Early Dental Care

Highlands Ranch, Castle Pines and Littleton Pediatric Dentistry

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The team of pediatric dentists at Colorado Kids Pediatric Dentistry are dedicated to providing high quality, individualized dental care to children of all ages. At our practice, we firmly believe that the children visiting our office should feel right at home, comfortable and relaxed. Instead of fearing the dentist, children should be encouraged to enjoy their appointments with our doctors. We also know how important it is for the parents of our patients to understand their children’s oral health needs, so they can help put their children on the right path toward a lifetime of healthy and beautiful smiles!

To help parents better understand children’s dentistry, below is some helpful information about early dental care as well as a few tips which can ensure your child can enjoy all the benefits that come with having healthy teeth and gums.

Teething

You can expect your child’s first tooth to erupt through the gums sometime between the age of 6 and 12 months. As your child’s first teeth are coming in, you can expect some irritability due to sore and tender gums. To alleviate this discomfort, gently rub the gums with the back of a cold spoon or a clean, damp cold cloth. You may also give your child a teething ring but do not give your child teething biscuits as they contain sugar that is harmful to the teeth.

It’s very important to regularly check your child’s teeth while he or she is teething for any signs of baby bottle tooth decay. Look closely at the inside surfaces of the teeth every week or so for dull areas or lines. This condition occurs when baby bottles containing sugary liquids are left in an infant’s mouth while sleeping. This happens because the sugar in the liquid mixes with the bacteria in plaque wherein it forms acids that attack tooth enamel for up to 20 minutes. When your child is awake, saliva naturally carries the liquid away. However, when asleep, there is less saliva being produced, allowing the harmful liquids to pool around the teeth for a longer period of time.

How to Prevent Baby Bottle Decay

You can help your child avoid baby bottle decay by not allowing him or her to fall asleep while bottle feeding. If your child needs a bottle to fall asleep, fill it with water or give him or her a pacifier. If you see any signs of tooth decay in your baby, contact our Highlands Ranch or Castle Pines office right away so our children’s dentists can help.

The Development of Your Child’s First Teeth

The primary teeth are very important for your child’s dental development. These teeth are essential for chewing food, speaking clearly and for giving your child good self-esteem. The primary teeth also help guide the permanent teeth into place and help the jaws develop properly. If your child is missing these teeth or loses primary teeth too early, it can cause the permanent teeth to come in incorrectly. In this case, we can provide your child with a space maintainer which will ensure that the permanent teeth come in correctly. And since children are just as prone to tooth decay and gum problems as adults, it is very important to teach children how to properly care for their teeth and gums and to receive regular dental check-ups and cleanings at your local Parker area pediatric dentist.

How the Teeth Erupt

Your child’s teeth start developing in the womb. By the time your child is 4 months of age, the first teeth may begin to erupt through the gums. The lower central incisors come in first, then the upper central incisors followed by the rest of your child’s 20 primary teeth, which all should be in by the age of 3.

Your child should start getting his or her first permanent teeth at around the age of 6. The first permanent teeth to come in are the first molars, then the lower central incisors. This process continues until around the age of 21. Adults have a total of 28 teeth – 32 including the wisdom teeth.

Your Child’s First Visit to Our Littleton Pediatric Dentistry Office

You should schedule your child’s first visit with us at around his or her first birthday. While we will examine your child’s mouth to look for any problems which may be developing, the main purpose of this initial visit is to help your child become familiar with a dental office environment and staff. Everyone at our practice is specially trained and experienced in working with children and we know how to help children relax and feel comfortable while they’re visiting us.

A Healthy Diet Helps Build Healthy and Strong Teeth

Your child’s teeth, gums, and bones all require a healthy well-balanced diet. You should be providing your child with a variety of foods from the main food groups. To help your child avoid dental decay, limit the number of sugary snacks you allow your child to eat. At snack time, instead of giving your child sugary cakes, cookies and candies, offer healthier snacks instead like fresh vegetables and yogurt and cheeses which are low in fat. When children are brought up on healthy diets containing foods that are good for both their oral and overall health, they’re more apt to continue their healthy eating habits into adulthood.

Contact your Centennial Area Pediatric Dentist Office

At Colorado Kids Pediatric Dentistry, we’re devoted to providing children with the high quality, personalized dental care they need and deserve in our nurturing office environment. We are committed to helping each young patient we serve achieve and maintain optimum oral health so they can enjoy all the benefits that come with having healthy and beautiful smiles! If you would like to book an appointment for your child, you can use our online appointment request form. Don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions about early dental care as we’re always happy to speak with you!