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PEDODONTICS

Pedodontics or Pediatric Dentistry refers to a branch of dentistry that specializes in dental care for children under the age of 16.

When be supposed to I first bring my child to the dentist?

If you do not consider they have a dental complexity, bring them in as soon as you think they are old enough to sit in a dentist's chair without being frightened enough to cry, shout and "carry on".

At what age should my baby's teeth first erupt? ("erupt" means to "appear in the mouth".)



The baby teeth begin to erupt at about age 6 months and continue until about age 24 months at which time all 20 of the baby teeth should be in place. In general, the teeth erupt from the front to the back, and the lowers come in about 2 to 6 months before the corresponding top teeth.


 






At what age should my child's adult teeth erupt?
You should begin to see your child's first adult teeth even before they lose their first baby teeth, at about age 6. They are the first adult molars and they erupt behind the existing baby teeth. They are pink in the diagram at the right. At about the same time the lower baby central incisors will loosen and fall out to allow the adult central incisors (blue) to erupt.


 

Will my child need braces?
Many times, children come in with congenital deformities (ones that they are born with) or developmental problems (ones that are caused by other factors like thumb sucking and other habits, and some, like crowded teeth that are the result of genetic factors but are not present at birth).  Many of these problems are not apparent to the parents, and require a dental exam to identify them.  Most of the common ones are covered in my section on orthodontics.  Left untreated, these deformities cause the child lots of functional and esthetic problems in the years ahead.  It is essential that all children be examined for orthodontic deformities by about the age of 7 when the most common skeletal deformities can most easily be treated.




Children's oral hygiene The ugly duckling stage


Decay

Hygiene

Nice teeth

What is a stainless steel crown?
When a back baby tooth is severely effected with decay, but the nerve has not yet been touched, we sometimes place a prefabricated "tin can" which is made out of stainless steel and shaped and sized to fit baby teeth.  This allows us to remove just the decay without having to get any closer to the nerve than absolutely necessary.  If we can avoid touching the nerve during a restoration, we can usually avoid having to do the pulpotomy described above.  These prefab crowns are relatively inexpensive and fairly quick to place, and because of the nature of baby tooth enamel, are more permanent than a regular filling would be.  Large fillings in baby teeth do not stand up very well to long term wear.   Stainless steel crowns are frequently placed on teeth that have had pulpotomies as well, because by the time a baby tooth needs a pulpotomy, the damage to the crown is so severe that only a stainless steel crown is likely to remain intact for the life of the tooth.

 

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