Where is your office located?
We are conveniently located at 1696 Mass. Ave. in Cambridge, between Harvard and Porter Squares. You can reach us easily by taking the Red Line on the Alewife route to either Porter Square or Harvard Square and walking a few short blocks. For those driving, here is a small parking lot behind our office and metered on-street parking a well.

How are appointments scheduled?
Patients are seen on an appointment basis and so we ask that you call in advance so we may reserve time for you. We respect the value of your time and ask that you extend the same courtesy to other patients. If you cannot keep an appointment, please notify us as at least 48 hours in advance so we can accommodate another patient. As a courtesy, our office will confirm your appointments by telephone or e-mail.

Do you offer a payment plan for services rendered?
We make every effort to keep your costs down while maintaining a high level of professional care. You are given the option to pay for treatment at the time of your visit. However, if your treatment program requires several visits, you will be given an estimate and asked to make financial arrangements with one of our staff members. We offer a payment plan up to 6 months with no interest. Inquire by phone or at the time of your visit for more information. We also accept all major credit cards.

Do you accept my insurance plan?
We accept most dental insurance plans. To make sure that your plan is one which we accept and with which we are familiar, please contact our office before your initial visit.

What can I expect during my initial visit?
During your first visit, we will do a thorough and comprehensive examination, including an oral cancer screening. We will gather all necessary records, which may include a full set of X-rays and models. All information that we obtain will be carefully evaluated so that we can customize a treatment plan in order to meet your individual needs.

Can I feel safe and secure?
Infection control and patient protection are of the utmost importance in our office. We carefully follow OSHA standards in order to ensure our patient’ safety with state of the art sterilization techniques.

My family member isn’t comfortable conversing in English. Do you have staff members who can communicate in their native language?
We have a multi-language office and have fluent speakers in English, Spanish, Amharic, Cantonese, Creole, Farsi, French, Mandarin, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Tagalog, Toishanese and Ukrainian.

What if I have an emergency?
When you or your child needs urgent dental treatment, your dentist stands ready to help. Please keep the emergency number available and convenient. We recognize that emergencies do arise and we will do everything to respond to your needs as quickly as possible. If the office is closed, our answering service will forward a message to the doctor who is on call. If an emergency arises during office hours, please call the office and you will be seen as quickly as possible.

What should I do if my child’s baby tooth is knocked out?
Contact your pediatric dentist as soon as possible.

What should I do if a permanent tooth is knocked out?
Find the tooth and rinse it gently in cool water. (Do not scrub it or clean it with soap — use just water!) If possible, replace the tooth in the socket and hold it there with clean gauze or a wash cloth. If you can’t put the tooth back in the socket, place the tooth in a clean container with milk, saliva, or water. Get to the dental office immediately. (Call the emergency number if it’s after hours.) The faster you act, the better your chances of saving the tooth.

What if a tooth is chipped or fractured?
Contact your dentist immediately. Quick action can save the tooth, prevent infection and reduce the need for extensive dental treatment. Rinse the mouth with water and apply cold compresses to reduce swelling. If you can find the broken tooth fragment, bring it with you to the dentist.

What about a severe blow to the head or jaw fracture?
Go immediately to the emergency room of your local hospital. A blow to the head can be life threatening.

What should I do if my family member or I have a toothache?
First, rinse the irritated area with warm salt water and place a cold compress on the face if it is swollen. Take acetaminophen for any pain, rather than placing aspirin on the teeth or gums. Finally, see a dentist as soon as possible.

When should I take my child to the dentist for the first check-up?
In order to prevent dental problems, your child should see a pediatric dentist when the first tooth appears, or no later than his/her first birthday. “First visit by first birthday” sums it up.

How often does my child need to see the pediatric dentist?
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends a dental check-up at least twice a year for most children. A check-up every six months is recommended in order prevent cavities and other dental problems. However, your pediatric dentist can tell you when and how often your child should visit based on their personal oral health.

What is the difference between a pediatric dentist and a family dentist?
Pediatric dentists are the pediatricians of dentistry. A pediatric dentist has two to three years specialty training following dental school and limits his/her practice to treating children only. Pediatric dentists are primary and specialty oral care providers for infants and children through adolescence, including those with special health needs.

Are baby teeth really that important to my child?
Primary, or “baby,” teeth are important for many reasons. Not only do they help children speak clearly and chew naturally, they also aid in forming a path that permanent teeth can follow when they are ready to erupt.

Are thumbsucking and pacifier habits harmful for a child’s teeth?
Thumb and pacifier sucking habits will generally only become a problem if they go on for a very long period of time. Most children stop these habits on their own, but if they are still sucking their thumbs or fingers past the age of three, a mouth appliance may be recommended by your pediatric dentist.

