Children’s Dentistry With a Mother’s Touch
At Dr. Thomas Sammons and Dr. Ann Laurent Dental Artistry, we are firm believers that preventative management at home in between dental appointments is key to superb dental health. Ultimately, the dental health of you and your children is the sum of daily lifestyle choices and habits. This is why it is so important to begin dental hygiene early with your children and to remember that it is never too early to start brushing once their teeth come in.
Making at-home dental hygiene something enjoyable for your children will give them positive experiences that will reduce their risk for dental phobia in the future. We cannot overemphasize the importance of a consistent home care routine for you and your family!
The Best Care for Your Family
Dr. Sammons and Dr. Laurent have been trained to treat your children’s dental health needs and are pleased to provide dental care for your entire family from one convenient location. As general dentists, we also work with specialists to facilitate the best possible care for you and your family. Our whole team looks forward to educating both parents and children about proper dental health. We love to demonstrate and practice brushing/flossing technique with your children early on to identify any potential areas they may be missing and to improve what they’ve been doing at home.
Did You Know?
Children have different dental needs than adults and are prone to certain dental problems. A pediatric dentist is specially trained to manage these issues and prevent them from causing permanent damage.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Monkey See. Money Do. Children will follow the examples they see from their parents. Show you children that brushing is fun and that it is very good for you!
- Reward Their Behavior. Give your children a sticker each time they brush and have them work towards a specific prize/outing. Sticker charts are excellent for this!
- Tooth Accessories. Take your children shopping for fun, colorful toothbrushes and flavored toothpastes. Colored floss can also make dental health something fun for everyone.
Pediatric dentistry ensures that your child’s primary, or baby, teeth will be well taken care of. Although these teeth are eventually lost to make room for permanent teeth, they are still necessary during childhood for chewing, speaking, jaw development, and appearance. Furthermore, primary teeth also act as placeholders for permanent teeth and their presence increases the chances of permanent teeth erupting properly.
Your child should be seen by a dentist for pediatric care by their first birthday. Early pediatric dental care establishes good oral habits and a relationship with your child’s pediatric dentist early on, which will be beneficial as your child continues to grow.
At your child’s first dental appointment, Dr. Sammons and Dr. Laurent will evaluate your baby’s mouth and any erupted teeth. They will also discuss proper dental hygiene habits, diet, fluoride, tooth eruption, and finger or pacifier habits with you to help keep your child in good oral health. Schedule your child’s first pediatric visit today!
Pediatric dental care should begin as early as birth. Before you baby has teeth, you can gently rub down their gums with a cloth and warm water. Once their teeth start to erupt, you will then want to use a soft infant toothbrush and a “smear” of fluoride toothpaste to brush these teeth twice a day. As your child grows and more teeth begin to erupt, you can gradually increase the amount of toothpaste.
Baby bottle tooth decay is a common pediatric dental risk caused by the sugars in breast milk, however it can also be caused by formula, fruit juice, and any other sweetened drinks. Baby bottle tooth decay occurs when an infant falls asleep while drinking or nursing, causing the liquid to pool around their teeth. Since saliva production is reduced during sleep, the mouth is unable to protect itself properly, and plaque bacteria can form and produce acids that are detrimental to the tooth enamel. Eventually this plaque bacteria will result in tooth decay.
To prevent baby bottle tooth decay, it is important to keep your baby’s teeth clean and to only put water in their nighttime bottle. You will also want to wean them of the bottle around 12-14 months and only provide juice occasionally with water between meals.
Thumb sucking or excessive pacifier use can also create dental problems if they continue past the age of three. Continued sucking can cause your child’s teeth and jaw to develop improperly, leading to malocclusion or crooked teeth.
You will want to choose a toothpaste that contains fluoride and has been approved by the American Dental Association. Other toothpastes may be too harsh on your child’s developing enamel and can cause dental problems in the future. You will also need to make sure they are spitting the toothpaste out after use to avoid consuming too much fluoride.
The best toothbrush for your child is one that they will use. However, you should also pick a toothbrush that fits comfortably in their mouth, is easy to hold and move, has soft bristles made of round-ended or polished material, and that is suited to their individual liking. As your child continues to age, their toothbrush needs will also continue to change.
Dental x-rays are essential for Dr. Sammons and Dr. Laurent to monitor the normal growth and development of your child’s teeth and the surrounding bones. They can also be used to locate cavities that are between the teeth and are not directly visible during an oral exam.
At Dental Artistry, we utilize lead aprons and high-speed film to minimize radiation exposure. However, with modern technology, dental x-rays use a very tiny amount of radiation that is not considered to be harmful to children.
When will my child’s teeth begin to erupt and how long will it take before they have all their teeth?
Generally speaking, most infants will start getting their lower front incisors anywhere from 6-12 months of age. Usually this begins with the two lower front incisors, followed by the upper incisors, and then pair by pair heading toward the back of the mouth. Most children have all 20 of their primary teeth by the age of 2 or 3. If this is not the case, our dentists can find out if something is preventing your child’s teeth from erupting.
Most likely, your child will lose their first baby tooth around the age of 6-7 years. Teeth are generally lost in the same order they erupted in, meaning the lower incisors usually go first, followed by the upper incisors, so on and so forth. The final second molars are lost at about age 10-12.