Pediatric Dentist talks importance of dental insurance, free dental screening for kids on Long Island

HAUPPAUGE, L.I.—They don’t just cause cavities.

Dental problems also affect children’s self-esteem and can also result in poor nutrition and sleep problems.

"Right now, there are many people that do not go to the dentist because they don’t have dental insurance," pediatric dentist, Ivan Vazquez said.

That’s not the case for 11-year-old Brandon Romero.

He got braces a few months ago and was back at the dentist today, to get two teeth pulled.

“Tooth number 5 and 12, which are the premolars. We had to take them out to make room for those teeth to move,” Dr. Vazquez said.

Something Brandon and his mom realize would be very expensive if they didn’t have dental insurance.

"Having Fidelis Care has made me feel comfortable so they can have routine dentist visit," Sara Romero said.

Dr. Ivan Vazquez is a pediatric dentist in Hauppauge, Long Island.

He says the key to a healthy and beautiful smile is preventative care, starting as early as 6 months or a year old.

"Basically everything starts through your mouth. You smile better if you have good teeth, you eat better if you have good teeth, and your health will improve," Dr. Vazquez advised.

He’s been Brandon’s dentist since he was three.

"Dr. Vasquez, every time I come into the dentist office, he says have you been brushing your teeth or have you been using dental floss. I always say yes or sometimes no," Brandon Romero said.

Making sure all kids have healthy teeth is so important to Dr. Vazquez, he’s participating in the “Give Kids a Smile” event that takes place at the Long Island Aquarium February 3rd.

Each child who registers gets a free dental screening and treatment, as well as free admission to the aquarium.

All in the effort to make sure each child has a chance at a beautiful smile.

"I enjoy treating the children. It keeps me young and its fun to come to work everyday and get that fear out of going to the dentist. You make it fun," Dr, Vazquez said.

For more info on how to pre-register your child for the free event, click here.