Toothpaste: when should we begin using it and how much should we use?
Fluoridated toothpaste should be introduced when a child is 2-3 years of age. Prior to that, parents should clean the child’s teeth with water and a soft-bristled toothbrush. When toothpaste is used after age 2-3, parents should supervise brushing and make sure the child uses no more than a pea-sized amount on the brush. Children should spit out and not swallow excess toothpaste after brushing.

How do I make my child’s diet safe for his teeth?
Make sure your child has a balanced diet, including one serving each of: fruits and vegetables, breads and cereals, milk and dairy products, and meat fish and eggs. Limiting the servings of sugars and starches will also aid in protecting your child’s teeth from decay. You can also ask your pediatric dentist to help you select foods that protect your children’s teeth.

How do dental sealants work?
Sealants work by filling in the crevasses on the chewing surfaces of the teeth. This shuts out food particles that could get caught in the teeth, causing cavities. The application is fast and comfortable and can effectively protect teeth for many years.

How do I know if my child is getting enough fluoride?
Have your pediatric dentist evaluate the fluoride level of your child’s primary source of drinking water. If your child is not getting enough fluoride internally through water (especially if the fluoride level is deficient or if your child drinks bottled water without fluoride), then your pediatric dentist may prescribe fluoride supplements.

What can I do to protect my child’s teeth during sporting events?
Soft plastic mouthguards can be used to protect a child’s teeth, lips, cheeks and gums from sport related injuries. A custom-fitted mouthguard developed by a pediatric dentist will protect your child from injuries to the teeth, face and even provide protection from severe injuries to the head.

What should I do if my child falls and knocks out a permanent tooth?
The most important thing to do is to remain calm. Then find the tooth. Hold it by the crown rather than the root and try to reinsert it in the socket. If that is not possible, put the tooth in a glass of milk and take your child and the glass immediately to the pediatric dentist.

How safe are dental X-rays?
There is very little risk in dental X-rays. Pediatric dentists are especially careful to limit the amount of radiation to which children are exposed. Lead aprons and high-speed film are used to ensure safety and minimize the amount of radiation.

How will my child be protected from X-ray exposure?
Lead body aprons and shields will protect your child. Today’s equipment filters out unnecessary X-rays and restricts the X-ray beam to the area of interest. High-speed film and proper shielding assure that your child receives a minimal amount of radiation exposure.

Why should X-ray films be taken if my child has never had a cavity?
X-ray films detect much more than cavities. For example, X-rays may be needed to survey erupting teeth, diagnose bone diseases, evaluate the results of an injury, or plan orthodontic treatment. X-rays allow dentists to diagnose and treat health conditions that cannot be detected during a clinical examination. If dental problems are found and treated early, dental care is more comfortable and affordable.

How can I help prevent tooth decay?
Parents should take their children to the dentist regularly, beginning with the eruption of the first tooth. Then, the dentist can recommend a specific program of brushing, flossing, and other treatments for parents to supervise and teach to their children. These home treatments, when added to regular dental visits and a balanced diet, will help give your child a lifetime of healthy habits.

How can I help my child enjoy good dental health?
The following steps will help your child be part of the cavity-free generation:
* Beware of frequent snacking
* Brush effectively twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste
* Floss once a day
* Have sealants applied when appropriate
* Seek regular dental check-ups
* Assure proper fluoride through drinking water, fluoride products or fluoride supplements

What dental problems could a baby have?
Early Childhood Caries (also know as baby bottle tooth decay or nursing caries). Your child risks severe decay from using a bottle during naps or at night or when they nurse continuously from the breast.

How can I prevent decay caused by nursing?
Avoid nursing children to sleep or putting anything other than water in their bed-time bottle. Also, learn the proper way to brush and floss your child’s teeth. Take your child to a pediatric dentist regularly to have his/her teeth and gums checked. At-will nighttime breast-feeding should be avoided after the first primary (baby) teeth begins to erupt. The first dental visit should be scheduled by your child’s first birthday.

When should bottle-feeding be stopped?
Children should be weaned from the bottle at 12-14 months of age.

When should I start cleaning my baby’s teeth?
With the eruption of the first teeth, clean your child’s gum with a soft infant toothbrush. For children under 2 years old, use only a smear of fluoridated toothpaste. For children over 2, a pea-sized amount of fluoridated toothpaste should be used. Remember that most children under 7 years of age do not have the dexterity to brush their teeth effectively, so work with your child to teach good brushing habits.

Any advice on teething?
From six months to age 3, your child may have sore gums when teeth erupt. Many children like a clean teething ring, cool spoon, or cold wet washcloth. Some parents swear by a chilled ring; others simply rub the baby’s gums with a clean finger.

When your child needs urgent dental treatment, your pediatric dentist stands ready to help. Please keep the emergency number available and convenient.

What should I do if my child’s baby tooth is knocked out?
Contact your pediatric dentist as soon as possible.

