It's natural for parents to want to know everything there is to know about their child's dental care because it will allow them to ensure that their kids are getting nothing less than the best. However, it's more than just a parental instinct, because being armed with information about pediatric dentistry prevents parents from being caught off guard and blindly trusting a practice when they suggest treatment for their kids. That's why at Hersch Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontics, one of our top priorities is providing parents with all the information they need, so control over their child's oral health care is in their hands. That's why we've put together this collection of various pediatric dentistry resources and links to other reliable sites, so you can be equipped with the information necessary to guide your child towards a future full of bright and healthy smiles.
It’s natural for parents to want to know everything there is to know about their child’s dental care because it will allow them to ensure that their kids are getting nothing less than the best. However, it’s more than just a parental instinct, because being armed with information about pediatric dentistry prevents parents from being caught off guard and blindly trusting a practice when they suggest treatment for their kids. That’s why at Hersch Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontics, one of our top priorities is providing parents with all the information they need, so control over their child’s oral health care is in their hands. That’s why we’ve put together this collection of various pediatric dentistry resources and links to other reliable sites, so you can be equipped with the information necessary to guide your child towards a future full of bright and healthy smiles.
*list of resources*
Normally the first tooth erupts between ages 6 to 12 months. Gums are sore, tender and sometimes irritable until the age of 3. Rubbing sore gums gently with a clean finger, the back of a cold spoon or a cold, wet cloth helps soothe the gums. Teething rings work well, but avoid teething biscuits—they contain sugar that is not good for baby teeth.
While your baby is teething, it is important to monitor the teeth for signs of baby bottle decay. Examine the teeth, especially on the inside or the tongue side, every two weeks for dull spots (whiter than the tooth surface) or lines. A bottle containing anything other than water and left in an infant’s mouth while sleeping can cause decay. This happens because sugar in the liquid mixes with bacteria in dental plaque, forming acids that attack the tooth enamel. Each time a child drinks liquids containing sugar, acids attack the teeth for about 20 minutes. When awake, saliva carries away the liquid. During sleep, the saliva flow significantly decreases and liquids pool around the child’s teeth for long periods, covering the teeth in acids.
The primary, or “baby,” teeth play a crucial role in dental development. Without them, a child cannot chew food properly and has difficulty speaking clearly. Primary teeth are vital to development of the jaws and for guiding the permanent (secondary) teeth into place when they replace the primary teeth around age 6.
Since primary teeth guide the permanent teeth into place, infants with missing primary teeth or infants who prematurely lose primary teeth may require a space maintainer, a device used to hold the natural space open. Without a maintainer, the teeth can tilt toward the empty space and cause permanent teeth to come in crooked. Missing teeth should always be mentioned to your family dentist. The way your child cares for his/her primary teeth plays a critical role in how he/she treats the permanent teeth. Children and adults are equally susceptible to plaque and gum problems—hence, the need for regular care and dental checkups.
A child’s first dental visit should be scheduled around his/her first birthday. The most important part of the visit is getting to know and becoming comfortable with a doctor and his staff. A pleasant, comfortable first visit builds trust and helps put the child at ease during future dental visits. If possible, allow the child to sit in a parent’s lap in the exam room. Children should be encouraged to discuss any fears or anxiety they feel.
Primary teeth are important for several reasons. Foremost, good teeth allow a child to eat and maintain good nutrition. Healthy teeth allow for clear pronunciation and speech habits. The self-image that healthy teeth give a child is immeasurable. Primary teeth also guide eruption of the permanent teeth.
The teeth, bones and soft tissue of the mouth require a healthy, well-balanced diet. A variety of foods from the five food groups helps minimize (and avoid) cavities and other dental problems. Most snacks that children eat cause cavities, so children should only receive healthy foods like vegetables, low-fat yogurt and cheeses, which promote strong teeth.
A child’s teeth actually start forming before birth. As early as 4 months of age, the primary or “baby” teeth push through the gums—the lower central incisors are first, then the upper central incisors. The remainder of the 20 primary teeth typically erupt by age 3, but the place and order varies.
Permanent teeth begin eruption around age 6, starting with the first molars and lower central incisors. This process continues until around age 21. Adults have 28 secondary (permanent) teeth—32 including the third molars (wisdom teeth).
Tooth decay in infants can be minimized or totally prevented by not allowing sleeping infants to breast or bottle-feed. Infants that need a bottle to comfortably fall asleep should be given a water-filled bottle or a pacifier. Our office is dedicated to fighting baby bottle tooth decay. Let us know if you notice any signs of decay or anything unusual in your child’s mouth.
Contact Us For More Information!
Even before your child starts with their dental treatment, our team of experienced doctors and dental staff are always available to answer your questions about the treatments that we offer, what kind of care we suggest for your child, or anything else you can think of. With consistent and transparent communication, we are determined to prove to you that we are a team of professionals that you can trust to provide you kids with the best in oral health care. If you have any questions that you would like to ask us, just contact us and a member of our team will be more than happy to assist you. Hersch Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontics has been helping countless families provide their kids with a healthy smile that will last for a lifetime for year, right here at our local office in Newport Beach, CA. If you’re ready to give your kids the gift of good oral health, schedule an appointment with us today! We look forward to seeing you in our office! *