February 2017
This Month's Newsletter

It's hard to believe Spring is less than a month away!


In this month's newsletter, we discuss dental health and important things to know about best dental practices.  In addition, with February as American Heart Health Month, we provide information on the key components toward a healthy heart. Finally, we include an article on thumb-sucking and when it should be addressed.  

Our goal is to further develop our relationship with our patients and create an open forum. We welcome your comments and ideas. If you would like to see something included in this newsletter, please email us at pedcenter.com@gmail.com  with ideas only, please no medical requests.

As always, we welcome you to share your experience with our practitioners with an online review. 

The Pediatric Center Staff
Dental Health - Important Things To Know
February is National Children's Dental Health Month. 

The American Dental Association offers important things to know about your child's teeth. 

There is an order of appearance of teeth, starting with the front bottom and top, and working it's way around. A baby is born with 20 teeth below their gums that start to typically show between 6 months and a year. Most children have a full set of teeth by three years old. 

Teething is a process that most babies experience. It can cause drooling, fussiness and sleeplessness during the baby and toddler years which is perfectly normal. If your child experiences fever, diarrhea or rashes, it would be a concern and you should speak to your physician.

It is important to use fluoride toothpaste as soon as teeth come through the gums. Decay can happen as soon as teeth appear.  For kids 0-3 years old, the amount of toothpaste is equivalent to a grain of rice. For 3+ years, it is equivalent to the size of a pea. Find a toothpaste with the ADA Seal of Acceptance. 

Kids need to floss too! If two teeth touch, it's time to start flossing.

You should never put your baby to bed with a bottle. Tooth decay most often occurs in the upper front teeth. Sugary drinks on the teeth at bedtime can promote tooth decay.

In addition, it's recommended not to share utensils with your child or "clean" a pacifier by putting it in your mouth. Cavity causing bacteria can be passed through saliva, which means you can be introducing germs to your child instead of protecting them.  The same premise stands for sharing forks and utensils. 

Water is the best beverage to give your child when they are thirsty. They should be drinking water with fluoride, as fluoride has been shown to reduce cavities by 25%. Sugary drinks (soda, sports drinks, juice) can cause cavities, contribute to weight gain and raise your child's insulin levels to an unhealthy level. 

When should your child see the dentist for the first time?
When your child gets in their first tooth or first birthday, it's time for their first dental visit. As soon as your child gets teeth, they can get a cavity. 

Ask your dentist about applying dental sealants to chewing surfaces of their teeth to seal out decay. They form an extra barrier between cavity-causing bacteria and teeth.

If you have any questions, please call and speak to one of our practitioners.

Source: American Dental Association Mouth Healthy
Heart Healthy Goodness
During the month of February, we are surrounded with an abundance of hearts - not veggie_juices.jpg only in the celebration of Valentine's Day, but also in recognition of February as American Heart Health Month. 

The American Heart Association dedicates itself to educating families and individuals on how to keep your heart healthy. They specifically have a program called "Life's Simple 7 for Kids" that highlights 7 simple ways for children to live better. 

Keeping your heart healthy is one of the most important ways to make sure you are feeling your very best. As a young person, if you start doing small things every day that keep your body healthy, you have a better chance of living a longer, happier and healthier life. 

To determine if your heart is healthy, the AHA advises you follow Life's Simple 7 which include:
1. Avoiding smoking & tobacco products (even second-hand smoke)
2. Be physically active every day
3. Eat a heart-healthy diet
4. Keep a healthy weight
5. Keep your blood pressure (and stress level) healthy
6. Keep your total cholesterol healthy
7. Keep your blood sugar healthy

What is heart disease?
Heart disease, also known as cardiovascular disease or CVD, is a very serious health condition that stops the heart or blood vessels from working properly and prevents blood from being delivered to many important parts of our body. Although some people are born with certain types of CVD, most people develop CVD as a result of poor lifestyle habits, such as eating unhealthy foods, not getting enough exercise or using tobacco. Heart disease can affect anyone at any age. 

Start In Childhood
It's important to start practicing healthy heart behaviors in childhood. Fact: children who have CVD risk factors at age 13 or younger can develop heart disease as young adults. They may have hardened arteries that look like the arteries of adults that are much older. 

In addition to avoiding tobacco products and unhealthy foods, it is known that children, teens and adults who are physically active have healthier bodies and minds. Regular physical activity keeps your heart healthy and strong and it helps you build healthy muscles, bones and joints. Physical activity can also raise self esteem, improve your mood, help you sleep better and give you more energy.

