February is National Children’s Dental Health Month, and Pennsylvania family dentist Dr. Thomas DeFinnis has a lot of experience caring for little smiles. Read on to find out more about your child’s dental care at Wynnewood Dental Arts.
Your child’s dental care begins before he or she is even born, so it’s imperative that you maintain healthy dental habits and receive proper dental care prior to and during your pregnancy.
After your baby is born, the first big development in his or her dental care is the teething process. During this stage, which begins when the first tooth erupts anywhere between the ages of 6 months and 1 year, your baby’s gums will be sore, tender, and irritable. To soothe your baby’s discomfort, gently rub the sore gums with a clean finger, the back of a cold spoon, a cold, wet washcloth, or a teething ring.
During the teeth process, be sure to watch for signs of baby bottle decay. This can occur when a bottle containing anything other than water is left in an infant’s mouth while sleeping, causing the sugar in the liquid to mix with bacteria and create acids that cause dental plaque and tooth decay. Signs of baby bottle decay include a white film inside the mouth and white spots and/or lines on the surfaces of the teeth
Infant’s New Teeth
The primary teeth, more commonly referred to as “baby teeth,” are crucial to development. Without them, your child would be unable to bite, chew, or speak properly. Additionally, baby teeth are necessary for jaw development and the proper eruption and growth of the permanent (secondary) teeth when they replace the baby teeth later on.
When infants and toddlers are missing permanent teeth—from an injury, hereditary factors, or otherwise—a space maintainer may be needed to hold the space where a permanent tooth will eventually be.
For most children, the process of losing baby teeth and replacing them with permanent teeth begins around the age of 6 years, usually starting with the first molars and lower central incisors. This process takes place until the age of 21, which is when most people finish developing their third molars (wisdom teeth).
Stay tuned for more information about children’s dental health from Dr. DeFinnis. To reserve an appointment for you or your child, call Wynnewood Dental health, located in Wynnewood, PA, at (610) 228-4452.