Newborns are at a huge disadvantage. They can move their arms and legs and wave hands and feet in the air. They can cry. They can pee and poop. But only with the assistance of adults can they eat. They are totally dependent on their parents for continued life.
Nature has, however, provided them with a few tricks up their non-existent sleeves. They have reflexes, automatic reactions to certain types of stimulus. These reflexes, such as the tongue-thrust reflex, are all they have to help them survive.
When any of these involuntary reflexes persist in a baby, there is reason for concern. Sometimes babies will persist with the tongue-thrust reflex into early childhood. This may be evidence of a congenital abnormality, but it is usually due to habit. This habit, however, can cause significant problems with the development of the mouth and with teething. It can also interfere with the acquisition of language skills, causing a lisp.
If the tongue thrust continues past 6 months, the child needs to be evaluated. Starting with your pediatrician is always a good idea. The pediatrician may recommend that you take the baby to a children's dentist or orthodontist for infant oral care. The earlier treatment is started, the less damage is done. If not treated, tongue thrust can cause malformations of the teeth.
Persistence of the tongue-thrust reflex may indicate an underlying problem.
If you're concerned about your child's tooth development, seeing a children's dentist is wise. A children's dentist is the best kids' dentist. They are the experts in pain-free dentistry and the best cosmetic dentists for kids. In Ontario, Canada, the Ontario children's dentist to go to is at the Kids Dental Specialty, where they start with infant oral care and follow their patients through the years and growth. Call and make an appointment for your child today.
by Juli Brown
Losing teeth is one of those childhood rites of passage that everyone goes through. For children, a loose tooth is often met with excitement since this is a big sign that they are growing up. As a parent, you might have a few more concerns, and it is common to wonder exactly how you are supposed to handle a tooth that is ready to come out. Knowing when to worry and when to let nature take its course gives you more confidence when your kid starts wiggling a tooth.
Primary teeth tend to fall out when kids are around six years old, although some kids have loose teeth as early as when they are four. Typically, a childrens dentist will not worry about a child not losing their teeth until they are around eight years of age. At this point, they may want to check to see if there is a reason for the delay such as the permanent teeth growing in wrong.
Most children have 20 baby teeth, and these serve as placeholders for the future adult set. You can expect your child to lose all of these teeth over the next several years. Eventually, your child’s adult smile will have 32 teeth.
When a baby tooth gets loose too soon, it is usually the result of some type of injury. If your child’s tooth gets loose after they receive a blow to their face or mouth, then you’ll want to take them to an Ontario children's dentist. They can make sure that the tooth is ready to come out and take steps to protect your child’s future smile. For example, some kids need spacers to make sure that there is room for the permanent tooth to come in when its time.
Occasionally, an adult tooth will take the wrong path and appear either in front of or behind the baby tooth. If there is a loose tooth, then you can encourage your child to wiggle it. If not, then a childrens dentist might elect to do an extraction to prevent further crowding. In some cases, they may take a wait and see stance that gives the tooth a little more time to come out before they take action.
Parents are sometimes concerned to discover that their child’s adult teeth don’t look anything like their baby teeth. Permanent teeth often look huge on a child’s small face, especially the top front two teeth. Don’t worry, your child will eventually grow into their new bigger smile. Adult teeth also have more dentin, and this can cause them to look slightly more yellow. They can also have small ridges on the edges that eventually wear down.
Over the years, people have used many different techniques to get a loose tooth out. In most cases, this isn’t necessary. Just wiggling the tooth will eventually help it fall out on time. Your child can also help things along by eating healthy foods that apply slight pressure on the tooth such as apple slices. Try to resist the urge to do too much. The old tying string to the tooth and a doorknob trick is outdated and can cause an injury.
Some kids love losing their tooth at school, and most school nurses and teachers are eager to celebrate the occasion. If your child is nervous, just let them know that all they have to do is find an adult to help them out. In most cases, they’ll just need to rinse their mouth out with water and have someone help them find a safe place to store their tooth until they get home.
Baby teeth can sometimes fall out while your child is eating or even asleep. Most of the time, children notice when a tooth falls out unexpectedly. If not, then you can trust that the tooth will safely pass through their system without causing any harm.
