Why Baby Teeth Health Matters.
Cavities are the single most common and preventable childhood disease. There is a great deal you can do to maintain your child’s dental health now. Creating a healthy mouth during childhood can translate to a lifetime of positive oral health.
Milk teeth, more commonly called baby teeth, serve as a guide for the proper placement of permanent adult teeth. Permanent teeth actually push against the roots of the baby teeth, which melts them away and causes the body to reabsorb them, this allows proper placement of the adult teeth.
Milk teeth help your child with speaking, chewing, and biting. The average age for losing a first tooth is 7-years-old. The first teeth to fall out are the front teeth. Some of the back baby molars will remain until 12-years-old or later. It’s important to make sure both forms of teeth, baby and permanent, are healthy so all baby teeth are lost naturally.
Learning About Your Child’s First Teeth
Your child’s 20 baby teeth will usually start appearing between the ages of six and nine months. There is some variation though, so it’s not unheard of to see teeth emerging as early as three months or after 12 months. The two lower front teeth are usually the first to erupt, followed by the upper ones. The first molars will then be followed by the canines, also called the eyeteeth.
If your child is experiencing pain or discomfort with the teething process, you can wipe your child’s gums and the newly erupted teeth with a damp washcloth or water-soaked gauze pad. Silicone teethers and water-based chillable teethers can also be soothing. You should not use any sort of numbing gel, even ones marketed towards use in children. Talk with our team if you feel like your child needs pain medication for teething and we can help guide you.
Daily Brushing Routine:
When your baby is an infant we recommend you begin to create the habits that will make it easy to clean their mouth when their teeth arrive. This can include playfully using teethers and washed hands to move along the gums, tongue, lips and insides of the cheeks. This will create oral awareness and make them more comfortable with you helping clean their future teeth. At 3-months of age you can begin to use pre-biotic xylitol tooth gel on a silicone teether to help promote healthy bacteria.
As soon as the first tooth erupts we recommend you begin brushing your child’s teeth daily with a small, soft-bristled toothbrush. You should brush your child’s teeth until they have the dexterity and awareness to do it well. For most children this is after the age of 8. You should let your child brush their own teeth so they can learn how, but know that they will need assistance until they have the ability to properly clean their mouth.
Your Child’s First Visit to the Dentist: When Does My Child Need to See a Dentist?
According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, your child should visit the dentist before their first birthday. This allows us to teach your family how to help the developing teeth and mouth be healthy. This includes tips about: oral microbiome development, proper oral care habits, eating and drinking habits and more.
Pediatric Treatments Available
The following are some of the most common dental treatments that are associated with pediatric care:
- Tongue and Lip Ties: We evaluate, educate, support and treat families who have children and infants with tongue ties. We use a CO2 laser for quick, accurate treatment. We have occupational therapists, cranial sacral therapists, lactation consultants, myofunctional therapists, speech pathologists and other health professionals that we team up with to give your child the best possible outcome
- Bacterial Screening: We use technology that can test your child’s oral bacteria. Knowing your child’s microbiome gives us the information we need to provide custom tailored oral care advice to your family.
- Ultra-Low Radiation X Rays: We have invested in handheld, ultra-low radiation technology that has 90% less radiation than traditional film x rays.
- Personalized Oral Care, Nutrition and Products: Based on your child’s oral microbiome, teeth, saliva flow, cavity risk and other biometric data we will give personalized oral health recommendations.
- Dental Sealants: By applying a coating to the chewing surfaces of a child’s permanent molars, dental sealants provide years of protection. At Milk Tooth, every child is treated as an individual. For that reason, some patients we will recommend sealants to, some we will not. Furthermore, the material we use to seal each patient's tooth will be different and patient specific. We will come alongside your family and support you in the decision of how to best protect their new adult teeth.
- Baby Tooth Pulp Therapy: If a child’s tooth is severely injured or decayed, they might need pulpal therapy to save it. We use the best biocompatible and researched backed materials.
- Bonding: This treatment addresses minor fractures of chips of the front teeth, which is fairly common in childhood. This tooth-colored bonding material ensures the new bonded fix blends in with the rest of a child’s teeth.
- Teeth Cleanings: During the regular six-month appointment, your child will experience a thorough yet gentle cleaning of their teeth, along with instructions and education on healthy smile habits. This will promote good oral health from a young age.
- Tooth-Colored Fillings: If your child has a small or medium sized cavity, we will use tooth-colored BPA-free fillings. We can do our fillings with no-numbing, no-shots and no-drilling due to the Solea CO2 laser technology that we have invested in. Like everything at Milk Tooth, we will work with your family to see the best material choice.
- Tooth Colored Crowns: Nearly all pediatric dentists use metal stainless steel crowns for large cavities on baby molars, not at Milk Tooth. At Milk Tooth we prefer biocompatible, tooth colored (white) zirconia crowns.
- Tooth Extractions: When it is necessary to remove a baby tooth before it is ready or able to fall out naturally we will make the process as easy and comfortable as possible.
- Dental Emergencies: We are here for our families who have dental emergencies. You can call or text us anytime.
- Orthodontic Evaluation: As your child gets older they will be accessed to determine if they need orthodontic intervention.
- Child-friendly Sedation: We offer different forms of sedation for children based on their specific needs to ensure your child feels at ease and relaxed.