Early Dental Care

Our belief at the practice of Dr. Christian Johnson DMD is that a healthy smile begins on day one. As your providers of Brandywine, MD pediatric dentistry, we’re more than glad to be with you throughout this entire process. Caring for your child’s teeth is an important task that will lead to many dental and oral benefits down the line, which is why we want to give you the most helpful advice on making sure that your child will be able to attain a lifetime of healthy smiles.

An Infant’s Teeth Development

A baby’s teeth will actually first begin to develop before the child is even born. However, they won’t actually erupt and become visible until he or she is about six to 12 months of age. These teeth that erupt at this time are known as the primary teeth, which are also commonly referred to as “baby teeth.” The first of these primary teeth to appear are the low central incisors and they’re typically followed by the upper central incisors. The rest of the primary teeth will follow and they should all erupt by the time a child reaches the age of three.

Your Child’s First Visit to the Dentist

The American Dental Association recommends that your child first visit the dentist at around the time of his or her first birthday. This time is suggested for a number of reasons:

  • The dentist will be able to look for and treat any issues before they become more serious and require more intensive methods to treat.
  • Your child’s jaw and teeth will be rapidly growing during this time, meaning that it’s essential to visit a dentist early and regularly.
  • You and your child will learn about more effective ways to brush and improve his or her oral hygiene.
  • Going to the dentist at an early age will help alleviate any fear of a dental visit; your child will be able to meet the dentist and staff and become more comfortable, allowing for more stress-free future visits.

Preventing Tooth Decay

If your child’s mouth isn’t healthy enough, his or her teeth can develop tooth decay and that can lead to developing more serious dental conditions later on in life. These can include gingivitis and even the loss of permanent teeth. This is why it’s important to monitor your child’s teeth for signs of tooth decay.
 
Checking your child’s primary teeth for tooth decay is simple as all you have to do is look for white spots on the surface of the teeth. However, preventing tooth decay from happening in the first place will require a little more work. To do so, we recommend:

  • Limiting the amount of sugary drinks that your child will have.
  • Making sure that your child doesn’t eat or drink anything sugary at night because your child’s saliva production (which washes away sugar) will be slowed while asleep.
  • Not letting your child fall asleep with a bottle that contains any type of sugary drink.
  • Using a pacifier or a bottle of water to help your child go to sleep.

Teething

One problem that accompanies tooth eruption is teething. When babies go through this, it will typically cause them tenderness, soreness, and irritability. There are a few things you can do to alleviate this discomfort:

  • Rub the baby’s gums gently using a clean finger.
  • Give the infant a cold teething ring.
  • Place the back of a cold spoon or a wet, cold cloth on the gums.

When the teeth finally erupt, you should make sure to regularly clean them. Simply using a clean cloth to wipe them off will help prevent tooth decay.

Contact Your Brandywine, MD Pediatric Dentist

If you have any further questions about our pediatric dentistry and early dental care, please don’t hesitate to contact us and let us know. If you’d like to schedule an appointment for your child, we encourage you to give us a call at (301) 645-3230. We can’t wait to see you and help put your child on the path toward a lifetime of healthy smiles!