Children's Dentistry FAQ
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When will my children’s teeth erupt?
Dental Development…What To Expect and When
An infant’s first tooth is a significant event – it serves as a landmark in a child’s growth track while at the same time indicates the beginnings of normal dental development.
After the first tooth appears, the teething process continues almost constantly for about the next two years. Then, there is a break before the permanent teeth start to come in at age 6. Between the ages of 6 and 12, nearly all the permanent teeth emerge.
The following eruption charts show when teeth come in and when they are due to fall out. Ages given are averages, and it is important to note that children vary at all stages of development.
First teeth play an important role in a child’s development and should be cared for accordingly. Not only do they help a child learn to speak properly, they also maintain space for the emerging permanent teeth and help guide them into the correct position. First teeth also contribute to healthy jaw development by positioning a child’s bite.
Please feel free to call us at 306-463-4661 if you have specific concerns about your child’s dental development.
Why is it important for my child to be seen by the dentist every six months?
Children are growing and changing so fast that each of their six-month checkups is essentially a new-patient examination. Teeth are being lost, new ones are growing in, bones are lengthening and elongating, and the bite is being established. Seeing your child every six months lets your dentist track the progress of these events and catch any problems early, when they are easier to correct.
What is a pulpotomy?
When children are young, their baby teeth and permanent teeth are very vulnerable to decay. Tooth decay is this nation’s number one chronic childhood disease!
If your child complains of a toothache, we need to see him or her in our office right away. Dental pain is a warning sign that something is seriously wrong and should not be ignored.
If the pain is caused by tooth decay and has destroyed the primary tooth’s protective enamel above the pulp chamber and entered the pulp, we can perform a pulpotomy.
The pulp chamber is inside the visible portion of the tooth above the gumline.
The pulp is the soft tissue inside the pulp chamber; it contains nerves and blood that nourish the tooth.
A pulpotomy means removing diseased pulp from a baby tooth, just like we do during root canal therapy on a permanent tooth. After removal, medication is placed in the pulp chamber to kill the harmful bacteria. We place a temporary or permanent crown on the tooth.
It is important that we act quickly. Left untreated, infection keeps moving down the tooth into the root, damages the tooth’s nerve, and eventually causes the tooth to fall out, or we may have to extract the tooth.Be sure to schedule regular check-ups for you and your children. Prevention is the key to good oral health and to help teeth last a lifetime.
When should I bring my child in for their first dental exam?
Our dentists, as well as the Canadian Dental Association, recommend that children be brought in for an examination as soon as their first tooth appears (usually between five and eight months, but definitely by one year) so that you as the parents can learn how to prevent infant tooth decay. During these early visits, members of our team will discuss the need to begin cleaning teeth as soon as they appear in your child’s mouth, the importance of not putting your child to bed with a bottle, and the use of fluoride supplements.
How important are healthy snacks for my child’s dental health?
Munchy, crunchy, gooey and chewy can be your child’s dental enemy and best friend.
For kids bouncing through the door after school, unhealthy snacking has created a national dental epidemic. Tooth decay is the number one, chronic childhood disease that affects more than 50 percent of children from 5 to 17 years of age, and unhealthy snacks contribute to tooth decay.
It’s not so much the snack that causes a problem; it is when the snack is eaten. Sugary foods are less harmful to your child’s teeth when they are eaten after a regular meal and your child brushes afterwards, and here’s why.
Frequent snacking decreases saliva flow, and saliva helps protect teeth from bacteria. Numerous snack-attacks constantly bathe teeth in sugar. This is where gooey, chewy snacks create havoc because they stick to the teeth and remain in the mouth longer than other snacks.
It is easy to serve snacks that provide kids with the munchy, crunchy sensation that is appealing and healthy at the same time. There are even a few gooey, chewy snacks that are healthy because they help scrape bacteria off teeth.
Offer healthy snacks like cucumber slices and juicy tomatoes. Peanut butter smooshed along a celery stick is a smart snack. Hand out raw fruits and melon by the bowl or handful. Low- or non-fat yogurt with fresh fruit and nuts stirred in and sprinkled with granola is a cool pick-me-up. Substitute unsweetened fruit and vegetable juices for sugary sodas.
Create your own “gorp” (good old raisins and peanuts) using pumpkin and sunflower seeds, dried cranberries, nuts, low-salt pretzels and chips that are baked—not fried—or substitute unbuttered popcorn or bagel chips for regular chips.
The trick is to keep the snack fun, not clinically sterile or boring, whether for a 5, 20 or 50 year old. Then, don’t forget those important dental check-ups.
Give us a call and schedule your check-up. We want to help you keep you and your child’s teeth healthy and beautiful so that they will last a lifetime!
What precautions should I take for my child after their tooth is pulled?
Immediately after the extraction, bite firmly on gauze directly on the socket. Some bleeding is to be expected following tooth extraction. The gauze pressure will ensure adequate blood clotting. Avoid excessive removing of gauze. Keep biting on gauze for 30 minutes. If bleeding persists bite directly on a water dipped tea bag for one hour.
Avoid irritating the extraction site. Do not touch with tongue or fingers.
For pain take what you normally use for pain relief or the prescription given by the dentist. To help prevent nausea, digest medication with milk.
Nutrition: soft, warm or cool foods are advisable for as long as necessary. Regular oral hygiene should be maintained.
Get adequate rest. Do not allow a child to over-exert himself, especially for the first few hours.
Do not hesitate to call the office with any concerns.