Children's Dental Health NJ

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The Children’s Dental Health Center is your best resource to keep your child’s smile happy and healthy. Check our blog often to find tips, best practices and up-to-date information for your child’s optimal dental health. This is also where you’ll find events and specials you won’t want to miss!

Here’s What’s Happening Now! 

Character Day at The Children’s Dental Health Center!

Reserve Your Spot Now!

Their First Dental Visit Is On Us!

Your child’s first dental visit is the most important visit they will have. Dr. Barbagallo explains why you should establish a dental home for your child early.

Establishing a dental home for your child early will help create a lifetime of healthy dental habits.

Schedule Your Child’s First Visit Now!


We Now Offer White Ceramic Crowns for Kids!all white crown for kids at childrens dental health center

A new alternative to stainless steel pediatric crowns has arrived at the Children’s Dental Health Center. Dr. Barbagallo is now offering white crowns to her patients. These ceramic crowns provide a natural-looking alternative to traditional stainless steel crowns without compromising on strength and durability.

Ready to learn more? Call our office at 201.871.3556 today!

Fluoride: Safe or Not?

Dear Patients,


As parents, we know your children’s health is the most important thing to you. We know there are a lot of questions and a lot of opinions when it comes to children’s health care. One of the prevalent questions when it comes to Oral Health is the safety of Fluoride.

Fluoride is a natural mineral that when added to your oral care, strengthens your teeth and helps prevent cavities. Did you know that Most US tap water contains fluoride and most bottled water doesn’t? Many people are using bottled water instead of tap water, which puts people at risk of fluoride deficiency and increases the chance of cavities.

small boy rinsing mouth with water


How Does Fluoride Strengthen Your Teeth?

 According to Colgate: “when it reaches your teeth, fluoride is absorbed into the enamel. It helps to repair the enamel by replenishing the lost calcium and phosphorous to keep your teeth hard. This process is caused by remineralization. When fluoride is present during remineralization, the minerals deposited into the tooth enamel help strengthen your teeth and prevent dissolution during the next demineralization phase.”

Why It’s Safe

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) “confirms that both the safety and benefits of fluoride are well documented. There has never been any scientific evidence linking fluoride to adverse health effects. In fact, the evidence consistently shows that fluoride is safe and effective in the amounts your toothpaste and household tap would provide”


Your Dentist

Dr. Minichetti


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When Is The Right Time To Get Braces?

Dear Patients, 

We know, as parents, there are so many health-related questions you ask yourself when caring for your children. One of the questions that parents find themselves asking is, when should my child get braces? Patients with orthodontic problems can benefit from treatment at nearly any age, however, an ideal time for placement of braces is between 10 and 14 years old, while the head and mouth are still growing and teeth are more conducive to straightening.




How long will your child have to wear them?

This depends upon your child’s treatment plan. The more complicated your child’s spacing or bite problem is, and the older you are, the longer it could take for treatment. Most patients can count on wearing full braces between 18 and 30 months, followed by wearing a retainer to make sure the set and align of tissues surrounding the straightened teeth.


Will Treatment Be Uncomfortable?

Your child may feel mild pressure when the interconnecting wires are tightened at each visit, as well as your child’s jaw feeling slightly sore after each visit,  but the discomfort is brief.


How Old Is Too Old?

In most cases, no age is too old for braces, if the patient’s gums and teeth are healthy. In fact, older patients have more of a need for braces now than they may have before.

Braces can have a great impact on your child’s life. Braces can help improve your child’s self-esteem. Early Correction can have an effect on jaw development throughout critical years, which results in better facial development, fewer speech defects, and improvement in your child’s appearance. Straight teeth are easier to keep clean compared to crowded, crooked, teeth.


Is Invisalign ®, right for your child? 

Your Dentist will design a series of smooth, plastic, unnoticeable aligner trays that have been custom designed for you and only you. You simply wear each tray in succession, for approximately two weeks, as prescribed.  Then you begin wearing the next successive tray. The trays are clear and can be removed for meals and for brushing. No one will even notice that your teeth are shifting and realigning as you go about your normal activities. 

Imagine – no metal brackets, no wires, no need for frequent dental visits to tighten your braces!  You can attend social events with confidence while improving your appearance. 

