Pediatric Dentist, Children’s Dentistry

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Children’s Dentistry | Pediatric Dentist

The most common questions we hear from concerned parents tend to regard when their child’s teeth should start coming in – and when they should start to see the growth of their permanent teeth.

Ultimately, each child has a different body, with unique physiology and ‘pace’ at which it grows. However, generally speaking, primary teeth – or baby teeth – tend to come in between the range of four and 12 months of age.

You shouldn’t be too concerned about which of your child’s teeth are the first to emerge, or the exact sequence in which they come in. What is most important is that the child is not experiencing excessive discomfort or clear developmental problems with their teeth, which should be discussed with and addressed by your dentist.

Generally speaking, your child’s first tooth to erupt will be a central and frontal tooth on their lower jaw, called the ‘central incisor’ – followed by a second ‘central incisor’ on the same jaw.

This is followed by four upper incisors, four molars, two bottom lateral incisors, cuspids – or pointed teeth, and finally the four second molars.

The loss of your child’s primary (or baby) teeth will begin around the age of six. This is followed by the eruption of the first permanent molars, which are followed by the rest of your child’s permanent (or adult) teeth.

As a compassionate and caring children’s dentist serving Norwest and Sydney-wide patients, we are happy to discuss this process at length.

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Early Dental Care

We are concerned about your child’s total health care. Good oral health is an important part of total health. Establishing us as your child’s Dental Home provides us the opportunity to implement preventive dental health habits that keep a child free from dental/oral disease. We focus on prevention, early detection and treatment of dental diseases and keep current on the latest advances in dentistry for children.

Preventing Tooth Decay

Four things are necessary for cavities to form:

  1. A tooth
  2. Bacteria
  3. Sugars or other carbohydrates
  4. Time

We can share with you how to make teeth strong, keep bacteria from organizing into harmful colonies, develop healthy eating habits and understand the role that time plays. Remember dental decay is an infection of the tooth. Visiting us early can help avoid unnecessary cavities and dental treatment.

Importance of Baby Teeth

It is very important that primary (baby) teeth are kept in place until they are lost naturally. These teeth serve a number of critical functions. Primary teeth:

  1. Maintain good nutrition by permitting your child to chew properly
  2. Are involved in speech development
  3. Help the permanent teeth by saving space for them
  4. A healthy smile can help children feel good about the way they look to others.

Infants and Children

Getting an early start in regular dental care is an important step on the road to teaching your child healthy lifetime habits. We want to share with you the latest available methods for keeping your child healthy and safe. The first dental visit should occur shortly after the first tooth erupts and no later than the child’s first birthday. Beginning tooth and mouth examinations early may lead to detection for early stages of tooth decay that can be easily treated.

Adolescents

Adolescents have special needs. Appearance and self-image are very important to them. Decayed or poorly positioned teeth or jaws might make them more self-conscious. Teens also eat frequently and unhealthy snack foods tend to become a major part of their regular diet. We provide a professional, sensitive and caring approach to restoring and guiding teeth, and teaching preventive dental health care through the teen’s high school years. When necessary, we will provide information on sealants, oral piercing, wisdom teeth, missing teeth and tobacco use.

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Birth-Age 2

  1. Never dip a pacifier in anything sweet; it can lead to serious tooth decay.
  2. Clean the baby’s mouth with a wet washcloth after breast-feeding, and encourage a bottle with plain water during the nighttime.
  3. Wean the infant from the bottle by one year of age.
  4. Children older than six months may need a fluoride supplement if their drinking water does not contain the ideal amount of fluoride.
  5. Thumb, finger and pacifier sucking all can affect the teeth essentially the same way.
  6. Never leave an infant unattended with a pacifier in his or her mouth, additionally do not allow the infant to sleep with a pacifier.

Age 3-5

  1. By the age of 3, 5-10% of Australian children have oral health issues.
  2. By age 5 about 60% of Australian children will have had caries at some point, including the 40 percent of children who have it when they enter kindergarten.
  3. Parents should assess speech and language development and provide appropriate referral as indicated.
  4. Scale and clean the teeth every 6 months or as indicated by individual patient’s needs.
  5. A child with unhealthy teeth is at risk for future oral health problems as an adult.
  6. A rapid form of tooth decay, known as early childhood caries, is the most common disease faced by young children—and it’s on the rise.

Age 6-11

  1. A pediatric dentist can identify crowded or crooked teeth and actively intervene to guide the teeth as they come in the mouth. Not only will this improve the look of the child’s smile, but early orthodontic treatment may prevent more extensive treatment later.
  2. A pediatric dentist can identify crowded or crooked teeth and actively intervene to guide the teeth as they come in the mouth. Not only will this improve the look of the child’s smile, but early orthodontic treatment may prevent more extensive treatment later.
  3. Fluoride not only helps prevent tooth decay, it cures beginning cavities.
  4. Pediatric dentists stand ready with a variety of methods to help an individual child feel comfortable with dental treatment.
  5. Repeating procedures every 6 months or as indicated by individual patient’s risk status/susceptibility to disease.
  6. Some problems can be corrected more effectively if you start early, which is why kids should get an orthodontic evaluation by age 7 at the latest.

Age 12+

  1. A pediatric dentist can identify crowded or crooked teeth and actively intervene to guide the teeth as they come in the mouth. Not only will this improve the look of the child’s smile, but early orthodontic treatment may prevent more extensive treatment later.
  2. Teens are still very susceptible to tooth decay.
  3. Repeating procedures every 6 months or as indicated by individual patient’s risk status/susceptibility to disease
  4. During late adolescence, assess the presence, position, and development of third molars, giving consideration to removal when there is a high probability of disease or pathology and/or the risks associated with early removal are less than the risks of later removal.
  5. At an age determined by patient, parent and pediatric dentist, refer the patient to a general dentist for continuing oral care.

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