Teething can be a difficult time for infants and parents. Your baby who used to sleep through the night suddenly begins waking frequently due to the discomfort of tooth eruption. As a parent you may have heard about teething from other parents or maybe you’ve read about it in parenting books. You may have some teething toys all ready for this inevitable phase.
But what if your baby is not teething? Does this indicate a problem? When should your baby start getting teeth? Learn the answers to these questions and more about dentistry for infants.
Average Age for Eruption of the First Tooth
The first tooth typically shows up somewhere between 6 and 12 months. This is the average range, but some babies will get their first tooth before 6 months and others closer to 18 months. Developmental milestones occur at different times for children due to genetics and other factors.
What if My Baby Has No Visible Teeth by 18 Months?
Having no visible teeth by the age of 18 months is typically no cause for concern, but it may be time to see a pediatric dentist. An oral evaluation can provide some information about your baby’s dental health and the development of their teeth.
Potential Causes of Delayed Tooth Eruption
Tooth eruption may occur later than average for some infants due the following causes:
- Genetics. Early or late tooth eruption tends to be passed on from generation to generation. If possible, ask your parents when you began teething, as this may give you an idea of when your baby will start.
- Premature birth or low birth weight. Babies that are born well before their due date or who are born with low birth weight may have delayed tooth eruption. Although a premature baby’s age is calculated from the time of birth, their developmental age is a bit younger.
- Vitamin deficiency. A lack of essential vitamins, especially vitamin D, could lead to delayed tooth eruption. Vitamin D is essential for the development of bones and the absorption of calcium in the body, which affects tooth development.
- Developmental disorders. A variety of developmental disorders may result in delayed tooth eruption.
When To Schedule Your Baby’s First Dental Visit
Infants should have their first dental visit around the age of 12 months or within 6 months of the eruption of their first tooth, whichever comes first. Even if your child has no teeth by the age of one, they should have an oral examination to assess the health of the mouth and the development of the teeth under the gums. Starting dental care at an early age helps to establish the routine, making the experience less intimidating.
Schedule an Appointment at Kids & Teens Dental Place
If your baby has their first birthday coming up, it is time to schedule a dental appointment. Kids & Teens Dental Place provides comprehensive dental care for infants and children of all ages.
Contact us today to learn more and schedule an appointment.
Frequently Asked Questions About Tooth Eruption
How many teeth should my child have by the age of 2?
The average child will have about 16 teeth by the age of 2 years. The 2 year molars are typically in place by the age of 30 months. If your child experienced delayed tooth eruption, it may be longer before the 2 year molars are present.
What can I give my baby to soothe teething?
Infant pain relievers such as ibuprofen and acetaminophen can provide some relief of teething discomfort. Cold (not frozen) teething rings can reduce pain and inflammation. If your baby is old enough for solid food, cold fruits and vegetables may also help.
You may have heard of a pediatrician, but what is a pediatric dentist? As you might assume, a pediatric dentist provides dental care for children and teens. A pediatric dentist is different from a general dentist or family dentist who may serve patients of all ages. Pediatric dentists serve only infants, children, and adolescents.
What makes a pediatric dentist different from other dentists? Here’s what pediatric dental practices do.
Qualifications of a Pediatric Dentist
A pediatric dentist must complete all of the qualifications of a general dentist. They must earn an undergraduate degree and then complete dental school to earn their DMD (doctor of medicine in dentistry) or DDS (doctor of dental surgery). Then they must complete a 2-3 year residency program in pediatric dentistry to earn a specialization in the field.
Pediatric Dental Services
Many pediatric dental services are the same as general dental services for adults, but some are specific to children.
- Preventive and diagnostic. Children need regular teeth cleanings and diagnostic dental X-Rays. Pediatric dentists know what conditions are common for children and what to look for.
- Restorative. Cavity fillings, root canals, and other restorative procedures are common for children’s teeth.
- Cosmetic. In some cases children may need cosmetic dental services to improve their smiles.
