they were that age. Today a child’s dental experience can
actually be focused around being more fun and engaging.
younger your kids are, the more you need to be aware of how you’re
communicating with them. For example, if your child asks about getting a cavity
filled, don’t say, “It will only hurt for a little bit.” Instead, encourage
your child to ask the dentist. With any child, you want them to be able
to feel successful at accomplishing a good visit and link that positive feeling
with the idea that their teeth are strong and healthy so they have that message
going forward for the rest of their lives.
If Your Child Won’t Cooperate
child gets upset during his/her visit, the worst thing you can do is swoop them
out of the chair and leave. The next visit is going to be harder.
You still have to help them get through another visit.
Allow the doctor to assess why your child is acting out. Are they truly afraid,
or are they trying to test the situation? One of the reasons I think a 4,
5 or 6-year-old gets upset is because they think they’re going to be asked to
do something they can’t be successful at. They’re in an environment they
feel they can’t control and that makes them upset, so we try to break it down
into small steps.
your child’s dentist allows parents to be present during the visit, work as a
team with your dentist to keep the visit going. Let the dentist lead the
conversation and advise you when its most appropriate for you to help if
needed, while still allowing the dentist and your child to build a good
relationship. Give the dentist every opportunity to turn the visit
a Card (or Three) on Your Way Out. In fact, our office has magnets you
can put on your refrigerator door
can happen whether your child is in sports camp, gym class or just walking down
the street. In case of emergency, make sure your child’s teachers and coaches
have all the medical contact information they need – including your dentist’s
number. Grab business cards for your wallet, your child’s backpack and your
school’s files. Parents should be very aware of accidents and make sure
that wherever they go that they bring the number of their dentist so that if a
child has an accident, they can certainly call the office. In fact, we
treat dental related school accidents all the time.
Make sure your kids start their
school year right. Give your local Pediatric dentist a call.
Dr. Darren Tong is a pediatric
dentist who lives in Old Tappan with his wife, Dr. Mariliza Lacap and their 5
children. They are both graduates of Columbia University School of Dental
and Oral Surgery and are owners of Smile More Dentistry and Smile More
Kidz. 140 Oak Tree Road, Tappan, NY. They can be reached at
You want the best for your baby. As a parent, you work
hard to ensure your child stays happy, healthy, and loved. When it comes to
your baby’s health, you follow the doctor’s instructions when it comes to food,
sleep, and milestone development, but what about their teeth? How do you know what
to do when it comes to those teeth popping through? Tooth decay can be a real
problem, especially if you’re not caring for your child’s teeth when they first
appear. Find out from a children’s dentist
in Tappan who explains what causes tooth decay and how you can prevent it.
What Causes Tooth Decay in Babies?
Tooth decay can develop due to a variety of different ways.
When acid-producing bacteria builds up in a baby’s mouth, it becomes infected.
This happens as the result of:
Parents using their mouths to clean off a pacifier
Testing food before giving it to a baby
Sharing spoons or cups with a baby
Tooth decay can also be caused by allowing babies to have
drinks other than water. When their teeth and gums are exposed to liquids that
have added sugars, that sugar turns to acid by the bacteria in their mouth,
which causes teeth to decay.
Giving a baby a bottle of formula, milk, juice, or any other
liquid other than water before bedtime can lead to tooth decay, as the liquid
will sit on their teeth throughout the night.
How Can I Prevent It?
If you want to prevent tooth decay from appearing, there are
several things you should do as your child grows. These include:
Cleaning your baby’s gums with a clean
washcloth. From birth to 12 months, you can gently wipe their gums to keep
their mouth clean. Once the first tooth appears, use a soft toothbrush and a
little bit of fluoride toothpaste (grain of rice).
Brushing your child’s teeth twice a day for two
minutes once they are between the ages of 12 and 36 months. Using the same
amount of fluoride toothpaste until your child reaches the age of 3, brush
after breakfast and before bed.
Never allow your child to have a bottle or food
when going to bed. This can increase their chances for ear infections and tooth
Never use a bottle or sippy cup as a pacifier, and
if your child wants either, make sure to fill it only with water.
