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Pediatric Dentistry

We understand as a parent, you have multiple things you need to worry about, which is why we are happy to take over the role as your child’s dental health provider. As your trusted pediatric dentist, we are happy to help with any and all of your dental health concerns.

Primary teeth serve as guides for the eruption of permanent (adult) teeth, holding the space into which these new teeth will erupt. The crowns (tops) of the permanent teeth actually push against the roots of the baby teeth, causing them to resorb, or melt away. In this way, the adult teeth can take their proper place.

What’s more, your child’s primary teeth will be there for most of childhood, helping your child to bite, chew and speak. For the first six or so years, he or she will be relying on primary teeth exclusively to perform these important functions. Until around age 12, your child will have a mix of primary and permanent teeth. You will want to make sure those teeth stay healthy and are lost naturally — when it’s time.

An inside look at a 4-year-old’s developing jaws and teeth

The permanent tooth buds are located below the baby teeth and are starting to form. As they erupt, they remove the roots of the baby teeth.

  • 1Central Incisors
  • 2Lateral Incisors
  • 3Canines (Cuspids)
  • 4First Premolars (Bicuspids)
  • 5Second Premorals (Bicuspids)
  • 6First Molars
  • 7Second Molars

Note: Wisdom teeth have not yet started to form (calcify)

Your Child’s First Teeth

Your child’s 20 baby teeth will begin to appear usually between six and nine months of age, though in some cases it may start as early as three months or as late as twelve months. The two lower front teeth tend to erupt first, followed by the two upper ones. The first molars come in next, followed by the canines (eyeteeth). Sometimes your baby can experience teething discomfort during this process. If so, let us know and we will advise you as to the best course of action.

Your infant’s gums and newly erupting teeth should be gently wiped after each feeding with a water-soaked gauze pad or damp washcloth. Any teeth that have fully come in should be cleaned with a small, soft-bristled toothbrush and no more than a thin smear of fluoridated toothpaste. Starting at age 3, you can teach your child to brush with a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste. Your child may need your help with this important task until about the age of 6.

When your child’s teeth come and go

  • Age of Eruption (Baby Teeth)
  • 1Lower Central Incisors 6-10 mos.
  • 2Upper Central Incisors 8-12 mos.
  • 3Upper Lateral Incisors 9-13 mos.
  • 4Lower Lateral Incisors 10-16 mos.
  • 5Upper First Molars 13-19 mos.
  • 6Lower First Molars 14-18 mos.
  • 7Upper Canines (Cuspids) 16-22 mos.
  • 8Lower Canines (Cuspids) 17-23 mos.
  • 9Lower Second Molars 23-31 mos.
  • 10Upper Second Molars 25-33 mos.
  • Age of Tooth Loss (Baby Teeth)
  • 1Lower Central Incisors 6-7 yrs.
  • 2Upper Central Incisors 6-7 yrs.
  • 3Upper Lateral Incisors 7-8 yrs.
  • 4Lower Lateral Incisors 7-8 yrs.
  • 5Upper First Molars 9-11 yrs.
  • 6Lower First Molars 9-11 yrs.
  • 7Upper Canines (Cuspids) 9-12 yrs.
  • 8Lower Canines (Cuspids) 9-12 yrs.
  • 9Lower Second Molars 10-12 yrs.
  • 10Upper Second Molars 10-12 yrs.

The First Dental Appointment

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that you bring your child in to see us by his/her first birthday. Though this may sound early, we can teach you proper pediatric oral hygiene techniques, check for cavities, and watch for developmental problems.

Various forms of tooth decay can affect babies and small children. Early Childhood Caries (tooth decay) can develop rapidly, progressing from the hard, outer enamel layer of a tooth into the softer, inner dentin in six months or less. Most of all, we want to make sure your child has a positive experience at our office and will be a regular visitor for years to come.

Topical Flouride

Fluoride incorporates into the enamel of teeth, making it harder and more resistant to decay. Although there is a small amount of fluoride in toothpastes and in some drinking water supplies, we can apply a higher concentration onto your child’s teeth for maximum protection.

Dental Sealants

We can apply a plastic coating that prevents cavities by sealing the little grooves on the chewing surfaces of back teeth known as “pits and fissures.” These little crevices become the perfect environments for decay-causing bacteria. Immature tooth enamel is more permeable and therefore less resistant to tooth decay. Dental sealants are easy to apply and provide years of protection.

Root Canal Treatment

Perhaps you have had a root canal treatment yourself, to save an injured or severely decayed tooth. Well, sometimes children need root canals, too. As mentioned above, baby teeth are important guides to the permanent teeth that are already forming beneath your child’s gums. Therefore, saving them from premature loss can help prevent a malocclusion (“mal” – bad; “occlusion” – bite) that requires orthodontic treatment.

Bonding

Chips and minor fractures to front teeth — common childhood occurrences — can be repaired with tooth-colored bonding materials. These lifelike resins made of plastic and glass can be used on baby teeth as well as permanent teeth and last until the youngster has completed facial growth.