The first baby teeth that come into the mouth are the two bottom front teeth. You will notice this when your baby is about six to eight months old. Next to follow will be the four upper front teeth. The remainder of your baby's teeth will appear periodically, usually in pairs along the sides of the jaw until the child is about 2-1/2 years old.
At that age, your child should have all twenty primary teeth. Between the ages of five and six, the first permanent teeth will begin to erupt. Some of the permanent teeth replace baby teeth, while others do not. Don't worry if some teeth are a few months early or late, as each child develops differently.
Baby teeth hold space for permanent teeth, but they also are important to chewing, biting, speech and appearance. For all these reasons, it is important to maintain a healthy diet and daily hygiene.
Your child’s first "regular" visit to Penobscot Bay Dentistry should be just after his or her third birthday. This first visit is usually short and involves very little treatment. We may ask the parent or guardian to sit in the dental chair and hold his or her child during the examination. The adult may also be asked to wait in the reception area during part of the visit so that a relationship can develop between the child and Dr. Lewis.
While establishing a rapport with your child, Dr. Lewis’s evaluation will include the following:
In addition, digital x-rays may be taken to reveal decay and to check on the progress of your child's permanent teeth under the gums. We may clean your child's teeth and apply topical fluoride to help protect the teeth against decay.
We suggest you prepare your child the same way you would before for some other “firsts”: their first haircut or first trip to the shoe store. Speak with enthusiasm about the nice things that will happen for your child during that first appointment with Dr. Lewis.
At Penobscot Bay Dentistry, we are most concerned with all aspects of preventive care. Once your child’s first permanent molars erupt, we can use the latest in sealant technology to protect your child's teeth. Sealants are space-age plastics that are bonded to the chewing surfaces of decay-prone back teeth. This is just one of the ways we can set the foundation for your child's lifetime of good oral health.
Of course, regular brushing and rinsing at home will help your child to maintain oral health, as will visits to Penobscot Bay Dentistry. Your child’s diet is also a crucial factor in preventing cavities.
A diet high in sugary foods causes many children’s cavities, as does high intake of starchy and sticky foods. Every time someone eats, an acid reaction occurs inside the mouth as oral bacteria digests the sugars. This reaction lasts approximately 20 minutes. During this time, the acid environment can destroy the tooth structure, eventually leading to cavities.
When a child eats a diet high in carbohydrates and sugars, he or she tends to have thicker saliva, allowing more acid-producing bacteria that can cause cavities.
Thinner saliva breaks up and washes away food more quickly.