- Emergencies. Dental emergencies are common in children, such as toothaches and knocked out teeth.
- Orthodontic screenings. Pediatric dentists periodically assess the position of the teeth and bite and may refer children to an orthodontist for treatment when the time is right.
- Sedation. Children can often benefit from sedation to help make dental procedures less intimidating.
Getting Started With Dental Care
Children should begin receiving professional dental care around the age of one. By this age some of the baby teeth have probably come in and should be cleaned and examined. Many children don’t go to the dentist until they are 2 or 3, which is ok, but earlier visits make it easier for children to get used to the experience of dental appointments. A tooth is susceptible to decay as soon as it is visible above the gums, so as soon as your baby has teeth, they should be going to the dentist every 6 months.
Typical Age Range for Pediatric Dentistry
Pediatric dentists typically see patients from infants through teenagers. During these years children are growing and their dental needs are different from those of adults. The baby teeth come in, then they are gradually shed to make room for the permanent teeth, and during it all the jaw is growing.
Transitioning to an Adult Dental Practice
There is not a definite age when a teen must transition to an adult dentist, but most reach a point where they feel ready for a more adult setting. They can begin going to the same dentist as their parents, or their pediatric dentist may be able to recommend or refer them to a specific practice. You may also want to look for a place that is in-network with your dental insurance.
Why Choose Kids & Teens Dental Place?
If your child is ready to begin dental care, Kids & Teens Dental Place is currently welcoming new patients. We also accept patients transferring from other practices. With over 15 years of experience in pediatric dentistry, we know the specific needs of children and how to best provide dental care for young patients.
Contact us today to learn more and schedule an appointment.
Frequently Asked Questions About Pediatric Dentistry
Around what age should my child lose their first tooth?
Most children will lose their first tooth around the age of 5 or 6. This may vary depending on the child. The earlier your child’s first baby tooth erupted, the earlier they tend to lose it.
How do I know if my child has a cavity?
Regular oral examinations and dental X-Rays can detect cavities when they are very small and easy to treat. If your child has a visible cavity or a toothache, contact us and we will schedule an appointment.
Are you looking for a dentist for your kids? Whether it's time for your baby’s first dental visit, you’re new to the area, or you simply need a change, it can be difficult to find a pediatric dental practice that meets all of your criteria.
If you need to choose a pediatric dentist in the Houston, Texas area, here are some things to look for that all great dental practices have in common.
Look for a pediatric dentist with plenty of experience. You want your child to be in capable hands, and a dentist who has been working with children for many years will be able to provide the best care for your child. Children have specific dental needs that differ from those of adults, and an experienced pediatric dentist knows how to meet those needs. They know what to look for and can quickly identify problems that may need to be addressed.
A pediatric dentist should have certain qualifications, such as a dental degree and license. When a dentist specializes in pediatric dentistry, they should have completed a residency or training program that involved working with children. Make sure that any dentist you are considering has the necessary qualifications to legally provide pediatric dental services.
Look for a dental practice that is kid friendly with a warm and inviting atmosphere to put kids at ease. A pediatric dental practice should be fun and relaxed, making dental care enjoyable for children of all ages. The dentists and dental team should all know how to work with children and teens and how to talk to them so that they feel comfortable.
Children need compassion and understanding, especially if they feel anxious or afraid. Early experiences at the dentist will set the tone for their lifelong view of dental care. When a child feels safe and cared for, they will develop a positive association with dentistry that can lead to a lifetime of dental health.
Look for a pediatric dental practice with up to date technology. Advanced technology provides improved diagnostics and a higher level of care and comfort for children. Early detection of dental and oral health concerns result in better outcomes. Technology also makes procedures less invasive for faster recovery.
Dental emergencies can occur when you least expect them. Choose a pediatric dental practice that offers emergency services after hours and on weekends. Emergencies can be frightening and stressful, but familiar surroundings and faces are reassuring to you and your child.
Special Needs Training
If you have a child with special needs, choose a dental practice that has dentists and staff that have the necessary training and experience. Not all pediatric dental practices are prepared to meet the diverse needs of children and teens, so choose carefully.
