Routine visits starting at age three
A baby’s first set of teeth begin to erupt around six months of age, and most children have a full set of 20 primary teeth by age three. Dr. Vessel’s office recommends regular dental visits for children starting at age three. The focus of these dental visits is education and cavity prevention.
A baby’s teeth are susceptible to decay as soon as they appear. Early childhood tooth decay (or “caries”) can begin on the smooth surface of the anterior (front) teeth, and appear brown or black in color. This is caused by the child falling asleep with a bottle filled with a sugary substance. The bacteria in the baby’s mouth – which he or she ultimately receives from the parents – consume the sugar and produce acid as a byproduct. This acid breaks down the enamel of a tooth and causes decay.
Starting at age three, the young patient as well as the parents are educated by our hygienist, who reviews correct brushing techniques. In addition, we use a solution that temporarily dyes plaque in the child’s mouth so it is easier to visualize the areas they are missing with a toothbrush. Professional fluoride applications are also started around this time.
Around age six, children typically see their first adult molars appear. At this time, our office recommends sealants to prevent decay on the chewing surfaces of teeth. A sealant is a plastic material applied to the pits and fissures of molars. The plastic acts as a barrier to acid produced by bacteria.
Our office also provides a wide range of dental procedures for children, including fillings, pulpotomies, extractions and nitrous oxide.
Oral Care for a Baby
Never allow a baby to fall asleep with a bottle containing milk, formula, fruit juice or other sugary substances
Regularly check a baby’s teeth
Begin oral care early. Wipe the gums with a wet washcloth. When the first tooth appears, begin brushing with water
Brush the teeth of children over age two with a pea-sized drop of fluoride toothpaste
Consult a pediatrician on the most water for infants in the area. NOT SURE WHAT THIS IS TRYING TO SAY
Routinely see a dentist. A checkup at age one is a good idea, while regular cleanings begin at age three