The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD), recommends the child’s “First Dental Home” to be established no later than age one, but preferably when the first tooth erupts. The age one dental visit represents a key moment in the development of lifelong habits for dental health.
By establishing a Dental Home and taking preventive steps recommended by the pediatric dentist, parents can avoid their children contracting early childhood caries (cavities)—which is extensive devastating tooth decay that results in pain, failure to thrive, and in many cases, extensive and costly restorative work.
The first dental visit includes oral health education, an examination, prophylaxis (cleaning), diet analysis, home care instructions, and a fluoride treatment. Our clinicians will evaluate the cleanliness of your child’s mouth and show you areas where the highest amounts of plaque bacteria were found. We want you and your child’s first visit to be a fun and informative experience.
Did you know…
that early childhood caries is the most common chronic disease in American children? It is far more prevalent than other common childhood illnesses, such as asthma. Furthermore, tooth decay and gum disease that begins early in life are likely to progress over time, potentially leading to a lifetime of oral complications.
Why Are The Primary Teeth So Important?
It is very important to maintain the health of the primary teeth. Neglected cavities can and frequently do lead to problems which affect developing permanent teeth. Primary teeth, or baby teeth are important for (1) proper chewing and eating, (2) providing space for the permanent teeth and guiding them into the correct position, and (3) permitting normal development of the jaw bones and muscles. Primary teeth also affect the development of speech and add to an attractive appearance. While the front 4 teeth last until 6-7 years of age, the back teeth (cuspids and molars) aren’t replaced until age 10-13.
Eruption Of Your Child’s Teeth
Children’s teeth begin forming before birth. As early as 4 months, the first primary (or baby) teeth to erupt through the gums are the lower central incisors, followed closely by the upper central incisors. Although all 20 primary teeth usually appear by age 3, the pace and order of their eruption varies.
Permanent teeth begin appearing around age 6, starting with the first molars and lower central incisors. This process continues until approximately age 21.
Adults have 28 permanent teeth, or up to 32 including the third molars (or wisdom teeth).
Your child may have had some local anesthetic injected by the doctor during an appointment. Commonly the area will be numb for an additional 2 hours after treatment, and it is this window of time where a child can seriously injure themselves. Because of the numbness they are experiencing, they will not feel the trauma from biting their cheeks, lips, or tongue. They can also cause considerable harm to their skin as they begin to scratch the surface and play with the area until deep wounds develop. During this time, please keep your child distracted by having them watch television, take a nap, or to simply watch them as they resume normal activity until the anesthesia wears off. It is an good idea to put a piece of gauze between the teeth and the cheek if you see they chewing on the cheek.
If the child does manage to bite their lips, cheek, or tongue, the area may become swollen, and a large wound may develop into a chancre sore 1-2 days later. This wound is self limiting, and takes 7-10 days to heal. If this does occur, please call the office and we can evaluate the level of damage.