Why Choose Kids & Teens Dental Place?
Kids & Teens Dental Place meets all of the above criteria and more. If you’re looking for a dentist for your child(ren), we welcome you to our practice. Our highly qualified dentists have more than 15 years of experience in pediatric dentistry. Our office is kid friendly and equipped with the latest technology to deliver the best dental care. We have extensive training and experience working with children and teens with a wide range of diverse needs.
To learn more, contact us today to schedule an appointment at one of our two convenient locations.
Frequently Asked Questions About Pediatric Dentistry
How often should kids and teens go to the dentist?
Routine dental cleanings and oral exams should take place every 6 months for optimal oral health. This is the ideal schedule for removing plaque that builds up on the teeth and for early detection of oral health concerns.
When should my child have their first dental visit?
Children should have their first dental appointment around the age of one. By their first birthday most children have a few teeth in place that should be examined and cleaned. If your child is older than one and has not yet been to the dentist, it is never too late to start. Schedule an appointment today.
You want your child to experience a lifetime of oral and dental wellness. One step you can take to optimize their dental health is to brush their teeth for them until they’re old enough to do so themselves.
The following overview explains when to start doing this. If you have any additional questions about the topic, be sure to bring them up with your baby’s pediatric dentist.
Start Brushing Your Babies’ Teeth Right Away
As soon as a tooth appears, it may be vulnerable to dental decay. The American Dental Association thus recommends that parents begin brushing their children’s teeth right away when they erupt. Brush your child’s teeth twice a day (once in the morning and once in the evening) for ideal protection against cavities and other such dental health issues.
When Can My Child Begin Brushing Their Own Teeth?
There’s no universal answer to this question. Consult with your child’s dentist to learn more about when they may be ready to brush their teeth on their own. That said, a rule of thumb some suggest is that a child can begin brushing their own teeth once they’re able to tie their own shoes.
However, you can allow your child to attempt to brush their own teeth under your supervision before they’re old enough to brush their teeth independently. Supervising your child gives you the chance to teach them proper technique and to correct any bad habits early.
Tips for Brushing a Child’s Teeth
The best source of information for suggestions regarding how to properly brush your child’s baby teeth is their dentist. Be sure to ask about this during your child’s next dental visit if you haven’t already. Along with demonstrating how to brush your kid’s teeth, their dentist might also recommend the best toothpaste and toothbrush to use.
In the meantime, keep the following general tips for brushing a child’s teeth in mind:
- Until your child reaches the age of three, you only need to use an amount of toothpaste equal to the approximate size of a grain of rice when brushing their teeth.
- Explain to your child why you are brushing their teeth. Your goal is to ensure your child thoroughly understands and appreciates the importance of dental care.
- Brush all the surfaces of your child’s teeth. They need to learn that brushing thoroughly is key to proper brushing.
- Don’t wait until your child’s first tooth erupts to begin caring for their oral health. Even if your child doesn’t have any teeth yet, you may nevertheless use a clean and moist washcloth to clean their gums. Or, you can use a gauze pad.
Keep in mind that children often learn their values from observing their parents. Make sure you’re staying on top of your own oral and dental care, and let your child see that you’re doing so. Research indicates that children who are aware their parents practice good oral health habits are more likely to experience quality oral health themselves.
Ask Your Child’s Dentist for More Information
Again, if you still have questions about how and when to start brushing a child’s teeth, discuss the topic with their dentist. By following the advice here and coordinating with a dental professional, you can be confident you’re taking the right steps to maintain your baby’s dental health.
Schedule a Pediatric Dental Appointment
At Kids & Teens Dental Place, with locations in Houston, TX and Pearland, TX, our team will gladly teach you all you need to know about caring for your child’s teeth. Get started today by contacting us online or calling us at 713-413-8282 (Pearland location) or 713-662-3199 (Houston location) to schedule an appointment today.
