Wednesday, November 10, 2010

On Call with Dr. Martha Miqueo, DDS, Pediatric and Adolescent Dentistry, Orthodontics and friend to Pedimedica!

Dr. Miqueo is a leading authority in pediatric dentistry and orthodontics and is president of Vizstara Dental for Children and Orthodontics. Dr. Miqueo is also on staff as Attending Pediatric dentist at Hackensack University Medical Center, where she covers oral trauma and dental emergencies. Dr. Miqueo is an expert in the management of patients with cleft lip and palate, as well as the application of the laser technique for both soft and hard tissue.

Dr. Miqueo loves children and has three of her own. She feels that being a parent has made her a better practitioner because she is more understanding of parental anxieties towards treatment of their children.

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry
recommends that infants see the dentist for their first dental exam within 6 months of getting his/her first tooth or by their first birthda., but Dr. Miqueo believes that good oral health begins at birth!

Good Oral health Begins at Infancy

Babies are born with their primary (first) set of teeth formed underneath the gums. These teeth do not usually start to grow into the mouth until the child is six to eight months old. By age three, all 20 primary teeth should be in the mouth. A child's primary (first) set of teeth is very important. These teeth help a child eat and speak. They hold space for the permanent teeth and are very important for the child’s self image.

Around the age of six, a child's mouth will begin to grow to make space for the permanent teeth. Each baby tooth will be replaced by a permanent tooth. The permanent teeth begin to come into the mouth between the age of five and six and will continue to about age twenty one, when the third molars erupt.

It is important for children to develop good oral health habits at an early age. Practicing healthy habits can prevent or reduce tooth decay (cavities) in infants and children. Dr. Miqueo is happy to provide Pedimedica parents with answers to frequently asked question regarding children’s oral health as well as suggestion to implement good hygiene and preventative care.


When should I select a “Dental Home” for my child?

It is important to select a dental home early so that you can prevent problems from developing rather than treating them. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that you see a pediatric dentist by the age of 1.

What should I look for when selecting a dentist?

Check listings for practitioners in your area. Call and make an appointment to meet them even before your baby is born. Ask questions and inform yourself of preventive practices that are established before the teeth grow into the mouth.

Is it important to go to a Pediatric dentist or can I take my child to our family’s general dentist?

Your child should see a pediatric dentist, just like your child sees a pediatrician. A pediatric dentist has 2– 3 years of training beyond dental school. It is very important that your child feels comfortable and has a pleasant first experience.

How often does my child need to see the dentist? Is there a schedule of visits like there is with my pediatrician?

Your child should visit the dentist 2 times a year to receive an examination, cleaning, and fluoride treatment.

How do I know when my child needs to see an orthodontist?

It is recommended that a child see an orthodontist between the ages of 7-9, depending on the child’s dental age. Sometimes problems such as impacted canines can be prevented if detected early.

I heard it is important to brush my baby’s gums. Is that true, and why?

YES! It is important to brush the baby’s gums. That cleans the mouth and soothes the gums. It helps when teething and trains the baby for when it is time to start using a toothbrush.

Is there a difference between breast fed babies and bottle fed babies in regards to the child’s oral health?

In regards to oral health, neither the breast or the bottle should be used as pacifiers. Babies should be fed and detached.
You want to set these habits early so that as the teeth start to grow in they are protected. When milk pools in the mouth for long periods of time and is exposed to bacteria, cavities can develop.

Tips on implementing good oral health from birth-adulthood:

  • Learn how to take care of your baby’s mouth while you are pregnant.

  • Find a Pediatric Dentist early on before a problem develops.

  • Visit your Pediatric Dentist twice a year for check-ups.

  • See an Orthodontist when your child is between the ages of 7-9.

    For more information on regarding questions you may have on your child’s oral health you can contact Dr. Miqueo at Vizstara dental, 201-816-4000 or visit her website at