At our office, we take pride in creating and maintaining beautiful and healthy smiles for our younger patients in an environment that is lighthearted and fun. With an emphasis on establishing oral health habits that last a lifetime, we offer a comprehensive program of preventive care and closely monitor the dental health of our pediatric patients as they grow.
As an added level of protection to guard against childhood dental decay, we recommend periodic fluoride treatments and the application of dental sealants on the biting surfaces of the newly erupted permanent back teeth.
A pedodontist is a dentist who has received advanced specialty training in meeting the dental needs of children from infancy to adolescence. Pedodontists, also referred to as "pediatric dentists," study child psychology, behavior management, caring for children with special needs, methods of handling oral/facial trauma, and various techniques for providing anesthesia and sedation. Pedodontists also understand the complexities of facial growth and development and have clinical skills required to meet the dental needs of all children at every stage of development. Most of all, pedodontists are passionate about what they do and enjoy working with children. They strive to make every dental experience a positive one as they help children establish a strong foundation for good oral health.
Even before your child is born, their first set of teeth is already forming. In fact, by one year of age, some of your baby's front teeth will have already come into place. While the arrival of your baby's first teeth is only one of many developmental milestones, it represents an excellent time to begin a program of oral care. According to recommendations from the American Dental Association, babies should see the dentist around the time of their first birthdays.
Your baby's first teeth typically begin to appear in the 6 to 12-month range. While this is an extraordinary milestone, you need to be aware that your baby may find the experience a little bit uncomfortable. Teething can make babies feel irritable. They may be fussy, have trouble sleeping, not want to eat, and drool quite a bit.
Although you are powerless to speed up the process of teething, there are a few things that you can do to soothe your baby as the new teeth are erupting into place. Common approaches to helping your baby feel more comfortable while getting new teeth, include teething rings or a cold spoon or moist gauze rubbed over their gums.
Even for these few new teeth, it's absolutely essential to establish an effective regimen of oral care. For information on when your baby's first set of teeth will erupt into place, consult this timeline from the American Dental Association:
Some children persist in sucking their thumbs or fingers beyond their preschool years. For these children, the activity continues to be a source of comfort, relaxation, and security. It may even help them fall asleep at night. However, it's essential to be aware that in the long-term, a finger sucking habit is not healthy.
If your child's thumb or finger sucking habit is still present when the permanent teeth begin to come in, your child is at a higher risk of developing a bad bite. By the age of five or six years, you need to constructively and gently help your child stop the habit.
It's also a good idea to have a comprehensive evaluation at this time. Your pedodontist can assess if there are any habit related alterations to the alignment of your child's teeth or jaws, or if it is affecting their speech or swallowing patterns. They can also discuss habit control strategies with you, as well as follow your child's bite and facial development as they grow. If interceptive appliances or corrective orthodontic care are recommended, the timetable and best options in care will be explained in complete detail.