General Dentistry, Poughkeepsie, Dutchess County, Hudson Valley, New York 12603


Fred S. Maron DMD

Dr. Fred S. Maron

Here are Dr. Maron’s answers to commonly asked dental questions. If you have any other dental questions, let us know.

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Children's dentistry

When will my baby start getting teeth?

The first teeth erupt when the baby is 7-14 months old. If the teeth are late coming into the mouth, do not worry because every child has a different eruption timetable. Remember that your child will always be unique.

What should I do if my child’s baby tooth in the front gets knocked out?

Clean the area from where the tooth came out with peroxide. Do not place the baby tooth back into the mouth because doing so might cause the tooth to fuse to the bone, preventing it from falling out when the new tooth erupts.

Are baby teeth important?

Yes, baby teeth (also known as primary teeth) are important. These teeth allow children to chew and speak. They also hold the space for the permanent teeth. Primary teeth have large nerves, and a cavity in the nerve will hurt as much as a cavity in an adult tooth.

At what age should I bring my child for the first dental visit?

We recommend age three for the first dental visit. At that age children are usually cooperative and can have a positive experience. Some of the dental organizations are recommending age one; however, at this early age the visit is more for the parent than the child. If the parent is already a patient, we tell the parent long before the child’s first visit what to do and what to avoid. For example, give the child a water bottle in bed—never a juice or milk bottle because juice and milk have natural sugars that cause tooth decay.

What do you do at the child’s first dental visit?

The hygienist will normally count and polish the teeth, and the dentist will do an exam. We avoid procedures, such as x-rays or fluoride treatments, which might be difficult for a three-year-old child to tolerate. Our main concern is that the child have a good experience.

What should I tell my child before his first appointment?

Tell your child that the hygienist will count and polish his teeth. Avoid phrases that will make your child fearful, such as “It won’t hurt.” Sometimes parents or siblings also scare children by recounting their own childhood experiences at the dental office. We have heard instances where patients tell their children that the dentist pulled out their teeth with pliers at their first visit. If a child comes to a visit with positive expectations, the visit will usually be a positive one.

How often should children come for their cleanings?

Having dental cleanings twice a year is usually adequate for children. This frequency allows us to catch cavities at an early stage.

Oral health care

How often should adults come for their cleanings?

Adults should come for their cleanings at least three times a year. With adults, we are concerned about controlling gum disease. The bacteria that we associate with destructive gum disease re-forms about three months after a cleaning. The cleaning disrupts bacterial colonies, allowing us to control gum disease. I did not say cure. Gum disease is similar to diabetes in that it is controllable but not curable. We can decrease the number of the bacteria, the amount of bleeding, and the loss of bone, but the mouth will always contain bacteria and hence the chance for gum disease to flare up.

Which toothpaste should I use?

The brand of toothpaste you use is less important than the amount you use. Toothpaste contains abrasive material like sandpaper. If you use too much toothpaste over the years, you will wear away the teeth. Many of you have notches in the teeth near the gum line. These notches were caused by the sandpaper-like effect of toothpaste.

Always use a low abrasive toothpaste that does not irritate the gums. Also, sodium lauryl sulfate, which makes toothpaste sudsy, and sodium pyrophosphate, contained in some anti-tartar toothpastes, sometimes irritate the gums. If you are sensitive to these chemicals, avoid toothpastes containing them. Consumer Reports lists many good options.

Which mouthwash should I use?

Our office likes mouthwashes that contain fluoride because they eliminate early decay. We also like non-alcohol mouthwashes. ACT fluoride rinses for children are excellent because they contain no alcohol and have fluoride. They also have a great dispenser!

Do I have to floss everyday?

Yes, daily flossing is necessary to remove the bacteria from between your teeth. Tooth brushing cannot reach these areas.

Is there anything I can do for bad breath?

If the odor is from the bacteria in your mouth, frequent dental cleanings will decrease the number of bacteria around your teeth. At home, you can also use a tongue cleaner and rinse with mouthwash that contains zinc. If the odor is from the mucous from a post-nasal drip, you have to see your physician for a remedy.

Can my teeth be whitened by over-the-counter products sold in stores?

All of the over-the-counter whitening products have some ability to whiten the teeth, for they all contain some form of peroxide to remove stain. The shortcoming is in their application. For example, Crest White Strips are only wide enough to apply the peroxide to the six front teeth. If you want to lighten more than those teeth, Crest White Strips is not the product to use.

Initially, we tell patients to try an over-the-counter whitening product. If it is unsatisfactory, we take impressions and make a custom tray to hold a stronger peroxide against the teeth. Patients use these trays at home for one hour each day.