Baby teeth typically begin to fall out at about age 6. The first lost tooth is usually a celebrated occasion for the child and parents alike. It can happen earlier in some cases or as much as a year later. If the teeth have not begun to loosen and fall out by age 7, the pediatric dentist may have to take action to help the permanent teeth emerge correctly.
About Primary Teeth
Like most mammals, humans have two sets of teeth during their lifetimes: the primary (baby) and permanent teeth. The purpose of primary teeth is to help a child chew and speak properly. They also have another major purpose: to save space for permanent teeth to come in later.
Babies' primary teeth begin to erupt at approximately six to twelve months. These teeth's appearance coincides with the age when parents start introducing solid foods. The primary teeth come in gradually and can cause the child discomfort during teething.
The Process of Losing Primary Teeth
Primary teeth begin to loosen naturally as the permanent teeth cause pressure. The root structure weakens, and the baby tooth begins to break down from within in a natural process called resorption. By the time the child's first tooth falls out, the permanent teeth underneath are preparing to emerge.
A child's primary teeth may fall out prematurely, especially if they experience dental trauma. Dentists cannot replace a lost primary tooth in the gum because it may damage the permanent tooth underneath.
The dentist will want to monitor your child if their primary teeth fall out too soon. The dentist may need to install a space maintainer to replace the lost primary tooth and preserve the space where the new permanent tooth will eventually emerge.
Interventions That Could Be Necessary
If a child's primary teeth do not begin to fall out as expected, they may cause orthodontic problems. Teeth may erupt in unexpected locations, and the child may experience pain and discomfort from unerupted teeth. The pediatric dentist may need to extract some primary teeth to make room for the growing permanent teeth.
Since primary teeth have only a shallow root system, the extraction process is usually straightforward. The dentist can help your child understand the reason for the extraction and potentially use sedation dentistry to help them tolerate the appointment.
Monitoring Your Child's Teeth
Babies and children should have dental exams and cleanings starting around the time the first primary teeth emerge (at the age of six to twelve months), so your pediatric dentist will already have a close eye on how your child's teeth are developing. If you notice any problems, call your child's pediatric dentist for a prompt appointment.
Contact Kids & Teens Dental Place
If you have any questions about your child's teeth, we can help you. Don't hesitate to contact us at our Pearland or Houston offices today by calling or requesting an appointment online.
The American Association of Pediatric Dentists recommends that parents help their children floss their teeth daily once they have two or more teeth that are close together. Parents should continue helping their child floss until the child is old enough to floss safely and thoroughly on their own. Kids can often take responsibility for flossing by age 7 or 8. Why is flossing so important for kids, even though they will lose their baby teeth? Read on for 7 reasons flossing is essential for children.
1. Sets Child Up for Good, Lifelong Oral Health Habits
Young people learn faster than adults according to studies, making it a great time to establish excellent oral hygiene habits such as daily flossing. When kids are taught how and why to floss daily, it can set the stage for good oral health habits in the future.
2. Helps Prevent Sensitive Teeth and Gums
The less children brush and floss, the more sensitive their teeth and gums become. This can make it difficult to get children to adopt healthy oral hygiene routines. After all, kids won’t want to do something that hurts. By contrast, regular brushing and flossing help the child get used to the routine so they are more likely to engage in healthy habits.
3. Flossing Helps Kids Prevent Cavities
The primary reason kids and adults should floss is to remove plaque. Plaque that builds up on the teeth is responsible for cavities. Regular flossing helps prevent the sticky bacteria (plaque) from penetrating the enamel of the tooth and causing a cavity.
4. Flossing Can Prevent Gum Disease
Flossing, along with other regular pediatric dental care, can prevent gum disease. Gum disease occurs when plaque builds up beneath the gum line. As the plaque remains on the teeth it can harden, becoming tartar. Tartar irritates and inflames the gum tissue. Daily flossing can reduce plaque buildup.
5. Flossing Helps Prevent Bad Breath
Food particles and residue that remain on the teeth and between the teeth contribute to bad breath. When your child flosses regularly, these particles are removed and less likely to contribute to bad breath.
