Pediatric dentistry is a branch of dentistry dedicated to the oral care of children through adolescence. Although children will usually lose most of their primary teeth before the age of 7 or 8, it is important to maintain proper oral care early on to foster a healthy start for their permanent teeth. Even though a child’s primary teeth are short lived, they play a vital role in current and future tooth development and overall oral health.
Baby teeth usually begin to break through the gums at about six months of age. They typically come in starting from front to back, will often break through on the bottom before the top, and usually fall out in the order that they came in. These teeth reserve needed space for permanent teeth and make it possible for your child to maintain a healthy diet. Missing or decayed teeth make it difficult to eat properly, often resulting in your child becoming a finicky eater and rejecting foods that may be healthy but hard to chew. Baby teeth also aid in the development of clear speech patterns from an early age and are a good indicator of future oral health issues. Decay and infection in baby teeth can cause damage to the permanent teeth developing beneath and early detection can make a big difference in treatment options.
It is recommended that your child first visit the dentist as early as age one or within six months after their first tooth comes in. You may choose to consult with a pediatric dentist who treats only children or you may opt for a family dental practice that offers pediatric dentistry services as well as adult care. The benefit to the latter is that your child will not need to switch dentists during their adolescent years, but will already be in the care of a professional that is well versed on the history of their oral health.
At practices such as Gentle Dental in Bayside, children will find that going to the dentist isn’t as scary as they thought. Our staff prides themselves on providing a pleasant, caring and nurturing environment so that children feel at ease. The staff is equally dedicated to early detection of disease, quality treatment, youth education and positive motivation for children to take proper care of their teeth.
Your child’s first visit to the pediatric dentist is usually quick and painless – literally. The initial visit is commonly used to give your child an opportunity to meet the dentist in a non-threatening and friendly manner so that a comfortable relationship can develop. The dentist will most likely check your child’s existing teeth for decay, examine their bite, and look for any potential problems with the gums and jaw. If needed, your child’s teeth will be cleaned during this first visit and the dentist will provide information to the child or parent or both, depending on the child’s age, about proper oral health care. This is a good time to gather information and ask questions about early preventive care to help ensure a healthy mouth and a happy child.
For more information about the compassionate pediatric dentistry services offered by Gentle Dental in Queens, call us at 718-461-0100.