What should I do if my child’s permanent tooth is knocked out?
Find the tooth and rinse it gently in cool water. (Do not scrub it or clean it with soap — use just water!) If possible, replace the tooth in the socket and hold it there with clean gauze or a wash cloth. If you can’t put the tooth back in the socket, place the tooth in a clean container with milk, saliva, or water. Get to the pediatric dental office immediately. (Call the emergency number if it’s after hours.) The faster you act, the better your chances of saving the tooth.

What if a tooth is chipped or fractured?
Contact your pediatric dentist immediately. Quick action can save the tooth, prevent infection and reduce the need for extensive dental treatment. Rinse the mouth with water and apply cold compresses to reduce swelling. If you can find the broken tooth fragment, bring it with you to the dentist.

What about a severe blow to the head or jaw fracture?
Go immediately to the emergency room of your local hospital. A blow to the head can be life threatening.

What should I do if my child has a toothache?
First, rinse the irritated area with warm salt water and place a cold compress on the face if it is swollen. Give the child acetaminophen for any pain, rather than placing aspirin on the teeth or gums. Finally, see a dentist as soon as possible.

What is enamel fluorosis?
A child may face the condition called enamel fluorosis if he or she gets too much fluoride during the years of tooth development. Too much fluoride can result in defects in tooth enamel.

Why is enamel fluorosis a concern?
Most cases of fluorosis are mild and will appear as tiny white specks or streaks that are often unnoticeable. However, in severe cases of enamel fluorosis, the appearance of the teeth is marred by discoloration or brown markings. The enamel may be pitted, rough, and hard to clean.

How does a child get enamel fluorosis?
By swallowing too much fluoride for the child’s size and weight during the years of tooth development. This can happen in several different ways. First, a child may take more of a fluoride supplement than the amount prescribed. Second, the child may take a fluoride supplement when there is already an optimal amount of fluoride in the drinking water. Third, some children simply like the taste of fluoridated toothpaste. They may use too much toothpaste, then swallow it instead of spitting it out.

How can enamel fluorosis be prevented?
Talk to your pediatric dentist as the first step. He or she can tell you how much fluoride is in your drinking water. (Your local water treatment plant is another source of this information.) If you drink well water or bottled water, your pediatric dentist can assist you in getting an analysis of its fluoride content. After you know how much fluoride your child receives, you and your pediatric dentist can decide together whether your child needs a fluoride supplement.
Watch your child’s use of fluoridated toothpaste as the second step. A pea-sized amount on the brush is plenty for fluoride protection. Teach your child to spit out the toothpaste, not swallow it, after brushing.

Should I just avoid fluorides for my child altogether?
No! Fluoride prevents tooth decay. It is an important part of helping your child keep a healthy smile for a lifetime. Getting enough — but not too much — fluoride can be easily accomplished with the help of your pediatric dentist.

Can enamel fluorosis be treated?
Once fluoride is part of the tooth enamel, it can’t be taken out. But the appearance of teeth affected by fluorosis can be greatly improved by a variety of treatments in esthetic dentistry. If your child suffers from severe enamel fluorosis, your pediatric dentist can tell you about dental techniques that enhance your child’s smile and self-confidence.

What is a healthy diet for my child?
A healthy diet is a balanced diet that naturally supplies all the nutrients your child needs to grow. And what’s a balanced diet? One that includes the following major food groups every day: Fruits and Vegetables; Breads and Cereals; Milk and Dairy Products; Meat, Fish and Eggs.

How does my child’s diet affect her dental health?
She must have a balanced diet for her teeth to develop properly. She also needs a balanced diet for healthy gum tissue around the teeth. Equally important, a diet high in certain kinds of carbohydrates, such as sugar and starches, may place your child at extra risk of tooth decay.

How do I make my child’s diet safe for his teeth?
First, be sure he has a balanced diet. Then, check how frequently he eats foods with sugar or starch in them. Foods with starch include breads, crackers, pasta and such snacks as pretzels and potato chips. When checking for sugar, look beyond the sugar bowl and candy dish. A variety of foods contain one or more types of sugar, and all types of sugars can promote dental decay. Fruits, a few vegetables and most milk products have at least one type of sugar.
Sugar can be found in many processed foods, even some that do not taste sweet. For example, a peanut butter and jelly sandwich not only has sugar in the jelly, but may have sugar added to the peanut butter. Sugar is also added to such condiments as catsup and salad dressings.

Should my child give up all foods with sugar or starch?
Certainly not! Many provide nutrients your child needs. You simply need to select and serve them wisely. A food with sugar or starch is safer for teeth if it’s eaten with a meal, not as a snack. Sticky foods, such as dried fruit or toffee, are not easily washed away from the teeth by saliva, water or milk. So, they have more cavity-causing potential than foods more rapidly cleared from the teeth. Talk to your pediatric dentist about selecting and serving foods that protect your child’s dental health.

