Children’s Dental Services
Visit us regularly for a preventative checkup and professional cleaning, which is essential in the prevention of gum disease and the maintenance of good oral health.
Sealants are thin plastic coatings that are applied to the chewing surfaces of the back teeth to prevent decay. Most decay occurs on these molars in children and adolescents because of the irregular surfaces. Food and bacteria tend to get trapped there. The sealants flow into these grooves to prevent bacteria from multiplying and causing decay.
Why are baby teeth so important? Aren’t they just going to fall out?
Baby teeth are important for a number of reasons. First, your child needs them for chewing food, just like an adult. Although the first baby teeth are usually lost at about six years of age, others won’t fall out until your child is twelve years old! That is a lot of chewing. Second, your child needs them for smiling. Most parents prefer that their child smile with a full complement of teeth. The third function of baby teeth, perhaps the most important reason to keep this first set, is that baby teeth act as natural “space maintainers.” Maintaining the baby teeth until they fall out naturally is the best way to preserve the space for the upcoming adult teeth and to allow permanent teeth to grow in straight; premature loss or removal of baby teeth can increase orthodontic problems. Finally, if baby teeth are permitted to become infected and to abscess, this can affect color, shape and health of the adult teeth.
When can I expect my baby’s teeth to start coming in?
Most babies start ‘teething’ at about six months of age…although some babies are born with teeth and other don’t start teething until almost one year of age. It is all considered to be well within normal limits. Most children have all their baby teeth by the time they reach two and a half years of age…although again, some children are done sooner and others later. As long as the teeth are present in the jaws and are showing signs of developing, there is no need to worry.
How many baby teeth should there be?
When your child is finished teething at about two and a half years of age, there should be 20 baby teeth; ten in the top jaw and ten in the bottom jaw.
When should I start cleaning my baby’s teeth?
You should start cleaning your baby’s gums even before he/she starts teething! Simply use a clean face cloth or gauze and wipe baby’s gums at bedtime. When the first few teeth are in you can still use a washcloth or switch to a very soft baby’s toothbrush. Ideally, brushing after each meal is great. Flossing a child’s molar teeth is also good practice, but supervision by mom and dad is usually required. It is of utmost importance to clean your child’s teeth just before they go to bed. Bacteria cause most of the damage to our teeth while we sleep! Also, NEVER put your child to bed with a bottle containing anything but water! Putting your child to sleep with a milk or juice bottle puts them at risk of tooth decay!