Pediatric Dental Specialists of Atlanta

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Pediatric Dental Care

Even though your child’s first set of teeth, or primary teeth, aren’t permanent, they play a critical role and require diligent care. Early dental care sets the foundation for a lifetime of good health, as these baby teeth have several crucial functions.

Primary teeth guide the growth of permanent teeth, holding space for them to emerge correctly. The roots of baby teeth are gradually dissolved by the crowns of the incoming permanent teeth, allowing them to take their rightful place.

Additionally, primary teeth are essential for a child’s ability to chew, speak, and smile confidently for the first years of their life. Until around age 12, children will have a mix of both primary and permanent teeth, making it vital to ensure these teeth are well-cared for and lost naturally at the appropriate time.

Your Child's First Teeth

Typically, a child’s 20 baby teeth will start to appear between six to nine months, with some variance. The eruption begins with the lower front teeth, followed by the upper front teeth, then the first molars, and finally the canines. Teething may cause discomfort, and we’re here to offer guidance on alleviating this.

It’s important to clean your infant’s gums and emerging teeth after feedings with a damp cloth or gauze. Once teeth have fully emerged, use a soft-bristled toothbrush with a minimal amount of fluoride toothpaste. By age 3, children can learn to brush on their own with a pea-sized amount of toothpaste, though they may need assistance until around age 6.

The First Dental Appointment

We recommend scheduling your child’s first dental visit by their first birthday. Early visits help us teach you about proper dental care for your child, allow us to check for early signs of decay, and identify any developmental issues.

Early Childhood Caries can progress quickly, making early detection and prevention strategies crucial for maintaining your child’s oral health. Our goal is to ensure your child feels comfortable and positive about dental visits from the start.

Pediatric Dental Treatments

To combat tooth decay and protect your child’s teeth, we offer several treatments. Topical fluoride treatments strengthen tooth enamel against decay. For added protection, dental sealants can be applied to the chewing surfaces of molars, sealing off grooves that harbor bacteria.

Root canal treatments may also be necessary for preserving baby teeth that guide permanent teeth. Chips and minor fractures can be effectively repaired with tooth-colored bonding materials, maintaining the health and appearance of your child’s smile.

Orthodontic Concerns

By age 7, most orthodontic issues become apparent. Early evaluation and, if necessary, interceptive orthodontic treatment can guide proper tooth and jaw alignment, minimizing the need for more extensive orthodontic work in the future.

Sports & Your Child's Teeth

For children involved in sports, a custom-made mouthguard is essential. Mouthguards can prevent over 200,000 injuries annually. A custom-fit model offers superior protection compared to store-bought options, safeguarding your child’s dental health and reducing potential future dental costs. We recommend discussing mouthguards during your child’s dental visit.