Children’s Dentistry Keeps Growing Smiles Healthy
Most dentists will agree that regular dental care should begin by one year of age, with a dental check-up at least twice each consecutive year for most children. Some children may need more frequent evaluations and care. For instance, teenagers lose interest in brushing and need to be reminded of good oral hygiene maintenance and habits, while orthodontic patients need regular cleanings to prevent decalcification.
Facts About Baby Teeth
Proper care of a child’s baby or primary teeth (also known as deciduous teeth) is very important as these teeth hold space for the future eruption of permanent teeth.
If a baby tooth becomes decayed or is removed too early, the space necessary for the permanent teeth is lost and can only be regained through orthodontic treatment.
Infected baby teeth can cause the permanent teeth to develop improperly, resulting in stains, pits, and weaker teeth.
Thumb-Sucking and Dental Health
Generally, thumb-sucking before the age of two is normal and harmless. When thumb-sucking is not stopped by the appropriate age (generally by the age of five), then parents should discourage the act. Prolonged thumb-sucking may contribute to crowded and/or crooked teeth development and bite problems.
Diet and Dental Care for Children
Our dentists recommend the following to ensure your child eats correctly to maintain a healthy body and teeth:
- Ask your pediatric dentist to help you assess your child’s diet.
- Do not routinely stock your pantry with sugary or starchy snacks.
- Buy “fun foods” just for special times.
- Limit the number of snack times; choose nutritious snacks.
- Provide a balanced diet, and save foods with sugar or starch for mealtimes.
- Do not put your young child to bed with a bottle of milk, formula, or juice.
- If your child chews gum or sips soda, choose those without sugar.
- Stop using children's toothpaste at age 5 and use adult formulations.