As the most chronic childhood problem (up to age 17), tooth decay and cavities are five times more common than asthma and seven times more common than hay fever, as reported by the Consumer Guide To Dentistry. Given the severity of oral health ailments, every parent needs to understand the importance of pediatric dental care, as it is the foundation to good oral health for the future.
Perhaps it’s best to discuss the pediatric dental needs of children at the onset of the first tooth, which typically erupts between 6-24 months of age. Early care begins at home with an awareness of teething symptoms and how to help your child by massaging their gums, allowing them to chew on a teething ring, a chilled washcloth, or by rubbing an ADA approved dental teething ointment. Once the first tooth makes its appearance, it must be cleaned, especially following a bottle-feeding or meal. Once babies have a few teeth, parents may use a soft-bristled toothbrush and a pea-sized amount of toothpaste to gently brush teeth. Keep in mind—pediatric dentists recommend that children visit a dentist by their first birthday, even if they do not have their first tooth.
As children develop coordination and an interest in oral care, they may begin to brush their own teeth. While this is good practice, it’s important for parents to supervise brushing. During this time, dentists might suggest placing sealants on the child’s teeth to protect them from decay. When used in accordance with regular fluoride treatments, dental sealants protect baby teeth from developing cavities. Contrary to what some believe, the health of baby teeth is critical to the health of permanent teeth.
From ages 6-12, it’s likely that children will have both baby teeth and permanent teeth in their mouth. In turn, as the jaw and facial bone structures develop, dentists may suggest consulting with an orthodontist to determine if early intervention is necessary to correct or avoid malocclusion (bite concerns).
As an esteemed dentist in Cypress, Dr. Patrick Vuong is committed to providing a unique dental experience for all patients, especially children. With an emphasis on preventative dentistry, Dr. Vuong values early pediatric care as the cornerstone to developing good oral care habits for life. Need special accommodations for your child? The team at Smile Avenue Family Dentistry is ready to assist you. Call today!
Posted on Behalf of Smile Avenue Family Dentistry