The AHA recommends anyone under the age of 20 years old gets at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous aerobic activity per day.

The other big component of Life's Simple 7 is eating a heart healthy diet which includes eating enough to fuel your body, not eating in excess. It also includes foods and beverages that contain whole grains, vitamins and minerals, are low in salt and added sugars and limited in the types of fat that harm your heart (saturated and trans fats). A diet rich in fresh fruits and veggies, lean proteins, whole grains (not processed), healthy fats and low in sugar is highly recommended. 

For a full guide on recommended practices, visit the AHA's Life's Simple 7 for Kids guidebook.
Thumb Sucking - Is It OK?
Babies have a natural inclination for the need to suck as a means to soothe themselves. It is typically most acute from 0-6 months, but the urge can continue as the child gets older. It is a normal action for babies to suck not only on thumbs, but also fingers, hands and pacifiers.

Thumb-sucking is a more common action of babies and can turn into a habit for children to use it as a means to comfort themselves when they are hungry, afraid, tired, bored or even anxious.

Up to the age 4, thumb-sucking is not an issue. After age 4, a child will be more at risk for dental or speech issues. It can cause teeth to be improperly aligned or push them outward. In regards to speech, it can affect Ts and Ds, cause a lisp or the need to thrust the tongue out when speaking. 

How to try to wean your child off of thumb-sucking
If your child is over the age of 4 and thumb-sucking as become more of a habit, there are home remedy options you can try to retrain the habit. 

Some treatments include
  • Setting rules for allowable times
  • Providing distractions
  • Remove items that trigger thumb-sucking like a security blanket
  • Wrap the thumb with a band-aid or tape
  • Offer praise and rewards for not thumb-sucking; for example, stickers on a calendar and celebrate when they reach a goal
It's important not to make your child feel shameful or embarrassed for sucking their thumb but to help them understand why it's important to stop. 

If after trying some of the home treatment remedies, your child is still having difficulty breaking the habit, make an appointment to speak with one of our doctors. There are other options including behavioral therapy, thumb or mouth devices or flavored drops.

In most cases thumb-sucking resolves itself if you give your child time. If you notice it is starting to become a habit - it's a good time to intervene sooner rather than later.
Do You Need A Pediatric Specialist?
If you are in search of a pediatric specialist, please know we are here to guide you.

We have a wide network of doctors we can refer to ensure you are in good hands.

We specialize in developmental & behavioral health and focus on positive parenting practices. We can offer guidance on depression, eating disorders, developmental concerns and many other issues.

You are not alone. 
Please call to make an appointment to meet with one of our physicians:  
The Pediatric Center Online Bill Pay
Online Bill Payment
The Pediatric Center offers the ease and convenience of online bill baby_laptopbuying.jpg payment.   

Simply visit our " Bill Payment & Insurance" page on our website. 

Payments Over The Phone
If you prefer, you can still make a payment over the phone by calling The Pediatric Center's billing department, HealthCare Billing, Inc:  
Toll Free:  877-852-9092  or
Local:  908-237-9092
On-Site Lactation Support Center

Reminder, T he Pediatric Center offers an on-site Lactation Support Center.

Our modern and private on-site lactation suite provides a warm and relaxed environment for the mother and infant to enjoy a positive breastfeeding experience. 

We also offer a free prenatal class every month, open to the public. 

To schedule your lactation consultation, attend our free prenatal class or make an appointment please call us at 908-508-0400.

Vaccine Education Center

Did you know our website includes a Vaccine Education Center where you can find the immunization schedule for your child?


Reminder - we are offering the new meningitis vaccine Trumenba in our office. Insurance companies have started to cover this vaccine. It is recommended it be administered to all students starting college as part of their pre-college physical.


View all the details here.

We Love Your Feedback!

Your feedback is very important to us! We would love to hear about your positive experience with our doctors and nurse practitioners.  


Did you know you can write and post a review right on our website? Click here.


You can use this page to provide feedback, kudos, or just share thoughts. 


Thank you for your kind words!

Free Prenatal Class
We offer a free prenatal class on the 3rd Thursday of every month with our own
Dr. McKegney!
Click here to learn more.
It's A Partnership
Resources for breastfeeding, immunization schedules, what to do if your child is sick, online references & much more! Click here.
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The Pediatric Center

556 Central Avenue, New Providence, NJ 07974



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