What is pediatric dentistry?

Pediatric dentistry is dental care for children from birth to 12 years old. This is because the jaw stops developing around 12, and most of the adult teeth are in by then.

What is the teething process for children?

The teething process varies. Some children are born with teeth, although this is rare. Most children will be teething from birth to about age 3. By the time they're 3, they should have all their baby teeth, including their baby molars. Around age 5 or 6, they will either start getting their 6-year molars or begin to lose their front teeth.

What is the average age for the front teeth to start falling out?

According to the last study done on dental eruption teeth patterns in the 70s, the average age was 7 to 8. However, many parents and my personal experience with my kids suggest it happens a bit earlier now.

I advise parents not to stress too much about hitting certain age markers. Each child develops at their own rate. If you're concerned about tooth eruption, I encourage you to come into the office for an x-ray. We can check to ensure all the teeth are there, and that things are on track with the development of the jaw.

What is a significant part of pediatric dentistry?

Prevention is a significant part of pediatric dentistry. Until the age of 3, we usually don't polish the teeth. Instead, we conduct a visual exam and provide instructions for home care and diet.

What causes cavities?

Cavities are caused by frequent exposure to sugar and bacteria in the mouth. When these bacteria consume sugar, they produce acid for about 20 minutes. This acid dissolves the tooth and creates a cavity.

What should you do as soon as a baby tooth comes in?

As soon as a baby tooth appears, brush it using fluoride toothpaste. If you're concerned about your child swallowing too much toothpaste, you can dip the toothbrush in a fluoride mouth rinse. I recommend using products with kid-friendly flavors, such as bubble gum or fruit-flavored toothpaste.

What should you do if you're worried about your child swallowing toothpaste?

If you're concerned about your child swallowing toothpaste, you can simply use water. If you choose to use toothpaste, apply a small amount to the toothbrush or dip it in a fluoridated rinse. For children, there's no need for a large amount of toothpaste on the brush.

You only need a small amount of toothpaste on the toothbrush for both kids and adults. The large swirl of toothpaste often shown in advertisements is not necessary and mainly serves to sell more toothpaste.

How important is diet in maintaining dental health?

Diet plays a significant role in maintaining dental health. Brushing and flossing can remove plaque, but limiting the intake of refined sugars can prevent cavities. It's not the amount but the frequency of sugar intake that contributes to cavity formation.

What are some dietary recommendations for children?

Limiting the intake of juice and other refined sugars to mealtimes can help prevent cavities. Between meals, provide snacks that are low in sugar. Popcorn, cheese, whole fruit, and vegetables are good options.

When should children have their first dental appointment?

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentists, the ADA, and pediatricians recommend establishing a dental home by the age of one. From ages one to three, the focus is on home care instruction, diet counseling, and visual exams. We start polishing teeth around age three.

Why is it important to have a dentist during the age six to eight range?

Between the ages of six to eight, it's crucial to monitor jaw growth and development to ensure there's enough space for the adult teeth. Early or interceptive orthodontic therapy can promote proper jawbone development and save on orthodontic therapy in the future.

What is the relationship between ADHD and sleep deprivation in children?

Most pediatricians struggle to differentiate between ADHD and sleep deprivation. If your child snores, it may indicate an issue with jaw growth and development, allergies, or a need for surgical intervention to open the airway.

What age groups do you see at your office?

We welcome children of all ages at our office. We strive to create a fun, comfortable environment with a toy box and fruit-flavored fluoride products. Our goal is to associate the dental office with positivity to reduce fear and anxiety.

Why should we fix cavities in baby teeth?

Fixing cavities in baby teeth can prevent cavities in adult teeth and ensure proper alignment of adult teeth. Cavities in baby teeth can lead to cavities in adult teeth, and losing a baby tooth prematurely can cause alignment issues for the incoming adult tooth.

What happens if a child's tooth gets chipped or knocked out?

If a child chips a tooth, it's typically not a major issue. If a baby tooth gets knocked out, it's best to leave it out. If an adult tooth gets knocked out, try to replace it as soon as possible. If you're unsure whether it's a baby tooth or adult tooth, place it in saline contact solution or milk and bring it to the office.

What should you do if you notice something dark in your child's teeth?

If you notice something dark in your child's teeth, it could be decay. Please call our office so we can address the issue before it becomes worse.

What procedures are available at your office for children?

We offer several procedures for children, including fillings, extractions, and the use of nitrous oxide or laughing gas. If a procedure cannot be safely done in our office, we will refer you to a pediatric dentist who can perform the procedure under general anesthesia.

What is your policy on safety and comfort during dental procedures?

Safety is our top priority. If a procedure cannot be performed safely, we will stop and refer you to a specialist. We always use numbing agents to ensure comfort during procedures.

How can parents schedule an appointment or get more information?

If you'd like to schedule an appointment or have any questions, please visit our website, DulacDDS.com, or call our office at (703) 451-4500.