Maintaining your child’s dental health now will provide health benefits well into adulthood, as primary (baby) teeth serve some extremely important functions.
Primary teeth guide 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.
For about the first six years, primary teeth help with biting, chewing and speaking. 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.
Your child’s 20 baby teeth will begin to appear usually between six and nine months, 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). To help with teething discomfort, wipe your child’s gums and newly erupting teeth with a water-soaked gauze pad or damp washcloth.
As soon as baby teeth erupt, we encourage parents to establish a nightly brushing routine with a small, soft-bristled toothbrush and a grain of rice size of fluoride toothpaste. Often, kids benefit from adult-assisted brushing until the age 10 - including both morning and night-time brushing.
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that children see a dentist by their first birthday to ensure all is progressing well. 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.
Fluoride makes teeth harder and more resistant to decay. Although there is a small amount of fluoride in toothpastes and in some drinking water, a higher concentration can be applied professionally to your child’s teeth for maximum protection.
A plastic coating can be professionally applied to prevent cavities by sealing the chewing surfaces. Dental sealants are easy to apply and provide years of protection.
Root Canal Treatment
Sometimes children need root canals to save an injured or severely decayed tooth.
Chips and minor fractures to front teeth are common childhood occurrences and can be repaired with tooth-colored bonding materials.
Healthy Smile Habits
As your child grows, we focus on prevention and education to ensure their smile remains healthy. Our goal is to help children learn and develop consistent oral hygiene habits.
Prophylaxis (Teeth Cleaning)
During their regular six month appointment, your child will experience a gentle and thorough cleaning to help prevent cavities and promote overall oral health.
Tooth Colored Fillings
When necessary, we use composite fillings with a tooth colored resin to fill in cavities. As a result, fillings blend in naturally.
To help protect from plaque and decay, and prevent cavities, we use a dental sealant that is gently applied onto the tooth enamel.
When a tooth has decay, disease, trauma, or may impede normal oral development, we remove the tooth.
Rather than having children struggle through the challenge of a mouth filled with messy goop, our technology allows us to capture everything we need through digital impressions.
If you are unsure if the pain your child is experiencing requires immediate attention, please call us.
The Ortho Suite by DC Pediatric Smiles offers orthodontic assessment and treatment to grow beautifully straight smiles.
Based on your child’s specific needs and treatment, we offer sedation options to help your child feel relaxed and at ease.
Following tooth loss or damage, pediatric restorative dentistry helps improve the appearance, function, and health of a child’s smile.
We look forward to meeting you. Call 301-363-9026 or request an appointment online to set up your first visit. We’ll be in touch soon.