Loosing a baby tooth is typically painless, but it can cause some gum irritation and bleeding. Older children can bite down on a piece of gauze or a clean towel to stop the bleeding. For a younger child, you might need to hold it in place. Any bleeding should only last for a few minutes. If your child has serious pain or lengthy bleeding, then an Ontario children's dentist needs to check it out.
Many parents celebrate lost teeth by planning for the Tooth Fairy to come visit. Others throw a small party or give their child a certificate. You can also turn the Tooth Fairy’s last visit into a celebration to mark the loss of your child’s final baby tooth. Every family is different, and this gives you the opportunity to create your own traditions surrounding loose teeth.
If you do opt to celebrate with a visit from the Tooth Fairy, you’ll be happy to know the answer to one of parents’ most burning questions. The Tooth Fairy’s going rate still varies from one house to another, but it is likely higher than when you were a child. Currently, it hovers just above $4, and it often depends upon the age of the child and how prepared the Tooth Fairy was for the occasion.
The appearance of your child’s first permanent teeth is a momentous occasion, but it is also a very serious one. Adult teeth don’t have a handy replacement just waiting to grow in and knock an old one out. Now that your child’s forever teeth are growing in, it is time to pay even closer attention to oral hygiene.
Keep helping your child brush and floss their teeth, and arrange for a checkup. Your child’s dentist can identify any issues with baby teeth growing in, such as crowding, and develop a plan to keep those new teeth healthy for a lifetime.
Being a parent means taking on the responsibility of your child's welfare. One of the top concerns is children's oral health. Parents spend a great deal of time investigating guidelines, suggestions, and the best kids dentist available in their area. Following a simple dental health timeline gives parents welcome help when dealing with oral hygiene.
Healthy oral hygiene begins before the birth of a baby. Mothers are advised to seek out dental examinations during their pregnancy. Women who are not pregnant, but planning to conceive, should also seek out dental examinations. Visiting the dentist is easily overlooked. However, some dental problems can be dangerous to mother and baby.
Good oral hygiene should begin as the baby's gums are preparing to erupt teeth. After each feeding, gently wipe the baby's gums down with a damp cloth. Begin by wiping the gums twice a day with a two or three-second interval between strokes. Soft rubber finger brushes are also available. It is never too early to establish a healthy oral hygiene routine. It will also ensure the gums are free from bacteria for the incoming teeth.
These are the months when teething begins. Continue wiping down the gums and new teeth. They may be a little sensitive at this point, but continuing with the oral hygiene routine will still be important. Plaque forms on teeth, even newly emerged ones.
This is the time to schedule the baby's first dental appointment. If you don't already have a dentist, then find one that specializes in treating children. Depending on your insurance, check-ups may be scheduled every 6 to twelve months. Avoiding foods with high amounts of citric acid and unnecessary sugar will help prevent plaque development and early enamel loss.
This is a milestone age for many reasons. By now, the child should have had his first dentist appointment. Biannual checkups are a normal part of a child's oral hygiene. Regular check-ups not only help with plaque build-up, but they ensure the child's growth and development are on track.
Introduce your child to a soft bristle brush. It is recommended to use fluoride-free toothpaste until the child can spit out the toothpaste from his mouth. It is also acceptable to skip the toothpaste and use plain water for brushing.
As the teeth come in, watch for proximity. Once teeth begin touching sides, introduce your child to flossing. Establish a routine for flossing after every meal. Forming healthy oral habits early can prevent future problems.
Many parents at this stage break their child's pacifier habit. Dentists recommend that using a pacifier and thumb-sucking could misshape the child's mouth. It could also affect how teeth come in.
By now, parents should have an established routine of helping their child brush and floss their teeth. By age three, most baby teeth will be in. Two times per day is acceptable. However, dentists recommend brushing and flossing after each meal.
As children grow they gain more independence in self-care. It is up to the parent to discern when their child will be able to brush and floss correctly and independently. Parents should supervise and assist as needed. Many children have trouble reaching the back of their mouth.
