Pediatric Dentistry in Hackensack, NJ
Trustworthy Care For The Entire Family
Here at State Street Smiles, we’re invested in your child’s present and future health as much as you are! We accommodate treatments and services to meet your child’s needs while making sure they feel as comfortable as possible.
Whether it’s sedation options, special equipment or our overall gentle touch, our compassionate team will do everything in our power to help your child have a great dental experience. Learn about our comprehensive pediatric services and how you can enjoy the ease of having one dental home for your whole family.
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Early Infant Treatment
Children’s primary (baby) teeth can erupt, or become visible along the gumline, as young as six months old. That’s why it’s highly recommended to establish a “dental home” for your child by the age of one. In fact, we would love to see your child as soon as their first tooth comes in.
This early visit allows us to work with you and your child to prevent problems before they happen. For example, babies can develop bottle-induced cavities which can be easily treated by one of our specially trained pediatric dentists.
Lip and Tongue Tie
Tongue and lip ties are common and happen when a membrane of skin is thick, short, or malformed. Tongue ties are caused when a flap of skin (frenum) is more attached to the tip of the tongue and the bottom of the mouth. This affects the mobility of the tongue and, depending on the severity, some people may not be able to extend their tongue past their own lips.
If you run your finger between your upper lip and your gums, you’ll find a flap of skin similar to what you felt under your tongue. When a newborn has a lip tie, their upper lip is attached too far down the gumline. This causes the lip to curl downwards instead of upwards and can have a significantly negative effect on healthy and productive nursing.
Lip and Tongue Tie ⎼ FAQs
Both tongue and lip ties can lead to your baby having a hard time latching on when breastfeeding. When an infant can’t latch on properly, they may not stimulate enough milk production, leading to poor feeding and insufficient weight gain. A poor or incomplete latch can also cause discomfort and soreness to the mother’s breasts.
If left untreated, the discomfort for the mother can get so bad that it causes her to stop nursing. As they get older, children with lip or tongue tie can have:
- Difficulty chewing solid foods
- Reflux disorders
- Speech difficulties
- Increased risk for cavities due to the inability to swallow properly and pooled food
- Orthodontic problems
If your baby has a lip or tongue tie, Dr. Eddie can perform a procedure called a frenectomy to remove the extra flap of skin. Our Hackensack office proudly uses the iplus Waterlase laser to ensure a more precise and comfortable procedure for your little one.
During a frenectomy, Dr. Eddie will release the frenum with laser pulses without even touching the tissue, gently separating it from its attachment. The actual procedure takes 3-5 minutes, and full healing with new skin is evident within 10 days.
It’s likely your child will experience mild postoperative discomfort after a frenectomy. The surgical area will feel sore for about two to three days, but your baby will be able to nurse immediately after the procedure. We’ll provide you with home-care instructions along with vitamin E capsules to aid the healing process.
Finding the right dentist in the Northern New Jersey area for your child’s lip or tongue tie procedure can be challenging — especially one that’s properly trained to use the Waterlase. It’s important to do your research and talk to friends, pediatricians, and lactation consultants.
Consider your options and feel confident that when it comes to choosing Dr. Eddie and State Street Smiles, you’ve come to the right place. Dr. Eddie is a Laser Frenectomy specialist who can help ease your fears and help your little ones latch and eat better. Once you meet our warm and friendly team, you’ll know you’ve found the right place!
Dental Visits & Cleanings
At State Street Smiles, we take pride in our high-quality professional cleanings and work hard to help your child feel comfortable and make the cleaning process easy. Dental cleanings should be performed every six months to prevent plaque buildup and tooth decay. This allows us to help maintain your child’s teeth and gums for a healthy, long-lasting smile.
Your child’s cleaning appointment will include additional preventive services such as an exam, a fluoride treatment, necessary x-rays and an orthodontic evaluation. We’ll also teach your child how to maintain their oral health, including proper brushing and flossing habits, in a kid-friendly and easy-to-understand manner.
Our Hackensack practice offers nutritional counseling as a part of our thorough exam process. If you’d like, our staff can provide suggestions for snacking and other food habits to keep your teeth as strong and healthy as possible.
