Normally a child’s first tooth appears between ages of 6 to 12 months. Gums may be sore and tender until the age of 3. Rubbing sore gums with a clean finger or cold wash cloth helps to sooth them. Cold teething rings also work well.
While your baby is teething, it is important to monitor the teeth for signs of "baby bottle" decay. A bottle containing anything else but water, which is left in child's mouth while sleeping or trying to sooth to sleep can cause decay. This happens because sugar in the liquid mixes with the bacteria in the dental plaque and forms acids that attack the tooth enamel. Also, during sleep, the saliva flow significantly decreases and liquids “pool” around the infant’s teeth for long periods of time covering the teeth in harmful acids. Keep in mind that diluting a child’s bottle with water will not help in preventing the decay process, for it is not the AMOUNT of sugar that can cause decay, but it is the FREQUENCY (number of times) they are exposed to the sugars that causes decay.
INFANT’S NEW TEETH
The primary or “baby” teeth play a vital role in a child’s dental development. They are essential for chewing and speaking properly. Healthy teeth allow a child to eat properly and maintain good nutrition. Primary teeth are crucial to the development of the jaw bones and for guiding the permanent teeth into place when they start to replace primary teeth around the age of 6. Since primary teeth help guide the permanent teeth into place, children with missing primary teeth may require a device known as a space maintainer. Without a space maintainer, the teeth can tilt toward the empty space and cause the permanent teeth to come in crooked or block the tooth from erupting.
GOOD DIET AND HEALTHY TEETH
A child’s teeth, bones and soft tissue of the mouth require a healthy, well-balanced diet. A variety of foods from the five food groups are important for a child’s growth.
FLUORIDE FOR CHILDREN
Fluoride is essential for a child’s teeth to develop properly and reduce their chances of developing cavities. Children need both a balanced combination of fluoride in their drinking water as well as topical tray applications that are applied in the dental office. If you live in an area where you have well water, a prescription for fluoride drops may be crucial in the development of the child’s teeth and to reduce their risk of developing cavities.
A CHILD’S FIRST DENTAL VISIT
Typically, in our office a child’s first dental visit takes place around 3 to 4 years of age. We always encourage a child to “observe” in our office before this first visit. This is usually by watching a parent or sibling in the dental chair. We have found that just by being in the room and becoming used to the environment can help calm a child’s anxiety about their own first visit.
Our goal is to have each child graduate from high school with as few cavities as possible and to equip them with the appropriate skills and dental health education that will last them a lifetime.
Click here, to see a video about Pediatric Dental Care.
Irina Rodriguez, D.D.S.
(Serving Ojai, Las Casitas, Santa Paula, Ventura, Carpinteria)
117 Pirie Rd., Suite A
Ojai, CA 93023
Phone: (805) 646-3700 Emergency: (805) 415-4478