The trays can be removed, which allows for favorite foods to be eaten, unlike traditional braces which can break if something too hard or chewy is eaten. The smooth plastic trays are much more comfortable than protruding wires and metal brackets.  Another added benefit – teeth can be frequently and more thoroughly cleaned and flossed lessening the chance of dental and gum disease. One of the biggest challenges of having traditional braces is removing all the food that gets trapped in the brackets and wires. This can often lead to plaque buildup and eventually tooth decay.


Benefits of Invisalign vs. Braces



  • Looks Better – The biggest benefit of Invisalign is that the retainers are invisible. With Invisalign, you don’t go through a period of people commenting on your new braces. You won’t have to be worried about your smile in photos – all you will see in photos is the progress of your improving smile.
  • Comfortable to Wear – You may be wondering “are braces or Invisalign more painful?” Moving teeth around with Invisalign can be uncomfortable and painful, much like traditional braces. However, there are also fewer mouth and gum problems with Invisalign. Invisalign is made special for each person who wears it, so it is most comfortable for you.


  • Suitable for All Treatments – With braces, it doesn’t matter how difficult your case is.  Braces use anchors and an archwire to pull the teeth into place. They are the most powerful treatment method in moving teeth into a specific position.
  • Possible to Achieve a Perfect Result – Braces can achieve a better result than Invisalign. Braces have more force to move teeth into a specific position. Invisalign is limited in terms of how much teeth can be moved at a time.


Your Dentist, 

Dr. Minichetti


Schedule your child’s checkup today! Call us at 201-871-3556 or click here to connect with us online

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We’re Giving Kids a Smile in February

Dear Patients, 

Each year we strive to give back to the community which has given us so much. One of the most influential programs we are blessed to be a part of is, The Give Kids A Smile (GKAS) program. As February is National Children’s Dental Health Month it’s the perfect opportunity for the Children’s Dental Health Center at Englewood Dental to provide free dental care to improve the dental health of underserved children. Give Kids A Smile, launched by the ADA in 2003, is a way to spread awareness, as well as provide screenings, treatment, and education to children in New Jersey. Since the launch of the program, more than 5.5 million disadvantaged children have been given free oral health services. 

Participation in these events is a great way for communities and dental practices to ultimately terminate the dental health crisis children and families are facing. Most of the children helped through this program without these services, would otherwise be unable to eat, sleep or pay attention in school, causing long term more risky health problems, simply because of poor oral health. GKAS allows us to align our focus of health and education and give back to the children of Bergen County. Remember the way you monitor your family’s dental health now, will affect them for the rest of their lives. 

We hope you understand the importance of maintaining good oral care from birth and hope you can support and spread awareness of our attempt to ensure this is always an option for families, regardless of their financial standing. If you or anyone you know may benefit from this event, please call our office at 201-871-3556 for information on our 6th Annual GKAS event.

To learn more about Give Kids A Smile Foundation  or to give a donation check out their website:



Your Dentist, 

Dr. Minichetti


Schedule your child’s checkup today! Call us at 201-871-3556 or click here to connect with us online

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Say No To Soda: Healthy Drinks For Kids

Dear patients, 

During the Holidays it might seem extra hard for your child to resist sugar and soda, but try to convince them to have water instead.The sugar in soda mixes with bacteria in your mouth, creating even stronger germs that wear away teeth over time. Luckily, there are other alternatives to soda like seltzer or even fruit-flavored drinks. They may not have the same taste, but in the end, it will be healthier for your child. 


According to Colgate, the best drink to give your child is, in fact, tap water. “Why? It usually has added fluoride, which helps ward off tooth decay by strengthening the enamel on their teeth. Water’s zero-sugar content also makes it one of the healthiest drinks for kids available.” (Colgate)



Other alternatives apart from soda that will help your child: 


Milk is a healthy drink option for kids that promotes good oral health. High in calcium and protein, milk is a good source of phosphorus, which helps to strengthen the enamel in your growing child’s teeth just like fluoride. 


You might be surprised to see tea on the list of healthy drinks for kids. Black tea can stain teeth and sugary iced teas facilitate tooth decay, plain and unsweetened tea can actually benefit your children’s mouth.

Fruit Juice 

Juice, particularly 100-percent fruit juice, can have a healthy glow. You should treat juice like you would as Soda, only with moderation. Juice can be healthy, but high in sugars. 