Limiting the amount of sweet and sticky foods
your child eats.
Scheduling an appointment with your child’s
dentist before they turn 1.
By following these tips, you can help to prevent tooth decay
in your baby. Not all cases are the same, and not all forms of tooth decay can
be prevented, but if you are concerned about your baby’s teeth, talk to your pediatric
dentist in Tappan.
About the Author At Smile More Kidz, we can offer adequate care for our young patients. Providing safe, effective treatments for kids of all ages, we can develop a plan for your child’s teeth and oral health care throughout their duration from childhood to adulthood. For questions about our services, visit our website or call (845) 406-9253.
Most people associate being tongue-tied with stumbling over
their words. But you may be surprised to learn that “tongue-tie” is actually a
legitimate oral health problem called ankyloglossia that affects the tongue’s
range of motion. It’s present in 4%-11% of newborn babies, more often boys than
girls, and can impact a child in significant ways. However, a pediatric dentist
in Tappan looks at every aspect of a child’s oral health at each checkup so
they can identify issues like tongue-tie early on and recommend treatment as
needed. And, fortunately, tongue-tie can be treated quite easily! Keep reading
to learn more below.
What Is Tongue-Tie and What Are the Signs?
Everyone has something called a frenulum, a band or strip of
soft tissue that attaches the underside of the tongue to the floor of the
mouth. However, with tongue-tie, this tissue is particularly short or tight and
restricts the movement of the tongue.
There are several signs you can look for, including trouble
moving the tongue up to the top teeth, from side to side, or sticking it out
past the lower front teeth. You may also notice that the tongue appears
heart-shaped or notched when it’s stuck out.
What Problems Can Tongue-Tie Cause?
There are several potentially serious problems that can
occur with tongue-tie such as:
Babies can have breastfeeding issues such as trouble latching on or completing a full feeding, or not gaining weight as quickly as they should
Speech impediments or language delays
What Treatment Options Are Available?
If you suspect your child may have tongue-tie, the first
step is so to schedule a checkup with a children’s dentist
in Tappan. In some cases, tongue-tie will resolve on its own as the
frenulum loosens over time. In other cases, treatment may be recommended.
Thankfully, treatment is quite simple. Called a frenotomy,
this small surgical procedure involves using sterile scissors to “snip” the
frenulum and allow the tongue to move freely.
It’s very quick and causes little or no discomfort because
there are very few nerve endings in the frenulum. It can be done with or
without numbing the area. In fact, some infants or small children even sleep
through their procedure.
Tongue-tie can have negative consequences, but identifying
and treating it is so simple that they easily prevented altogether.
About the Author
Darren Tong is a pediatric dentist in Tappan who graduated in the top
10% of his class from Columbia University School of Dental and Oral Surgery. He
encourages regular checkups starting around age one so he can evaluate every
aspect of his patients’ oral health, including checking for tongue-tie. If you
think your child may be tongue-tied or you have any questions, he can be reached
through his website.
As a parent, you’re already well aware that children don’t
come with instructions, although it would certainly make some things easier if
they did! It’s normal to have questions about oral hygiene for an infant, but you’ll
be glad to know it’s easier than you might think. And, since good dental health
starts in the very beginning, it’s well worth it to learn a few tips and tricks
for cleaning your baby’s mouth. This, combined with scheduling their first
checkup at age one with a dentist for infants in Bergenfield, is a great way to
make sure they have good oral health from the
very start. Keep reading below for 4 ways to help your baby’s smile stay
1. Start Before the First Teeth Come In
Before your child’s teeth come in, use a clean, damp cloth
or piece of gauze to gently clean their gums twice a day.
Not only will establishing this habit early make it easier to brush later on, but it will also keep their baby teeth clean and healthy when they do appear.
2. Prevent Baby Bottle Tooth Decay
“Baby bottle tooth decay” is a type of severe cavities that
affect a baby’s front teeth. It occurs when they’re put to bed with a bottle
that has anything sweet in it like sugar water, juice or soda.
Even the natural sugars in milk can cause baby bottle decay,
so be sure to either use a pacifier or a bottle with water only.
