Forest Hills Pediatric Dentistry

At Forest Hills dental, we make it convenient for families to get quality care in one location. Family dentist Dr. Gregory Mark and our team have been serving families like yours since 1995, providing value-based and efficient care for all ages, including young children.

Looking for a Pediatric Dentist in Forest Hills?

If you’re looking for the best pediatric dentist in Forest Hills, why not consider our family practice? As a general dentist, Dr. Mark is highly experienced and proficient in treating patients of all ages, including young children. We welcome families of all ages to call on our office for their routine dental needs. There’s no need to go to two separate offices across town. We see everyone!

Dental Checkups for Kids

Just like adults, children should see their dentist every six months for routine checkups and cleanings. Since your child’s smile is developing at a fairly rapid rate, these intermittent visits allow Dr. Mark to screen for issues as early as possible, allowing for earlier intervention.

Most pediatricians and pediatric dentists recommend bringing children to the dentist for their first exam by age 1, or when their first tooth comes in.

When you schedule your child’s first visit at Forest Hills Dental, we’ll work at their own pace. It may be that all Dr. Mark does is “count” their teeth while performing a brief exam, discussing any concerns that you have. For older or more relaxed children, we may consider going ahead and cleaning their teeth or taking a few X-rays.

Protective Dental Sealants

One of the best ways to help your child reduce their chances of getting cavities is to have sealants placed on their back molars. Molars have deep grooves and fissures on the chewing surfaces, which often accumulate bacteria and are some of the first locations to develop decay.

Your child’s permanent (adult) molars usually erupt around the ages of 6 and 12. Since it can be challenging for children to thoroughly clean these areas every day, placing a protective sealant on top of them will help to lower their chances of getting cavities.

Sealants are thin, protective layers that are painted over the deep groves. No drilling or numbing is needed, and sealants only take a few minutes to place. In most cases, we can add them onto your child’s checkup appointment with our Forest Hills family dentist.

Fluoride Treatment

Fluoride gels and varnish help to strengthen tooth enamel, making it more resistant to cavities. Children’s teeth tend to uptake the natural mineral much better, making fluoride treatments a crucial part of your child’s routine dental checkups.

In addition to fluoride treatments twice per year, Dr. Mark might recommend a daily home fluoride routine for children wearing braces or at a high risk of tooth decay.

It’s also important to encourage your child to drink plenty of tap water, which contains regulated fluoride levels, along with other minerals. Doing so helps promote healthy tooth and bone development.

When your child gets a cavity in a baby tooth, the weaker enamel is susceptible to the lesion spreading at an alarmingly fast rate. As such, it’s crucial to stop the decay from spreading before it reaches the nerve, adjacent teeth, or developing permanent tooth underneath.

To treat pediatric cavities, Dr. Mark routinely uses minimally invasive white fillings. This material bonds closely with the tooth while limiting the prep area, helping to preserve as much healthy structure as possible.

You might be asking, “Why does my child need a filling if their baby tooth is going to fall out anyway?” This is a great question! Briefly, your child’s baby tooth plays a crucial role when it comes to proper placement and eruption patterns of their adult smile. They also affect your child’s diet, speech, and self-esteem. Losing one prematurely can lead to unwanted orthodontic complications in the future, such as impacted or crowded teeth.

Will My Child Need X-rays?

Low radiation digital X-rays are crucial to screening for childhood cavities and eruption patterns of adult teeth. Most children get a set of bitewing X-rays once per year to check between teeth, and a panoramic (full mouth) film once some of their adult teeth start to come in.

From there on out, Dr. Mark will usually take a panoramic X-ray about every five years, or if there are particular orthodontic concerns.

Orthodontic Screenings

Orthodontists and pediatric dentists typically recommend screening all children for orthognathic needs by age 7. At this point, your child will usually have a combination of both baby and adult teeth. Dr. Mark will be able to tell if there are any significant developmental irregularities or problems with their bite development that might require braces.

Common issues that may need to be addressed include overbites, underbites, overbites, crossbites, and open bites caused by extended thumb, finger, or pacifier sucking.

Oral Hygiene Tips for Kids

• Encourage your child to brush twice per day
• Set a timer for two minutes each time your child brushes
• Select a fluoride toothpaste, using a pea-size dose for most children, and rice grain smear for toddlers
• Allow children to be independent, but follow up behind them at least until your child has the dexterity to tie their own shoes
• Help your child floss between each tooth, every day
• Encourage frequent water intake
• Limit consumption of juice, sports drinks, and soda
• Limit snacks such as processed carbs and instead, encourage fresh fruits and vegetables

Contact us today to request your child’s first appointment!

Forest Hills Dental has proudly served families in the area since 1995. Many of them are former pediatric patients who have grown up and come back to us with children of their own. One of the reasons why is because of the positive atmosphere and experience we’ve created for children.

If you’re looking for a children’s dentist near Forest Hills, why not bring your entire family to the same office? Dr. Mark and our entire Forest Hills Dental team love kids, and we’re here to make your child’s visit one that they feel confident about.