At Oral Health Associates, we’re proud to be the leading family dentist in Green Bay. As your trusted pediatric dentist, we’re committed to providing exceptional dental care for the whole family, especially our smallest patients.
Many parents wait until their child is a few years old to visit the dentist in Green Bay, but it’s actually important to start dental visits much sooner. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that a child’s first trip to the dentist be either at the age of one or six months after the first tooth erupts. Because the first tooth generally erupts around six months of age, your child’s first birthday is the perfect time for an initial visit to your Green Bay family dentist. This visit will get your child accustomed to visiting the pediatric dentist, but most importantly, it will take care of his or her primary teeth and help set your child on the path toward a lifetime of good dental health.
A common misconception is that the primary (baby) teeth aren’t important because they fall out at an early age. However, primary teeth play a critical role in the development of the jaws and in guiding the permanent teeth into their proper place. Infants who lose baby teeth early will require a device called a space maintainer to hold the natural space open. Without this maintainer, the teeth can tilt toward the empty space and cause the permanent teeth to come in crooked.
The first tooth will erupt anywhere from four months to 12 months after a baby is born. From then until the age of three, gums will be sore, tender, and irritable. Soothe your child by rubbing their gums gently with a clean finger, the back of a cold spoon, or a cold, wet cloth. Teething rings also work well, but avoid teething biscuits, which contain sugar that may lead to tooth decay.
Baby bottle tooth decay occurs when a child falls asleep while being breastfed or bottle-fed. The sugar in the liquid mixes with the bacteria in dental plaque and forms acids that attack the tooth enamel, which can cause tooth decay. This isn’t a problem while the baby is awake, because saliva is flowing and carrying away the liquid. During sleep, however, saliva is lessened and the sugars can pool around the teeth. Ensure that your child does not fall asleep while sucking on a bottle containing milk or sugary drinks. If your child needs a bottle to fall asleep, fill it with water or try a pacifier.
One of the most important things you can do for your child’s dental health is to promote eating healthy foods that build strong teeth, including vegetables, cheeses, and yogurts. The teeth, bones, and soft tissue of the mouth all require a healthy and well-balanced diet, and eating a variety of foods from each food group will help prevent cavities and other dental problems. Avoid sugary foods that often cause tooth decay.
Start your child on the right track as soon as possible by booking an appointment with your dentist in Green Bay today. If you have any questions about early dental care, we encourage you to give us a call at 920.437.3376 or reach out to us at our contact page. As your trusted pediatric dentist, we look forward to helping your child develop a healthy smile for life!