Assistance with flossing may still be necessary at this stage of a child's growth. Also, your child should be continuing their bi-annual check-ups. By now, the dentist should have performed the child's first x-ray. The x-ray will help the dentist to determine the child's overall oral health. At this time parents begin to discuss sealers with their hygienists.
At this age, your child should be independently brushing and flossing on a regular basis. Their routine should be firmly established. If a parent's supervision is still needed, then brush your teeth with your child. This shows your child the correct method and thoroughness. Not only does this encourage your child, but gives them any needed guidance.
Around the age of 7, your dentist may recommend a visit to a children's orthodontist. This will be suggested if there are concerns with oral development. Bi-annual check-ups should continue to monitor the changes as baby teeth transition into adult, permanent teeth.
By now the child should be completely able to independently attend to their oral hygiene. Healthy routines and habits are embedded in their daily lives. As your child receives praise, they will take pride in their smile and continue to brush and floss regularly.
Somewhere close to age 13, your child's adult teeth should all be in place. Bi-annual check-ups should be continued for monitoring their development and growth. If applicable, major dental problems will be discussed. Your dentist will make recommendations for any corrective procedures needed. If your child hasn't had any previous orthodontic screening, they will now.
Keeping your child in consistent dental care is important for their oral health. Offices such as Kids Dental Specialty, an Ontario children's dentist facility, offers specialized training. Healthy habits for proper oral hygiene, starting in the early years, are important for a lifelong healthy body.
While an adult will have around 32 teeth, babies are born with 20 teeth beneath their gums. The period when they start growing above the gum line is known as teething.
Baby teeth generally begin coming in around 4 to 7 months but sometimes not until the 12-month mark. All 20 baby teeth should be in place by the time a child is 3 years old.
There is a general order teeth come in. Normally, the two front bottom teeth come in first, followed by the two opposite top teeth, known as the central incisors. Next, the lateral incisors on the top come in, followed by the incisors on the bottom. The frontmost top and bottom molars come in next, followed by the canines. Finally, the molars furthest to the back of the mouth come in.
While not all babies display signs of teething other than teeth poking through their gum line, there are normally a couple of signs you should begin monitoring their tooth growth.
A rash from drooling will appear most commonly in the face. It is caused by the bacteria and food particles in your toddler's saliva, since this isn't a time when they're able to keep their mouth clean with toothpaste yet.
Irritability is caused by gum pain as the teeth surface above the gums.
Toddlers will normally try to gnaw on either your arm or their own if they're teething.
Some toddlers display more or different symptoms of teething than others. Here are a few other symptoms:
Cheek rubbing is a child's way of massaging pain or irritation out of the gum area.
Like any other growing pain, teething pain will keep a child awake at night until it subsides or until the child is just too tired to stay awake. Similarly, a decreased appetite means that their gums are more sensitive than before teething.
Some websites llist cold symptoms and diarrhea as symptoms of teething. However, trusted organizations like the American Dental Association, the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry and the American Academy of Pediatrics identify these as false symptoms.
If your child displays any of these symptoms, schedule an appointment with a pediatrician:
Cold water is known to reduce swelling. Wet a cloth with cold water and gently rub your child's gums with it. You can also use your finger to massage the gum line if you clean it and apply cold water to it.
Another idea is to rub your toddler's gums with a chilled spoon. Never leave a teething baby unsupervised with a hard metal or frozen spoon, as they could hurt their gums with it. An even safer idea is to give them hard rubber teething rings to gnaw on. Refrigerate them first.
If your child is in pain from teething, ask your pediatrician what over-the-counter medicines and dosages your child can consume. Certain children's oral health care products containing the anesthetic benzocaine should be avoided. If you think your baby might need ibuprofen and acetaminophen for pain relief, consult your doctor.
While the teething phase will likely irritate your toddler, it would be better to avoid remedies and pain relief altogether than to resort to some commonly-marketed remedies.
One such remedy is teething necklaces. The beads on these can break off and your baby could choke. In addition, if they wear the necklace on their neck, they could suffocate. Any metal beads or other hard material like wood, amber, silicone and marble could also cut their mouth. The same applies to bracelets.
Don't give your child teething toys made of gel, liquid or plastic. Generally, these are designed to freeze like ice packs. For this reason, they could easily break if frozen and then chewed on. Another reason they're a bad investment is because if they do break, they could infect any open wounds in the gums. Anything too cold or hard may do more harm than good.
