Early Infant Oral Care
Keeping your child healthy from their first tooth
Your child’s first tooth is an important milestone! But teething is often a painful experience for infants as their little teeth cut through the jawline. This dental pain also causes them to be increasingly temperamental and upset. You may also notice that they have a more persistent runny nose and picky eating habits.
Teething rings and other oral devices can help your infant reduce the pain that they are feeling and can also calm them when the pain is at its worst. Small doses of children’s acetaminophen or ibuprofen can help lessen the pain they are experiencing. However, it is important to check with your pediatrician before giving your infant medication.
Typically, the development of primary teeth lasts from the first six to thirty-three months of life. While teething can vary from child to child, you’ll notice the following teeth develop at the relevant times:
- Central incisors: 6–12 months
- Lateral incisors: 9–16 months
- First molars: 13–19 months
- Canine teeth: 16–23 months
- Second molars: 22–33 months
If your child seems to be in persistent pain, or if you have concerns that your child’s teeth may not be developing properly, contact our offices and schedule an appointment at 704.875.9075.
Preparing for your child’s first dentist appointment
It is typically recommended for your child’s first dental appointment to occur between ages three and four. By this point, all your child’s primary teeth should have developed, and we can begin a routine regimen that can lead to happy smiles throughout their childhood. Our dentists can also teach your child proper brushing and flossing techniques.
In some cases, your child may require more than just a simple cleaning and exam. It is not uncommon for baby teeth to develop cavities that require filling. Primary teeth are more susceptible to cavities than the permanent teeth as they are much smaller and more vulnerable to damage from pacifiers, sugary foods, and beverages.
Crowns may also be required to prevent having to pull a tooth. Crowns preserve the primary tooth’s function until their permanent teeth develop.
We provide a complete array of dental services should your child require it.
- Minor dental trauma
- Composite fillings
- Baby root canals
- Habit (thumb sucking) appliances
- Nitrous oxide administration
- Oral sedation
Stop thumb sucking in its tracks
Does your child have a thumb sucking problem? Or are they still using their binky at ages they should have long outgrown it? Both thumb sucking and excessive binky usage can cause damage to teeth and can cause teeth to misalign as your child ages.
Typically, it is recommended to phase out binky and pacifier use after the age of two. But some children are more prone to using it after those ages and for some, it can be difficult to get them to stop a thumb-sucking habit.
If you’re worried that your child may not be able to stop sucking their thumb or stop their pacifier use, ask our dentists to help. They may recommend the use of a special mouthguard. Mouthguards and other devices are very effective at stopping a thumb sucking fixation as it prevents the child from being able to put their thumb in their mouth.