Children’s Dentistry

Regular dental care beginning early in childhood is critical for both dental health as a child, but it also establishes dental care as a priority that will continue throughout life. Maintaining dental health has a very important impact on overall health; parents must prioritize their children’s dental care as the vital element of the health paradigm that it is. Establishing a regular place of treatment with a qualified pediatric dentist early in childhood makes the experience more comfortable and pleasant for the child and lessens the likelihood that childhood dental care may go amiss.



Ages When Teeth Erupt

Teeth begin forming prior to birth and generally begin to erupt through the gums around four months of age. The initial teeth to arrive are usually the bottom middle incisors, followed by the top middle incisors. By age three, each of the twenty “baby” teeth are present, but the order and time of appearance depend on the individual. By age six, children begin to lose primary teeth; then, permanent teeth arrive. By age eight, the four front of the top and bottom will most likely be replaced by permanent teeth. The process generally pauses from ages eight to ten, only to continue until age 21 when all permanent teeth are present.



What to Expect for their First Appointment

At a child’s first dental appointment, the priority should be ensuring the comfort of the child and establishing the current dental health status. X-rays and a dental check will detect any issues that require attention. Additionally, a simple cleaning will prevent degeneration caused by plaque in addition to polishing the child’s pearly whites.



How to Prep Your Child

The best way to prepare a child for the first visit to a children’s dentist is to downplay the significance of the event. Obviously, a child should know where they are going and what will happen provided they are old enough to understand. However, over-emphasizing the importance of a first dental visit could cause undue anxiety. Parents should relate the normality of visiting the dentist and reassure the child that any questions they have can be answered.



FAQs



What toothpaste should I purchase for my child?

The toothpaste chosen for children should be approved by the American Dental Association. These toothpastes are safe to use. The amount of toothpaste used should be monitored. For children under three, a portion about the same as a rice grain is appropriate, and for those under six, the size should be approximate to that of a pea. Care should be taken to rinse and remove any remaining toothpaste, and none should be swallowed.



When should my child first see a children’s dentist?

Ideally, a child should see a dentist when the first tooth appears; however, a dentist should be seen by the child’s first birthday.



How frequently should my child see a pediatric dentist?

All children should see a dentist twice a year. However, the individual child’s dentist may set a different schedule depending on the child’s dental health requirements.



What is the first aid treatment when a child loses a permanent tooth?

If the tooth completely falls out, try to find it. If possible, replace it in the socket. If this is not possible, place the tooth in a glass of milk and go directly to the child’s dentist for treatment.