Cavity Risk Assessment
Early childhood cavities, also known as baby bottle tooth decay, is a serious disease that can destroy your child’s teeth without proper treatment. Fortunately, Dr. Eddie and our pediatric team can prevent this from happening and help keep your child’s teeth on track.
During your child’s dental visit, we’ll provide a thorough examination that includes a cavity risk assessment. This allows us to identify your child’s habits, along with their diet and health history to determine their risk for developing cavities. After completing the assessment, we’ll be able to provide your child with effective and personal recommendations to help prevent cavities.
Childhood Cavities ⎼ FAQs
There are several factors that can cause early childhood cavities, or baby bottle tooth decay. Letting your baby fall asleep with a bottle, whether with breast milk or formula, can cause decay as the liquids that contain sugar stay around the teeth. Childhood cavities can also be caused by prolonged nursing or allowing your infant to walk around carrying a bottle.
If left untreated, early childhood cavities can result in serious consequences to your child’s oral health and overall wellness. This may include:
- Tooth loss
- Ear and speech problems
- Crooked permanent teeth
- Severe pain
- Poor self-image
- Tooth decay
Our Preventive Pediatric Services
Fluoride has been proven to be beneficial to teeth– it strengthens enamel and prevents decay. As part of your child’s preventive care, we provide fluoride treatment in the form of a gel that’s highly concentrated. The solution will be applied with a swab or brush or even placed in a tray that’s held in the mouth for several minutes.
Too little or too much fluoride can be detrimental to your child’s teeth. We’ll work with you to make the best decisions in regards to your child’s preventive care.
Even with good oral hygiene, some teeth have fine grooves or pits that accumulate plaque in narrow spaces that your toothbrush can’t reach. When plaque accumulates, it can lead to cavities and other types of tooth decay.
Our Hackensack practice uses dental sealants as an effective measure to prevent cavities on your child’s molars as the teeth come in. To apply sealants, we’ll brush a plastic material onto the tooth to fill in narrow grooves and prevent cavity-causing build-up. This allows us to make healthy teeth possible and set your child on the right track for lasting oral health.
Our Restorative Pediatric Services
Tooth Colored Fillings
The health of primary (baby) teeth is essential for healthy, long-lasting permanent teeth. That’s why it’s important to treat decay in them as well. Small cavities in baby teeth can be quickly restored using a tooth-colored, composite filling material.
Depending on size and location, these fillings can often be performed without having to use local anesthetic, making the treatment even easier for your child.
Baby Tooth Crowns
If your child is having problems with their primary teeth, a crown may be necessary to prevent further damage and decay. A dental crown, also called a cap, is used to cover a damaged tooth to restore its strength while enhancing its appearance, shape, and alignment.
Our crowns are pre-made and don’t require multiple visits, making them a cost-effective choice for children. At State Street Smiles, we offer white crowns for baby teeth in addition to stainless steel crowns, which are the more traditional option.
Baby Tooth Root Canal
Deep cavities can get close to or into the pulp (nerve) of a tooth. The pulpal tissue can become irritated and inflamed, causing severe toothaches for children. If the inflammation and infection continues without treatment, the tooth will likely eventually abscess and need an extraction.
To save the tooth, we can perform a pulpotomy, also known as a baby tooth root canal, to ensure your child doesn’t lose vital teeth prematurely. During pulp therapy, the infected part of the nerve is removed and a sedative medication is placed inside the tooth to prevent sensitivity and promote healing. The tooth is then capped with a crown following the procedure.
The loss of a single tooth can have a major impact on your overall health and appearance. We’ll use every possible measure to prevent tooth loss, but a tooth may need to be extracted if the following occurs:
- Severe decay
- Infection or abscess
- Orthodontic correction
- Malpositioned teeth
- Fractured teeth or roots
- Impacted teeth
The Extraction Process
During your child’s dental visit, we’ll carefully examine their teeth and take high-quality X-rays here at our Hackensack office. This will help us better understand the tooth’s shape, position, and surrounding bone to determine if extraction is necessary. Based on the degree of difficulty, you may be referred to an oral surgeon.
It’s likely your child will experience mild pain or discomfort following an extraction, but this should subside within a few days. To help relieve the pain, Dr. Eddie recommends taking an over-the-counter painkiller and applying an ice pack to the affected area to reduce swelling.