3. Use Toothpaste at the Right Time
According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry,
you can begin using just a very light smear of fluoride toothpaste as soon as
the first teeth come in. There are special “training” or teething toothbrushes
designed for this stage that are extra-soft.
When your child reaches age 3, you can increase the amount
of toothpaste to a pea-sized amount.
4. Monitor Their Fluoride Intake
It’s important that your child gets the right amount of fluoride,
either through tap water or a supplement. While topical fluoride in toothpaste
helps the teeth that already in the mouth,
ingested fluoride makes the teeth that haven’t
come in yet develop as strong as possible.
Be sure to ask your dentist or
pediatrician about the water supply in your area and whether a fluoride
supplement is necessary or not.
Although childhood cavities are quite common, using these 4
tips when your child is still an infant will go a long way towards preventing
About the Author
As a dentist for infants in
Bergenfield and a father of 5, Dr. Darren Tong provides outstanding dental care to children of all
ages. He understands the issues that parents of infants face and always gives
them the information they need to establish good oral hygiene habits from the
start. If you have any other questions, he can be reached through his website.
Since 2017, Major Rooney, an F-16 Fighter Pilot in the Oklahoma Air National Guard, has provided educational scholarships to spouses and children of America’s fallen and disabled service men and women, and is committed to spending his life changing the futures of those spouses and children through those scholarships. Five-time Emmy Award winning Director Nick Nanton will direct this documentary about the incredible story behind the organization, Folds Of Honor.
As an Executive Producer, Darren Tong will
attend the principal filming of
and be apart of this
life changing experience while learning the incredible
behind the organization. The Folds Of Honor documentary
will begin principal photography on location
in February of 2019.
For over 27 years, Dr.
has been one of
the most trusted pediatric
dentist in the Bergen and
Rockland County. Dr. Tong has
also co-authored a bestselling book,
to Succeed” alongside Jack Canfield. He has
“America’sPremiereExperts” on dentistry
aired on TV stations NBC,
CBS and their affiliates.
The mission of Folds of
a special place in
his heart since his father is also a United States
Veteran. Dr. Tong is married
with 5 children,
ranging from 24 to
11 years old, so he
is very familiar with
the struggles and rewards parents go through
in raising children
and providing them an education.
To learn more about Dr. Tong
and his office,
please visit www.SmileMoreKidz.com or visit one of their two locations:
DNA Films® is led by five-time Emmy® Award Winning
Director and Producer,
Nick Nanton and Emmy® Award Winning
Producer, JW Dicks. Dicks and
Nanton have produced
multiple award winning
films including Visioneer:
Diamandis Story, Esperanza,
Mi Casa Hogar and Jacob’s
Turn. Their productions
multiple Emmys and together they have been awarded more than
a dozen Telly Awards for excellence
production. Combined, they have produced and directed more
than 500 television
episodes and dozens
Dicks and Nanton’s
goal is to
stories to the big screen
as a means of encouraging and inspiring
a new generation.
You’re taking yet another picture of your adorable baby. They’re
smiling and looking right at you—perfectly posed for the picture—and then you
notice it. Their teeth have white spots on them. Your precious baby has the
beginnings of baby bottle tooth decay. Before you panic, here’s some helpful
information about it, so you can make sure your baby’s smile stays as cute as
What is baby bottle tooth decay?
The bacteria that cause tooth decay thrive on sugar. They
then create acid that attacks teeth. When this happens in children under 5, it
is commonly called baby bottle tooth decay. Even if your baby doesn’t eat solid
food yet, think of the sugary fluids your baby consumes: milk, formula, and/or
juice. All these can contribute to this dangerous condition.
White spots are an indication of early tooth decay. Later
stages include the following symptoms:
Brown or black spots on the teeth
Bleeding or swollen gums
Fever, swelling, or irritability, which could
mean there’s an infection
If your child shows these symptoms, see your pediatric
dentist immediately to prevent the decay from spreading.
Why does baby bottle tooth decay happen?
