Early Dental Care

Oakland, CA Dentist For Children

At Dragon Dental Group our team provides specialized dental care for patients of all ages - including infants and young children! Our team is here to help guide parents from teething through the eruption of permanent teeth. Our goal is to help children establish good oral hygiene habits early, to endure beautiful smiles and happy trips to the dentist for a lifetime! 

Infant Tooth Eruption

A child’s teeth actually start forming before birth. As early as 4 months of age, the primary or “baby” teeth push through the gums—the lower central incisors are first, then the upper central incisors. The remainder of the 20 primary teeth typically erupt by age 3, but the place and order varies.

Permanent teeth begin eruption around age 6, starting with the first molars and lower central incisors. This process continues until around age 21. Adults have 28 secondary (permanent) teeth—32 including the third molars (wisdom teeth).

Infant’s New (Primary) Teeth

The primary, or “baby,” teeth play a critical role in dental development. Without them, a child cannot chew food properly and has difficulty speaking clearly. Primary teeth are vital to development of the jaws and for guiding the permanent (secondary) teeth into place when they replace the primary teeth around age 6.

Since primary teeth guide the permanent teeth into place, infants with missing primary teeth or infants who prematurely lose primary teeth may require a space maintainer, a device used to hold the natural space open. Without a maintainer, the teeth can tilt toward the empty space and cause permanent teeth to come in crooked. Missing teeth should always be mentioned to your family dentist. The way your child cares for his/her primary teeth plays a critical role in how he/she treats the permanent teeth. Children and adults are equally susceptible to plaque and gum problems—hence, the need for regular care and dental check-ups.

Teething

The first teeth can begin to erupt between ages 6 to 12 months. During this time gums are sore and often irritated until the age of 3. You can help alleviate some of your little one's discomfort by gently rubbing the gums with: 

  • A clean finger
  • Back of a cold spoon
  • Cold, wet wash cloth
  • Teething rings work well, but it is important to avoid teething biscuits since they contain sugar - which can cause decay and rot.

Baby Bottle Tooth Decay

While your baby is teething, it is important to monitor the teeth for signs of baby bottle decay. Carefully look at all of your baby's teeth, especially on the inside or the tongue side, every two weeks for dull spots (whiter than the tooth surface) or lines. A bottle containing anything other than water and left in an infant’s mouth while sleeping can cause decay. This happens because sugar in the liquid mixes with bacteria in dental plaque, forming acids that attack the tooth enamel. Each time a child drinks liquids containing sugar, acids attack the teeth for about 20 minutes. When awake, saliva carries away the liquid. During sleep, the saliva flow significantly decreases and liquids pool around the child’s teeth for long periods, covering the teeth in acids.

A Child’s First Dental Visit

A child’s first dental visit should be scheduled around his/her first birthday. The most important part of the visit is getting to know and becoming comfortable with a doctor and his staff. A pleasant, comfortable first visit builds trust and helps put the child at ease during future dental visits. If possible, allow the child to sit in a parent’s lap in the exam room. Children should be encouraged to discuss any fears or anxiety they feel.

Why Primary (Permanent) Teeth Are Important

Primary teeth are important for several reasons. Foremost, good teeth allow a child to eat and maintain good nutrition. Healthy teeth allow for clear pronunciation and speech habits. The self-image that healthy teeth give a child is immeasurable. Primary teeth also guide eruption of the permanent teeth.

Good Diet and Healthy Teeth

The teeth, bones and soft tissue of the mouth require a healthy, well-balanced diet. A variety of foods from the five food groups helps minimize (and avoid) cavities and other dental problems. Most snacks that children eat cause cavities, so children should only receive healthy foods like vegetables, low-fat yogurt and cheeses, which promote strong teeth.

Schedule Your Child's Dentist Appointment With Us

Our team of expert dentists are here to ensure your child has optimal oral health. Please contact us at our Oakland, CA office to schedule your child's dental appointment. A member of our team will work with you to schedule and appointment that fits withing your schedule. 

 

  
                                          
Top 10 Dentists in Oakland, CA
Congratulations to Dr. Joyce Tse, DDS on winning the 2015 Patients' Choice Awards for Dentistry in Oakland, CA
Verified by Opencare.com