Compassionate Dental Care
For Your Child
Between the ages of one and three years old, your child will get his or her first set of primary teeth. Many misjudge the importance of primary teeth, assuming that since they are eventually replaced by permanent teeth, this first set requires less vigilance and care. These baby teeth play a crucial role in a young child’s dental development.
Proper Teeth and Mouth Development For Young Children and Toddlers
A child’s primary teeth not only allow for proper chewing and speaking, they are also vital to development of the jaws and for guiding the permanent teeth into place around age six. Children with missing primary teeth or those who prematurely lose primary teeth may require a space maintainer, a device used to hold the natural space open. Without a maintainer, the teeth can tilt toward the empty space and cause permanent teeth to come in crooked. For this reason, bring your child to The Tooth Station when they are one-years-old.
An innately soothing activity, thumb or pacifier sucking is a natural and healthy way for children to relax and calm themselves down. Most children give up the practice by age four, before the permanent teeth come in, thus presenting little problem. Once a child has his or her permanent teeth, it’s possible that thumb-sucking or pacifier could disrupt the proper development of mouth and teeth.
Pay attention to the alignment of your child’s teeth and if you notice movement or poor alignment, come see us so we can provide you with our professional assessment. Thumb-sucking is primarily a method to soothe anxieties so also try to determine what triggers the practice and look to provide your child with extra love and comfort in those moments.
Toothpaste and Fluoride For Young Kids Dental Care
Parents ask us what kind of toddler toothpaste to choose. Toddlers often end up swallowing between 55 – 75% of the toothpaste used, so it is important to understand the risks and benefits of fluoride for toddlers. On the one hand, fluoride helps protect young children’s teeth by strengthening the enamel, making it harder for the acid that causes tooth cavities produced by the bacteria to destroy them. However, fluoride can be toxic if the amount consumed at one time is 5 Mg/kg of body weight.
This means that a child who weighs 25 lbs would need to consume the equivalent of 56 – 1 Mg tablets of fluoride. This is not a difficult task to accomplish for most two-year-olds. For example, an 8.2 oz tube of Aim®, Aquafresh® and Close Up® toothpaste contains 232 Mg of fluoride or 28 Mg per ounce. A child would need to consume only 1/232 (hardly any) of the tube in order to reach 1 Mg of fluoride. For this reason it is better to err on the side of caution and use non-fluoride toothpaste if you live in an area where the water is fluoridated such as Sacramento. Check it out: Sacramento fluoridation map. If you do use fluoridated toothpaste for your toddlers dental care, be sure to use a tiny amount – just a smear on the brush is all you need!
Tooth cavities among young children and toddlers are at an all time high, so it is of the utmost importance to be aware of and proactive in your child’s developing teeth. Habits are hard to break so we help you create preventative dental health habits now so they will last a lifetime. Some of the ways we do that include:
- Information about kids healthy eating habits and a child’s diet for strong teeth and bones.
- Regular dentist check ups and teeth cleanings to detect potential kids dental health issues.
- Kids dental sealants on especially grooved or pitted teeth.
- The most effective tooth brushing and flossing techniques for toddlers.
- Methods to encourage young children’s dental self care.
Find Out More About The Tooth Station
We are the first stop on a lifelong journey of dental and whole body health. Contact our dentist office in Folsom or call today at 916-984-6747.