Always be wary of homeopathic or alternative medicine. It is not FDA approved. Avoid teething tablets. These contain traces of belladonna, a toxic plant substance. Additionally, avoid gels or creams that you rub on your toddler's gums. Your child's saliva will wash these away quickly. Many of these gels contain benzocaine, which is not safe for anyone under two years of age to consume. If too much of this gets in your toddler's bloodstream, it will deprive their red blood cells of oxygen.
After your child's first tooth appears, consider taking them to their first dental visit. Their first tooth should appear by the time they hit their first birthday.
If they have a few teeth already, you want to ensure that they don't get cavities. You don't want your kid to lose their first few primary teeth so soon. Primary teeth are important because they allow your toddler to move beyond eating baby food to hard foods, and they help them develop their speaking skills.
It is typical to schedule dental checkups every six months. However, your circumstances may vary depending on your child's oral hygiene. Visit our Ontario children's dentist website to see if we're the best kids' dentist for your child in the area.
Some might think that since baby teeth come out and are followed by adult teeth that it’s less important to tend and care for them than for the adult teeth. This is not true, and there are numerous reasons to be noted regarding the importance of good baby dental care.
Baby teeth are so cute – from the time a baby starts fussing and you see those little teeth breaking through, people love to watch their progress and count the teeth that have come in. Look at a child’s xrays and you’ll see something amazing – the adult teeth lined up right in the path of the baby teeth.
When a child grows baby teeth, the primary use of those teeth is for chewing - and the adult teeth also need a fighting chance to correctly serve that purpose.
Take it from the Tooth Fairy!
Kids start to shed their baby teeth at around 6 years of age. The first baby teeth to go are usually central incisors – otherwise known as the two front teeth. Children’s oral health is key in making sure the teeth and gums are healthy so that the adult mouth and teeth do well in the future.
As the child’s gums may be sensitive because of new teeth, and just generally little guys and girls don’t always cooperate with tooth care, baby tooth care is emphasized less in the early years. Unfortunately, there are many problems that can develop with baby’s teeth. For example, baby bottle tooth decay is caused when the sugars from liquids like, juice, milk and formula remain on the teeth, resulting in development of bacteria, and later, decay of the tooth.
Gums and teeth can also get infected and affect not only the tooth but the soft gum tissue around it, potentially reaching those waiting adult teeth. Also, a child’s tooth decay will cause pain, which can be a problem for the child, for example trying to concentrate in school.
The Health of Tooth Alignment
Children’s tooth alignment is also dependent on taking good care of the baby teeth. The baby tooth acts as a placeholder for the adult tooth, so if a baby tooth falls out early from decay, the adult tooth loses the “path” and can grow in incorrectly. This can cause painful crowding of teeth later on and can also affect a child’s confidence regarding physical appearance in school and with classmates.
Finding the Best Kids Dentist
The mouth is a sensitive area, and it’s tricky to convince a child that someone looking into his mouth is a good thing. It’s important to find a dentist’s office that is good with kids, patient and kind and understanding. Therapy dogs are seen in more and more places these days, and some dentists’ offices are no exception – therapy dogs can go a long way in making children feel more comfortable (and distracted) in an otherwise medical environment.
New Equipment for Children's Dentistry
There is a lot of new equipment that will definitely make children, and therefore their parents, more comfortable, such as the Nomad, a digital x-ray machine that is portable so it can be comfortably used no matter the size of the child or how the child is situated in the dentist’s chair.
Another machine, called a Sopro Life, reduces the need of an x-ray machine, as it consists of is a camera that goes in the mouth and utilizes a light that can detect caries, or cavities. That means the potential for less or no little folded cardboard pieces being put in tender little mouths.
There’s also a dental instrument called the Wand, which can be used to anesthetize a single tooth rather than a larger area – the centralized numbing means that the child will not accidentally bite his lip because he can’t feel it. And another instrument called the Isolite has a special suction so that the examined area will not be contaminated by saliva. The Isolite also helps keep the child’s airway clear during a procedure.
