Jax Smiles Dentistry

An Adolescent Standing with a Jacksonville Dentist at the Jax Smiles Dentistry Welcome Desk

From Baby Teeth to Braces: A Parent’s Guide to Pediatric Dentistry

Our pediatric dentistry department has seen its fair share of parents want their kids to be healthy when they undergo the growing pains of baby teeth. Once your child’s first teeth start coming in, they might experience a range of symptoms, such as drooling, biting, irritability, whining, and refusing to eat.

It’s difficult to see your child putting their tiny fist in their mouth or biting themselves because they don’t prefer the teether. The best you can do is to comfort them and bring them to our pediatric dentist in Jacksonville for routine check-ups.

On the other hand, we shall provide you with a list of essential dental milestones, your role, and relevant dental interventions.

Monitoring Oral Development

At-home monitoring comes before pediatric dentistry. Know what to expect before it has even occurred.

Below are some important dental milestones for your little one:

  • The First Tooth: You can expect this between four to seven months.
  • Growth of Primary Teeth: The teething process usually lasts until the third year of your child’s life. By this point, they should have a full set of 20 primary teeth.
  • Primary Tooth Loss: Most kids start losing teeth around six; this process continues into early adolescence.

Every primary tooth is replaced by a permanent tooth, which grows gradually and is usually painless. 

Losing primary teeth only for them to be replaced by permanent teeth is a rite of passage. However, every parent must track these dental milestones to identify potential anomalies and concerns and seek a top dentist in Jacksonville, FL, for prompt treatment.

Closeup of a Girl's Front Teeth While Under Dental Treatment in Jacksonville, FL

Adopting an Oral Hygiene Regimen

Establishing good oral hygiene is important for healthy teeth and gums. While you can’t take a toothbrush to a baby’s mouth, you can use a soft damp cloth or soft brush specifically for pediatric oral hygiene.

Start cleaning your child’s mouth before they start teething, and add fluoride-based toothpaste to the mix once their teeth come in. As they grow, implement a twice-a-day brushing and flossing regimen, with strict supervision, until it becomes a habit.

Finding a Pediatric Dentist

The next step is prevention, for which you’ll need the guidance of a pediatric dentist. If you don’t think preventive measures are important for your child’s oral health, you have another thing coming. 

More than half of the children between the ages of six and eight get cavities in one or more of their baby teeth. Similarly, more than half of adolescents between 12 and 19 experience cavities in one or more permanent teeth.  

Maintain optimal oral health on your child’s behalf by scheduling regular dental check-ups and cleanings. Your Jacksonville dentist may recommend dental sealants for your child’s perfectly healthy teeth. These thin protective coverings prevent cavities and require fewer check-ups.

Such preventive measures will also help detect tooth decay, gum disease, and other issues sooner rather than later.

A Before and After Photo of a Permanent Tooth Procedure Performed by a Dentist in Jacksonville, FL

Embracing a Balanced Diet

Your child eats what they see you eat. Set a good example by embracing a balanced diet as a unit. Limit sugary snacks and beverages, as they may exacerbate ongoing dental issues and cause tooth decay.

Instead, adopt a diet of fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains. Encourage your child to drink lots of water to maintain a clean oral cavity and reduce the risk of oral cavity issues.

Subscribing to Orthodontic Evaluations

When habits like thumb sucking continue well past the fourth year of your child’s life, they may experience orthodontic issues like misaligned teeth and inadequate jaw growth. Even if your child isn’t under the habit of sucking their thumb, you must bring them for an orthodontic evaluation, preferably after seven years of age.

Timely detection and interventions like braces and Invisalign accelerate proper jaw growth, make room for permanent teeth, and prevent extensive and more expensive treatments.

Consulting pediatric dentistry early on helps parents understand their children’s orthodontic needs.

The Reception at Jax Smiles Dentistry, an Intrinsic Part of a Welcoming Dental Environment

Getting Accustomed to a Dental Setting

Dental anxiety is a common reaction to dental settings in most children. However, it is anything but the rite of passage we mentioned previously.

Dental fear may seriously affect your child’s psychological and physical well-being. However, since pediatric dentistry is an essential service, it is something your child must face at some point.

As a parent, you can make it easier for your child to get accustomed to the fear of a new setting by starting early. Introduce your child to a dental environment, but before that, explain the rationale behind the visit.

Next, choose a pediatric dentist with a child-friendly location. Dentists who frequently work with children also have a few tricks up their sleeves to distract scared kids. They can also take the simpler route by providing gentle explanations and using positive reinforcement to alleviate their dental anxiety and form a friendly bond with your child.

Ensure Optimal Oral Health for Your Child: Consult the Best Dentist in Jacksonville, FL

In case you couldn’t tell, parental supervision and pediatric dentistry go hand-in-hand. They are equally important for raising your little one’s chompers how they are supposed to.

Since you understand dental milestones and a dentist’s role along this journey, get the top dentist in Jacksonville for your child’s oral health. Jax Smiles Dentistry has proudly served the Jacksonville community since the 1960s. Sign up for our savings plans and use your dental insurance to schedule your kid’s first dentist visit.

Book a slot to see a pediatric dentist in Jacksonville, FL.

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