Coconut Water 

Although coconut water does contain calories and sugar, it makes a healthier choice than other beverages like soda and sports drinks.

Smoothies – Some kid-friendly smoothie combinations include:

  • Kale and pineapple.
  • Spinach and blueberries.
  • Peach and cauliflower.
  • Strawberries and beets.


During the holiday season, it is especially important to keep your child’s health on track and ready for the new year! Try to teach your child fun healthy habits that can get them ready for the holiday season! 


Your Dentist, 

Dr. Minichetti 

Schedule your child’s checkup today! Call us at 201-871-3556 or click here to connect with us online!

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Halloween and the Holidays: Preventing Tooth Decay

Dear Patients,

With the neverending candy supply and yummy desserts served at fall and winter parties, Halloween is the commencement for all sweet heavy holidays. With this in mind, knowledge of tooth decay prevention is a big factor in helping to keep your mouth happy and healthy!

We should be cautious and limit the amount of sugary food we consume, but during the season of cavities, it’s extra important to be aware of potential tooth decay causes.

Here are some tips to help your kids enjoy Halloween!

  • Always make sure they brush and floss regularly- not just Halloween!
  • Be aware of your child’s brushing and flossing techniques as it is super important they are brushing away the candy stuck in their teeth.
  • Take notice of what candy they are consuming.
  • Hard candies stay in the mouth the longest leaving the most time for potential tooth decay.
  • Have your child consume more chocolate than candy.
  • Chewy and gummy candies get stuck in teeth and also end up spending the most time in the mouth
  • Sugar-free candy is beneficial!
  • Try to give your kids candy with the meals they have- it sounds crazy but trust us on this one!
  • Be sure they are drinking lots of water with the treats they consume. Water helps to rinse the mouth of sugars lessening the enamel contact.

It is important to watch what will effectively reduce your child’s risk of cavities and tooth decay. Candy should not be totally shunned, but it should also never serve as your child’s go-to snack. Make sure to follow up with these tips for a teeth-friendly Halloween and Fall!

Your Dentist,

Dr. Minichetti


Schedule your child’s checkup today! Call us at 201-871-3556 or click here to connect with us online

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How To Set A Proper Daily Hygiene Routine For Your Kids

Dear Patients,

To get a proper daily routine going for your children try these recommendations- They should be brushing their teeth at least twice a day. Children might find flossing difficult, but with the right tools, it can be fun and easy for them! You should be encouraging your child when starting this routine so that they understand how important it is! Kids learn from what they see, so if they see you brushing your teeth in the morning and evening, they will be more likely to do it, too.

Did you know that “[Flossing is] really a way to stimulate the gums, reduce plaque, and help lower inflammation in the area.” (


Tips for daily routines:

  • Using mouth-wash daily cleans those areas that are sometimes tricky for your child to brush.
  • Replace their toothbrush every 3 or 4 months, or sooner if it shows signs of wear and tear.
  • Floss your child’s teeth once a day. The use of floss sticks instead of regular string floss may be easier for both you and your child.



Does It Matter What Toothpaste My Child Uses?

Many children toothpastes are flavored with child favorable tastes to enhance their brushing. You should select your child’s favorite taste. Also, look for a toothpaste that carries the American Dental Association’s (ADA).

How to make brushing teeth fun!

Crank up your child’s favorite song and have a two-minute dance party. Try reading a 2-minute story using all your best voices. Let them watch their favorite video for 2 minutes.

Reward Good Brushing Behavior

If your child likes stickers, make a reward chart and let them add one every time they brush. If they are a reader, let them pick out the bedtime story. It’s also as simple as asking to see their smile and saying “ I’m so proud of you” following a hug or a high five.


Healthy habits:
Making ideal food choices is significant for your child’s daily routine habits! To help control the amount of sugar your child consumes, always try to read food labels and choose foods and beverages that are low in added sugars.


Should add:                                                           What to avoid:

Fruits and vegetables                                             Candy

Grains                                                                          Soda

 Dairy                                                                           Chips

 Lean proteins                                                          Cookies




Your Dentist,

Dr. Minichetti


Schedule your child’s checkup today! Call us at 201-871-3556 or click here to connect with us online

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Braces vs. Invisalign®– Finding the Perfect Fit for You

The debate between braces and Invisalign® can be tricky without the proper information. Both orthodontic treatments have several benefits, and ultimately, both work to give your child that perfect, straight-toothed smile, but where do they differ? It’s extremely important to take care of both, whether they have Invisalign® or braces.


