Tye: Can you tell us about your practice?
Dr. Sani: We are a pediatric dental practice with two locations in the Capital district. We have an office in Albany and one in Glens Falls, NY. Our goal is to make sure every child has access to dental care and to create a dental home for all children in the capital district. All of our providers are board certified or board eligible pediatric dentists.
Tye: What is the difference between a pediatric dentist and a regular dentist that treats kids?
Dr. Sani: The difference between a pediatric dentist and a general dentist is that a pediatric dentist does additional education and specialized training to provide the best clinical care and positive experience. Pediatric dentists are specifically trained to diagnose, treat, and manage conditions particular to children. We are the pediatricians for teeth.
Tye: When should a child have their first dental appointment?
Dr. Sani: A child should have their first dental appointment by age 1 or within 6 months after the first tooth erupts. (This is according to The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry)
Tye: What should be used to clean my baby's growing teeth?
Dr. Sani: At first, just a wet toothbrush. As soon as teeth erupt you can start using toothpaste in the amount of a grain of rice. Once your child is around 3 years of age you can use a pea-sized amount of toothpaste and gently brush around your child’s teeth.
Tye: Are baby teeth really important if they will lose them anyway?
Dr. Sani: It is very important to keep primary teeth (baby teeth) in place until they are lost naturally because they are place holders for the permanent teeth to come in its place.
Tye: At what age should my kid begin brushing their teeth?
Dr. Sani: Every child is different, but in general parents should brush their child’s teeth until they are about 10 years old. When a child can write in cursive is when they have the dexterity to brush their own teeth.
Tye: Are thumb sucking and pacifiers harmful to a child’s growing teeth?
Dr. Sani: Prolonged thumb sucking and a pacifier habit can be harmful to the growth and development of the mouth and teeth.
Tye: What are some of the bad dental habits you see with kids?
Dr. Sani: Some bad dental habits I see with kids are high soda consumption, not flossing, nail biting, ice chewing, drinking large amounts of sports drinks, and constant snacking.
Tye: Are there any signs I should look for to let me know my kid’s teeth may not be growing Properly?
Dr. Sani: I don’t feel that there are any general signs dentists can give parents to look for to make sure their child’s teeth are growing in properly because every child is different, and their dental development may be different. Therefore, it is important that your child goes to the dentist every 6 months for their routine cleaning. At their cleaning appointment we look at their growth and development of the child.
Tye: What are dental sealants and are they a good option for my child?
Dr. Sani: Dental sealants are thin resin coating that is painted on the chewing surface of the molars to prevent decay. Sealants are a good option for your child to prevent cavities.
Tye: How do I make sure my child is getting enough fluoride?
Dr. Sani: Find out if the water in your area is fluoridated, if not you can get a prescription from your pediatric dentist or pediatrician.
Tye: Are dental X-rays safe for kids?
Dr. Sani: Dental x-rays are very safe. Most dental offices have switched to digital x-rays. Bitewing x-rays (image of the back teeth) gives off the same amount of radiation that your child is exposed to in the environment daily. Digital x-rays have roughly 80% less radiation than conventional x-rays.
Tye: Do you offer sedation options for kids? What types?
Dr. Sani: In our office we offer 3 types of sedation: Nitrogenous oxide sedation (laughing gas), Oral conscious sedation (Versed/Midazolam), and General Anesthesia (Operating Room)
Tye: How often should I schedule dental appointments for my child?
Dr. Sani: It is recommended your child has a dental cleaning every 6 months.
Tye: What's the best way to schedule a consultation?
Dr. Sani: The best way to schedule a consultation is to call our office at 518.798.9966.
Tye: Do you have any final thoughts?
Dr. Sani: Our goal is to create a fun and enthusiastic environment for children, that is why we feel children should be established in the practice at age 1 years of age.