WHAT IS A PEDIATRIC DENTIST?
A pediatric dentist is a dentist who specializes in the treatment of infants, children, adolescents, and patients with special needs. They complete an additional two to three years of specialty training upon their completion of dentistry school. During this specialty training, they receive advanced training with children of all ages. Each child will require a different approach to dental treatment dependent on their behavior, and we are trained to modify our treatment philosophy to accommodate your child’s fears or concerns. We are also trained in the growth and development of the dentition so that we can monitor your child’s smile and make appropriate recommendations for growth modification when necessary.
MAY I STAY WITH MY CHILD WHILE AT THE DENTIST?
Of course! We would love for you to come back with your child for their new patient visit if it helps them feel more comfortable and alleviates any of the fears they may have associated with coming to the dentist. Our goal is for every child to be comfortable enough with us that they want to come back by themselves for treatment!
WHEN SHOULD MY CHILD FIRST COME TO THE DENTIST?
The beginning of a beautiful smile is started as soon as a child is born! The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) recommends that your child visit the dentist six months after the eruption of their first tooth or by one year of age, whichever is first. This first dental visit is utilized to provide parents with an educational opportunity to understand how to prevent dental problems from occurring, as well as allowing the child to establish a “dental home” for future dental care.
If your child has been to the dentist previously and you are looking for a new dentist, or if you have just moved to the area, establishment of a new “dental home” is very important so that care can be provided in a continuous fashion to minimize the amount of time between dental visits.
WHAT IS A “DENTAL HOME?
According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, a dental home is defined as “the ongoing relationship between the dentist and the patient, inclusive of all aspects of oral health care delivered in a comprehensive, continuously accessible, coordinated, and family-centered way.” – (AAPD 2012). We encourage the establishment of a dental home no later than 12 months of age for newborns, however, all children need a dental home that they enjoy coming to for routine cleanings in addition to other necessary treatment they may need. We want to provide you an environment where you can call Williamson Pediatric Dentistry your dental home!
ERUPTION OF PRIMARY AND PERMANENT TEETH?
Eruption of primary (baby) teeth usually begins around 6 months of age. If your child has a tooth present at birth or within the first month of life, bring them to the dentist to have it evaluated. A tooth present at birth is called a neonatal tooth. These are usually extra teeth that will require removal prior to the normal set of baby teeth erupting through the gum tissue. A tooth that presents within the first month of life is called a natal tooth. These can sometimes be extra teeth or can be the actual baby teeth that have erupted earlier than expected. It is important to rule this out to facilitate proper eruption of the proper set of baby teeth.
Eruption of primary (baby) teeth is usually complete around 2 ½ to 3 years of age. Once all the baby teeth have erupted, the child should have a total of 20 primary teeth. Children will begin to lose baby teeth around 6 years of age.
Eruption of permanent teeth starts around 6 years of age. It begins with replacement of the lower front teeth (incisors) as well as eruption of the permanent first (6 year) molars behind the existing baby teeth. Once all permanent teeth have erupted, a total of 32 teeth are possible. Four of these teeth are usually not visible or are impacted. These are most commonly referred to as the “wisdom teeth” or third molars. Referral to an oral surgeon is usually recommended for removal of these teeth so they do not affect or damage adjacent teeth or previously performed orthodontic treatment.
WHAT DO I DO IF MY CHILD GRINDS HIS/HER TEETH AT NIGHT?
This is a very common question I get from a lot of parents. Unfortunately, there are multiple factors that can cause this, so consultation with us at our office is usually the best way to determine what could be causing this and if any treatment is necessary.
WHEN WILL MY CHILD NEED BRACES?
The proper time for a child to have braces (orthodontics) is determined by multiple factors. A brief and thorough analysis by a pediatric dentist can provide you with some information that will be helpful in determining whether or not treatment is necessary, and if so, when it is necessary. If treatment is determined to be necessary, referral to an orthodontist will allow you to be provided with the appropriate care necessary to correct any orthodontic problems that need corrected.