Many infants sleep better on a full stomach or fall asleep
easier while drinking milk or formula, so parents often use feedings to help
their infants drift off to dreamland. But that’s the time when your baby’s
teeth need the most protection. We tend to produce less saliva while we sleep,
so all the sugars in your baby’s mouth linger, cling to your baby’s teeth, and
start to feed harmful bacteria in your baby’s mouth. If left there, it can lead
to tooth decay.
Why does baby bottle tooth decay matter?
Baby teeth are temporary anyway, right? It doesn’t matter if
they end up with a few spots of decay, right? Wrong. Children typically lose
their baby teeth between the ages of 6 and 12. Your baby will need their teeth
to chew, talk, and smile for a long time before their permanent teeth come in.
If your child’s teeth become infected or even removed too early on, they might
experience trouble eating or speaking correctly. In addition, their adult teeth
could come in crooked or damaged.
How can I prevent baby bottle tooth decay from happening to my baby?
Here are some basic tips to stop baby bottle tooth decay
before it begins.
Oral hygiene for your baby should commence
basically from birth. Gently massage your baby’s gums with a washcloth, and
start brushing twice a day when you see that first tooth cut through.
By their first birthday, begin bringing your
baby to the dentist for checkups twice a year. Your dentist in Bergenfield can
help monitor their growth and dental development and catch any issues early.
If possible, avoid giving your baby a sugary
drink right before bedtime, even if they don’t take the bottle with them. If
you want or need to give your baby a bottle to go to bed, give them water. That
way, you’re actually helping their teeth stay cleaner. To start with, over time
you can dilute the bottle with water, so your child can acclimate easier to the
Make some changes in your baby’s diet. If your
baby has started eating solid food, you could limit their consumption of acidic
foods, like grains, dairy products, processed foods, and meat. Also consider
reducing the frequency and amount of juice you give them.
Don’t dip your baby’s pacifier in honey, sugar,
You would do anything to protect your child, and that
includes attending ongoing dental care with a trusted pediatric dentist. By
following these tips, you can keep your baby’s smile happy and healthy for
years to come.
About the Practice
Smile More Kidz
has four talented and compassionate pediatric dentists.
They all have years of experience and expertise, but they also make dental
visits fun and stress-free for their patients. These pediatric dentists can
offer effective, specialized care, even in advanced cases. Contact Smile More
Kidz and these dentists by calling (845) 859-6060 or clicking here.
You’ve fed the baby but he’s still fussy. You may not hesitate to pop a pacifier in his mouth to comfort and calm him – unless you’ve heard some buzz about the risks of baby binkies. Desperate times call for good information. Your dentist for infants in Bergenfield wants to help you avoid desperate measures by knowing the pros and cons of pacifiers.
What are the benefits of pacifier use?
Good news! Pacifiers are not only great at calming your baby down, a number of studies show they can also help:
Prevent Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)
Ease stress for moms with postpartum depression
Distract your baby from painful and stressful situations
Improve preemies’ digestion and overall thriving
Teach babies to self-soothe
What are the risks of pacifiers?
Studies show that pacifier use risks may include:
Potential weight gain
Higher incidence of ear infections
How does a pacifier cause dental problems?
Prolonged pacifier use can cause malformation of your baby’s mouth, resulting in the need for orthodontics later. The most common issues are overbites (where the top teeth extend out further than the bottom), underbites (where some or all of the top teeth fit inside the bottom teeth), and crossbites (where teeth are tilted).
Heredity and delayed development of teeth can also play a role, but thumb sucking and pacifier use often exacerbate the condition, especially with prolonged use.
How long is too long to allow my infant to use a pacifier?
Fortunately, most of the concerns dentists have about pacifiers applies to frequent and prolonged use.
Keep in mind these guidelines:
Malformation of the mouth often occurs from pacifier use between the ages of 2 and 4.
Restrict pacifier use to specific times. If allowed to use their binkie all day, the self-soothing benefit can become addictive.
While it can be a challenge at any age to wean a child from the pacifier, the transition is generally smoother when they’re between 6-12 months than when they’re toddlers and have had more time to grow attached to it.
From a dental perspective, the only real advantage of a pacifier over thumb sucking is that you can take the pacifier away. But there’s no guarantee they won’t then resort to thumb or finger sucking.
