When Should I Bring My Child to the Dentist?
A lifetime of good oral health begins in childhood. Visit Berkeley Hills Dentistry for trusted dentists and staff that understand how to take care of your youngster’s dentistry needs.
Even though you can’t see them, your baby is born with a full set of his or her teeth embedded in the jaw. The first teeth drop into place somewhere between six months and one year old. By age three all baby teeth are typically visible.
It’s important to get your infant to a dentist before their first birthday, and ideally as soon as possible after the first tooth appears. From the moment you can see your child’s teeth, your child is at risk of cavities. So, if you’re in need of a child dentist in Berkeley, CA, call us at (510) 527-9564 to make an appointment.
Why Do Baby Teeth Matter?
Yes, your child’s baby teeth will fall out. But that doesn’t mean it’s safe to just let them rot away until they do! Healthy teeth do a lot more than just look pretty — they are a big part of eating and speaking, a couple things that your child will be learning to do while they have baby teeth.
And if you want your baby to grow into a set of permanent, adult teeth that are properly aligned, making sure those baby teeth stay in place as long as possible is step one. Baby teeth actually reserve space in the mouth for the permanent teeth as they form in the jaw. When those teeth are ready, the baby teeth fall out and the new teeth slide right in. But if the baby teeth fall out too early — most often because they are not being regularly cleaned and brushed — that space can contract, and when the permanent teeth try to push through they will squeeze in crooked and lead to a crowded smile that will need to be treated down the road.
What to Expect on Your First Visit
Kids going to the dentist in Berkeley can look forward to a bunch of friendly, comforting faces at our office when they pay us a visit. After all, we’ve been treating children for almost 100 years!
The first visit’s a pretty quick one to help both you and your baby get comfortable in a dental chair, setting them up for a lifetime of cleanings. If it’s more comfortable for you, mom or dad can take a seat in the chair with baby on your lap during this first exam, and Dr. Tapaltsyan will take a brief and gentle look around the mouth for any sign of cavities or other issues. He will also talk with you about a home treatment plan to make sure your little one is getting the right oral care outside the office.
Bottle Tooth Decay and Teething
You’ll definitely be able to tell when your baby starts teething (usually around that six-month mark). When you visit our office, Dr. Tapaltsyan will share some of the tips he’s picked up over the years for dealing with a teething baby and can talk to you about some of the risks involved with things like pacifiers and thumb sucking. Unfortunately, excessive sucking — whether it’s fingers or a pacifier — can cause serious problems with tooth alignment and growth.
Baby tooth decay because of a bottle is another common problem we see. It most often happens in the front teeth and occurs when a baby is either put to bed with a bottle or a bottle is given in place of something like a pacifier. Sugary drinks like milk (including breast milk), formula and fruit juice decay teeth like any other sugar. We recommend getting the bottle out of your baby’s mouth as soon as a feeding is finished and wiping the teeth and gums down with a damp cloth or gauze.