Parents, do you want your child to experience health excellence for a lifetime? How about preserving your child’s smile for a lifetime?
If you answered yes then practicing and teaching the importance of good oral hygiene is essential to your child’s health success now and during all stages of life.
Health and wellbeing excellence begins with the important role of baby teeth…they are invaluable to your child’s oral health and mouth development and health and wellbeing success. It’s a huge mistake to assume that adult teeth are more important so you and your child get a free pass with baby teeth.
When oral health is dutifully cared for from an early age, your child’s total health and smile are better positioned to experience health and wellbeing excellence for a lifetime.
Baby Teeth Are Important
The first teeth that make their way into your baby’s mouth are vital to:
- The development of the jaw
- The growth of permanent teeth and hold space in the jaw as it grows to accommodate larger permanent (adult) teeth. These teeth develop just below the baby teeth, providing the pressure that naturally leads to the baby teeth falling out
- Good diet and nutrition in the early years as baby teeth aids in biting and chewing food
- To proper speech development in the early years
These tasks are solely achieved by baby teeth over the first six years or so of your child’s life.
It is not until after the age of twelve or so that the mouth is filled with permanent teeth and your child’s smile is fully developed. Until this time, it is important to keep all of your child’s baby teeth in their healthiest condition.
Your Child’s First Teeth
Baby teeth start to erupt from the gums between six to nine months of age. In some infants, growth may begin as early as three months. In others, baby teeth are not seen until about the first birthday.
The first teeth to erupt are typically the two lower teeth at the front of the mouth. The next two to grow in are usually the top two front teeth. Following the front teeth are the first molars and then the canines.
The growth of new teeth can be uncomfortable for many babies.
Dr. Woollery and her team of health advisors and health advocates are fully prepared to share ways in which parents can help reduce their child’s teething pain.
New teeth, along with gum tissue, can be cleaned gently with a moist, soft cloth. A daily brushing routine can begin around the age of two, when more teeth are present. The first toothbrush should be small and should have soft bristles. Only a very small dab of toothpaste is needed at this age.
Children lack the necessary motor skills to brush effectively until about the age of eight! Until this time, they will require direct assistance from a parent.
Early Childhood Visits to the Dentist
The recommendation of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry is that early dental care begins by a child’s first birthday. With this early start, the dentist can guide parents in the proper techniques for proper oral hygiene.
During dental visits, the child’s mouth and jaws should be assessed for development and the teeth should be evaluated for cavities and other problems.
Tooth decay can affect infants and young children in a number of ways. The development and progression of early childhood caries may be very quick, traveling from hard enamel to soft dentin in about six months.
In our office, we focus on making dental visits comfortable and positive for children from the age of five. Prior to age five we provide referrals to one of our trusted local pediatric dental partners that share our philosophy of the oral systemic health connection to help create healthy attitudes towards oral hygiene and routine dental care in attaining and sustaining personal health excellence throughout every stage in life.
Preventive and Restorative Care for Children
We offer numerous treatments designed to prevent tooth decay and repair damaged teeth when necessary. Our patients may benefit from treatments such as:
- Topical Fluoride. Experts agree that fluoride treatments provide some of the best protection against early decay. Only a small amount of fluoride is present in toothpaste and drinking water. By applying concentrated fluoride directly to a child’s teeth, we achieve the maximum level of protection against cavities.
- Dental sealants. Sealant treatment is recommended for the protection of molars, which have deep grooves on the chewing surfaces that may trap debris and bacteria. Applied in liquid form, resin sealant material quickly hardens into a coating that seals the tooth and prevents bacteria from accumulating in these grooves. Dental sealants treatment is one painless treatment that can last for years.
- Tooth bonding. Children who experience minor fractures or chips in front teeth can have a mixture of ceramic glass and plastic applied to repair damage. Resin material is colored to match natural enamel. Appropriate for both, primary and permanent teeth, tooth bonding lasts many years.
- Root canal therapy. Many adults have required root canal therapy to repair severe damage from decay. Cavities in young children are no different. They may lead to infection within the pulp chamber, which can only be eliminated through a root canal procedure. Because baby teeth guide the development of permanent teeth, treating damage as necessary is very important. Premature tooth loss due to infection can lead to a bad bite, or malocclusion (bad contact between the upper and lower jaw) that must be treated with orthodontic care.
Evidence of bad contact between the upper and lower mouth can typically be identified by the age of seven.
By assessing the development of teeth and the jaw during routine checkups, your dentist can detect the need for interceptive orthodontic treatment at a time when the proper growth of the jaw can be encouraged.
Early orthodontic treatment can simplify or even eliminate the need for more extensive orthodontic care later on, which is just one reason professional orthodontic assessment is so valuable during the developmental years.
Sports and Oral Health
Children who participate in physical activities gain a number of benefits. They are also at risk for tooth damage. We encourage our patients to obtain a mouth-guard made specifically for his or her teeth. The American Dental Association reports that dental harm is 60 times more likely in athletes who do not wear this type of protective device.
We make mouth-guards using a model of a patient’s teeth, leading to maximum protection compared to a store-bought mouth-guard. When a custom appliance can save your child the pain and suffering of a dental injury – and save you the cost of restorative care – the investment into protection is clearly worth it.
We work together with our patients to help them attain and sustain personal health excellence throughout every stage in life, and always present their most beautiful smiles.
Prioritize your health today!
Make an appointment NOW to protect your child’s oral health:
Click here to book an appointment through this site or pick up the phone and call (678) 639–0080.