Infants and Children
Infants should be seen by our office after the first six months of age, and at least by the child's first birthday. By this time, the baby's first teeth, or primary teeth, are beginning to erupt and it is a critical time to establish good home care, a teeth-healthy diet, and accustom your child to the dental office and spot any problems before they become big. Your young child's first visits will be with Dr. Terese Bailey for an examination, cleaning, diet and homecare discussion. Your child will typically be in your lap for their first dental visits. We strive to make these visits enjoyable for you and your child. As your child grows older and more confident, they will be scheduled with one of our caring hygienists for their dental visit.
If your child has cavities that need to be filled, do not worry. Children do very well sitting through treatment at our office. They get to watch a favorite movie during treatment and we usuallly use Nitrous Oxide/laughing gas for children as it helps to ensure that their treatment visit will be pleasant. This helps the child develop a life-long positive attitude towards dental care, which is a wonderful gift to give to your child.
Teething, Pacifiers and Thumb-Sucking
Teething is a sign that your child's gums are sore. This is perfectly normal. You can help relieve this by allowing the baby to suck on a teething ring, or gently rubbing your baby's gums with a piece of wet gauze, or even your finger.
For infants, teething rings and pacifiers can be safely used to facilitate the child's oral needs for relieving gum pain and for suckling. After the age of 4, pacifiers and thumb sucking are generally discouraged because they may interfere with the development and alignment of your child's permanent teeth.
Primary and Permanent Teeth
Children typically have 20 primary teeth, usually by the age of 3. These teeth are gradually replaced, by the age of 12 or so, with a full set of 28 permanent teeth, and later on, four more molars called "wisdom teeth."
It is essential that a child's primary teeth are well cared for and healthy, because their development sets the stage for and holds the space for permanent teeth. If primary teeth are lost prematurely, then the space will be lost. This will crowd out space reserved for permanent teeth. Space maintainers and orthodontics can be used to maintain and regain space,
Begin brushing your baby's teeth as soon as they erupt. We recommend that you help your child brush their teeth until the age of eight to ensure that the plaque and bacteria are cleaned from their teeth each day.
Remember to use small portions of toothpaste (a half pea-sized portion is suitable).
Fluoride is a naturally occuring mineral that helps to prevent cavities. We will talk with you to determine the amount of fluoride in your diet, and depending on your risk factors, we will make recommendations for whether any fluoride supplements would be beneficial for you or your children.
If cavities in primary teeth (baby teeth) are not treated they can become large enough to affect the nerve inside the teeth causing infections and toothaches. If this happens to your child, please contact us and we will treat the tooth and infection, and get your child feeling healthy and happy again.
You can help your child prevent oral injuries by closely supervising him during play and not allowing the child to put foreign objects in the mouth.
For younger children involved in physical activities and sports, mouth guards are strongly encouraged, and can prevent a whole host of injuries to the teeth, gums, lips and other oral structures.
Mouth guards are generally small plastic appliances that safely fit around your child's teeth. Many mouth guards are soft and pliable and mold to the child's teeth when first inserted.
If a tooth has been knocked out, try to place the tooth back in its socket right away. Remember to hold the dislocated tooth by the crown-not the root. If you cannot replace the tooth into the socket, then place the tooth in a container of cold milk, saline or the victim's own saliva. Call our office immediately.
For a fractured tooth, please look and find the pieces that have fractured off. We can often use them to repair the tooth. Call our office at 262-369-8633 immediately.
Irritation caused by retainers or braces can sometimes be relieved by placing a tiny piece of cotton or gauze on the tip of the wire or other protruding object. If an injury occurs from a piece of the retainer or braces lodging into a soft tissue, contact our office immediately and avoid dislodging it yourself.
Sealants fill in the little groves on the chewing part of your teeth to protect and seal the tooth from food and caviity-causing bacteria. Sealants are easy to apply and typically last for years.