Your child’s oral health today will impact their smile for a lifetime. Through early preventative care, you can actively help your child avoid common concerns like decay and extensive orthodontic treatment.
When Should I Schedule My Child’s First Dental Appointment?
Pediatricians and pediatric dental experts all recommend that a child see their dentist for an exam either by the time their first tooth erupts or their first birthday, whichever comes first. Early care makes it easier to intercept issues when they’re smaller and also helps prevent unnecessary anxiety in the future, because your child will already have a relationship with our Mesa dentist.
Can Thumb, Finger, or Pacifier Sucking Cause Complications to My Child’s Teeth?
Yes. Extended use of a pacifier or thumb and finger sucking can physically alter the growth patterns of your child’s skeletal characteristics and tooth alignment. Open bites, overbites, and even the growth of their jaws can be impacted. Aim to discontinue such habits no later than the age of 2 (the earlier, the better.)
Is it Bad to Let My Child Use a Sippy Cup?
Long-term use of a sippy cup can also alter the formation of your child’s bones and tooth alignment. It’s best to transition them to a cup when possible. Otherwise, the hard opening of the mouthpiece or your child’s sucking patterns may result in serious orthodontic needs and speech delays.
Why do Baby Teeth Need Fillings if They’re Just Going to Fall Out Anyway?
Great question! Your child’s primary teeth can decay at a much more rapid pace than permanent adult teeth. If they do get a cavity, there’s a high chance that the decay can spread into adjacent teeth, or through the baby tooth causing an infection in the permanent tooth underneath. Placing a small filling as soon as the decay is diagnosed can help prevent the likelihood that the same tooth will need pulp therapy and a crown at a later point in time.
What Will Happen if My Child Loses a Tooth Prematurely?
Let’s say you want to have a tooth pulled instead of filled, since it’s going to fall out anyway. Baby teeth act as placeholders and guides for the adult tooth underneath. If your child loses one prematurely, it can permanently alter their overall bite alignment. Anything from an impacted adult tooth to crooked teeth can be a common side effect. When possible, our Mesa dentist will work to save the baby tooth. But if there’s a severe infection or the tooth needs to be extracted for whatever reason, a temporary space maintainer will be necessary.
How Old Should My Child be to Get an Orthodontic Evaluation?
Mesa orthodontists prefer that children receive their first orthodontic screening by age 7. At this point in your child’s oral development, they will have a healthy mix of both permanent and primary teeth. We can use this stage to screen for potential concerns before they actually happen, making it easier to intercept and treat orofacial growth patterns prior to requiring aggressive orthodontic treatment in the future.
Should My Child Wear a Sports Mouthguard?
If your child is involved in any type of contact sport or activity where facial trauma may occur, it’s vital to have them wear a protective mouthguard. Many sport related injuries involve the face and mouth. Wearing a mouthguard can lower your child’s risk of a broken or knocked out tooth, as well as concussions.
My Child is Grinding Their Teeth in Their Sleep; Should I be Concerned?
Nighttime teeth grinding can be due to a number of factors, including medications or sleep apnea. If your child has trouble concentrating, bedwetting, has large tonsils, or snores, you may want to speak to their pediatrician about a possibility of a sleeping disorder. Otherwise, occasional teeth grinding may simply be something that they grow out of. Be sure to bring this to our attention during their exam.
Is it Safe for My Child to Use Fluoride Toothpaste?
Yes. The ADA recommends a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste for everyone who can rinse and spit well, which is usually preschool and up. For toddlers that may not be able to rinse their mouth, the ADA recommends a rice-grain sized smear of fluoride toothpaste instead.
Do You See Pediatric Dentistry Patients?
Eastport Dental provides general dentistry services for the entire family, from young children to older adults. If you’re looking for a Mesa dentist who can see every age under one roof, then you’ll want to call Eastport Dental!
Contact us today to reserve your child’s next appointment.