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Dipika Shah, DDS, MAGD, LLC | Pediatric Dentistry in Holmdel

Dipika Shah, DDS, MAGD
(Master In Academy Of General Dentistry)

723 North Beers Street Suite 2F
Holmdel, NJ 07733-1512

Ph: 732-264-8180
E mail: Info@dentistnj.com

Holmdel, NJ Dentist Gentle Dental

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Holmdel, NJ Dentist Gentle Dental

Pediatric/Children’s Dentistry: Give Your Child the Gift of a Beautiful, Healthy Smile:

All kids are born without teeth and without cavities. You want them to grow up without cavities forever. Let’s work as a team to give the smile your child deserves.  Yes, it can be achieved with proper diet and home care along with regular visit to dentist.

It starts with proper fearless introduction to a dentist’s office. Let’s show your child our dental office equipped with a special play room with children’s furniture and entertainment full of children’s books, toys, games and TV shows. Let’s make their first appointment as much fun as possible. Let’s play with them with Mr. Thursty and Tickle Tooth Brush. Dentistry has changed and let them experience pleasant visit. Do not talk to kids in negative language like dentist is not going to hurt you or you will not have pain….etc…Kids do not have the idea about pain and hurt so it is best not to mention it. Just telling them to have a trip to see a dentist office will suffice. If you like, you can borrow video/CD to show how much fun it can be to go to a dentist for their first visit and they will look forward to it.  It can be achieved with proper diet, proper brushing and regular visit to a dentist. We promise to spend time and attention to our new guest- your child to make it a happy experience. We have our little patients who do not want to leave our office.

Proper Diet
is equally important. It starts with birth. After every feeding, make a habit of offering water to a baby. Baby starts getting teeth around 6 months and they will get 20 baby teeth by the time they are 2 ½ to 3 years old. As soon as first tooth comes in, it is a good idea to offer water after each feeding and wipe baby’s teeth with a clean damp cloth. As they get older, you can brush their teeth very gently twice a day with children’s tooth brush and water. You do not want to use even a children’s toothpaste till child learns to spit, making sure that child does not swallow the tooth paste. Child needs help with brushing till age of 7, depending upon their ability. You can start teaching them and slowly let them take over as they learn. Baby teeth are very important as not only they help to chew food but they also help with the proper eruption of permanent teeth. If baby tooth gets a cavity and if it is not fixed on time, decay can go deeper into the tooth and give an abscess (infection and pain) which can ruin the permanent tooth developing underneath that baby tooth. If baby tooth is lost prematurely before permanent tooth is ready to come in, child can loose the space for the permanent tooth as next tooth can move in its place, requiring lot more efforts later n to correct the situation with braces or surgery.

Sippy Cups and Your child’s Teeth: What is baby bottle tooth decay and nursing mouth syndrome? Frequent exposure of a baby’s teeth to liquids such as fruit juice, milk or formula, which all contain sugar can give decay as soon as tooth erupts in the mouth. Decay can occur when baby gets bottle for a long or frequent period of time or put to bed with bottle. Make the child finish the bottle and feed water before putting child to bed. Many training cups like Sippy or tippy cups or no spill cups are essentially baby bottles in disguise. Carefully choose training cup. At first birthday, encourage child to drink from a cup. Do not let child carry the training cup around. Limit the time of exposure to sugary drinks. Once your child learns how to sip, the training cup has achieved its purpose and it should be replaced with regular cup. The American Dental Association says that first dental visit should be within six months to no later than the child’s first birthday.

Sipping, Snacking and Oral Health: Americans are consuming foods and drinks higher in sugar and starches more often and in larger quantity than ever before. For example, the average teen in U.S. consumes 81 gallons of soft drinks per year! “Grazing” habitually on foods with minimal nutrition value and frequently sipping sugary and acidic drinks can cause tooth decay.  Parents can reduce their children’s risk of tooth decay by helping them to develop good brushing and flossing habits like brushing after breakfast and after dinner. Monitoring beverage consumption, instead of soft drinks, encourage them to have water and low fat milk. Limit their snacks. If they crave a snack, offer them nutritious food. Sugary foods and drinks should be allowed only with meals because during meals, salivary flow increases and helps neutralize acid production and rinses food particles from the mouth. This is how sugar causes decay. Plaque + Sugar = Acid / Acid + Tooth Enamel = Decay. So food containing sugar can contribute to tooth decay. A diet with nutritional well-balanced meals that is good for your health is good for your teeth and gums. The amount of times sugary food stays in the mouth is more damaging than the amount f sugar consumed at one time. In other words it is better to eat 10 cookies in 15 minutes than sucking a candy for 2 hours. If you or your child like to snack between meals, try nutritional snacks like popcorn, nuts, cheese, raw vegetables etc.

