Tyra J. Manso, A Trailblazer in Pediatric Dentistry
As a female, African American, Board Certified Pediatric Dentist, Dr. Tyra Manso was already a trailblazer. As a first time mother in 2014, Dr. Manso decided to take a year off to stay at home with her son. After her year at home, she then began developing her vision, plans, and concept for her own practice.
In 2016, she brought her vision, passion and skills to the community and established Montclair Pediatric Dental Care (MPDC). Dr. Manso created a modern, family-friendly practice that is a bright and happy oasis for children, filled with decor inspired by children’s creativity and artistry. MPDC is environmentally friendly with state-of the art, energy efficient equipment, and eco-friendly materials to treat her young patients. Today this “Woman In Business” is proud to have planted roots in her community, and to have built a practice that has withstood the challenges of the pandemic.
Dr. Manso is often referred to as a “kid whisperer” by parents of her patients and colleagues. Being around young patients and having the chance to inspire them “energizes me,” she says. Dr. Manso recommends beginning dental care by the age of one, which is a practice that follows the guidelines recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry.
Starting early is essential as baby teeth are important to a child’s health and development since they help children learn to chew, speak and smile. Additionally, baby teeth hold spaces for permanent teeth that are developing under their gums. With this in mind, preventive care is the guiding principle of the practice. Dr. Manso refers to establishing this early baseline as a Dental Home. “Children who have a dental home are more likely to receive preventive and routine oral health care throughout their lives,” she says.
At MPDC, new patients receive a cavity risk assessment, oral hygiene instruction and an age-appropriate prevention plan. “Children require different approaches to deal with their behavior, guide their dental growth and development to prevent future dental problems,” says Dr. Manso.
To prepare new patients for their first visit, Dr. Manso advises parents to be enthusiastic and to avoid using words, such as: needle, shot, pull, scrape, pain or hurt. To make her patients feel as comfortable as possible, she often suggests they bring along a favorite stuffed animal or doll for the visit. Dr. Manso also recommends parents visit the office website and social media for homecare tips and fun oral health related content to encourage her patients.
Since childhood development is a tenet of pediatric dentistry, Dr. Manso believes her patients, who age out at 18, should take an active role in their dental health. To help them, she created the Growing Smiles Club that recognizes them for their commitment to the prevention of cavities and gum disease. “The Club gives children a sense of ownership. They are members, a part of the process.”
Pediatric dentists are specialists who are required to complete a two-year advanced degree residency in pediatric dentistry that encompasses clinical protocols, child development principles and behavioral guidance. Dr. Manso is a Diplomate of the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry. In addition, the Montclair resident also serves on the Board of Trustees at Hackensack Meridian Health Mountainside Medical Center.
As a result of COVID-19, MPDC implemented many new safety measures to better protect patients and staff. Pre-COVID-19, Dr. Manso and her staff enjoyed routinely taking their preventive care message to the community by visiting schools and day care centers, which is a practice she hopes to resume in the future.
Dr. Manso is originally from Chicago, and went on to dental school at The University of Michigan School of Dentistry. She completed her specialty training for Pediatric Dentistry at NYU, Langone Hospital in Brooklyn, NY. Her pediatric rotation in dental school is when she first discovered her passion for inspiring young people. That same passion is what drives
her today as she balances family, small business ownership, and community involvement.
Montclair Pediatric Dental Care
31 Valley Road, Montclair | 973-771-5387