You may thing that your child’s baby teeth are just temporary, and you’re right, but what you may not realize is that healthy primary teeth means healthy adult teeth for life. That’s why here at our CARROLLTON, TX dental office we put so much importance on pediatric dentistry. Our goal is to ensure that you’re child’s primary teeth are as healthy as possible, since they’re the placeholders for their adult teeth that are meant to last a lifetime. Using pediatric dentistry to care for your child’s dental health, the staff at our CARROLLTON, TX dental clinic will help you and your child the best we can.
Primary or baby teeth serve some extremely important functions, including acting as the guides your child’s adult teeth will need in order to erupt properly. You may be surprised to learn that the crowns of your child’s permanent teeth push against the roots of their baby teeth, causing them to melt away and make room for the adult teeth. Pediatric dentistry is extremely important at this stage, so bringing your child to visit our CARROLLTON, TX dentist regularly is highly recommended.
Your child’s primary teeth are extremely important for basic functions such as speaking, biting and chewing. Without proper pediatric dentistry care from the capable staff at our CARROLLTON, TX office, your child could be at risk for tooth decay and other problems. With healthy primary teeth, the first six years of your child’s life will be easier and more enjoyable, since they’ll be able to perform these important functions without the painful symptoms of decay. Until around age 12, your child will have a mix of primary and permanent teeth. Pediatric dentistry practiced by the skilled and experienced staff at our CARROLLTON, TX dental office is the way to go so that your child’s teeth stay healthy and are lost naturally, at the right time.
YOUR CHILD’S FIRST TEETH
Understanding pediatric dentistry involves understanding your child’s baby teeth and how they erupt and are lost. When your child is around six to nine months old, their 20 baby teeth will begin to appear.Some babies may begin getting their baby teeth as early as three months or as late as twelve months. There’s usually no need to worry, but if you are concerned you’re welcome to contact our CARROLLTON, TX office about pediatric dentistry care for your child. The two lower front teeth tend to erupt first, followed by the two upper ones. As soon as your baby’s teeth begin to appear, it’s important to schedule their first appointment for pediatric dentistry at our CARROLLTON, TX dental office. The first molars come in next, followed by the canines (eyeteeth). There may be times when your baby will experience teething discomfort during this process. If so, there are things you can do to help make your child more comfortable.
The dentist at our CARROLLTON, TX office recommends that you gently wipe your infant’s gums and newly erupting teeth after each feeding with a water-soaked gauze pad or damp washcloth. Starting at age 2, when there are more teeth in the mouth, our CARROLLTON, TX dentist recommends establishing a daily brushing routine with a small, soft-bristled toothbrush and no more than a thin smear of fluoridated toothpaste. If you need help with establishing an oral care routine, you can speak with our CARROLLTON, TX dentist during your child’s pediatric dentistry appointment. The staff at our CARROLLTON, TX dental office may recommend that you help your child with this important task until about the age of 6.
YOUR CHILD’S FIRST DENTAL APPOINTMENT
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that your child see a dentist by his/her first birthday, so be sure to make an appointment for pediatric dentistry treatment with our CARROLLTON, TX dentist. You may think that this sounds early, but we want to assure you that learning proper pediatric oral hygiene techniques, checking for cavities, and watching for developmental problems is extremely important for your child.
You should know that there are a number of forms of tooth decay that can affect babies and small children. The dentist at our CARROLLTON, TX office will tell you that 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. This is why pediatric dentistry is so important for our child’s oral health.
The best benefit of visiting our CARROLLTON, TX dentist for pediatric dentistry treatment is that your child has the chance to have a positive experience. This is important so that your child will be a regular visitor to our CARROLLTON, TX dental office for years to come.
PEDIATRIC DENTAL TREATMENTS
There are a variety of pediatric dentistrytreatments offered by our CARROLLTON, TX dentist to prevent tooth decay in children, or to save or repair teeth when necessary. These pediatric dentistry treatments include:
Topical Fluoride — 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, a higher concentration can be applied professionally by our CARROLLTON, TX dentist to your child’s teeth for maximum protection during pediatric dentistry appointments.
Dental Sealants — Our skilled CARROLLTON, TX dentist can place a plastic coating on your child’s teeth to prevent cavities. Dental sealants are used in pediatric dentistry to seal 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 easily applied by our CARROLLTON, TX dentist during a pediatric dentistry appointment and provide years of protection.
Root Canal Treatment — You may have had a root canal treatment in the past in order to save an injured or badly decayed tooth. Sometimes, children need to have root canals as well, and this may need to be part of their pediatric dentistry treatment at our CARROLLTON, TX office. As mentioned above, baby teeth are important for the formation and eruption of the permanent teeth forming under your child’s gums. Root canals done by our CARROLLTON, TX dentist as part of your child’s pediatric dentistry treatment can save them from premature tooth loss and prevent a malocclusion (“mal” – bad; “occlusion” – bite) that requires orthodontic treatment.
Bonding — It’s common for children to experience chips and minor fractures to front teeth which can be repaired by our skilled CARROLLTON, TX dentist with tooth-colored bonding materials. These lifelike resins made of plastic and glass can be used on baby teeth during pediatric dentistry treatment as well as permanent teeth and last until your child’s facial growth has been completed.
When your child is around 7 years old, the issue with their bite, known as malocclusions, will become obvious. This is one of the reasons why pediatric dentistry is so important, because the dentist at our CARROLLTON, TX dental office will be able to recommend interceptive orthodontic treatment to help direct proper tooth positioning and/or jaw growth. This can effectively eliminate or simplify the need for later treatment. There are many orthodontic problems that can be detected early and are examples of why a trained professional like the dentist at our CARROLLTON, TX dental office should evaluate your child using pediatric dentistry guidelines during his/her growth and development.
SPORTS & YOUR CHILD’S TEETH
Sports injuries are a major contributor to damage of many children’s teeth. If your child is active in sports, during your child’s next pediatric dentistry appointment, you should ask our CARROLLTON, TX dentist about making a custom-made mouthguard to safeguard your child from injury. According to the American Dental Association, an athlete is 60 times more likely to suffer dental harm when not wearing one of these protective devices. Our CARROLLTON, TX dentist can make a model of your child’s teeth in order to make a custom mouthguard for your child. Discussing this at your next pediatric dentistry appointment with our CARROLLTON, TX dentist will offer your child greater protection than an off-the-shelf model. It’s an investment that pays off highly in the form of reduced pain, suffering — and dental expenses down the road!