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Just as it’s important to take your child to a pediatrician for medical care, you should take your child to a pediatric dentist for dental care. Our board-certified pediatric dentist in Fishkill excels at making both children and parents feel comfortable.
Our goal is to ensure your child has a good experience at the dentist so we can work together to create healthy habits that will lead to a lifetime of smiles.
When to Take Your Child to the Dentist
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends a child visit the dentist by the child’s first birthday. As soon as a child has a tooth, that tooth can get a cavity. And as soon as the child has two teeth that touch each other, they need to be flossed to keep cavities from forming between them.
Many people don’t realize that babies and toddlers can develop a problem known as baby bottle tooth decay. Milk, juice, formula, and sugar water can lead to cavities (dental decay) if the liquid sits on the teeth; that may happen if the child falls asleep with a bottle or sippy cup resting against his or her mouth. Never put your child to bed with a bottle or sippy cup.
What to Expect During Your Child’s Visit to our Pediatric Dentist
Our pediatric dentist in Fishkill will check your child’s teeth and jaw alignment for any problems. Depending on the child’s age and comfort level at the dentist, the examination can be done either in a dental chair or with the child sitting on the parent’s lab.
If dental x-rays are needed to reveal any tooth decay or other problems, they will be taken. Often, small children do not require any x-rays.
Our children’s dentist and team have several ways to keep your child’s smile healthy and bright including:
- Teeth Cleaning for Children: Our pediatric dentist and hygienist know how to get your child to open wide so their teeth can be cleaned.
- Fluoride: Known as nature’s cavity fighter, topical fluoride incorporates into the enamel of teeth to make the tooth surface more resistant to decay.
- Dental Sealants: Sealants prevent dental decay by sealing the grooves on the chewing surfaces of back teeth with a thin, protective layer of plastic so food and bacteria can’t get trapped there.
- Dental Bonding: Tooth-colored materials can repair chips and minor fractures to children’s teeth.
- Fillings: If your child has a cavity, our pediatric dentist will carefully remove the damaged part of the tooth and repair it with a tooth-colored filling or an amalgam filling.
- Baby Root Canal: If dental decay reaches the soft pulp of the tooth where the blood vessels and nerves are housed, then it can cause a severe toothache. A root canal may be the only way to save the damaged tooth. In some cases, the entire pulp material needs to be removed (Pulpectomy). In other cases, only the top part of the pulp chamber of the baby tooth needs to be removed (Pulpotomy).
- Pediatric Crowns: If the child has a cavity too large to repair with a filling or if the child has had a root canal, then our pediatric dentist can cap the tooth with a pediatric crown.
- Mouthguards: The American Dental Association recommends children wear mouthguards to protect their teeth when involved in just about any kind of athletic training, from football, boxing and hockey to gymnastics and ice skating. Mouthguards cushion a blow to the face, minimizing the risk of broken teeth, teeth knocked loose, or teeth knocked out.
In addition to checking your child’s teeth so make sure they’re coming in correctly and are cavity-free, our pediatric dentist will also give the parents or caregivers tips to help keep the child’s smile healthy at home. Our pediatric dentist will demonstrate how to properly brush the child’s teeth, the kind of toothpaste and toothbrush to use, and how to floss – even if the child seems determined to keep his or her mouth closed! As a general rule of thumb, you should brush your child’s teeth yourself until the child is six years old or is old enough to have the dexterity to tie his or her shoelaces. It may take a few more years until the child is able to effectively floss by himself or herself.
When Do Baby Teeth Come In?
A child will have 20 baby teeth. Also known as primary teeth, these baby teeth typically start appearing between six and nine months of age, although they can come in earlier or later. Some babies are even born with a tooth or two.
- Lower Central Incisors: 6-10 months
- Upper Central Incisors: 8-12 months
- Upper Lateral Incisors: 9-13 months
- Lower Lateral Incisors: 10-16 months
- Upper First Molars: 13-19 months
- Lower First Molars: 14-18 months
- Upper Canines: 16-22 months
- Lower Canines: 17-23 months
- Lower Second Molars: 23-31 months
- Upper Second Molars: 25-33 months
Our children’s dentist in Fishkill will let you know if your child’s teeth are coming in properly. Genetics play a big part in how one’s teeth develop. Some families tend to have teeth that are stronger and less likely to develop cavities; other families may be more susceptible to tooth decay.
When Do Baby Teeth Fall Out?
Children all over the world have first grade pictures where they are missing one or more front teeth. Typically, children lose their top and bottom front teeth around the age of six or seven. The teeth on either side of those typically fall out around seven or eight years old. The first molars, and the canines which sit in front of them, typically fall out between nine and 12 years old. The second molars are the last baby teeth to come out; they’re pushed out by the permanent second molars typically between 10 and 12 years of age.
What Causes Toothaches in Children?
Cavities and accidents are the two leading causes of toothaches in children.
Our children are exposed to more sugar than ever. Junk food, soda, sports drinks, even foods made with white flour are loaded with sugar that can attack the enamel of teeth and create cavities (dental decay). If the decay is not removed, then the cavity can continue to grow until it reaches the sensitive nerve tissue of the tooth, causing a toothache. Brushing after meals and flossing between teeth daily helps prevent cavities, but only regular cleanings by a dental professional can remove the cavity-causing plaque from hard-to-reach areas.
Accidents such as falling or getting hit in the mouth during a sporting event can lead to chipped teeth, loose teeth, even a tooth knocked out. Call our pediatric dentist in Fishkill as soon as the injury occurs; if our office is closed, you may need to call your pediatrician’s office or visit a 24-hour clinic or hospital for assistance.