Dr William Dorfman, the dentist who starred in Extreme Makeover, gave a talk at a local dental meeting several years ago. He owned the company that makes the Zoom bleaching light. He performed bleaching in his office and then sent patients home with bleach trays to finish the job. If the in-office bleaching was so effective, the patients would not have had to go home with bleach trays. We feel it is more cost-efficient for the patient to bleach the teeth using only the trays and to skip the in-office bleaching expense.

How often should I have x-rays?

You should have bitewing x-rays (checkup films for back teeth) every two years. Normally, we can spot decay before too much damage has occurred. In those patients with a high rate of decay, we take x-rays every year. About once every 10 years we take a full series of x-rays, which lets us examine the roots of all of the teeth.

How do you safeguard your patients against the transmission of infection?

Our office has a modern sterilization room with four sterilizers and two ultrasonic cleaners. We test the sterilizers weekly for their ability to kill microorganisms on the instruments. We sterilize almost all of our instruments in stainless steel cassettes, which we do not open until we treat you. This form of sterilization minimizes our handling of instruments.

Tooth and gum problems

What should I do if an adult tooth gets knocked out?

Place the adult tooth in milk or inside the mouth next to the cheek, and see the dentist within one hour. Studies show that reinserting adult teeth into the socket within an hour after they fall out increases their successful retention by the body. The live cells on the root surface are more likely to stay alive and reattach to the bone when they remain moist and intact on the root surface.

If my teeth do not hurt does that mean that I do not have any dental problems?

The lack of pain is not a good indicator of dental health. You can have cavities in the teeth with no pain. The pain usually will not appear until the decay has entered the nerve and infected it. This is a late warning stage that requires either root canal therapy or extraction. In addition, patients usually do not notice gum disease until the teeth are loose or abscesses form.

My parents always said that I have soft teeth. What are soft teeth?

I do not believe in soft teeth. Everyone has the same minerals in their teeth. In fact, teeth are harder than bone. However, our society has a high sugar and high acid diet that will soften teeth. Soda, Altoid mints, fruit rollups, and vitamin water are highly advertised products that are destructive to the teeth.

After you control the sugar and acid in your diet, we can use a variety of treatments to harden the teeth. Over-the-counter fluoride rinses, such as ACT, are useful. We also prescribe a high fluoride toothpaste, such as Prevident, and high calcium paste, such as MI paste. In addition, we can apply a fluoride varnish at an office visit and can fabricate fluoride trays for you to use at home.

When is having Invisalign® orthodontics with a general dentist appropriate and when is having traditional braces with an orthodontist appropriate?

Invisalign clear braces is ideal for tooth movement in adults and children whose jaw growth has ended. It is not designed to correct growth problems, such as a protruding upper or lower jaw, or major occlusal (bite) abnormalities.

Is there any alternative to gum surgery for severe gum disease?

Our office has started using the Perio Protect® system to treat gum disease when more conservative techniques, such as frequent dental cleanings, are not successful. Perio Protect involves forcing medication beneath the gum, where bacteria are found, by having the patient wear mouth trays that create a positive pressure. Depending on the severity of the disease, a patient may have to wear the trays for up to four times a day, for 10-15 minutes each treatment. When the disease is under control, the patient wears the trays twice a day for ten minutes each treatment. This method is attractive because it has a maintenance phase to prevent relapse.

Administrative issues

If I do not have insurance, should I wait for insurance coverage before seeing a dentist?

See a dentist for regular check-ups, even if you have no insurance coverage. Routine dental visits will allow us to find decay and gum disease at an early stage. If you have no insurance coverage, it will still be cheaper to have a small filling than a root canal. We spend most of our time restoring to health people who have not been to a dentist for many years. Do you want to be one of them?

What should I do if I have an emergency when the office is closed?

Our office recognizes that patients have dental problems outside of our office hours. When you contact our office after hours, the answering machine gives you instructions and a phone number to activate Dr. Maron’s pager. He promptly returns calls. In the event that the office is closed for vacation, the answering machine provides the phone number of the covering dentist.

What should I do if I cannot keep my appointment?

We understand that people’s schedules change. If you are unable to keep your appointment, please call us or e-mail us to let us know. We maintain a list of patients who want to move up their appointment times. When you give us timely warning of a cancellation, we are able to reschedule other people to your appointment time.

Do you call to remind people of their appointment times?

We do not call. We use Solutionreach™ software to send you e-mail and text message reminders of your appointments.

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Emergency care

Dr. Maron tries to see emergency dental patients during office hours on the same day the problem occurs. If you have a dental emergency, call early in the day.


"He has such a great bed side manner and talks to the child as much as he does the parent to inform them what he will be doing."



Our Solutionreach™ software will send you e-mail and text message reminders 1 week, 1 day, and 2 hours before your appointment. We can also customize the reminders to your preference.

If you want e-mail reminders from our office, you may have to set your spam software to allow Solutionreach.