Early Dental Care

Just because your child won't keep his or her first set of teeth forever, doesn't mean those tiny pearly whites don't need conscientious care. As your local DuPont, WA kids’ dentist, we believe maintaining your child's dental health from an early age will lead to health benefits well throughout adulthood, as primary teeth (baby teeth) serve some extremely important functions.

The Importance Of Baby Teeth

Kids developing jaws and teeth.Primary teeth act as guides for the eruption of permanent teeth (adult teeth). They hold the space where new teeth willerupt as the crowns (tops) of the permanent teeth push against the roots of baby teeth, causing them to resorb or melt away. As a result, the adult teeth can take their proper place. 

For about the first six years, your child will rely on primary teeth to perform important functions, like biting, chewing, and speaking. Until around age 12, your child will have a mix of primary and permanent teeth to accomplish the same things. You will want to make sure all those teeth stay healthy and are lost naturally when the time is right.

Caring For Your Child’s First Teeth

Your child's 20 baby teeth will usually begin to appear between six to nine months of age. Though in some cases, they may start appearing as early as three months or as late as twelve months. Sometimes your baby can experience teething discomfort during this period. If so, let your DuPont pediatric dentist know and we will advise you on the best course of action.

Caring for New Baby Teeth:

  • Your infant's gums and newly erupted teeth should be gently wiped after each feeding with a water-soaked gauze pad or damp washcloth.
  • Starting at age two, when there are more teeth in the mouth you will want to establish a daily brushing routine utilizing a small, soft-bristled toothbrush and no more than a thin smear of fluoridated toothpaste. Your child may need your help with brushing until about the age of six. 

Age one dental visitYour Child’s First Dental Visit

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that you bring your child in to see a pediatric dentist by his or her first birthday. Though this may sound early, at this age your pediatric dentist at Children’s Dentistry of DuPont can teach you proper pediatric oral hygiene techniques, check your child for cavities and decay, and watch for developmental problems that might form in your child’s mouth.

Moreover, during this first visit, our DuPont dental team will do everything we can to make sure you child develops a positive impression of the dentist, which will make regular visits in the future enjoyable and easy.

Pediatric Dental Treatments

At Children’s Dentistry of DuPont, we offer a wide range of children’s dental treatments to ensure your child receives comprehensive and quality care at every turn.

  • Topical FluorideFluoride merges into the enamel of teeth, making them harder and more resistant to decay. Although there is a small amount of fluoride in certain toothpastes and drinking waters, your DuPont children’s dentist can apply a higher concentration onto your child's teeth for maximum protection to prevent cavities
  • (Watch Preventing Cavities in Kids Video)
  • Dental Sealants — Back teeth often have little crevices caused “pits and fissures” on their chewing surfaces. These crevices can become the perfect environments for decay-causing bacteria. Immature tooth enamel is more permeable and therefore less resistant to such decay, but dental sealants can easily provide years of protection. When you visit our DuPont office, our dental team can apply dental sealants (plastic coatings) to the surface of your child’s back teeth in order to prevent cavities by sealing the crevices.
  • (Watch Dental Sealant Video)
  • Bonding — Chips and minor fractures to front teeth are common childhood occurrences that can be repaired with tooth-colored bondingmaterials. These lifelike resins made of plastic and glass can be used on baby teeth as well as permanent teeth, and can last until the patient has completed facial growth.
  • (Watch Dental Bonding Video)
  • Root Canal Treatment — Sometimes children need root canals to save them from premature tooth loss. This can also prevent a malocclusion (“mal” – bad; “occlusion” – bite) that requires orthodontic treatment.
  • Custom Mouthguards — If your child is actively involved in sports, we highly recommend a custom-made mouthguard. Our kids’ dentist can have a mouthguard custom-made specifically for your child using a model of his or her teeth, which will offer greater protection than an off-the-shelf model. This is an investment that pays off highly in the form of reduced pain and dental expenses down the road. Please ask your DuPont kids’ dentist aboutmouthguards at your child's next appointment.

Orthodontic Evaluation 

By age seven, most malocclusions have become evident. Interceptive orthodontic treatment around this time can direct proper tooth positioning and/or jaw growth, eliminating or simplifying the need for later treatment. There are many orthodontic problems that can be detected early, so be sure to take your child to be evaluated by a trained professional.

Early Dental Care

Sports & Your Child's Teeth

If your child is active in sports, we highly recommend a custom-made mouthguard. According to the American Dental Association, an athlete is 60 times more likely to suffer dental harm when not wearing one of these protective devices. We can have a mouthguard custom-made specifically for your child using a model of his or her teeth that will offer greater protection than an off-the-shelf model. It's an investment that pays off highly in the form of reduced pain, suffering — and dental expenses down the road! Please ask us about mouthguards at your child's next appointment.

Contact Your Local Children’s Dentist

To ensure your child had a future of strong dental health, be sure he orshe receives the best early dental care possible. Book an appointment online or contact our DuPont children’s dentistry practice today. We happily provide premier pediatric dental treatment to children across DuPont, Yelm,Lacey, Olympia, Steilacoom, as well as to the families of Joint Base Lewis-McCord!



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