Early Treatment

Pediatric Dentistry in Northridge

eye-for-ebony-400376-unsplashA lifetime of healthy smiles begins at a young age. With the help of your pediatric dentists at Blooming Smiles family dentistry, we can help your child develop a healthy smile. Like our orthodontic treatments, our pediatric dental treatments are available in a comfortable setting by staff you can trust. When it comes to your children--we know you want the best.

Baby Teeth Timeline

In order to understand how early treatment works, it is important to understand the process of your child’s teeth development. Your child’s first tooth typically erupts between 6-12 months. At this time, gums are sore, tender, and sometimes irritable until the age of 3. You can soothe your child during this teething stage by rubbing the gums gently with a clean finger, the back of a cold spoon, or cold, wet cloth. Teething rings work well, but avoid teething biscuits, as they contain sugar that is not good for baby teeth. Adult teeth typically begin replacing baby teeth around age 6, and they will remain for life (if cared for properly!).

Importance of Primary Teeth

The primary, or “baby,” teeth play a crucial role in your child’s dental development. Primary teeth allow children to chew food properly and speak clearly. Additionally, primary teeth are vital to the development of the jaws and for guiding the permanent (secondary) teeth into place when they replace the primary teeth.

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, an orthodontic 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, requiring treatments such as braces down the road. 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.

Early Dental Treatment Visits

Early Dental Treatment VisitsYou should plan on scheduling your child’s first visit with their pediatric dentist around his/her 1st birthday. Early dental treatment is essential for a number of reasons, but this first appointment will primarily focus on getting your child comfortable with their pediatric dentist and family dentistry. The more they are able to enjoy their first visit in our Northridge or Woodland Hills office, the more successful their future dental visits can be. 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.

As your child becomes more confident and comfortable with their Northridge dentist, our experts can monitor for any dental or orthodontic issues requiring treatment. Early dental treatment allows us to catch problems early on before they require more invasive treatments.

Caring For Primary Teeth

Properly caring for your child’s teeth is not very different from caring for your own. Establishing a consistent oral hygiene routine begins with the very first tooth. While your child is young, you can demonstrate effective oral hygiene strategies by brushing their tooth or teeth gently with a children’s toothbrush and a small dab of fluoride toothpaste. As your child gets older, you and your Northridge and Woodland Hills dentist can help them practice effective brushing and flossing skills that they can carry into adulthood.

While your baby is still teething, however, it is important to monitor the teeth for signs of baby bottle decay. Examine the teeth, especially on the inside or the tongue-side, every two weeks for dull spots (whiter than the tooth surface) or lines. Tooth decay in infants can be minimized or totally prevented by not allowing sleeping infants to breast- or bottle-feed. Infants that need a bottle to comfortably fall asleep should be given a water-filled bottle or a pacifier. Again, helping your child clean their mouth and teeth is essential, even for a young baby. If you notice anything unusual in your baby’s mouth, notify your Northridge dentist to get a professional opinion.

Visit Your Pediatric Dentist in Northridge and Woodland Hills

Early dental treatment is not just a suggestion--it’s an essential component to your child’s lifelong dental health. If you have any questions about the prevention of cavities or how to best care for your child’s teeth, please contact us today. We will happily answer your questions and schedule an appointment with one of our pediatric dentists. We hope to see you soon!