Important Milestones in Pediatric Dentistry

August 31, 2016
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Pediatric DentistBeing a pediatric dental office near Hingham, we get many questions from anxious parents who want to know how best to keep their children's oral health in prime condition. It is completely understandable that parents want to make sure their child has the best start in the world, and this includes the area of their oral health. As a pediatric dentistry office, we advise parents about the milestones we look for, the ones you need to be aware of, and how to best care for each of the unique set of challenges that comes with each milestone. As an overanxious parent, there are a few simple and basic things you can do, regardless of where the child's development is, that will ensure that their oral health is getting the attention it needs. For starters, you can ensure that you bring your child into our office at least once every six months. This allows us to keep an eye on your child's dental development, catch any problems that may be arising early, and ensure that their teeth, gums, and jawbone development take place in a timely and healthy manner. In addition to this, you will want to pay attention to certain events like the baby teeth eruption, their first brushing and flossing, mixed dentition, and preparing for remedies like braces or impacted wisdom teeth.

The very first milestone we look for in pediatric dentistry office is the eruption of the first baby tooth. Long before the first baby tooth erupts, your child's primary teeth are being completed and formed in your infant's jawbone. Once the first baby tooth erupts, it paves the way for future dental visits and the start of a lifetime of care. According to the American Dental Association, dental care for your child should begin as soon as the first tooth erupts from the gums or before their first birthday, whichever is first. Do not allow yourself to believe the fairy tale that the milk teeth or baby teeth, are of no importance. Nothing could be further from the truth. The reality is that the baby teeth are designed to act as placeholders for the permanent teeth and therefore play a critical role in the child's future oral development. Additionally, as your pediatric dentist will tell you, the baby teeth also play a vital role in the child development of speech, their ability to chew and try new foods, and of course, the child's smile.

The next major milestone of pediatric dentistry is known as "mixed dentition." This is the time when your child begins to lose their baby teeth and their permanent teeth start to erupt in their place. The period of mixed dentition brings specific challenges, including the fact that your children will probably be making some poor choices in their diet at this time. Candy is the love of many children during this phase of life. It is critical that you have already established a routine of regular dental care with your pediatric dentist so we can keep track of what is going on with your children's mouth, look for signs of teeth crowding, refer you to an orthodontist if necessary, and recognize what preventive and interventional treatment may be necessary to ensure that your child continues to have optimally good oral health.

For help with your child's teeth in the Hingham area, call our pediatric dentistry office today.