Pediatric Dentist, Dr. Aaron Mannella Answers Parent Questions

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As Chief of Pediatric Dentistry at Morristown Medical Center and as a Pediatric Dentist practicing in Randolph for over 25 years, I get asked a lot of questions from parents who want to make sure they are doing everything to help take proper care of their children’s teeth.  Recently I appeared with Marissa Brahney on News 12’s Mom’s Minute segment answering these frequently asked questions.

When should I first take my child to see a dentist?

This is one of the most frequent questions I get asked.  Parents are often surprised to learn that both the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry both recommend that children first see a dentist with the eruption of the first baby tooth.  This is to make sure that there are no underlying issues and that the teeth are coming in properly.  At Pediatric Dental Associates of Randolph we try to make this process easy for new parents by offering free exams to all children under the age of two.

What is the difference is between a Pediatric Dentist and a General Dentist?

A lot of people aren’t aware that Pediatric Dentists have an additional two years of training beyond that of a General Dentist.  This additional training is focused on the specific needs of working with children including developmental issues, special needs patients, pediatric dental trauma, pediatric sedation and how to recognize developing orthodontic problems.   Pediatric Dental offices like ours are also geared to be more welcoming to children.  Our office is brightly colored and decorated to appeal to children, we have a fish tank and TV’s playing children’s programming and our staff and hygienists are thoroughly experienced in accommodating the needs of children of all ages and abilities.

Why do you need to fix decay in a baby tooth if it will fall out anyway?

Baby teeth have a very important role.  They are the place holders for the adult teeth that are forming below the gum line.  Baby teeth not only help a child with language development and are vital to eating but they also help to ensure that a child’s mouth will grow properly while maintaining space for the adult teeth that will follow.

What are dental sealants?

Sealants are beneficial in preventing dental caries on premolars and molar teeth on children and adults.  A dental sealant is a protective barrier placed in the pits and fissures of teeth.  They seal out food and bacteria which can result in cavities.  Sealants can reduce the incidence of cavities 86% the first year and up to 58% after 4 years.   Most dental insurances cover the cost of sealants in children, sealants do not hurt and children are able to eat after the procedure.

If you have a pediatric dental question that was not answered here please feel free to call Pediatric Dental Associates of Randolph at 973-989-7970 and I will be happy to discuss any concerns you may have.