What Is A Pediatric Dentist?
The pediatric dentist has an extra two to three years of specialized training after dental school and is dedicated to the oral health of children from infancy through the teenage years. The very young, pre-teens, and teenagers all need different approaches in dealing with their behavior, guiding their dental growth and development, and helping them avoid future dental problems. The pediatric dentist is best qualified to meet these needs.
Your Child’s First Dental Visit
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. Children who have a dental home are more likely to receive appropriate preventive and routine oral health care.
Eruption Of Your Child’s Teeth
Children’s teeth begin forming before birth. As early as 4 months, the first primary (or baby) teeth to erupt through the gums are the lower central incisors, followed closely by the upper central incisors. Although all 20 primary teeth usually appear by age 3, the pace and order of their eruption vary.
Permanent teeth begin appearing around age 6, starting with the first molars and lower central incisors. At the age of 8, you can generally expect the bottom 4 primary teeth (lower central and lateral incisors) and the top 4 primary teeth (upper central and lateral incisors) to be gone and permanent teeth to have taken their place. There is about a one to two-year break from ages 8-10 and then the rest of the permanent teeth will start to come in.
This process continues until approximately age 21. Adults have 28 permanent teeth or up to 32 including the third molars (or wisdom teeth).
Why Are Primary Teeth Important?
It is very important to maintain the health of primary teeth. This can be done through proper dental care at home as well as consistent dental check-ups. Neglected cavities can and frequently do lead to problems that affect developing permanent teeth. Maintaining a healthy diet and avoiding sugary foods whenever you’re not able to brush your child’s teeth afterward are good habits for protecting your child’s primary and permanent teeth.
Care Of Your Child’s Teeth
- Starting at birth, clean your child’s gums with a soft cloth and water.
- As soon as your child’s teeth erupt, brush them with a soft-bristled toothbrush.
- If they are under the age of 2, use a small “smear” of toothpaste.
- If they’re 2-5 years old, use a “pea-size” amount of toothpaste.
- Be sure and use an ADA-accepted fluoride toothpaste and make sure your child does not swallow it.
- When brushing, the parent should brush the child’s teeth until they are old enough to do a good job on their own.
- Flossing removes plaque between teeth and under the gumline where a toothbrush can’t reach.
- Flossing should begin when any two teeth touch.
- Be sure and floss your child’s teeth daily until he or she can do it alone.
At Packer Pediatric Dentist, we’re here for you. When you schedule a visit for your child, we’ll answer any questions that you may have and help you understand what to expect next in their dental development. We want to assist you in helping your child maintain a healthy smile and build a good foundation for their dental future. If you are looking for a pediatric dentist in the Brighton, CO area, call our team today to schedule your child’s first visit!