Your child won’t keep his or her first teeth forever, but that doesn’t mean your child’s first teeth don’t need excellent care. Visit Magnolia Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontics to establish preventive care that will last a lifetime.
About Baby Teeth
Your child’s baby teeth usually begin to appear between six and nine months of age, although it can start as early as three months or as late as twelve months. The two lower front teeth erupt first, followed by the two upper teeth. Next, the first molars arrive, followed by the canines (eyeteeth). Sometimes children experience teething discomfort during this process. We can help advise you on the best course of action for your teething child.
Your infant’s gums and newly erupting teeth should be gently wiped after each feeding with a damp washcloth or water-soaked gauze pad. Starting around age 2, when there are more teeth in the mouth, establish a daily brushing routine with a small, soft-bristled toothbrush and no more than a thin smear of fluoridated toothpaste. Your child may need your help with this important task until about the age of 6.
First Dental Appointment
According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, you should bring your child in to see us by his/her first birthday. Though this may sound early, we can teach you proper pediatric oral hygiene techniques, check for cavities, and watch for developmental problems.
There are a variety of forms of tooth decay that can affect babies and children. Early Childhood Caries (tooth decay) can develop rapidly, progressing from the hard, outer enamel layer of a tooth into the softer, inner layer in six months or less.
Most importantly, we want to make sure your child has a positive experience at Magnolia Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics and will be a regular visitor for many years to come.
Treatments for Kids
Magnolia Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics offers a variety of dental treatments to prevent tooth decay in children or to save or repair teeth when necessary.
Fluoride makes teeth harder and more resistant to decay by incorporating into the enamel of the tooth. Although there is a small amount of fluoride in Chicago’s drinking water and in toothpaste, we can apply a higher concentration onto your child’s teeth for maximum protection.
Dental sealants are a plastic coating that prevents cavities by sealing the little grooves known as “pits and fissures” on the chewing surfaces of teeth. These little crevices are the perfect environment 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
Root canals are performed to save an injured or severely decayed tooth. Although more commonly associated with adults, children sometimes need root canal treatment too. Baby teeth are important guides to the incoming permanent teeth already forming beneath your child’s gums. Saving the teeth from premature loss can help prevent a malocclusion (a bad bite) that might eventually require orthodontic treatment.
We can repair chips and minor fractures to front teeth — common childhood occurrences — with tooth-colored bonding materials. Made of plastic and glass, these lifelike resins can be used on baby teeth as well as permanent teeth and last until the youngster has completed facial growth.
Age 6-8 Orthodontic Concerns
Dr. Zesheng Chen offers a variety of orthodontic treatments to help your child develop properly. We do a pre-orthodontic screening at age 6 in order to determine if orthodontics will be required.
Early Orthodontic Screening
Most malocclusions become evident by around age 7. Interceptive orthodontic treatment around this age can help guide proper tooth positioning and/or jaw growth, reducing the need for later treatment. There are many orthodontic problems that can be detected early and which why we should evaluate your child during their growth and development.
Problems to Watch For in Children
Keep an eye out for any tooth development issues. These include:
• Excessive Spacing
• Open Bite / Crossbite
• Overbite / Underbite
• Overjet (Protrusion)
• Abnormal Eruption
Play it Safe While Doing Sports
Purchase a custom-made mouthguard from us for your kids so they can enjoy sports while being safe and healthy.
Sports & Your Child’s Teeth
If your child plays sports, we highly recommend a custom-fitted mouthguard. According to the American Dental Association, an athlete is 60 times more likely to suffer a dental injury when not wearing one of these protective devices. At Magnolia Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics we custom-make mouthguards for your child using a model of their teeth that will offer greater protection than one off-the-shelf. It’s an investment that pays off highly in the form of reduced pain, suffering — and dental expenses down the road!
At Magnolia Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics we specialize in customized sports mouthguards. Please ask about mouthguards at the next appointment.