PEDIATRIC DENTISTRY

Pediatric Care 101

Many aren’t aware that the health of their baby teeth has a huge impact on the health of the permanent teeth that will come later. Equally, your children are at a much higher risk for tooth decay in their baby teeth – and their permanent teeth, as a result. That’s why proper dental care both at home and at the dentist is so important to your child’s oral and total health.

When to Visit

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends children visit the dentist by their first birthday or at least six months after their first tooth comes in. It is important that your child’s newly-erupted teeth (erupting at six and 12 months of age) receive proper dental care and benefit from proper oral hygiene habits right from the beginning. Starting a dental care plan at an early age allows both you and your little one to learn how to properly care for their teeth and provides opportunities to address preventative issues that are important for healthy smiles for life. Early visits also help establish a positive relationship between your child and their dentist and keep your child from developing fear about the dentist later in life.

When New
Teeth Arrive

Your child’s first primary or baby teeth will begin to erupt between the ages of six and 12 months and will continue to erupt until about age three. During this time, your child’s gums may feel tender and sore. To help alleviate this discomfort, we recommend that you soothe the gums by rubbing a clean finger or a cool, wet cloth across them. You may also choose to make use of a teething ring. When your child has finished teething, you can expect a total of 20 primary teeth.

Your child’s primary teeth are shed at various times throughout childhood. Permanent teeth begin erupting at age six and continue until age 21. Adults have 28 permanent teeth (32, including wisdom teeth).

Adopting
Healthy Habits

As your child’s teeth erupt, be sure to examine them every two weeks, looking for lines and discoloration that may be caused by decay. Remember that sugary foods and liquids can attack a new tooth, so take care that your child brushes after feeding or eating. We recommend brushing four times a day for optimal oral hygiene: after breakfast, after lunch, after dinner, and at bedtime.

Brushing can be fun, and your child should brush as soon as the first tooth arrives. When a baby’s tooth erupts, parents should brush the tooth with a soft-bristled toothbrush and a small dab of toothpaste – about the size of a grain of rice. For children younger than two, do not use fluoride toothpaste unless advised to do so by your dentist or other healthcare professional. We suggest reviewing proper tooth brushing procedures with your child.

Flossing is also a part of good oral hygiene habits, and your doctor will discuss with you the right time to start flossing. If you notice signs of decay, contact your dentist immediately. Getting to know your teeth is fun!

Download our Dynamite Dental Fun Kit!

Preventing Decay

Tooth decay is caused by sugars left in your mouth that turn into an acid, which can break down your teeth. Children are at high risk for tooth decay for a simple reason: many children and adolescents do not practice regular, good oral hygiene habits. Proper brushing and flossing routines combined with regular dental visits help keep tooth decay away.

Your child should visit the dentist every six months for regular dental cleanings and checkups. We recommend fluoride treatments twice a year along with cleanings to keep teeth their strongest. Tooth sealants are also recommended because they “seal” the deep grooves in your child’s teeth, preventing decay from forming in these hard-to-reach areas. Sealants last for several years but will be monitored at your child’s regular checkups.

Phone 601-268-3333

Fax 601-268-6666

4216 Lincoln Road

Hattiesburg, MS 39402

Office Hours:
Mon - Thurs: 8AM - 5PM
Walk-ins Welcome!
© Baker and Graham 2020                        Website by BREAD
© Baker and Graham 2020
Website by BREAD