Children’s Dentistry

Dentist in Towson

Baby teeth are important. They not only hold space for permanent teeth, but they are important to chewing, biting, speech, and appearance. For this reason it is important for the child to maintain a healthy diet and receive daily hygiene.

Usually the two bottom front teeth are the first baby teeth that come into the mouth. You will usually notice this when your baby is about six to eight months old. Next to follow will be the four upper front teeth. The remainder of your baby’s teeth will appear periodically. They will usually appear in pairs along the sides of the jaw until the child is about 2-1/2 years old.

At 2-1/2 years of age, your child should have all 20 teeth. Between the ages of five and six, the first adult teeth will begin to erupt. Some of them replace baby teeth and some do not. If some teeth are a few months early or late, do not worry. All children are different in their eruption schedules.

Your Child’s First Visit

The first “regular” dental visit should be just after your child’s third birthday. The first dental visit is usually short and involves very little treatment. We may ask the parent to sit in the dental chair and hold their child during the examination. The parent may also be asked to wait in the reception area during part of the visit, so that a relationship can be developed between your child and your dentist.

Your child’s teeth and gums will be gently examined. Digital radiographic images may be taken (to reveal decay and check on the progress of your child’s permanent teeth under the gums). Your child’s teeth may be cleaned and topical fluoride applied to help protect the teeth against decay. We will make sure your child is receiving adequate fluoride at home. Most important of all, you will be advised on how to clean and care for your child’s teeth.

What should I tell my child about their first dental visit?

This question is asked many times. We suggest you prepare your child the same way that you would before their first haircut or trip to the shoe store. Your child’s reaction to his first visit to the dentist may surprise you. Our concern is that it be a pleasant experience.

Some First Visit Tips

  • Take your children for a “preview” or online tour of the office.
  • Read books with them about going to the dentist.
  • Review with them what the dentist will be doing at the time of the first visit.
  • Speak positively about your own dental experiences.

What about preventive care?

Tooth decay and children no longer have to go hand in hand. At our office we are deeply concerned about all aspects of preventive care. We use the latest in sealant technology to protect your child’s teeth. Sealants are space-age resins that are bonded to the chewing surface of back teeth, which tend to be most susceptible. This is just one of the treatments we will use to set the foundation for your child’s lifetime of good oral health.

Cavity Prevention

Primarily, cavities are resulting from a diet high in sugary foods and a lack of brushing. Limiting sugar intake and brushing regularly, of course, can help. The longer it takes your child to chew their foods, the longer the residue stays on their teeth, so the greater the chances of getting cavities.

Every time someone eats, an acid reaction occurs inside their mouth as the bacteria digests the sugars. This reaction lasts approximately 20 minutes. During this time the acid environment can destroy the tooth structure, resulting in cavities.

Consistency of a person’s saliva also makes a difference; thinner saliva breaks up and washes away food quicker. When a person eats a diet high in carbohydrates and sugars, they tend to have thicker saliva, which, in turn, produces more of the acid-producing bacteria that results in cavities.

Tips for Cavity Prevention

  • Limit frequency of meals and snacks.
  • Encourage brushing, flossing, and rinsing.
  • Watch what you drink.
  • Avoid sticky foods.
  • Make treats part of meals.
  • Choose nutritious snacks.