Braces vs. Invisalign® Treatment

Braces sit on the surface of your teeth in the form of metal or resin brackets. In the case where you need more intense orthodontic care, braces will be more beneficial. Braces require a few more trips to the orthodontist, but they work a little faster when trying to straighten teeth or close any gaps in the teeth.

Invisalign®, on the other hand, is a custom-made, computer-generated treatment. This form of braces is often considered due to its clear composition, leaving patients more confident in their progressing smile. Due to the wire and brace-free wear, Invisalign® is typically more comfortable than regular braces. The treatment is also typically shorter than braces, depending on the case, and requires very few visits.

There are several ways the two treatments differ, but many of the differences lie in the self-care category. Since braces are permanent, unlike Invisalign®, they are treated much differently.


Taking Care of Braces

Braces require a little more care when it comes to cleaning. It is very easy for things to get stuck in your braces, which is why they come with more restrictions. You and your child must be prepared for the tedious care braces require.

  • Try to brush your teeth after every meal. This ensures the removal of stuck food particles and helps to avoid more dental problems.
  • Make sure to take off any rubber bands before brushing.
  • Floss (with specialized threader floss) at least once a day to really make sure no food particles get left behind.
  • Rinse with water and mouthwash to rinse out any leftover food particles and to kill bacteria.
  • Avoid foods hard, sticky, and chewy foods. These can get stuck in your braces and teeth, and are very hard to remove. Crunchy foods like pretzels or popcorn can even break your wire!
  • If you play a sport, wear a mouthguard! This will help to avoid any damage to the braces and other oral injuries.
  • Follow your orthodontists’ instructions! This means wearing your rubber bands as assigned if told to.


Taking Care of Invisalign®

Cleaning Invisalign® tends to be a little easier than braces due to the removable trays, but it isn’t any less important. It is crucial to keep your trays clean to keep them clear, odorless, and germ-free. If not taken care of, they can become discolored and build up plaque and bacteria, which in turn can cause enamel damage.

  • They must be rinsed EVERY time they are taken out of your mouth. Doing this ensures being rinsed of food, bacteria, and other particles.
  • Clean your teeth! This means brushing and flossing regularly.
  • Brush your aligners regularly, as well. You should be brushing them every time you remove or put them back in, but be sure to be gentle with them.
  • Make sure to regularly soak the trays. Invisalign® provides you with special cleaning supplies for this.
  • Use a clear, antibacterial soft soap to keep your aligners clean.
  • Do NOT eat with your aligners in!
  • Do NOT use toothpaste to clean them!
  • Do NOT use colored and/or scented soap– this could stain them.
  • Be sure not to misplace your trays or their case.

Disclaimer: Invisalign® is only as effective as you make it. Since you have the ability to remove it yourself, you must make sure you are wearing as needed (usually 22 hours a day). Not wearing as directed can lead to shifts in your teeth, which may cause the aligners not to fit properly or as comfortably.

It is very important that your child follows these tips, depending on which treatment they have, to ensure no unnecessary trips to the orthodontist. For more information regarding either, contact us at (201) 871-3555 or check out the information on our website here!


Schedule your child’s checkup today!  Call us at 201-871-3556 or click here to connect with us online

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Is It Time For My Teen’s Wisdom Teeth To Be Extracted?

School is out and summer is in session– everything would be just perfect if your kid would stop complaining about their aching jaw or sore gums. But, of course, their wisdom teeth are finally making an appearance. Once this third set of molars rudely interrupts what could have been your child’s perfect dental record, their removal may become very imperative. Although cavemen took to utilizing their wisdom teeth, we no longer need them and actually, don’t really have room for them in our mouths. This final eruption of molars often can cause major problems as they typically grow in misaligned, crowd the other teeth, or even cause jawbone and/or nerve damage. Even partial eruptions of wisdom teeth result in exposed and open gum lines which can lead to tooth decay, infection, and even gum disease. Most of the time, any pain or discomfort brought on by wisdom teeth means that it’s time for them to be extracted!

