What is a Pediatric Dentist?
Why are Primary Teeth Important?
Eruption of Your Child’s Teeth
Permanent teeth begin erupting at an average age of 6, starting with the first molars and lower central incisors. By about age 8, the top and bottom 8 primary incisors have been replaced by permanent incisors. There is then a two to three-year break before your child starts to lose their back primary teeth and the rest of the permanent teeth start to erupt. Adults have 28 permanent teeth or up to 32 permanent teeth if they have their third molars (wisdom teeth).
What’s The Best Toothpaste For My Child?
For children less than 3 years of age, use only a smear of fluoridated toothpaste that is the size of a grain of rice. You can use a “pea-size” amount of fluoridated toothpaste on children 3 to 8 years old. Young children do not have the ability to brush their teeth effectively on their own and they should spit out to avoid swallowing excess toothpaste that can cause fluorosis (mild discoloration on the permanent teeth due to frequently ingesting too much fluoride during the first 8 years of life).
Does Your Child Grind His Teeth At Night (Bruxism)?
Most cases of pediatric bruxism do not require any treatment. Your pediatric dentist will assess your child’s teeth for wear (attrition). If excessive wear is present, she can place bite blocks (acrylic buttons) on your children’s molars to alleviate the wear on their teeth. Heavy bruxism may require that bite blocks be replaced every few months.
Most children outgrow bruxism. Teeth grinding decreases between the ages of 6-9 and children tend to stop grinding between the ages of 9-12. If bruxism continues later in life, a night guard is the treatment of choice when your child is done growing and is more likely to tolerate such an appliance.
Thumbsucking that persists beyond the eruption of the permanent teeth can interfere with proper jaw growth and tooth alignment. The intensity of the sucking habit determines whether or not dental problems will occur. Children who rest their thumbs passively in their mouths are less likely to have bite problems than those who vigorously suck their thumbs.
Ideally, children should stop thumbsucking by the time their permanent teeth start to erupt. Children usually stop between the ages of 2 and 4 and peer pressure eventually causes many school-aged children to stop.
Pacifiers should not be used as a substitute for thumbsucking because they can affect teeth essentially the same way as fingers and thumbs. The benefit of using a pacifier is that it can be controlled and modified more easily than a finger or thumb habit.
Here are a few suggestions to help discontinue thumbsucking:
- Children often suck when they are feeling insecure. Focus on correcting the cause of the anxiety, instead of the habit.
- Children who are sucking for comfort will feel less of a need when their parents provide comfort.
- Reward children when they refrain from sucking during difficult times
- You can bandage the thumb or put socks on the hands at night to help remind your child not to suck.
- Your pediatric dentist can encourage your child to stop sucking and explain what can happen if they continue.
Permanent Teeth Coming in Behind Baby Teeth
What Is The Best Time for Orthodontic Treatment?
Dental Radiographs (X-rays):
East Bench Pediatric Dentistry chooses to use digital x-rays due to their important advantages over traditional x-rays. Our patients deserve 70% less radiation exposure, less discomfort, less time in the chair, and better diagnostic imaging.