Children’s Dentist in Locust Valley
Contrary to what you might think, baby teeth need to be taken care of just as intentionally as so-called “adult” teeth. It’s estimated that one in five children under the age of five has some degree of tooth decay, which can cause problems even after the affected tooth falls out. This is why finding a qualified, experienced child’s dentist is so important, from the earliest age possible.
Dental Care from Childhood to Adulthood
Our approach to children’s dentistry emphasizes different stages of physical, emotional, and mental growth. We aim to help provide your child with exactly what they need as they travel through life’s journey. We help children with:
- Exams and checkups by our gentle dentists and staff
- Preventing cavities — important even before “adult” teeth appear
- Developing great brushing habits (with the help of their parents)
- Minimizing dental anxiety, a key to lifelong dental health
- Developing control for their own dental health as they become teenagers and enter adulthood
Ready to begin your journey to a healthy smile?
What is Pediatric Dentistry?
Pediatric dentists in Locust Valley are educated and trained to care for infants and children through adolescence. They use skilled techniques to influence behavior and employ numerous treatments to keep young kids’ teeth healthy and strong, transitioning them into young adulthood.
Treatments used in pediatric dentistry include regular cleanings (even with baby teeth), fluoride treatments, orthodontics, and dental sealants.
What Age Should Parents Start Bringing Their Child to the Dentist?
The rule of thumb is that once you see a tooth in your baby’s mouth, it’s time to see a pediatric dentist. Be sure to schedule an appointment at some point before they turn one. As soon as teeth erupt, they should be cleaned regularly by the parents, and when two teeth erupt next to each other, you’ll need to start flossing as well. These tasks can be turned over to the child when they are able to accomplish them by themselves, usually before the age of six.
How Should Parents Prepare Their Child for the First Visit?
Parents can help their infants prepare for a visit to the dentist by modeling what things Dr. Koster may do in the visit, such as opening the mouth for inspection or moving a gloved finger or dental tool around the mouth, while sitting in a chair or on a parent’s lap.
Employing a gum cleaning routine and teething toys early on can also help newborns adapt to their first dentist visit. After eating or breastfeeding, wipe down your baby’s gums with a cloth or gauze to help keep your child’s mouth healthy and free of bacteria.
You can minimize the amount of time you spend in the waiting room, which can be an unpleasant experience for some babies, by filling out the new patient forms online ahead of your visit.
What Happens at the First Dental Visit?
At your baby’s first visit to Locust Valley Dentists, you’ll bring your child into a dental examination room and have them sit either on our dental chair or in your lap, whichever they’re more comfortable with. Dr. Koster will then examine their mouth, looking at any teeth that have erupted, checking the gums, bite, and frenum for any issues, and cleaning the teeth and gums.
Dr. Koster will also provide comprehensive information and recommendations for how to manage your baby’s oral health at home and answer any questions you may have — as many as you have! Finally, she’ll schedule your next appointment, usually around the six-month mark.
Do Children See the Dentists as Frequently as Teens & Adults?
In short, yes. The many growth stages that happen in children’s mouths from infancy to adolescence are important to monitor for infection, decay, or injuries. Children can get nearly any mouth disease that adults can, including gum disease, cavities, and poor dental hygiene. In addition, children are at risk for early childhood caries, a condition in which children develop two cavities before the age of six — cavities in baby teeth.
Kids of all ages should brush their teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste and floss correctly to remove food particles and plaque from between teeth. Although many things are different between children, teens, and adults, oral hygiene is not one of them.
Pediatric Dentistry FAQs
Why is pediatric dentistry important?
Pediatric dentistry is important to help children develop good oral hygiene habits early, prevent cavities or other issues before they arise, and check in on children’s development.
Do Pediatric dentists see adults?
Many dentists, including Dr. Koster, see both children and adults. Some dentists see only pediatric patients.
Do toddlers need dental insurance?
