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Pediatric Dentistry – Early Dental Care

At John L. Covert, D.D.S., P.A. & Associates, it is our goal to make our pediatric patients’ earliest dental experiences positive ones. We treat many young patients in our office. However, if your child has special needs or is extremely anxious, we refer them to specially trained pediatric dentists. We recommend that children have their first appointment at age two and a half. If possible, we may allow the child to sit in a parent’s lap in the exam room. Children should be encouraged to discuss any fears or anxiety they may feel.

Teething & How to Care for your Infants New Teeth

Normally, the first tooth will erupt between 6 and 12 months. Your baby’s gums will be sore, tender and sometimes irritable up until age 3. Rubbing sore gums gently with a clean finger, the back of a cold spoon or a cold, wet cloth can help soothe gums. Teething rings also work well, but try to avoid teething biscuits as they contain sugar that is not good for your baby’s teeth.

Bottle Tooth Decay

While your baby is teething, it’s important to monitor the teeth for signs of baby bottle decay. Examine the teeth, especially on the inside, or the tongue side every two weeks for dull spots (whiter than the tooth surface) or lines. A bottle containing anything other than water and left in an infant’s mouth for prolonged periods of time, specifically when asleep, can cause decay. This happens because sugar mixes with the bacteria in dental plaque, which form acids that attack the tooth enamel. Each time a child drinks liquids containing sugar, acids attack the teeth for about 20 minutes after consumption. When awake, saliva carries away the sugary liquid, which prevents it from pooling around your child’s teeth.

Bottle Tooth Decay is preventable. Do not allow your sleeping infant to keep a bottle filled with breast milk or formula. If your infant needs a bottle to comfortably fall asleep, use a water-filled bottle, or try using a pacifier.

Baby Teeth & Dental Development

The primary teeth, or “baby” teeth play a crucial role in dental development. Without them, a child cannot chew food properly and will have difficulty speaking clearly. Primary teeth are vital to jaw development and for guiding the permanent (secondary) teeth into place, which starts to happen around age 6.

Since primary teeth are what guides permanent teeth into place, infants with missing primary teeth, or infants who prematurely lose their baby teeth may require a space maintainer (a device used to hold the natural space open). Without a maintainer, teeth can tilt towards the empty space and cause your child’s permanent teeth to come in crooked. Always let your dentist know about any missing teeth your child has. Both adults and children are susceptible to plaque and gum problems, hence the need for regular dental checkups and proper care. If you live in a non-fluoridated area, we recommend fluoride supplements as part of your normal dental routine.

Contact our Dental Office Today!

Our dental office cares about education parents and their children about proper dental care. We are committed to providing the best service in San Antonio, TX and will always take the time to address any questions or concerns you may have. Contact John L. Covert, D.D.S., P.A. & Associates at (210) 404-778 and make an appointment for your little one today!