Early Dental Care

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Helpful Early Dental Care Tips from our Stuart, FL Pediatric Dentists

At Children’s Dentistry of Stuart, Dr. Nancy H. Torres and Dr. Julie A. Sugar are proud to provide children living in the Stuart, Palm City, and Port St. Lucie, FL areas with high quality, individualized pediatric dental care. Whether you’re a new parent looking for a dentistry practice in Stuart to care for your child’s oral health or are a parent who needs a pediatric sedation dentist to help your fearful child get the dental care he or she needs, we welcome you to our practice! Below is some early dental care information and a few tips that can help parents care for their young children’s oral health.

Teething

h-pediatric2.jpgNormally, a child’s first tooth erupts between the ages of 6 and 12 months. As your child is getting his or her first teeth, you can expect some irritability due to the gums being sore and tender as the new teeth push through the gum tissue. To help ease this soreness, you can gently rub the gums with your finger or a cold wet cloth. You can also provide your child with a teething ring. As your child is teething, it is important to keep an eye out for baby bottle tooth decay. Every week or two, look for dull spots on the tongue side of the teeth or lines on the teeth.

How to Prevent Baby Bottle Tooth Decay

When a child falls asleep while nursing on a bottle, baby bottle tooth decay can occur. This happens due to the sugars in the liquid mixing with the bacteria found in dental plaque, which forms acids that attack the enamel on teeth. Every time your child drinks something containing sugar, this acid attack lasts for about 20 minutes. When your child is awake, saliva naturally washes away the liquid but during sleep, the flow of saliva is decreased, allowing the liquid to pool around the teeth for a longer period of time, covering the teeth in harmful acids.

You can help your child avoid baby bottle tooth decay by not allowing him or her to fall asleep while bottle-feeding. If your baby needs a bottle to fall asleep, only put water in the bottle or give him/her a pacifier. Our office is dedicated to fighting baby bottle tooth decay so if you notice any signs of decay or anything unusual in your child’s mouth, let your pediatric dentist know so we can help.

Your Baby’s New Teeth

Your child’s first teeth which are called primary (baby) teeth play a key role in proper dental development. Your child needs these teeth to chew food efficiently and to speak clearly. These first teeth also assist the jaws in developing properly and they help guide the permanent teeth into place when they replace the primary teeth at around the age of 6. If your child is missing primary teeth or has lost them prematurely, he or she may need to wear a space maintainer to ensure the permanent teeth come in straight. Because children as just as prone to developing tooth decay and gum problems as adults, young children require good oral care and regular dental check-ups.

How Primary Teeth Erupt

Your child’s teeth actually start forming before birth. You may see the first tooth push through the gums as early as four months of age. The lower incisors are the first teeth to come in, followed by the upper central incisors. Then the rest of the 20 primary teeth typically are all in by the age of 3. Your child’s permanent (adult) teeth should appear by the time your child reaches the age of 6, beginning with the first molars and the central incisors on the bottom. Adults have 28 permanent teeth – 32 including the third molars or wisdom teeth.

Your Child’s First Visit with Our Pediatric Dentist

You should bring your child in for his or her first dental visit at around the age of one. The most important part of this visit is getting your child acquainted with the dental office environment and with his or her pediatric dentist. We have the experience needed to help young children feel at ease when spending time with us. We work hard to ensure all our youngest patients learn to trust us so they’ll be more at ease for their future dental visits.

Good Nutrition and Healthy Teeth

Just like the rest of the body, your child’s teeth and gums require good nutrition in order to be healthy. You should be sure that your child is eating a well-rounded diet with foods from the five main food groups. It’s just as important to limit the number of sugary snacks your child eats to help him or her avoid getting tooth decay and other dental problems. Instead of providing your child with cookies and candy at snack time, give them something healthier like low fat yogurt, cheese, and fresh vegetables.

Contact Your Stuart and Palm City, FL Children’s Dentist

If you have any questions about early dental care, feel free to contact us as we’re always happy to answer your questions and address your concerns. If you would like to schedule an appointment for your child, please complete the appointment request 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.