North Shore Pediatric Family Dentist
As parents, one of the most important parts of your job is making sure your child is healthy and hitting their development milestones. From as soon as your child is born, you will likely need to start considering early visits with their pediatrician. But you should also consider setting up an appointment with a pediatric dentist. A common mistake made by parents to wait until a child has all or most of their baby teeth before seeing a dentist. Childrens’ teeth are very susceptible to dental decay. And kids who don’t see a dentist before they are older often already have cavities and even bigger dental problems. If you need to make family dental appointments in the Swampscott Massachusetts area, please give us a call for our availability, or read on for more information about pediatric dental services.
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When Are Children Supposed To See The Dentist For The First Time?
You might not remember your first trip to the dentist, especially if your parents followed the advice most dentists will give you about going to the dentist. Across the country dentists recommend that kids go to the dentist for the first time when either their first teeth begin to erupt or after they get to six months old. Like we mentioned above, it is a common mistake to wait until your child has more teeth above the gum line to see a dentist. First and foremost, if your child doesn’t have any teeth at six months, a pediatric dentist can make sure that their teeth are developing properly since most children begin teething between 4 to 7 months old. If the first teeth start erupting on-schedule a dentist can make sure that they are healthy and can provide valuable services from cleaning the teeth to demonstrating how to clean infant teeth for parents. They can also answer any questions you might have about caring for your child’s teeth. If dental visits are put off it is very common for cavities to form which can impact your child’s oral health for years.
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How Do You Clean An Infant's Teeth?
When you have a kid, their oral health is your responsibility until they are old enough to understand the responsibility of brushing their teeth and have the appropriate motor controls to brush and floss effectively. When kids are toddlers or little you can brush their teeth the same way you would brush your own. But how do you take care of a newborn or an infant’s teeth? Here is a quick guide for helping your children at different ages.
- Before Teeth Erupt: Dental care begins even before the first tooth erupts. When your child doesn’t have teeth you can use a damp clean gauze pad or soft cloth to wipe your child’s gums gently after they eat. This can prevent bacteria and germs from causing infections or gum disease.
- How To Clean An Infant’s Teeth: When teeth have arrived you can either use a normal toothbrush or a special toothbrush designed for babies. If you are using a normal tooth brush you should place a small amount of toothpaste (smaller than a grain of rice) at the top of the tooth brush. You should only use the top bristles and gently brush in circular motions. Avoid going back and forth since it can hurt the gums. Make sure to brush all sides of the tooth or teeth.
- How To Clean A Kid’s Teeth: One your child is 3 years old you can start using a child’s toothbrush with a pea size amount of toothpaste. You should make sure the toothpaste is safe to swallow but teach your child to spit toothpaste into the sink so they can learn that habit. AS they continue to age you should teach them what you are doing and start letting them brush their teeth with your assistance. Around age 10 they should be able to brush and floss on their own with supervision.
Do Cavities In Baby Teeth Really Need Fillings?
A common misconception is that the health of baby teeth isn’t important since they are temporary teeth. This couldn’t be further from the truth. First and foremost any dental decay can lead to infection, swelling, and discomfort, so it is important to help your kids take care of their oral health and to visit dentists on a regular basis. Untreated oral decay is progressive over time. What starts as small damage to the outside of a tooth eventually leads to needing crowns or root canal procedures. If that is untreated the decay can spread to other teeth and lead to infections and damage to the adult teeth. It is very important for kids to see the dentist twice every year.
Schedule Family Dental Appointments in Swampscott
If you live in the North Shore and are interested in making a dental appointment for yourself or your child, please give us a call. We would be happy to discuss our schedule with you.