Pediatric and Children's Dentistry in Huntington, IN
- 1 Year Old – First Visit
- Frenectomy/Speech Treatment
- Importance of Baby Teeth
- Prenatal Care
- Space Maintainers
- Xylitol – Fluoride
1 Year Old – First Visit
Dental professionals recommend a child’s first dental appointment be around their 1st birthday. The dentist will check the child’s teeth that have come through for cavities and basic gum health. The parent will also be informed of important tooth and gum care that is to begin as early as possible. The child will also be checked for growth and development of the jaw and facial structure. We will also discuss finger-thumb sucking, pacifiers and preventive care to help your child. Call our office today to schedule the first well baby exam of your toddler today.
A frenulum is a piece of tissue that prevents an organ from moving. There is a frenulum that attaches your upper lip to the gums, while another connects the lower lip to the gums. A frenulum that is too short or thick, will cause problems in speech patterns and tooth misalignment. In infants, a shortened frenulum underneath the tongue will inhibit breastfeeding. When the frenulum disrupts movement, growth, or development, corrective action is necessary to resolve the situation. A frenectomy is a minor surgical procedure that is performed here.
Importance of Baby Teeth
A common misconception is that baby teeth are “not important;” however, the opposite is true! Baby teeth function as natural space maintainers or space holders for when the permanent teeth begin to come in as the child grows. Premature loss of a baby tooth can cause major problems for “adult” teeth that are yet to come in. Baby teeth also serve as a great time to develop good oral hygiene habits that should continue into adulthood. The same practices that keep baby teeth healthy are important until you turn 100 years old.
The first development of the primary (“baby”) teeth occurs during the fourth or fifth month of pregnancy. A good, balanced diet is as important to the teeth as the rest of the body. Extra calcium is not needed for the teeth and the general use of prenatal fluoride vitamins is usually not recommended anymore especially if there is adequate fluoride in the water. Cavities are an infectious disease. The bacteria that cause cavities can be transmitted from the mother to the baby by kissing (especially on the lips), licking spoons or by other means. Xylitol can help you control your babies cavities. Read more under Flourides treatment below.
A sealant is a clear or tooth-colored plastic material applied to the chewing surfaces of the second or “permanent” back teeth. This is where tooth decay most often occurs. A sealant prevents tooth decay by covering the pits and grooves of these chewing surfaces and sealing out food and germs that cause decay. Please call our Huntington, IN office for more information about how sealants can benefit you.
When a baby tooth is lost prematurely, it is important to still hold that space so the permanent tooth will still have room to come in. Without holding the space, the teeth will begin to shift and fill in the empty hole. When the permanent teeth do not have room to come in, they will either be blocked out and stay below the gum line, or they will erupt too high and at odd angles. Baby teeth lost too soon almost always guarantees a child will need braces in the near future. Space maintainers are a simple appliance to prevent these problems.
Research over the past few decades has come a long way in helping to prevent cavities from forming. Fluoride has been well known to help strengthen teeth and enamel in adults and children alike. Most toothpastes and water have fluoride in them, but an extra dose of fluoride is recommended and given to every patient here at our office.
Xylitol is a sugar that has also been around for a long time. This sugar actually helps prevent decay. Xylitol can be found in some chewing gum and has been proven especially helpful for new moms. A study showed that if a new mother chews 4-5 sticks of gum containing the sugar Xylitol, the new baby is 70% more likely to not have cavities in their mouth. Xylitol has been proven as a very helpful sugar that not only does not cause cavities (like typical sugar has been proven to do), but benefits teeth. Our office encourages patients to utilize the benefits that can be achieved by chewing gum with Xylitol and using fluoride. We sell this gum in our office or you can buy it online.