Preventive Dental Service Program at New York Methodist Hospital

Preventive Dental Service Program at New York Methodist Hospital

Date: July 5, 2007

Title: Preventive Dental Service Program at New York Methodist Hospital

Health Topic: Dental Medicine

New York Methodist Hospital recently received a five-year grant from the New York State Department of Health-Bureau of Dental Health to start a Preventive Dental Service Program. The primary goal of the program is to provide enhanced oral health care for children ages 12 months to 16 years, through education, counseling and increased clinical services."We are taking a proactive approach to providing parents with the necessary tools to ensure proper oral health for their children," said Robert Seminara, D.D.S., chief of dental medicine at NYM, who added that the program focuses on Brooklyn''s underserved communities. "The program provides comprehensive care with a specific focus on prevention."

To help reach out to Brooklyn''s youngest residents, NYM recently hired Brendan Wheeler, preventative dental service health educator, to provide oral health counseling and education in the waiting rooms of NYM''s outpatient pediatric clinic and Family Health Centers as well as at community health lectures and schools. "Knowing the proper oral care techniques is important because it allows parents and children to take responsibility for their dental health and build a better and brighter future for their teeth," said Mr. Wheeler, who will focus on topics such as oral hygiene, fluoride rinses, sealants, flossing, diet and nutrition as it pertains to oral health and the risk factors of poor oral care.

"It is extremely important to get parents to understand the value of early assessment because that leads to early intervention, which results in good oral health," said Reneida Reyes, D.D.S., section chief of pediatric dentistry at NYM, who added that dental caries (tooth decay) are the single most common chronic childhood disease.

NYM''s Department of Dental Medicine suggests the following oral health tips for parents:

  • Children should have their first dental visit four to six months after the emergence of the first tooth.
  • Children should have regular dental checkups every six months following their first birthday.
  • Instruct children to brush their teeth at least two times a day; once after breakfast and once before bedtime.
  • In order to decrease children''s risk of cavities, limit non-essential dietary sugars such as juice or candy.
  • Because flossing helps to remove food debris, both parents and children should floss daily.

In addition to providing oral health counseling, the Hospital''s Department of Dental Medicine offers pediatric clinical hours on Friday from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. and on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. To make an appointment with a physician associated with NYM''s Department of Dental Medicine, please call (718) 780-5410.New York Methodist Hospital''s Department of Dental Medicine will host a Pediatric Dental Awareness Day on Tuesday, July 24, 2007 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Medical Office Pavilion Lobby, 263 Seventh Avenue, Park Slope, Brooklyn. . The event will feature free dental screenings for children. For more information call (718) 780-5410.

The NYM Family Health Center of Downtown Brooklyn will provide free dental screenings on Monday, July 30, 2007, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at 210 Flatbush Avenue (between Bergen and Dean Streets), Brooklyn. For more information call (718) 783-0070. The NYM Family Health Center of Flatbush will provide free pediatric dental screenings on Friday, August 3, 2007, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at 1910 Nostrand Avenue (between Newkirk and Foster), Brooklyn. For more information call (718) 284-4440.

The NYM Family Health Center of Mapleton will provide free pediatric dental screenings on Wednesday, August 1, 2007, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at 5923 16th Avenue (at the corner of 60th Street and 16th Avenue), Brooklyn. For more information call (718) 259-6122.