Your child won't keep his or her first teeth forever, but that doesn't mean those tiny pearly whites don't need conscientious care. Maintaining your child's dental health now will provide health benefits well into adulthood, as primary (baby) teeth serve some extremely important functions. Dr. Sidrys provides care for children, but will refer patients to pediatric specialists for complex cases or when sedation is necessary.
Your Child's First Teeth +
Your child's 20 baby teeth will begin to appear usually between six and nine months, though in some cases it may start as early as three months or as late as twelve months.
Your Child's First Dental Appointment +
There are a number of forms of tooth decay that can affect babies and small children. Early Childhood Caries (tooth decay) can develop rapidly, progressing from the hard, outer enamel layer of a tooth into the softer inner dentin in six months or less.
Pediatric Dental Treatments +
There are a variety of dental treatments offered to prevent tooth decay in children or to save or repair teeth when necessary. They include:
Topical Fluoride — Fluoride incorporates into the enamel of teeth, making it harder and more resistant to decay. Although there is a small amount of fluoride in toothpaste and some drinking water supplies, a higher concentration can be applied professionally to your child’s teeth for maximum protection.
Dental Sealants — A plastic coating can be applied at the dental office to prevent cavities by sealing the little grooves on the chewing surfaces of back teeth, known as “pits and fissures.” These little crevices become the perfect environments for decay-causing bacteria. Immature tooth enamel is more permeable and, therefore, less resistant to tooth decay. Dental sealants are easy to apply and provide years of protection.
Root Canal Treatment — Perhaps you have had a root canal treatment yourself to save an injured or severely decayed tooth. Well, sometimes children need root canals, too. As mentioned above, baby teeth are important guides to the permanent teeth already forming beneath your child’s gums. Therefore, saving them from premature loss can help prevent malocclusion (“mal” – bad; “occlusion” – bite) that requires orthodontic treatment.
Bonding — Chips and minor fractures to front teeth — common childhood occurrences — can be repaired with tooth-colored bonding materials. These lifelike resins made of plastic and glass can be used on baby teeth as well as permanent teeth and last until the youngster has completed facial growth.
When you and your child are comfortably seated in the office, a gentle examination of your child's mouth will be performed to uncover any early signs of dental problems, such as tooth decay, and assess the risk that your child may develop the disease in the future. Often, this kind of risk assessment can help prevent — and even reverse — the early stages of tooth decay without any drilling.
Common signs that your baby is teething include:
Teething babies get the most relief from cold and/or pressure on the affected area. This can be applied with:
Make sure not to actually freeze your baby's teething ring or pacifier because this could burn if left in the mouth for too long.
If your child loses a tooth prematurely, there's a dental appliance that can be used to hold the space open for the permanent tooth that is meant to fill it. Made of metal and/or plastic, space maintainers can be fixed (cemented) or removable.
Whether fixed or removable, your child's space maintainer will be custom-made after we take impressions of their mouth.
Look for the following signs:
How is sleep apnea treated in children?
There are various treatments that can be very effective, depending on the cause. Enlarged tonsils and adenoids can be surgically removed. A therapy known as Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) involves the use of a machine that delivers mild air pressure through a mask worn during sleep to keep the airway open.
If your child seems unable to stop when it's time, positive reinforcements tend to work better than negative (e.g., putting a bitter substance on the thumb).
Here are some things you can try:
As a form of conscious sedation, nitrous oxide is inhaled through a small mask that fits comfortably over a child's nose. The gas is mixed with oxygen as it is being delivered, and both gases are always kept at a level that is safe for the body.
In just a few minutes, the patient may start to experience a floating sensation and perhaps some tingling in the hands and feet. That's a sign that the sedation is working.
Once it has been verified that your child is calm and comfortable and that the dose is correct, the dental procedure can begin.
Certain nutrients are particularly important for prenatal tooth development:
Seek Guidance on Dietary Supplementation & Medications
If you feel your diet is inadequate in some nutrients during your pregnancy, it's best to seek professional medical advice on what supplements you may need.