Early Dental Care

Your kids only get one smile and it needs to last them a lifetime. Taking care of that smile from the very beginning will establish a strong foundation for a healthy smile in the future. At Children’s Dentistry of Stuart, we provide comprehensive pediatric dental care to the families of Stuart, Palm City, and Port St. Lucie, FL to guide the development of your child’s smile towards a future full of healthy and brilliant smiles throughout their life. Dr. Torres and Dr. Sugar, along with our experienced and friendly dental team, always provide your kids with a fun dental experience while ensuring that they are as comfortable as possible throughout their entire appointment. To keep your child’s teeth healthy from the start, below are some helpful early dental care tips from our kid’s dentist.

When Do My Child's Teeth Start To Develop?

h-pediatric2.jpgWhile the teeth actually start forming before your child is even born, it takes anywhere between 6 and 12 months for your child to have their first tooth erupt from their gums. Your child will get a full set of 20 primary (baby) teeth, which not only help them speak clearly and chew their food efficiently but also function as guides as the jaw continues to develop and prepare for when they get their permanent teeth at around age 6.

The first teeth to come through are typically the lower incisors, followed by the upper incisors. The rest of the teeth will fill in the rest of their smile by the time they hit age 3. If your child is missing any primary teeth or loses one prematurely, it may be recommended that they get a space maintainer from the dentist, which will ensure that their other teeth don’t move into that empty space and create an abnormality in their jaw or smile. Primary teeth are susceptible to dental problems such as tooth decay and gum disease, which can negatively affect the development of their adult teeth and lead to more severe dental and health issues in the future. That is why it is essential to take your kids to regular check-ups with your kid’s dentist, Dr. Torres, at Children’s Dentistry of Stuart.

What Do I Do When My Baby Is Teething?

Teething is the phase when your child’s first primary teeth start to break through the gums. During this time, their gums will be sore and tender, which is why babies will often cry to let you know that they’re experiencing this discomfort. To help relieve the soreness, you can gently rub their gums using your finger or with a cold, wet cloth. Teething rings are also a great tool since you can put these in the refrigerator to cool them down and give them to your baby so they can relieve the soreness from teething by putting them in their mouth. While your baby is teething, keep an eye out for dull spots on the backside of their teeth or lines on the teeth, since these could be signs of baby bottle tooth decay.

How Do I Prevent Baby Bottle Tooth Decay?

Milk and baby formula often have some form of natural sugar in them, which is perfectly harmless to children’s nutrition since they need all the other essential vitamins to grow. However, where these sugars do pose a threat is with oral health, since sugar combines with the bacteria in the mouth to form harmful acid. When your child is awake, saliva will naturally wash away most of the sugars and liquid from their bottle. But when your child falls asleep with a bottle in their mouth, saliva production is slowed and that sugar stays on the teeth, resulting in tooth decay.

To prevent baby bottle tooth decay, make sure you gently brush your baby’s teeth with a baby-friendly fluoride toothpaste at least twice each day and do your best to make sure that they don’t fall asleep with a bottle in their mouth.

When Should Your Child First Visit The Pediatric Dentist?

It is recommended that you bring your child in for their first visit with us at Children’s Dentistry of Stuart when they get their first tooth or by the time they turn one year old, at the latest. Since your kids are at the very beginning of their oral development, Dr. Torres can watch for any early signs of dental issues as they get older and provide any preventative treatment necessary to ensure that their smiles continue to develop in a healthy and natural way. At the same time, we will also be able to get your child comfortable and familiar with going to the dentist. Drs. Torres and Sugar always work to create a fun and welcoming environment for your kids at their appointments, so they always feel right at home and actually enjoy going to the dentist!

How Important Is Good Nutrition For Kids to Maintain Healthy Teeth?

The whole body, including the mouth, needs a steady supply of essential vitamins and minerals to stay healthy, and it gets them from the foods we eat. To ensure that your kids are getting everything they need to grow up healthy and strong, we recommend that they maintain a well-rounded diet with foods from the five main food groups while limiting the number of sugary snacks to prevent tooth decay. Some foods will even help make your kids’ smiles stronger, with nutrients like calcium coming from dairy products, like milk and cheese, that can help strengthen tooth enamel or fiber-rich foods like carrots that can boost saliva production to keep their mouth cleaner.

Contact Your Stuart & Palm City, FL Children’s Dentistry!

If you have any questions about early dental care for your kids and how you can ensure that they have the healthiest smile possible, contact our kid’s dentist or schedule an appointment with our easy online form. If this visit will be your child’s first to our practice, be sure to check our New Patient Special, which we offer as a way to say “Thank you” for choosing us to care for your child’s oral health. We look forward to helping you give your children the gift of good oral health, so they can enjoy a future full of healthy smiles!