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Pediatric

Baby Teeth Care

It doesn't take long for baby's teeth to appear. Every child is different, but primary teeth typically start to erupt between 6 months and to 1 year. Check out the chart below for reference.

primary tooth chart

When your child's teeth first come in, most babies will experience some soreness or tender gums. You may gently rub their gums with a clean finger, a small cool spoon, wet cloth or gauze pad to help sooth them. You may also give them a clean teething ring to chew on. If your child is still in pain and cranky, consult your physician or give our office a call at 651.730.9266.

It is important to keep your child's "baby teeth" clean and healthy. The primary teeth hold space in the jaw for their permanent teeth that are developing under the gums. If a child's baby tooth is lost too early, the permanent teeth can shift and erupt crowded or crooked.

If you give your child a bottle at bedtime, please fill it with only water. As beneficial as juice, milk and/or formula are for your child's health and development, it can be extremely harmful to your baby's teeth and oral health if they are allowed to fall asleep while drinking from the bottle. Teach your child to drink from a cup rather than a bottle around six months. Children should be weaned from the bottle by about one year old.

You should start cleaning your child's mouth within a few days after birth by wiping their gums with a clean, moist washcloth. Decay can start as soon as your child's teeth erupt. Start brushing their teeth with a child size toothbrush and water twice a day. Starting at the age of 3, you may use a small amount (pea size) of fluoride toothpaste. Please supervise your child and remind them not to swallow the toothpaste. Until you are comfortable that your child is able to clean their teeth effectively on their own, please continue to brush their teeth twice a day (morning and night.) When your child has two teeth that touch, start flossing their teeth daily.

First Dental Appointment

We recommend bringing your child to our office at the age of 3. If you have any questions or concerns regarding your child's dental health earlier than the age of 3, you may schedule a "well-baby check-up" for their teeth. We will show you how to properly care for your child's mouth and check for cavities and other dental issues.

Fluoride

Fluoride is naturally present in groundwater. Research shows that communities that fluoridate their water system to the amount of .7 milligrams per liter of water helps prevent at least 25% of tooth decay in children and adults. This is the reason fluoride is called "Nature's Cavity Fighter." Tooth enamel is the outer most layer covering your teeth. It is made from calcium and phosphate. When you eat food, it produces acid. That acid starts to strip the calcium and phosphate from your teeth. Your own saliva helps interrupt the acid and adds the calcium and phosphate back. If your saliva also has fluoride in it from toothpaste and drinking water, it makes your teeth stronger and helps prevent decay.

If you have well water or drink only bottled water, you may want to test your water to determine if you are getting the benefits of fluoride. If it is determined you are not getting a sufficient amount of fluoride, Dr. Chad can prescribe the supplements.

In addition to drinking fluoridated water and using toothpaste with fluoride in it, we offer fluoride treatments. The treatment is quick and painless. We will "paint" a thin layer of fluoride varnish on your child's teeth. These treatments strengthen the enamel and may even reverse very early cavities that have just started to form. After the treatment, your child will need to avoid chewing gum for the rest of the day. Please refrain from brushing your child's teeth for at least a couple hours. Your child may eat or drink immediately after treatment.

Sealants

Sealants are a great way to protect against tooth decay and cavities on your back teeth (molars). These are the teeth that are most vulnerable to cavities and decay because they are used in the chewing process, and are the most difficult to reach and clean. Molars first come in at around 5-7 years of age, with a second set coming in between the ages of 11-14. It is best to have a sealant placed when the molars first come in to ensure they are protected early.

To place a sealant an adhesive is first applied to the teeth. The sealant is then placed over the adhesive as a liquid, as if it is painted right onto the tooth. The liquid then hardens and creates a barrier between your tooth and any plaque, food particles, and bacteria. Sealants may last for about 10 years and can be reapplied if necessary.

Mouth guards are an essential piece of equipment in contact sports. They should be worn by athletes of all ages who participate in sports such as:

*Football *Hockey *Lacrosse *Wrestling *Basketball *Baseball/Softball *Soccer and any sport where contact is a possibility


Wearing a mouth guard helps prevent against structural damage to your teeth and jaw and also helps prevent injuries such as lacerations to your cheeks, tongue, and lips.

Mouth guards are available in most any sporting goods store, but you should be careful when purchasing a mouth guard. Mouth guards like this do not offer the best level of protection. They are also usually ill-fitting and uncomfortable.

For the highest level of comfort and protection, you should visit your dentist for a custom mouth guard fitting. A custom mouth guard is created specifically for the optimal protection of YOUR mouth. It is created with thin plastic that is hardened to protect your teeth. The thinness of the custom mouth guard allows for easy breathing and also allows for easy communication (especially important for you star quarterbacks calling out the signals).

Call us today at 651.730.9266 for a custom mouth guard to protect your teeth and ensure that you maintain the highest level of performance on the field, court, or rink.