Toddlers can be covered by dental insurance plans because it is important for children to begin seeing a dentist at an early age.
Does my child need a pediatric dentist?
For children, parents can choose between a pediatric dentist or a family dentist. Pediatric dentists only see young patients, while a family dentist can treat patients of any age, including children. Some parents find it more convenient to choose one dentist who can treat their whole family.
How often do you take toddler to dentist?
Toddlers should generally see the dentist every six months.
What happens at your childs first dentist appointment?
A child’s first dental appointment involves a full exam of the teeth, jaws, oral tissues, gums, and bite. Your child’s dentist will check in on their overall dental health and development and may also perform a professional cleaning.
What is the difference between a general dentist and a pediatric dentist?
A general dentist treats patients at all ages regarding their oral health, while a pediatric dentist specializes in treating infants or children.
What skills do you need for dentistry?
Dentists should be knowledgeable and interested in science, have good eyesight and manual dexterity, and possess good communication skills.
What skills do you need to be a pediatric dentist?
Pediatric dentists should have good interpersonal skills, good communication skills, compassion, and a thorough understanding and interest in science.
Is Locust Valley Dentists right for your family?
- A convenient office location with hours that fit your busy schedule
- There’s no stress and no judgments here, just a focus on your health
- Our modern, calm, and relaxing office has everything you need
- Work with our friendly team and develop a deep understanding of your dental health
Meet Dr. Koster
Building a positive relationship with dental health (and the dentist) starts at a very young age. Dr. Adrianne Koster of Locust Valley Dentists is a kid-friendly children’s dentist who helps patients of all ages feel welcomed and relaxed. Her focus is on creating an environment where young patients feel comfortable asking questions about their health and develop an understanding of how their dentist can help them.
Every visit to Locust Valley Dentists is thoughtfully designed to increase your child’s interest in their dental health.
Dr. Koster is a graduate of The State University at Stony Brook Dental School. She completed her General Practice Residency at the Long Island College Hospital in Brooklyn, NY, where she treated an underserved community and continued to develop her approach to caring for kids and adults. During her early career, she worked at several prestigious Manhattan practices. She brings her experience, education, and expertise to Locust Valley Dentists, creating a kid-friendly practice beloved by parents and kids alike.
Ready to find a home for your family at Locust Valley Dentists?
If this is your first visit to our office, expect your appointment to take about an hour.
During this time, we’ll:
- Tour the office and introduce your family to our team
- Review your child’s medical and dental health histories
- Gently and thoroughly clean your child’s teeth and conduct a comprehensive exam
- Work with you to create a follow-up plan and schedule your next visit
You’ll leave feeling confident you’ve found the right children’s dentist!
No Insurance? No problem.
You and your child don’t need dental insurance to get world-class care from our kid-friendly dentists. At Locust Valley Dentists, we work with our patients and offer a variety of financing options. Wondering how much your child’s dental appointment will cost? We’re here to answer all of your questions.
Insurance & Financing
Our office works closely with parents and guardians to explain insurance benefits. We are able to work with many PPO insurance providers.
Our friendly front office team will help you file a claim for your child’s care and maximize your insurance benefits. If you have questions about payment options, contact our office to learn more.
" Dr. Koster is a great dentist who is patient, attentive, and gentle. She took the time to explain every treatment option available and made sure that all of my questions and concerns were addressed. The staff is very friendly and always willing to work around my schedule. I would definitely recommend Dr. Koster for your dental care. "
- Jeniza K.
" I love this office! Dr Koster knows what she’s doing and has great staff that are friendly and professional! What I appreciate the most is her attention to detail, looking out for my best interest and letting me know what’s happening with my health so I can take better care of myself. This Doctor is truly someone who cares about her patients!!! "
- Renee S.
" Dr. Adrianne Koster is Amazing! She is caring, gentle, extremely personable, and provides exceptional dentistry. The staff is very professional and nice. Thank you! I love my new smile. "
- Maria G.