Gentle Pediatric Dentistry in Edmonton
Many parents believe that dental visits and care don’t matter until their children start to get their adult teeth. However, dental health starts the moment your child gets his or her first baby tooth.
Why You Should Take Your Child to the Dentist
Pediatric Dentistry by our General Dentists offers several benefits.
- Your child will more likely develop a healthy, positive relationship with the dentist and experience less fear in the future.
- Your dentist can examine your child’s tooth and mouth development and catch any problems at an early stage.
- Your dentist can identify signs of oral diseases or tooth decay.
The dental habits your children form in their youth can have a large impact on their future oral health. Your dentist can advise you on how to provide proper oral care for your child. Learn more about children’s dental needs at the Canadian Dental Association website.
At Belle Rive Dental Clinic, we offer a variety of dental services for children. We see patients of all ages—from toddlers to seniors.
We offer regular check-ups and cleanings along with sealants, and restorative treatments. Bring your children in early and often to encourage dental health from a young age. Schedule your child’s first appointment by the time he or she turns one.
Belle Rive Dental Clinic offers extended weekday hours and weekend appointments. We accept new and emergency patients.
Make your child’s teeth a priority. Take your kids to a children’s dentist in Edmonton to set your children on a path to oral health. Call us to set an appointment at 780-473-4867 or, if you prefer, use our online form.
What Does Pediatric Dentistry Entail?
Children’s teeth are markedly different from the set of teeth they will have as adults. The smaller, softer deciduous teeth, also called milk teeth or baby teeth, that erupt in the first few years of a child’s life have thread-like roots. These delicate roots facilitate their eventual loss when permanent teeth grow to replace them. However, shallow roots also make early tooth loss a concern. While a tooth that will soon be lost may not need replacement, a tooth lost to a sports injury or fall may need a crown or bridgework to maintain proper tooth spacing and bite health.
Baby teeth can also get cavities, and like cavities in adult teeth, they can be painful. Cavities in baby teeth are frequently associated with corresponding decay in permanent teeth, so it is still important to keep a child’s mouth free of decay and to fill any cavities even if those teeth will eventually disappear. Children who visit the dentist at early ages are likelier to develop good brushing habits that can forestall future cavities.
Our dentists also deal with issues unique to children’s teeth. Baby bottle tooth decay is fairly common and should be addressed early. Thumb-sucking and pacifiers can affect a child’s bite. Your child’s dentist can monitor growing teeth and ensure that permanent teeth are growing in well. If necessary, the dentist can also recommend an orthodontist who can correct crooked or gapped teeth soon after the permanent teeth appear. Brushing and flossing instructions, fluoride treatments and baby tooth removal are other tasks they may be carried out.
How Do Children’s Teeth Develop?
Children have smaller jaws and fewer teeth than they will have as adults. When they are young, kids have a maximum of 20 teeth. Tooth growth begins at the front with incisors, the flat teeth that comprise the most visible part of the smile and continues toward the round molars toward the back of the jaw. The first permanent molars erupt behind the baby molars without displacing them at around 6 years old. Another full set of four molars comes in six years later, and at 18, the wisdom teeth erupt for the full adult complement of 32 teeth.
Although most babies are born without teeth, some have one or more teeth already peeking from their gums at birth. Children get their teeth at widely varying times, but the following list is an approximate indication of when a child’s baby teeth generally appear.
- Central front teeth at 6 to 12 months
- Lateral front teeth at 9 to 13 months
- Canine teeth at 16 months to 2 years
- First and second molars at 1 to 3 years
When Should a Child See a Dentist?
Most dentists recommend bringing a child in for an initial visit at the age of three. We call this a happy visit. They are shown the tools we use, are taken for a chair ride, and the dentist gets to “count” their teeth. Like adults, children should see the dentist every six months. The schedule is especially important to maintain for kids whose teeth are in a state of flux as baby teeth disappear and adult teeth erupt. Regular visits also allow your dentist to assess how well the permanent teeth are growing in and recommend steps for a healthier bite.
Take your child to the dentist sooner in the event of an injury, tooth pain or any other visible concern. Although their roots are smaller, baby teeth still have nerves and can be quite painful or sensitive if damaged.
The Importance of Pediatric Dentistry
Despite the temporary nature of your child’s teeth, pediatric dentistry is as important as dental visits for adults. Keeping milk teeth healthy and intact for as long as possible serves a variety of purposes:
- Saving space for permanent teeth
- Facilitating normal speech development
- Contributing to proper nutrition
- Giving permanent teeth a healthier start