6. Flossing May Save Money on Costly Dental Treatments
Plaque on the teeth can cause a host of oral health problems, ranging from cavities to gum disease, and even tooth loss. When kids floss daily, they are at reduced risk of developing complex dental problems that may require more expensive dental care.
7. Flossing Promotes Good Overall Health
There is a clear link between poor oral health and poor overall health. To ensure your child has the best opportunity for sustaining good overall health as they age, they must learn the vital role that flossing plays in maintaining a healthy mouth and smile.
Book Your Child’s Dental Appointment Today
If you’re struggling to get your child to floss or brush their teeth daily, talk with your pediatric dentist. They will provide you with proven tips and techniques to help your child establish good oral hygiene habits early in life. Book a pediatric dental appointment in Pearland today by calling 713-413-8282 or in Houston at 713-662-3199. You may also book your appointment online.
Like adults, children should visit the dentist twice a year for diagnostic oral exams and preventative cleanings. If a child develops a toothache, tooth sensitivity, swollen or bleeding gums, or experiences a dental emergency such as a fractured tooth, or trauma to the teeth, schedule a dental appointment as soon as possible.
Why Kids Need to See the Dentist Regularly
Regular dental care, beginning in infancy, can help prevent many problems later in life. In addition, regular oral exams ensure early diagnosis of oral health conditions that require immediate care. Additionally, regular early dental care can help ensure teeth are strong and healthy. Finally, seeing the dentist regularly helps to reinforce to children how important it is to practice good oral hygiene.
As children grow up, maintaining excellent oral hygiene will help reduce their risk of developing gum disease or suffering from tooth loss. Later in life, children who have grown up seeing the dentist regularly are more likely to continue to receive ongoing dental treatment. Good oral health can reduce the risk of potentially serious health conditions such as endocarditis, stroke, and diabetes.
Dental Exams and Cleanings for Kids: What to Expect
During each dental exam, you can expect your child’s mouth to be thoroughly examined for signs of tissue changes, problems with the bite, development of decay, inflammation in the gums, and teeth that may be prone to develop cavities.
Once a year, your child will also have reduced-radiation digital x-rays of their mouth. These images allow your pediatric dentist to see beneath the mouth's soft tissue. X-rays illuminate problems such as irregular bone structure, cysts, infection, decay, and tumors.
Your child will also have plaque and tartar that have built up between cleanings removed. Regular removal of plaque and tartar is vital to preventing gum disease. Their teeth will also be flossed and polished.
If indicated, your pediatric dentist may recommend a fluoride treatment for your child during a regular dental appointment. Fluoride is applied directly to the teeth. It is a painless procedure. Fluoride helps to maintain strong teeth as your child grows.
In some cases, during a regular dental visit, your pediatric dentist may also recommend dental sealants. Dental sealants are applied to teeth (often the molars) with deep crevices or grooves. Deep grooves tend to accumulate bacteria, so dental sealants are used in a preventative capacity.
You can also expect our dentists to provide education during every appointment. From teaching children proper brushing and flossing techniques to educating them about why it’s important to brush for a full two minutes twice a day, all exams and cleanings include education for your child or teen.
Child-Centric Dental Care
Some children, like adults, are fearful of dental appointments. All of the latest technological innovations and safe sedation options are available to ensure your child or teen is comfortable and relaxed during routine and restorative dental treatments. Advanced technologies, technologies, techniques, and treatments available include:
- Nitrous oxide sedation (laughing gas)
- Conscious oral sedation
- Special needs dentistry
- Reduced radiation digital x-rays
- Dental lasers
- Quiet, pediatric-sized dental tools
- Kid-friendly office (televisions, video games, and toys)
Schedule Your Child or Teen’s Dental Cleaning and Exam Today
Although children should see a dentist twice a year, it is never too late to establish good oral hygiene habits. So if your child is late for their appointment or needs their first dental exam, you’ll be welcomed to our judgment-free dental practice with open arms. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.