Did you know the stress of end-of-the-year exams can trigger increased infections around wisdom teeth?

The idea that stress can contribute to wisdom teeth-related pain has recently surfaced. This was discovered as more and more cases erupted where students noticed pain around the time of their exams. However, stress-induced wisdom teeth pain is not really reversible, but it can be somewhat preventable through the use of meditation and other stress-relieving methods. This still doesn’t mean take a yoga class as a means of fixing your oral problems. Instead, if your child is experiencing a pain that feels more severe than the pressure of their wisdom teeth just growing in, it is best to book an appointment with your dentist as soon as you are able to.


Are your children home for the summer?

This is the perfect time to have their wisdom teeth removed giving enough time to fully recover! As soon as the symptoms of erupting wisdom teeth are apparent, one should consider having them removed to prevent further pain, discomfort, and worsening oral conditions. The recovery process is a little tedious and uncomfortable for most patients, so we recommend leaving an open schedule for your child after their procedure. Some major swelling of the cheeks will most likely occur, to which many opt to have ice packs glued to their face until the swelling recedes.

Another hindrance to the typical teenage lifestyle is the new, very temporary, diet they will have to take on. Doctors recommend an all liquid, or soft foods, diet. But fear not, ice cream happens to be one of the most commonly consumed foods during the wisdom teeth recovery process, so you can avoid the complaining and questions asking when they can eat pizza again.


Not sure if your wisdom teeth are in the condition to be extracted?

Come by the office for a FREE consultation (regular value $165). Our Englewood, NJ teen dentistry provides a fully equipped modern surgical suite with a board certified anesthesiologist, perfect for more comprehensive dental treatment like wisdom teeth removal. It is important to keep your children’s teeth monitored, especially if they are constantly busy or living out of the house during the school year.


Schedule your child’s checkup today!  Call us at 201-871-3556 or click here to connect with us online.

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It’s Time to Put Your Children (and You!) at Ease!

How many times have you had to lure your children with treats and promises after hearing “I don’t want to go to the dentist!” More than you can count– I’m sure. My goal as a pediatric dentist is to help kids establish a good dental home in which they feel safe, relaxed, and comfortable. One of the tools that have made us successful is through the use of sedation methods such as Nitrous Oxide and IV sedation.

At our office, we value our patient’s safety and comfort immensely, and because of this, we offer our patients special products to be used during their procedures. Nitrous Oxide (laughing gas) is a safe and efficient sedative that makes it so your child does not recognize pain or discomfort during their procedure. Usually, the effects of nitrous oxide subside as soon as the mask is removed, so if that is the only anesthesia your child receives, then they will be able to move about the day, free of any lingering numbness.

Would Sedation Benefit Your Child?

There are several cases where children would greatly benefit from dental sedation. For example, children with high anxiety are great candidates, as they may prevent work from being done if conscious during the procedure. Children that are young and have difficulty cooperating would also benefit from receiving sedation. I also recommend sedation for children receiving a large amount of oral work who more than likely would not be comfortable with the lengthy duration of the procedures. Lastly, a candidate for sedation would be a special needs child that may have difficulty cooperating if conscious. Since our first priority is to make kids feel safe here at the Children’s Health Center, our goal is to create an easy, pleasant, and stress-free dentist visit for both you and your children.

Now you may be wondering which sedation method is best for your child? Through consultations, proper preparation, and our amazing staff– finding what is right for your child is easy! We have a Board Certified Anesthesiologist on our team– with an expertise in pediatric anesthesia– who will find the safest method of care to the highest standard.

What Happens During the Visit?

Most healthy children above the age of two are recommended to receive some sort of sedation in addition to their treatment. Once the procedure has been planned, your child’s pediatrician must give their approval along with your child’s medical history, so that the dentist and anesthesiologist may review it in advance. We want to be able to address all of your concerns, as well as your child’s, so to do so, our anesthesiologist will call you prior to the procedure to discuss the plan of action.

We will provide your child with an oral premedication syrup upon arrival, to get a headstart on making your child feel sleepy, relaxed, and cooperative. Since the child typically does not remember walking into the procedure room, placing the IV shouldn’t be a problem, and your child will fall asleep soon after. Our anesthesiologist will continuously monitor your child’s vital signs and breathing, while the sedation procedure is occurring.