What if my child is already addicted to the pacifier?
If you’re concerned about your baby’s attachment to the pacifier and the effects it may be having, his or her dentist can make recommendations that will put your fears to rest. Children should see the dentist by their first birthday if they use a bottle at night and by age 2 if they don’t, which is before misalignment issues will have started.
If the dentist sees that misalignment issues have already started, treatments are available to get their development back on track as soon as possible.
About the Author
At Smile More Kidz, your child’s experience is not only gentle, it’s fun! Dr. Tong, Dr. Mendia, Dr.Reff and Dr. Sunkin love kids and know how to keep them smiling. They’ve donated more than $150,000 in dental work to children and adults in Bergenfield and around the world, and they’re passionate about helping parents learn how to care for their children’s dental needs. Call (845) 859-6060 to find out more about their Toddler Thursdays.
What’s New: Jennifer Sunkin, DMD, a dentist whose focus is children with special needs and high anxiety, is joining the Smile More staff to lead ‘Toddler Thursday’s’.
Dr. Sunkin will be Dr. LaCap, Dr. Tong and their group of awesome doctors with over 27 years of experience. The educational program is designed to teach both parents and children about proper dental hygiene. The information is all double-checked by licensed pediatric dental professionals to ensure that everything children learn is age-appropriate and medically accurate.
“Parents can come in, have a coffee and doughnut, and kids sit and watch a puppet show and learn how to brush their teeth,” says Mariliza LaCap, DDS, owner of Smile More Kidz.
“Kids that go through our office don’t even know what it’s like to be afraid of the dentist,” says Dr. LaCap.
Did you know that 50% of all dental injuries to kids under age 7 occur from playing at home around furniture? While that’s a sobering statistic, the good news is that you have control over your home environment and can make changes to prevent these injuries. In fact, it’s probably simpler than you imagine – not to mention that prevention is far easier than bringing your child to a pediatric dentist in Bergenfield for major dental work! Keep reading to learn about some steps you can take to keep your home safe and reduce the chance of injury to your child.
In the Kitchen and Bathroom
The kitchen is often the gathering spot for the whole family. Here’s how you can keep it safe for your child:
Keep appliances such as toaster ovens, crockpots and blenders pushed back from the edge of the counter and well out of reach to prevent children from pulling one of these appliances down on top of them. Similarly, make sure handles from pots and pans on the stove aren’t within reach either.
Install safety-latches on cabinet doors to keep household cleaning supplies away from children.
Most children love bath time and feel a sense of accomplishment after they’re potty-trained. Here are some ways to prevent injuries in the bathroom:
Install toilet locks to prevent them from falling into the toilet or being injured from the toilet lid.
Install anti-scalding devices on faucets and showerheads and preset the water heater to 120 degrees. It only takes 3 seconds for a child to get severely burned when the water is hotter than that.
Around the House
Here are some good general steps to take around the house:
Put corner and edge bumpers on furniture to protect children from injury if they should take a tumble.
Use safety gates and doorknob covers to prevent access to potentially hazardous areas like the swimming pool or staircases.
Remove free-falling lids from toy chests.
Secure top-heavy furniture like bookcases to the walls to prevent them from tipping over.
How Else Can You Prevent Dental Emergencies?
In addition to child-proofing your home, there are a few other things you can do to avoid emergencies and make sure your child’s smile stays healthy.
Schedule regular visits with a ‘pediatric dentist near me’ to make sure that any small problems are caught as early as possible.
Also, minimize sugars by choosing water or milk instead of juice or soda. Finally, establish good hygiene habits early by brushing their teeth twice a day and flossing any teeth that touch (which is oftentimes only the back teeth in small children).
Childhood is a time of play, learning and fun. With these tips, you can prevent dental emergencies and make sure it stays that way!
About the Author
Dr. Darren Tong is an award-winning children’s dentist in Bergenfield and a father of five. He knows that preventing injuries is far easier than treating them and always strives to help parents take steps at home to keep their little ones safe. If you have children and would like more information about how to prevent accidents, he can be reached via his website or at (845) 859-6060.