Fluoride Intake: Fluoride helps built strong teeth. When tooth first erupts in the mouth, outer layer of the tooth (enamel) is not mature and is susceptible to decay. Good level of fluoride should be maintained in the mouth to mineralize it. Critical age for building strong teeth is birth to two years when baby teeth erupt and from six to thirteen years of age when permanent teeth erupt. Monitoring fluoride intake in children is very important. Excessive systemic fluoride can cause white patches on the permanent teeth. Supplementary fluoride should only be given to children whose water supply has less than .3ppm fluoride ion. Call local municipality or your water supply co. to find out your fluoride levels. Fluoride intake should be thoroughly evaluated before giving any supplemental systemic fluoride including multivitamins with fluoride! Juice, water bottles, baby food and formulas packaged in the different water supply area that your child consumes makes it even more difficult to assess the dosage and need. We give topical fluoride to children at their cleaning visit, making sure that they do not swallow it so there is no worry about systemic fluoride dose. It is safe and makes teeth stronger.

Schedule regular dental visits. Prevention is better than cure. Your dentist can monitor oral development and growth. Getting topical application of fluoride and dental check ups are necessary every 6 months to maintain good oral health.


Do we harm Child’s development with the use of Pacifier?

When a baby cries, it is often easier to quiet the baby by giving a pacifier and solving our immediate need for quiet and that the child has for comfort, but are we harming our child’s development in a long run? At birth, survival depends on the stimulation of the lips and tongue allowing instinctive sucking. Sucking provides nourishment, and sooths infant, providing physical and psychological comfort. This sucking reflex continues to about age of 3 to 31/2. By the age of 6 to 7 months, child learns to get nutrients through the food and need for sucking is greatly reduced. If a young child is seeking for calories and is instead provided with a pacifier. A pacifier is a nonnutritive device. A Pacifier use should be greatly decreased after 6-7 months age. The ideal time to stop this nonnutritive sucking is during the second to third year of life to prevent it’s harmful effects on infant’s growth. Studies show that pacifier use beyond 36 months, led to an open bite with the front teeth constricted growth of upper arch and expanded lower arch, developing tongue thrust (habitual protruded tongue position) and malocclusion (upper and lower teeth do not occlude properly).  It has also been speculated that bottle fed babies are more prone to stimulus of pacifier compare with the breast fed babies. Multiple studies have shown detrimental effect of pacifier use during the first week of life reducing exclusive and overall time spent breastfeeding by a significant amount. Studies have also shown pacifier use from birth to 12 months as a risk factor associated with middle ear infection. Pacifiers have been implicated in death from Asphyxia, due to its lodgment in the pharynx. Cords attached to pacifier may cause strangulation. A symmetrical nipple with large shield with ventilation holes and minimum dimension of 43 mm pacifier should be selected for a use to prevent it from rash and lodging in the pharynx. Babies who sleep in their parent’s bedroom and are offered pacifier do not sleep as deeply as those sleep in a separate bedroom without pacifier. Pacifier use may be protective against SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome). Pacifier should be offered for nap or nighttime sleep for all children up to one year of age to include the peak ages of SIDS when infant’s need for sucking is highest. Finger or thumb sucking habit usually lasts longer than pacifier sucking and is more difficult to correct the detrimental effect of finger sucking. Pacifier use should be delayed until infant is at least one month old. Duration of pacifier use should be controlled. Babies who suffer from middle ear infection, pacifier use should be restricted. Pacifier use should be reduced after 6-7 months age and should be ceased by 24-36 months to avoid harmful effects to oral and facial growth. Cessation of the habit is usually more of a challenge for parents than for the infant. Parent perception that the child requires the pacifier is the final issue that must be overcome. Abrupt permanent removal by parent is the most effective method for eliminating the habit. Sometimes, cutting nipple shorter or piercing with an ice pick to reduce sucking satisfaction may work to break the habit.

