Pinnacle Pediatric Dentistry Joi Shaw Morrison, DMD, MSD
3939 Washington Ave,
Suite 240
Houston, TX 77007
(713) 863-PEDO (7336)

Teeth 101

Teeth 101

Eruption of Teeth
Your Child's Teeth
Periodontal Disease
Preventive Dentistry
Trauma/Dental Emergencies
Mouth Guards

Why are primary teeth so important?

Neglected cabities can affect permanent teeth. Primary teeth, or baby teeth, are important for the following reasons:

  1. Proper chewing & eating
  2. Providing space for permanent teeth to guide them to the right position
  3. Permit jawbone and muscle development.
  4. Affect the development of speech and image.

The 4 front teeth last until 6 to 7 years of age, and the molars aren't replaced until age 10 to 13.

How do I prevent cavities?

Good oral hygeine means removing bacteria and food residue that combine and create cavities over time. Older children should brush teeth twice daily. Also, it's necessary to watch the type and quantity of snacks given to children. The pediatric dentist might also recommend sealants or home fluoride treatments. It may be necessary to place sealants on molars to slow decay on tooth surfaces.

What can I do if a child hurts a tooth during an activity?

When kids participate in recreational activities and sports, a properly fitted mouthguard can keep teeth from getting knocked out. Especially in high contact sports like football, soccer, or martial arts you'll want to invest in a mouthguard to protect their smile. A mouth guard can also prevent chips, injuries to mouth / lips, and will be fitted to allow breathing and talking.

What's the best toothpaste for a child?

Tooth brushing is the most important task for a good smile. Many toothpastes can damage a child's smile, though. Harsh abrasives found in adult toothpaste can erode enamel. When shopping for toothpaste be sure to consider one recommended by the ADA. Monitor to ensure children spit out toothpaste to avoid ingesting fluoride. Use only a "pea size" amount of toothpaste if your child is too young to spit, or provide them with a fluoride free toothepaste.

What should we expect the first time at the dentist?

Your child should visit the dentist by their 1st birthday. The first visit can be enjoyable or positive; they should be informed of the visit and told the dentist will explain the procedures involved. It's best not to mention words such as "drill", "pull", or hurt. Pediatric dental offices phrase the procedures in ways that convey the same message, but don't scare children.

Early Orthodontic Treatment

Every child should have an orthodontic evaluation by their 7th birthday. The earlier the better - your child will have an edge for normal development. By working with their natural growth, problems can be prevented from becoming worse. Early treatment should be given for:

  • Habits such as thumb sucking
  • Constricted airway due to swollen tonsils
  • Mouth breathing or snoring issues
  • Space maintenance (missing teeth)
  • Under-bite or over-bite.

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