Frequently Asked Questions
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the American Dental Association (ADA), and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) all recommend establishing a “Dental Home” for your child by one year of age.preventive and routine oral health care.
Baby teeth are extremely important and are susceptible to cavities just like adult teeth. They help children speak clearly, chew naturally, and provide a path for permanent teeth. Baby teeth forge the way for a lifetime of oral wellness and a smile that helps children feel healthier, happier and more confident.
Baby teeth are more important than you realize and should be cleaned regularly. Clean new and emerging teeth with a damp wash cloth after feeding. As teeth become bigger in toddlers, use a children’s tooth brush and children’s toothpaste. Your pediatric dentist will cover cleaning techniques at your first visit. Read about the importance of baby teeth.
Teething is when an infant’s first baby teeth, often called “milk teeth,” start emerging through the gums. Teething may start as early as three months or as late as twelve months. Teething is also called “cutting teeth,” although the process of tooth eruption doesn’t actually cut a baby’s gums.
As baby teeth erupt, babies tend to drool more, are more irritable than normal, lose their appetite, and become sleepless. A baby’s temperature may also rise above normal levels, but not to a fever. If your baby has a fever, contact your physician. Also contact your physician if your baby develops a rash or diarrhea, as these are not common symptoms of teething.
Tooth eruption is the process in which a baby’s teeth first appear.
Baby teeth typically appear in pairs at different times, from age 6 months until an infant is 2-to-3 years old.
A dental sealant is a plastic material that a pediatric dentist applies to the chewing surfaces of the back teeth (premolars and molars) of children. Dental sealants are a plastic resin that bonds into the depressions and grooves (pits and fissures) of the chewing surfaces on the back teeth, acting as a barrier to protect enamel from plaque and acids.
Thorough brushing and flossing are the best way to remove food particles and plaque from smooth surfaces of teeth. But toothbrush bristles cannot reach all the way into the depressions and grooves to extract food and plaque. Sealants protect these vulnerable areas by “sealing out” plaque and food.
Thumb sucking is a common habit that helps newborns and babies sooth themselves. However, once a child’s permanent teeth appear, thumb sucking may create problems with the growth and alignment of the child’s teeth, leading to braces and orthodontics.
Teeth grinding or bruxing is not unusual in the mixed dentition stage. Sometimes it is difficult for children to find a position of comfort because the primary teeth are being lost and the erupting permanent teeth continue to change position. If you suspect your child is grinding their teeth, you should bring it to the attention of your Dental Associates pediatric dentist. They will examine your child’s bite pattern to see if any type of dental appliance, or possibly orthodontics (braces), is necessary.
In high contact sports like boxing or football, mouth guards are an obvious piece of equipment. However, in any sport, even non-contact sports like soccer, your teeth or orthodontics can be at risk for incidental contact that could result in broken teeth or serious damage to your lips, tongue and jaw. A mouth guard is a simple piece of equipment that helps reduce your risk of injury, but it will not prevent all damages.
The best mouth guard is one that’s been custom fit to your mouth by your dentist. However, if you can’t afford a custom mouth guard, an off-the-shelf mouth guard from your local drugstore is better than nothing. Learn more about mouth guards.
Your Kidds on Park pediatric dentist can make a custom-fitted mouth guard to protect your teeth during athletic activities. They are more expensive than the store bought kind, but because they are customized, they offer a superior fit compared to off-the-shelf mouth guards or boil-and-bite mouth guards. In some cases, we can even match your team’s colors if you wish
No, not all children have their wisdom teeth removed as a matter of course. Your child’s pediatric dentist, and later in life, general dentist, will monitor the development of your child and recommend wisdom teeth removal only if necessary. Read more about oral surgery and wisdom teeth removal.