Dr. Clausen and the Gentle Family Dentistry team provide both routine and specialized oral care in a child friendly and comfortable environment.
Pediatric dentistry is appropriate from infancy through adolescence. Pediatric dentistry is primarily preventative dentistry and is considered the first level of defense against dental abnormalities.
Dr. Clausen and Gentle Family Dentistry place special emphasis on preventative education for young and teenage patients, and on establishing positive relationships. Our services are focused on age appropriate dental needs. Your child’s initial dental experience should be a positive psychological experience that establishes a good foundation for life-long dental health.
Tooth Eruption-Baby's First Teeth
A baby's first tooth is a milestone for parents. The buds for all of your baby's teeth are formed before birth, and usually begin to erupt by 7-8 months, although it can happen earlier. The rate and order of tooth eruption differs from one child to the next. Normally the lower middle incisors are the first to emerge, followed by the upper middle incisors. By the time a child is three, he or she will have most of their 20 baby teeth. The permanent teeth begin to erupt at around age 6, beginning with the molars and incisors. Teeth continue to erupt from this time until about age 21, when the third molars(wisdom teeth) have emerged. This gives adults a total of 32 teeth.
We provide age appropriate Children’s Dentistry including:
- Emergency treatment
- Diagnosis and treatment of oral health problems
- Sealants – protective coatings that help prevent tooth decay
- Instruction & encouragement for proper brushing and flossing
- Prevention and education about dental decay and gum disease
- Creating beautiful smiles
- Sports guards – to protect teeth against injury and loss!
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that children see a dentist by their first birthday.
The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends visiting your family dentist at least twice a year for a dental checkup. Routine dental checkups and cleanings eliminate plaque buildup and prevent tooth decay. When necessary, we provide fluoride treatments to help coat the teeth to prevent tooth decay. Routine checkups help in the detection of oral health problems before the onset of symptoms.
Establishing good oral hygiene and healthy eating habits are critical in the early years. With routine childrens' dental care, a commitment to good habits, dedication to good hygiene and a sensible diet, your child should reach adulthood without ever experiencing dental decay. America’s diets of processed foods and sweets caused cavity rates to soar! The Surgeon General and the Center for Disease Control have announced an epidemic of dental decay not seen since before fluoridation.
Baby bottle tooth decay, sometimes called nursing bottle syndrome, is when your baby's teeth begin to decay, or form cavities. This happens when well-meaning moms and dads put their children to bed with a bottle of formula, milk or juice to help soothe them to sleep. The sugars from these liquids remain on the teeth, and combine with bacteria which are normally found on the teeth. This produces acids, which causes the decay. Not only is this unsightly, but it affects your child's current and future dental health as well.
Here are some tips to prevent baby bottle tooth decay:
- Start at an early age to help your child fall asleep without a bottle.
- After the final feeding, use a soft piece of sterile gauze, or a soft baby fingertip toothbrush to wipe their teeth and gums. Since most babies like putting things in their mouths anyway, this is usually easy, and helps introduce tooth brushing at an early age. If you must give them a bottle to sleep, make it plain water rather than formula, milk or juice.
- If the baby falls asleep while drinking, remove the bottle or breast, and gently wipe their teeth and gums as described above.
- Never dip a pacifier in honey or sugar.
- Start offering your child a sippy cup at six months of age. Plan to be rid of the bottle by twelve to fourteen months. By this time, you can be brushing their teeth with water at bedtime.
Thumb / finger sucking problems - Babies are born with a natural reflex to suck, natures way of ensuring food intake. Sucking is also soothing and tends to induce sleep.
Vigorous sucking can push teeth out of their natural alignment, although this is more likely to occur with a thumb. Most pacifiers are designed by orthodontists to try and avoid the kind of damage that has been caused in the past.
Most toddlers stop on their own between two and four, and up until this age, it is not recommended to make an issue of it. By the age of four, however, parents should begin to work with the child to break the habit. Children who are still sucking their thumbs when their permanent teeth come in can cause lasting damage to their teeth.
It is easier to break a pacifier habit than thumb-sucking, because the thumb is always handy, while the parent is able to remove the pacifier. The easiest way to break a pacifier habit is in small steps. Keep it out of sight; remind the child that they are big kids. Use it only when sleeping, then remove at nap time, and use only at night, then never. In order to break the thumb-sucking habit, the parent needs to monitor the child, using encouragement and praise. Help your child to overcome insecurity by making sure they know you are on their side, and you are doing this together, not being demanding or impatient.