We take pride in the fact that a lot of our patients from 1990s and early 2000s are grown ups now and they bring their kids to our office. In our office we can provide dental treatment for the majority of kids. Most of them will be very comfortable seeing our friendly staff.
For children who are uncomfortable with dentist, we also provide laughing gas ( click here to see laughing gas page!) . Laughing gas does not put kids in a sleep or unconscious state but rather places them in a calmer and happier mood. Most of these kids will gradually realize that our staff care for them and they are in good hands and thereafter they should not need laughing gas for future visits. We don't provide heavy sedation or general anesthesia in our office.
*Images of happy kids posted with permission of their parents.
The first dental visit should be around one year of age. However if the pediatricIan advises so or, if the parents note any unusual condition then an earlier visit is safer. If the baby is born with erupted teeth then definitely a consult with dentitst is in order !
Even though most children that age have a number of teeth, some children may have delayed tooth eruption. As the recommended age for first dental visit is at age 1, then a visit to dentist is the safest option.
If the baby teeth are moderately to very loose, there is no immediate treatment. Patience is recommended. This is a normal process. The tongue will push the permanent lower front teeth forward. If the teeth are not very loose, your child should be seen to take an x-ray and evaluate the situation.
Most children stop sucking their fingers between the ages of three to five. Sucking of a finger can have a significant effect on the bite. Flaring of the upper front teeth producing a protrusion, and backward positioning of the lower front teeth are common. Also a cross bite or narrowing of the upper jaw can occur producing an open bite, where the front teeth don't touch. The amount of these bite effects depend on the frequency, how long the child does it each time, and intensity of the finger habit. If your child continues this habit past the time of the eruption of the first permanent tooth. Then it can have a permanent effect on the adult bite. The habit should be stopped before these teeth come in. From a preventive point of view, infants should be given pacifiers, as they will do much less harm than finger habits, and most children will discontinue their use earlier.
Your child should stop using a bottle when they are old enough to hold a cup. This usually occurs around one year of age. After this age a child should not be placed to sleep with a bottle because this may cause dental decay, increase the incidence of ear infections, and prolong the use of the bottle. If you put your child to sleep with a bottle, the best way to stop this habit is progressively diluting the milk with water until it is all water. As the milk is diluted further and further every few nights, the babies lose interest in the bottle in bed. Juice or milk in a cup will not cause the severe decay that a bottle will.
The signs of teething are drooling, irritability, restlessness, and loss of appetite. Fever, illness, and diarrhea are not normal signs. If your child presents with the latter signs, they need to be evaluated by his or her pediatrician. The best solutions to comfort the child is to have the child chew on a cold or frozen rubber teething ring. Topical anesthetics are not recommended.
Baby teeth serve the important function of eating, speech, and aesthetics (self image). These teeth not only help form the developing jaws, but they hold space for the permanent teeth so that a normal bite occurs. The last baby tooth falls out at about twelve years of age. A decayed baby tooth can become so badly decayed that it can do damage to the permanent tooth. At times severe infections of the face, head, and neck can be caused by infected baby teeth.
We recommend that parents brush their children's teeth for the first few years of life, since young children lack the manual dexterity of proper tooth brushing. The toothbrush should be a child's size, with soft nylon rounded bristles. Toothpaste should not be used until the child is able to spit (three to four years of age) to avoid swallowing it. A pea-sized drop should be dispensed by the parent for young children. Flossing should be performed by the parent prior to brushing. Most children lack the proper manual dexterity to floss on their own until the age of ten and will need a parent's help and supervision. For more detailed instruction visit our office.