Additional Pediatric Care
Athletic guards, also called night or mouth guards, are used to protect the jaw, tongue, cheek lining, and teeth during physical activity and sports. Our athletic guards are custom-made from flexible plastic and molded to comfortably fit the shape of your teeth. They’re an important defense against concussions, absorbing the force of collisions to the head or chin.
If your child is active in athletics, or experiencing any concerning issues with their mouth, teeth or jaw, please let us know. We’ll take an impression of their teeth to create a custom-fit mouth guard for their specific needs.
General Anesthesia/Hospital Dentistry
Your child’s safety, comfort, and ultimate health are our top priorities. In some cases, it might be necessary to administer anesthesia to ensure their treatment is thorough and comfortable. General anesthesia is only administered in Hackensack University Medical Center.
This arrangement allows Dr. Eddie to focus strictly on your child’s dental care while a specially trained anesthesiologist focuses on their overall health and safety. We’ll work very closely with you on your child’s complex case to make things as safe and simple as possible.
At State Street Smiles, we use cutting-edge technology, such as laser dentistry, to make your child’s visits to our office comfortable and effective. From cavities to gum disease, laser dentistry is used to treat a wide range of dental and cosmetic problems.
For children, lasers can even be used to perform a frenectomy that helps with nursing, speech, or alignment issues. They’re a safer, more comfortable alternative to the common handheld scalpel, drills and other tools. Best of all, laser dentistry can reduce pain and minimize the use of local anesthetic.
Pediatric Dentistry ⎼ FAQs
We find that young or particularly anxious children often have a better experience at the dentist during the morning hours. At this time of day, children are well-rested, refreshed, and more cooperative. In the afternoon, they’re often tired and cranky, putting us and your child at a disadvantage from the start.
We ask that you take this into consideration when scheduling appointments and try not to schedule their appointments during nap time. It’s especially important to schedule your child’s restorative procedures, like a filling or extraction, in the morning. A more involved procedure can be difficult for your child to endure if they’re exhausted from a long day of school and play.
In most cases, your child will be able to return to school or daycare after their appointment is completed. This will depend on the type of appointment, the amount of treatment completed, and your child’s ability to tolerate the procedure.
We understand that early appointments are often inconvenient for parents! Please understand that we make this recommendation with your child’s best interest in mind.
It’s very important to maintain the health of your child’s primary teeth. Neglected cavities can lead to problems which affect developing permanent teeth. Primary teeth, or baby teeth, are important for:
- Smiling, speaking, and self-confidence
- Proper chewing and eating
- Providing space for the permanent teeth and guiding them into the correct position
- Permitting normal development of the jaw bones and muscles
While the front four teeth last until 6-7 years of age, the back teeth don’t fall out until age 10-13.
At State Street Smiles, we start seeing patients as early as one year old. We understand that concerned parents have many questions about their child’s oral health. To help make it easier, we’ve created a special visit and orientation called “Toddler Time” to introduce our youngest patients and their parents to our outstanding team and office.
We’ll also take the time to teach your child proper oral hygiene techniques to prevent cavities and answer any questions you may have.
Your child’s healthy teeth and brilliant smile depend on you! To prevent early childhood cavities, it’s important to get in the habit of putting your baby to bed without a bottle. This includes bottles filled with formula, milk, juice, sugar water, or soda pop. If your baby must have a bottle to go to sleep, fill it with water instead. Dr. Eddie recommends following these additional tips:
- Don’t let your infant walk around with a bottle
- Start teaching your infant to use a cup between 6-12 months
- Trade your baby’s bottle for a training cup by age one
- Check with your doctor or dentist to make sure your child is getting enough fluoride each day
Here at State Street Smiles, baby tooth crowns are commonly used to:
- Replace a large filling when there is little tooth structure remaining
- Protect a weak tooth from fracturing
- Restore a fractured tooth
- Cover a discolored or poorly shaped tooth
- Cover a tooth that has had root canal treatment
Schedule Your Child’s First Visit Today
Drs. Dina and Eddie Jackson, along with our outstanding team, are invested in your child’s oral health and overall well-being.
To get started, contact our Hackensack office at (201) 487-7030 or fill out a contact form located below. We’ll do everything in our power to ensure your child has a fun, welcoming, and comfortable dental experience with us.