Sealants: Most tooth decay occurs on the chewing surfaces of the back molars because they have irregular surface with pits and grooves, which tend to trap food and bacteria. Sealant is a thin plastic coating, which flows into these pits and grooves and coats them so those bacteria can not cause decay. The teeth most likely to benefit from sealant are the molars just after they erupt at about 6 and 12 years of age. Children between 5 to 15 can benefit the most. Most importantly, there are no shots or drilling involved- just painting, just fun! You can avoid more costly procedure of filling later.


Mouth Guards: Sports equipment that protects the smile: The #1 Function of mouth guard is to help protect against Concussion & Brain Damage. Properly fitted mouth guard must be comfortable, tear resistant, odorless, taste-less and should not be bulky. They should also cause minimum interference with speech and breathing. Dentist made mouth guards can not only prevent tooth and jaw injuries but can also protect against brain concussions. The cost of dental injuries is significantly higher than the cost of mouth guard. Mouth Guards are especially necessary because the bone between the ends of jaw bone and the brain is so thin that blow to the chin or elsewhere on the lower jaw could cause severe damage to your brain. Mouth Guard also prevents Tooth Fracture and loss; cheek, tongue and lip laceration; and Neck & Jaw Joint Damage. Mouth Guards are strongly recommended for all contact and non contact sports that poses injury to mouth. Many sports organizations are mandating colored mouth guards so coaches and officials can readily see the compliance and colors are super popular with athletes. Dentist made Mouth Guards fit better, child can breath better, play about 16 to39% better than without a guard, Can protect better as they are made of several layers depending upon the sport. 

Oral Piercing: Not safe as you think

Piercing “body art” or a self-expression may seem daring, cool or stylish but it is not as safe as one thinks. Piercing tongue, lip or cheek can not only interfere with speech, swallowing or chewing and one can disregard it as just inconvenience until you find out that it can cause chipped or cracked teeth, damage fillings, injure gums, damage to nerve, hypersensitivity to metals, increased salivary flow and drooling or infection, pain and swelling. These harmful effects can happen during the piercing, soon after or even long after the procedure. Oral piercing can even cause life-threatening infection, if its not treated promptly. Don’t pierce on a whim; consider all the complications and side effects. It also requires constant attention and upkeep.

Orthodontics: Researchers show that as many as 80% of children with overbites have some

TMJ (joint where lower jaw meets the skull) problems. By correcting the alignment of teeth,

bite and jaw function, the normal growth of sutures in the face and head can occur.

Functional Appliance and early two phase orthodontics.: Sometimes orthodontic treatment can start at lot earlier age. Mouth Breathing/prolonged use of pacifier can cause narrow arches and unattractive smiles. By using Functional appliances we can help them, develop broad beautiful smile. Early use of functional appliances can prevent or eliminate narrow jaws, deep overbites, receding lower jaws with unhealthy jaw joints. Narrow jaw can interfere with speech; functional appliance can enhance child’s ability to speak. By developing arches at earlier age, crowding of the teeth can be eliminated. It can also eliminate need for braces or shorten the time of treatment with braces. By treating problems early with functional appliances, you can save money and time.

    Best things parents can do for children is to provide good education and give them a beautiful healthy smile to last for many years. So do not wait till all permanent teeth erupt, get your child functional appliance as soon as you notice problems. 75% of 12 year olds need orthodontic treatment. Yet 90% of a child’s face is already developed! By guiding facial development earlier, through the use of functional appliances, 80% of the treatment can be corrected before the adult teeth are present!

Invisalign/Braces: After all permanent teeth erupt, it is difficult to correct alignment of teeth with functional appliances. With proper diagnosis, dentist can decide if child needs braces or it can be corrected with ‘Invisalign’. Braces help align jaw and teeth. It is very important to maintain excellent oral hygiene and proper dietary habits while child is going through treatment otherwise child will get poor results from the treatment or can get several cavities and gum disease. ‘Invisalign’ is a treatment with several clear plastic removable retainers that child gets and each one he/she wear for two weeks before starting next one. It slowly moves teeth. It is lot easier to maintain oral hygiene with those retainers as they are removable.

Dr. Dipika Shah
723 North Beers Street Suite 2F
Holmdel, NJ 07733-1512

Holmdel Dentist serving Hazlet, Lincroft, Red Bank,Middletown, Colts Neck, Matawan, Aberdeen,
Manalapan, Marlboro, Freehold, Shrewsbury,Little Silver, Old bridge and Surrounding Area


Holmdel Dentist | Pediatric Dentistry. Dipika Shah, DDS, MAGD, LLC is a Holmdel Dentist.