Cavities occur because of tooth decay. Tooth decay is the destruction of the tooth structure. Cavities can affect the enamel (or outer coating of the tooth) or the dentin (which is the inner layer of the tooth). Cavities may not always be visible which is why we recommend a thorough and comprehensive dental exam. Seeing your dentist regularly can help prevent the formation of any new cavities and can treat the cavities, which may already exist.
Teething can occur any time from six months to 3 years and may cause tender, red and swollen gums when the teeth erupt. Fussiness, excessive drooling, or changes in sleep and eating patterns can all signal a baby’s discomfort from teething. (Just be sure to check with your child’s doctor!) Rubbing your child’s gums with a clean finger may provide some relief. Some children may like teething rings and others cold washcloths. Make sure whatever you use is clean and fresh.
Thumb or finger sucking is normal for many infants and young children. Sucking on thumbs or pacifiers after permanent teeth erupt can cause problems. Prolonged thumb sucking may cause crooked teeth or bite problems. If the habit is prolonged our dental specialists will be happy to discuss this with you.
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Helping your child keep his or her teeth healthy and beautiful for a lifetime begins with early dental care and adequate brushing and flossing. Our team can help educate you.
Knowing how to brush and care for your own teeth is one thing but teaching your child is another. Our staff will gladly assist you in making sure your child is brushing and flossing correctly as well has eating nutritionally balanced foods that promote health.
Before your child has teeth, clean the gums with a soft cloth and water or a soft infant toothbrush. Once the teeth appear, start brushing twice-daily using fluoride toothpaste and a soft, infant toothbrush.
Follow these steps to brush your child’s teeth or to teach your child how to brush their own teeth:
Flossing can help prevent dental problems. To avoid any discomfort, look for a floss that is designed to slide smoothly between the teeth.
Start with an age appropriate child-sized toothbrush. (You can encourage brushing by letting your child pick one out from among all the characters and colors that are available.)
Hold the toothbrush at an angle toward the gum line and brush the outside surfaces using a gentle back and forth motion
Use short brush strokes to brush the insides of the back teeth, when you reach the front brush in short circular motions
Press the brush flat against the chewing surfaces and use gentle strokes to complete brushing
Rinse the mouth with cool, fresh water and spit out any remaining toothpaste
Use about 18” of dental floss
Wrap the floss around your fingers leaving about an inch or two to work with
Carefully follow the natural curves of your child’s teeth
Clean gently around the tooth and beneath the gum line, but do not snap the floss along the gum line
Rinse with cool water
It's very important to assist your child with brushing and flossing until they are capable of doing it on their own.