Early Dental Treatment

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Pediatric Dentistry in Macon, GA

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Addressing dental care for your child at an early age can be extremely beneficial for the development of their permanent teeth. Dr. Sheila K. Shah works with children from Macon and surrounding areas such as Forsyth and Lizella. Please read the information below to determine if your child is ready for early dental care.

Teething

Your child should experience the eruption of their first tooth between the ages of six months to one year. Their gums will continue to be sore, tender and sometimes irritable until the age of 3. To alleviate some of the discomfort experienced from sore gums, try rubbing the gums with a clean finger, or use the back of a cold spoon or wet washcloth on the gums. Teething rings also work well for sore gums, but please avoid teething biscuits as they contain sugar which is bad for your baby’s teeth.

Prevent Baby Bottle Tooth Decay

During the teething phase, it is imperative to monitor your baby’s mouth for signs of baby bottle decay. To prevent baby bottle syndrome, examine the inside (or tongue-side) of your baby’s teeth every two weeks and look for dull spots or lines. If you see anything odd, contact your pediatric dentist. Tooth decay in infants can be minimized, or even eradicated by not bottle-feeding or breast feeding a sleeping baby. Infants needing a bottle to sleep should be given a bottle of water (not milk) or a pacifier. A bottle that contains any liquid other than water that is left in an infant’s mouth while sleeping will cause tooth decay. The sugars in the liquid forms acids and can attack your child’s tooth enamel. When your child is awake, saliva will naturally wash away the acids. However, during sleep the amount of saliva in your infant’s mouth drastically decreases meaning foreign liquids can pool around the teeth covering them in acid.

Your Baby’s New Teeth

Your child’s primary teeth, or baby teeth, play an important role in their lives. Without healthy primary teeth, your baby will not be able to chew food properly and it could also impact their speech development. Primary teeth play an important role in development of the jaws and also act as guides when the permanent teeth grow in around the age of 6.

If an infant is missing a primary tooth or has a prematurely loose baby tooth, it can hinder the development of the incoming permanent teeth. If this happens, a space maintainer may be needed to hold a space open for secondary teeth. Without these space maintainers, permanent teeth are likely to grow in crooked. Please notify us immediately if your child loses a tooth prematurely or if their teeth become loose. Early development in the mouth will impact oral development for a lifetime. Ensure that your child develops positive habits with their primary teeth as those tendencies will reflect how they treat their permanent teeth.

My Child’s First Dental Visit

The primary purpose of a first dental visit is to ensure that the child is comfortable with the doctor and the staff members. An enjoyable first visit builds trust and helps the child feel at ease during dental visits in the future. Often times, it is helpful if your child can sit in a parent’s lap in the exam room. Dr. Shah has been working with children since 1995 and looks forward to meeting your child.

A Healthy Diet Leads To Healthy Teeth

A healthy mouth requires a healthy diet. The majority of snacks that children like to eat are known to cause cavities, so try to feed your child healthy foods like vegetables, yogurts and cheeses; all of which are known to promote strong teeth. Don’t forget to teach them the importance of brushing after meals.

Infant Tooth Eruption

Amazingly, a child’s teeth begin to grow before birth. The first tooth can erupt as early as 4 months while the remainder of the 20 primary teeth usually erupt by the age of 3. The lower and central incisors will erupt first followed by the upper central incisors.

Permanent teeth should begin to erupt around the age of 6 beginning with the first molars and lower central incisors. Permanent teeth should continue to erupt until around age 21. Adults should have 28 permanent teeth, or 32 including wisdom teeth.

Schedule An Appointment For Your Child Today!

A healthy, bright smile can impact your self-esteem and confidence for life. Ensure that your child is on track for a beautiful smile. Conveniently located in Macon, GA and serving surrounding areas, Dr. Shah provides excellent family dental care. To schedule an appointment, call us at (478) 757-8714 or contact us online. We look forward to meeting you and your child soon!

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