Does a balanced diet assure that my child is getting enough fluoride?
No. A balanced diet does not guarantee the proper amount of fluoride for the development and maintenance of your child’s teeth. If you do not live in a fluoridated community or have an ideal amount of naturally occurring fluoride in your well water, your child needs a fluoride supplement during the years of tooth development. Your pediatric dentist can help assess how much supplemental fluoride your child needs, based upon the amount of fluoride in your drinking water and your child’s age and weight.

My youngest isn’t on solid foods yet. Do you have suggestions for her?
Don’t nurse your daughter to sleep or put her to bed with a bottle of milk, formula, juice, or sweetened liquid. While she sleeps, any unswallowed liquid in the mouth supports bacteria that produce acids and attack the teeth. Protect your child from severe tooth decay by putting her to bed with nothing more than a pacifier or bottle of water.

Tips for your child’s diet and dental health.
* Ask your pediatric dentist to help you assess your child’s diet.
* Shop smart! Do not routinely stock your pantry with sugary or starchy snacks. Buy “fun foods” just for special times.
* Limit the number of snack times; choose nutritious snacks.
* Provide a balanced diet, and save foods with sugar or starch for mealtimes.
* Don’t put your young child to bed with a bottle of milk, formula, or juice.
* If your child chews gum or sips soda, choose those without sugar.

What are sealants?
Sealants protect the grooved and pitted surfaces of the teeth, especially the chewing surfaces of back teeth where most cavities in children are found. Made of clear or shaded plastic, sealants are applied to the teeth to help keep them cavity-free.

How do sealants work?
Even if your child brushes and flosses carefully, it is difficult – sometimes impossible -to clean the tiny grooves and pits on certain teeth. Food and bacteria build up in these crevices, placing your child in danger of tooth decay. Sealants “seal out” food and plaque, thus reducing the risk of decay.

How long do sealants last?
Research shows that sealants can last for many years if properly cared for. So, your child will be protected throughout the most cavity-prone years. If your child has good oral hygiene and avoids biting hard objects, sealants will last longer. Your pediatric dentist will check the sealants during routine dental visits and can recommend reapplication or repair when necessary.

What is the treatment like?
The application of a sealant is quick and comfortable. It takes only one visit. The tooth is first cleaned. It is then conditioned and dried. The sealant is then flowed onto the grooves of the tooth and allowed to harden or hardened with a special light. Your child will be able to eat right after the appointment.

How much does it cost?
The treatment is very affordable, especially in view of the valuable decay protection it offers your child. Most dental insurance companies cover sealants. Some companies, however, have age and specific tooth limitations. Check with your benefits provider about your child’s coverage and talk to your pediatric dentist about the exact cost of sealants for your child.

Which teeth should be sealed?
The natural flow of saliva usually keeps the smooth surfaces of teeth clean but does not wash out the grooves and fissures. So, the teeth most at risk of decay and therefore most in need of sealants – are the six-year and twelve-year molars. Many times the permanent premolars and primary molars will also benefit from sealant coverage. Any tooth, however, with grooves or pits may benefit from the protection of sealants. Talk to your pediatric dentist, as each child’s situation is unique.

If my child has sealants are brushing and flossing still important?
Absolutely! Sealants are only one step in the plan to keep your child cavity-free for a lifetime. Brushing, flossing, balanced nutrition, limited snacking, and regular dental visits are still essential to a bright, healthy smile.

What are athletic mouth protectors?
Athletic mouth protectors, or mouth guards, are made of soft plastic. They are adapted to fit comfortably to the shape of the upper teeth.

Why are mouth guards important?
Mouth guards hold top priority as sports equipment. They protect not just the teeth, but the lips, cheeks, and tongue. They help protect children from such head and neck injuries as concussions and jaw fractures. Increasingly, organized sports are requiring mouth guards to prevent injury to their athletes. Research shows that most oral injuries occur when athletes are not wearing mouth protection.

When should my child wear a mouth guard?
Whenever he or she is in an activity with a risk of falls or of head contact with other players or equipment. This includes football, baseball, basketball, soccer, hockey, skateboarding, even gymnastics. We usually think of football and hockey as the most dangerous to the teeth, but nearly half of sports-related mouth injuries occur in basketball and baseball.

How do I choose a mouth guard for my child?
Any mouth guard works better than no mouth guard. So, choose a mouth guard that your child can wear comfortably. If a mouth guard feels bulky or interferes with speech, it will be left in the locker room.

You can select from several options in mouth guards. First, preformed or “boil-to-fit” mouth guards are found in sports stores. Different types and brands vary in terms of comfort, protection, and cost. Second, customized mouth guards are provided through your pediatric dentist. They cost a bit more, but are more comfortable and more effective in preventing injuries. Your pediatric dentist can advise you on what type of mouth guard is best for your child.