Although easy, relaxing, and painless, the entirety of the procedure may keep your child drowsy for part or the rest of the day, so we recommend you spend a calm and quiet day at home.

Let us help create the most efficient and stress-free trip to the dentist for you and your child!

Your Pediatric Dentist,

Dr. Agnes Barbagallo


Schedule your child’s checkup today!  Call us at 201-871-3556 or click here to connect with us online.

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It’s Time to Get to Know Our Pediatric Dentists (and what they do!)

The Children’s Dental Health Center at Englewood Dental has been serving patients for several years– mainly in the Northern New Jersey and New York metropolitan area.  Our staff maintains their high-quality and continuous search of excellence for their patients as they take part in several continuing education courses each year. Our team continually strives to create the most exceptional dental care for our patients, and believes establishing a secure dental home early on is a must!

The staff at The Children’s Dental Health Center are educated in practices of all areas of pediatric dentistry and orthodontics.  Our facility has specialized equipment and staff to properly and specifically address your child’s oral needs while maintaining a warm, friendly, and caring environment.


Meet Our Pediatric Dentists!

Dr. John Minichetti: General Dentist, Director of Implant and Reconstructive Dentistry of Englewood, has years of experience in cosmetic dentistry, implantology, and prosthetic reconstruction. He is regularly thought of as Bergen County’s leading dentist for keeping patients relaxed and satisfied.



Dr. Anna HongCosmetic Dentist, Co-Director of Englewood Dental has more than 20 years of private practice experience; provides sleep apnea therapy, cosmetic, laser, dental implant prosthetics, general, and preventative dentistry




Dr. Nadine Keegan, M.D.: the Director of Anesthesia and Medicine at the Center for Implants and Aesthetics; She is experienced with special needs patients and provides sedation in our modern, fully-equipped surgical suite.



Dr. Jennifer Akkaway: a pediatric dentist with expertise in the unique needs of children and adolescents; As part of the Children’s Dental Health Center at Englewood Dental, Dr. Akkaway and her staff take time to teach their patients of proper dental maintenance techniques and ensure stress-free and fun visits. She is also experienced in working with children with special needs.


Dr. Agnes Barbagallo: treats patients of the Children’s Dental Health Center at Englewood Dental; has a deep sense of commitment to her community and has a passion for connecting with children. Under her care children with special needs are treated with special care.




Dr. Karolyn Kopcza: treats children and adults at Englewood Dental in need of interceptive orthodontics, corrective orthodontics, and other smile-improving treatments. She wants to help her patients gain confidence by giving them beautiful new smiles.



Our very well-established dentists will partner with your children to ensure comprehensive, diligent dental care, for a lifetime of strong oral health.


What It Takes to Become a Pediatric Dentist and What Makes it Special

Becoming a pediatric dentist, or pedodontist is a long and challenging path.  Along with the typical high school and undergraduate studies, one must also complete Dental School, a 4-year study in which they will receive a Doctor of Dental Surgery or Doctor of Dental Medicine.  Once completed, aspiring dentists move on to a 2-year residency program where they will gain experience and skills, in this case, relating to kid patients.  Within this program, one learns about child psychology, childhood development, child-related pharmacology, and more in the pediatric dentistry field. The last step in the process is receiving your license, and in most states, this means completing a degree from an accredited dental school and passing a written and practical examination, and possibly pediatric dentistry exam as well.

According to the Commission on Dental Accreditation, pediatric dentists are trained with different standards to address the special needs of children and adolescents, like pediatric sedation, thumb sucking therapy, fluoride treatments, baby tooth root canals, dental sealants, and more.  Pedodontists must know the correct products to recommend to patients, as well as create a welcoming, enjoyable, friendly environment.


Our Mission Statement

At The Children’s Dental Health Center at Englewood Dental, we believe there should be a close relationship between the doctor and patient. Due to this, we have advanced training in all of the specialties of dentistry and orthodontics. This allows our patients to receive comprehensive dental care within one office. By avoiding referrals to outside specialists, anxiety is avoided, time and money are saved, and patients receive the optimal continuity of care. Our amazing staff is committed to providing your children with the highest quality of care. We will make every effort to ensure that your child’s first visit with us is a comfortable and informative experience.


Schedule your child’s checkup today!  Call us at 201-871-3556 or click here to connect with us online.

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