The American Dental Association and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry both recommend that children visit a dentist when their first tooth erupts or by their first birthday in order to prevent dental problems. When your child is ready for his or her first appointment, visit our Bay City pediatric dental office for high-quality, compassionate care.
Much like adult dental visits, children should visit the dentist approximately every six months for a check-up. At those check-ups, sometimes a cleaning will be advised, too. At your child’s first appointment, Dr. Picard will suggest a check-up timeline for your child based on his or her oral health.
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Before your child was even born, his or her teeth were forming. Primary (baby) teeth begin to erupt as early as 4 months of age. These first teeth are typically the lower central incisors, which are soon followed by the upper central incisors. The pace and order of the eruption of baby teeth varies from child to child, but in most cases, all 20 primary teeth appear by the age of 3.
The tooth fairy’s employment begins when a child is around 6 years old. Typically, the first molars appear, followed by the lower central incisors. By the age of 21, most adults have all 28-32 of their permanent teeth (this includes the third molars, or wisdom teeth).
Your child’s primary teeth are important in many ways. The help your child learn to speak clearly and chew naturally, and as permanent teeth appear, they aid in forming a path for those teeth to erupt. Caring for baby teeth is also important to the health of permanent teeth, as neglected cavities can lead to swelling and pain that could damage the development of permanent teeth. Visiting Bay City pediatric dentist Dr. Picard allows our team to detect and treat problems early and keep both primary and permanent teeth healthy.
At Bay City dental office Tri City Kids Pediatric Dentistry, we think that the sooner you start using toothpaste, the better! When your child is born, you can clean their gums with a soft infant toothbrush or a cloth and water. When teeth begin to erupt, start brushing twice a day using fluoridated toothpaste and a soft, appropriate-sized toothbrush.
For children 2 years and younger, use only a “smear” of toothpaste. When your child is between the ages of 3 and 6, a “pea sized” amount of toothpaste on their toothbrush is appropriate. Continue to brush, or assist in the brushing of, your child’s teeth until our team has determined that he or she has the proper brushing technique and can effectively clean all teeth. Be sure your child spits out excess toothpaste, and does not swallow it after brushing.
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- Praise him or her when the sucking is not happening rather than scolding them when it is.
- Focus on correcting the cause of any anxiety that is leading to the sucking.
- Provide comfort if your child’s sucking habit is done for comfort.
- When your child refrains from sucking during difficult periods, such as separation from parents, reward him or her.
- Ask Dr. Picard to explain to your child what can happen to his or her teeth if the sucking continues.
- If these approaches don’t work, reminding the child to stop the habit by bandaging his or her thumb or putting a sock on the hand at night can help curb the sucking.
If thumb or pacifier sucking goes on for a long time, they can harm your child’s teeth and the development of his or her bite. Many children stop these habits on their own, but if they are 4 or older and still have these sucking habits, pediatric dentist in Bay City Dr. Picard may recommend a mouth appliance.
To help your child break a thumb or pacifier sucking habit:
Start by bringing your child to the dentist when his or her first tooth erupts, or by his or her first birthday. This allows your Bay City, MI pediatric dental team the chance to examine your child’s mouth for early signs of decay and treat any detected decay fast. Combine these visits with proper at-home care and well-balanced diet to give your child a lifetime of happy, healthy smiles.
If you are a nursing mother concerned about the effects of nursing on your child’s teeth, we recommend that you do not nurse your child to sleep or put anything other than water in his or her bedtime bottle.
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A balanced diet is key to keeping your child’s teeth healthy, as well as his or her body. Make sure your child is eating one serving each of vegetables, fruits, breads and cereals, milk and dairy, and meat. Limiting their intake of sugars and starches helps protect children’s teeth against decay. Bay City dentist Dr. Picard can also suggest foods that can protect your child’s teeth against harmful acids and sugars in foods.
Dental sealants are placed on children’s molars and premolars shortly after they erupt. Sealants fill the crevices on the chewing surfaces on these teeth to keep out food particles that can get caught and cause cavities. Sealants can protect your children’s teeth for many years.
At our pediatric dentist office in Bay City, we use only digital X-rays. These X-rays emit up to 90% less radiation compared to traditional X-rays, limiting children’s exposure to radiation. Our team is also careful to limit the number of X-rays our patients are exposed to.
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