To boost oral health, NYC Health+Hospitals adds dental hygiene services to pediatric practices

NYC Health + Hospitals on April 11, 2023, announced that it now offers preventive dental hygiene services at its pediatric practices within the 11 public hospitals, in addition to Gotham Health Belvis and Morrisania neighborhood clinics. Dental hygienists will perform assessments, provide oral hygiene education, and apply a dental treatment called fluoride varnish that can help prevent tooth decay, slow it down, or stop it from getting worse. Hygienists will also assist parents in obtaining a referral to a NYC Health + Hospitals pediatric dental practice so their children can get a comprehensive dental exam and treatment, if necessary. The new program is part of a broader effort to educate families about the importance of oral health and hygiene. Children who begin seeing a dental provider at an early age are less likely to develop cavities, tooth decay, and other conditions that may lead to more serious health issues later in life. To make an appointment, please call 1-844-NYC-4NYC. 

“Childhood caries, or cavities, are the most common chronic disease of early childhood, and this ‘silent epidemic’ is one that I see every day as a pediatrician while caring for my patients in clinic,” said NYC Health + Hospitals Pediatrician and Director of Pediatric Primary Care Innovation Shivali Choxi, MD. “Oral health care is integral to providing high-quality and comprehensive well-child care. Without the former, you cannot have the latter, and why it is so important to integrate dental care within pediatric primary care. Both pediatricians and embedded dental hygienists are uniquely positioned to provide the important counseling, care, and connection to the pediatric dentist, to promote the overall health and wellbeing of children and their families.” 

“Establishing good habits with children at an early age, with primary teeth, sets the correct course for good oral health throughout life,” said NYC Health + Hospitals/Jacobi | North Central Bronx Chair of Dentistry and Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery Victor Badner, DMD, MPH. 

NYC Health + Hospitals is committed to bringing education and preventive dental hygiene services to pediatric practices for the ease, convenience, and benefit of its youngest patients and families. Children see their pediatrician for well-baby and well-child visits nine times in the first two years of life. The pediatric and dentistry teams at NYC Health + Hospitals see these regular check-ups as an opportunity to educate families about oral health and hygiene. Children should start seeing a pediatric dentist when their first tooth appears or no later than their first birthday, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics Dentistry. 

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