Arguably the best advance in dentistry for kids as well as adults is the Bio-lase, a special laser for pain-free dentistry that can remove a cavity without the use of anesthesia needles or those nightmare-causing grating drill sound and feel, excruciating to adults, and especially to kids.
It is easy to see how baby dental care is so important in the life of your child’s teeth and mouth. These great advances in dental care make it so much easier for a parent to help a child through potentially difficult preventive and proactive care. Finding an Ontario children's dentist that can take care of your child’s teeth and oral health in a kind and patient way will help greatly with the imperative need of childrens oral health.
As parents, we naturally want the very best or our children. And healthy teeth, even if it is just their baby teeth, is no exception.
Generally speaking, children shouldn’t lose their milk teeth before age 4. In most cases, children will naturally lose these teeth between the ages of 6 and 12. In this blog post, we will detail what happens when a child loses their baby teeth early and how it can impact their oral health.
Before going over what causes baby teeth to fall out early, let’s get a better understanding of how they fall out under normal circumstances. Before getting their permanent teeth, children will start off with 20 baby teeth, which they will start to develop when they are between 6 and 12 months.
Once a child has reached the age of 5, the roots of their baby teeth will begin to shrink, causing them to naturally loosen and ultimately begin to fall out one by one. This shrinkage is a result of their permanent teeth starting to develop.
Typically, baby teeth will fall out in the same order in which they came in, meaning their lower center incisors will fall out first. From there, they will lose their upper center incisors. This process will continue until they have lost all of their baby teeth. The first permanent teeth that a child develops will be their molars.
To better understand what happens when deciduous teeth fall out prematurely, it helps to know a little more about teeth in general first.
According to the American Dental Association, our first set of teeth are our deciduous teeth, which erupt from the gums at the age of 6 months, enabling us to consume solid foods. They also serve as place holders for our permanent teeth. In short, they are our “starter” teeth.
That said, most children will start to develop their permanent teeth around the age of 6, with their molars being the first to come in. By the time they reach the age of 13, all 28 of their permanent teeth should have emerged, and they should no longer have any baby teeth remaining.
Of course, this is a best-case scenario. As many parents can attest, things do not always go according to plan when it comes to the health and wellbeing of our children.
If a child loses a baby tooth too soon, it can significantly impact their oral health by causing the following problems:
In some cases, these problems may have to be corrected with braces and other orthodontic treatments.
Much like adults, children can lose teeth due to trauma or severe decay. And also, like adults, children can also develop periodontal disease, which, coincidentally, is the leading cause of tooth loss in America, according to the National Institute of Health.
As far as dental trauma is concerned, it is not uncommon for children to lose their baby teeth while engaging in sports or playing with their friends. Cavities can also cause tooth loss if the tooth becomes severely decayed. For this reason, the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) advises parents to start scheduling regular dental exams for their children by the age of 1. These exams make it possible to detect cavities before they give way to decay.
If you have noticed that your child has lost one or more of their baby teeth before the age of 4, you should schedule an appointment with a children's dentist sooner rather than later.
During your child's dental appointment, the dentist will likely take x-rays and examine their oral cavity for signs of periodontal disease and other factors that may have contributed to the tooth falling out prematurely. Provided that there are no signs of infection or other problems, the dentist will likely insert dental space maintainers in the space left behind by the missing tooth.
These devices are designed to ensure that their permanent teeth come in straight and adequately fill the space once occupied by their baby teeth. You should also take your child to a kid's dentist if they lost a baby tooth prematurely due to trauma as their injuries may also include damaged gum tissue or fractures to the jawbone. An x-ray will reveal the true extent of their injuries and will allow the dentist to recommend the best course of treatment.
While it is not always possible to prevent baby teeth from falling out early, there are things that you, as a parent, can do to lower the chances of it happening to your child, some of which include
Losing baby teeth is a rite of passage as children get older; however, they shouldn't fall out prematurely. The best way to go about preventing this from happening is by implementing some of the tips outlined in this blog and scheduling regular dental appointments for your little one.
While baby teeth will eventually fall out, they shouldn’t fall out prematurely. If this happens, it may be a good idea to schedule an appointment with a children's dentist.