The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends the first visit to be at age 1. It will allow us to create a dental home for your loved one. This is the perfect time to examine his/her mouth, discuss specific oral hygiene instructions designed for your child, discuss habits, and become the dental home for him/her in the event of a dental trauma.

Pediatric dentistry is a dental specialty that focuses on the oral health of young people. Following dental school, a pediatric dentist has two to three years of additional specialty residency training in the unique needs of infants, children and adolescents.

Thumb and pacifier sucking habits that go on for a long period of time can create crowded, crooked teeth or bite problems. If a child is still sucking his/her thumbs or fingers when the permanent teeth arrive, a mouth appliance may be recommended by your pediatric dentist. Most children stop these habits on their own.

Sealants are clear or shaded plastic applied to the chewing surface of teeth to help keep them cavity-free. Sealants fill in the grooved and pitted surfaces of the teeth, which are hard to clean, and shut out food particles that could get caught, causing cavities. Fast and comfortable to apply, sealants can effectively protect teeth for many years.

With contemporary safeguards, such as lead aprons and digital X-rays, the amount of radiation received in a dental X-ray examination is extremely small. Even though there is very little risk, pediatric dentists are particularly careful to minimize the exposure of child patients to radiation. In fact, dental X-rays represent a far smaller risk than an undetected and untreated dental problem.

A mouthguard should be a top priority on your child’s list of sports equipment. Athletic mouth protectors, or mouthguards, are made of soft plastic and fit comfortably to the shape of the upper teeth. They protect a child’s teeth, lips, cheeks and gums from sports-related injuries. Any mouthguard works better than no mouthguard, but a custom-fitted mouthguard fitted by Dr. Vernon is your child’s best protection against sports-related injuries.

At about 6 months, the two lower front teeth (central incisors) will erupt, followed shortly by the two upper central incisors. The remainder of the baby teeth appear during the next 18 to 24 months but not necessarily in an orderly sequence from front to back. At 2 to 3 years, all of these 20 primary teeth should be present.

First of all, remain calm. If possible, find the tooth and hold it by the crown rather than the root. Replace the tooth in the socket and hold it there with clean gauze or a washcloth. If you can’t put the tooth back in the socket, place the tooth in a clean container with milk and take your child and the glass immediately to the pediatric dentist. The faster you act, the better your chances of saving the tooth.

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