Pediatric Dentistry: An Important Part of Good Oral Care Habits
Your child’s first teeth won’t last forever, but that doesn’t mean you should neglect their care. By instilling good oral hygiene now in your small child, you can help them adopt those practices well into adult life.
Your child will start off with 20 baby teeth, which come in around the six- to nine-month mark. The first to erupt are the two lower front teeth, then the two upper ones.
Next up are the first molars, then canines, also known as eyeteeth. This is when teething may occur. You can do some things to ease his discomfort, such as gently wiping his teeth after each feeding with a washcloth. When your child hits the age of two, you can use a small, soft-bristled toothbrush and tiny drop of toothpaste.
First off, primary teeth guide the permanent, or adult, teeth, as they erupt through the gums. In essence, they hold the spaces into which these new teeth will come through. The tops of the permanent teeth (called the crowns) push up against the roots of the baby teeth, effectively making them resorb. This makes way for adult teeth to take their rightful place.
Baby teeth also allow your child to bite, chew, and speak properly all through childhood. Up until age six, she will have all baby teeth; after that and through the age of 12, she will sport a blend of both primary and permanent teeth.
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Age One: The First Dental Appointment
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry says kids should first see the dentist at the age of one to help develop and encourage proper pediatric oral hygiene techniques. The dentist will check for cavities and be on the lookout for developmental problems. Starting off with a positive experience at the dental office will ensure your child will feel at ease when it’s time for their six-month appointments.
As your child gets older and starts participating in sports, he or she should be fitted for a custom-made mouthguard which is made from a model of the teeth. Yes, you could purchase a mouthguard at the store but a custom made one will offer far better protection and prevent the need for emergency dental procedures later on.
Pediatric Dental Treatments
There are many dental treatments that can keep tooth decay at bay in children, such as:
Dental Sealants: To prevent cavities from forming, the pediatric dentist will apply a plastic coating that seals the grooves on the chewing surfaces of the molars. Such crevices are breeding grounds for bacteria.
Topical Fluoride: Fluoride helps the teeth become harder and more resistant to decay. Yes, your child probably gets some fluoride from your drinking water or in toothpaste, but a child dentist can provide a higher concentration for the best protection.
Root Canal Treatment: Root canals may be necessary in kids, too, and can save teeth from premature and malocclusion that may lead to orthodontic treatment.
Bonding: Sometimes chips and minor fractures occur to the front teeth and must be fixed with tooth-colored bonding materials made from durable resins.
Orthodontia: Around the age of seven, a child may experience malocclusions that require orthodontic treatment to ensure proper tooth positioning and jaw growth. This early intervention may prevent the child from having to go through full orthodontic treatment later.
Want to know more about pediatric dentistry? Don’t hesitate to call your trusted child dentist, Redwood Dental, at (800) 462-2222.