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Pediatric Dentistry

Pediatric dentistry is an important branch of dentistry that specializes in the treatment of children’s dental health issues. Though children only have their baby teeth for a short while, these teeth are especially vulnerable to decay and important for overall development. Children should begin seeing a dentist within their first year of life to establish a good foundation for future dental health. 

Pediatric dentistry is offered at several of our Castle Dental locations, while all of our offices provide comprehensive dental services like cleanings and exams for your entire family, and they’re all available in the same comfortable and familiar office. Even if pediatric dentistry isn’t offered at your most convenient location, Castle Dental’s general dentists also have the training and experience necessary to help ensure your child receives the best dental care possible.

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When should my child visit the dentist?

The American Dental Association recommends that children visit the dentist within the first six months of getting their first tooth. The typical eruption timeline for children’s teeth is:

  • 6-12 Months – Central Front Teeth
  • 9-13 Months – Lateral Front Teeth
  • 16-24 Months – Canine Teeth
  • 1-3 Years – First and Second Molars

However, because every child is different, it is completely normal for this to be earlier for some and later for others.

My child doesn’t have many teeth; why do they need to go to the dentist?

Even if they don’t have many teeth, infants and toddlers should attend the dentist every six months to:

  • Learn how to properly clean gums and teeth
  • Address behavioral concerns such as finger sucking or pacifier dependency
  • Discuss and educate parents on foods that increase or decrease dental health
  • Begin acclimating the child to a dental environment to prevent future anxiety
  • Screen for gum infections and/or thrush
  • Monitor the teeth as they erupt and shift

Infants, toddlers, and small children may also receive fluoride treatments at these visits or their annual visit to the pediatrician.

When should my older child visit the dentist?

Older kids should attend the dentist every six months to:

  • Learn how to properly brush and floss
  • Screen for cavities or infections
  • Clean plaque and tartar from their teeth
  • Have x-rays taken of their teeth and jaws
  • Monitor any permanent teeth that have emerged
  • Monitor the eruption of molars
  • Aid in healthy speech development
  • Monitor any potential recommendations for orthodontic treatment

Do baby teeth get cavities?

Baby teeth are particularly prone to cavities because of the amount of sugar typically found in the foods and beverages young children eat and drink. Sugar is harmful to teeth because it feeds bacteria in the mouth, producing an acid that erodes the enamel of the teeth and causes decay and cavities.

  • Children under one have a diet that consists mostly of milk, which contains high levels of natural sugars. These sugars and other nutrients aid in the growth and development of your children but can be detrimental to teeth.
  • Toddlers and kids are also particularly vulnerable to cavities because they have yet to establish healthy dental hygiene habits and tend to consume foods and beverages high in sugar.

Cavities in baby teeth are often indicators of what to expect in adult teeth. If a child is prone to decay or other dental problems, this may be a signal for the dentist to take extra precautions like fluoride treatment or dental sealants.

Cavities in baby teeth must be treated because if they aren’t, the decay can spread into the developing adult teeth below the gumline. If a baby tooth becomes severely decayed or infected, it may need to be pulled prematurely, which can affect how your child’s teeth, mouth, and speech continue to develop.

What are the benefits of going to a pediatric dentist?

Because they only see patients under the age of 18, pediatric dentists often have an office and atmosphere that is very kid-friendly, with plenty of entertainment to occupy your child and help alleviate feelings of nervousness. Their goal is to establish a good relationship with your child, one that helps them look forward to seeking good dental care in the future. With kid-sized treatment areas and kid-specific treatment methods, pediatric dentists go out of their way to make sure that kids have a fun and comfortable experience to avoid any trauma or fear of the dentist. 

Pediatric dentists can also be a good resource for helping parents establish good oral hygiene habits with their kids or address pediatric-specific issues like bottle or pacifier dependency, thumb sucking, or fluorosis. 

Visit Castle Dental for Your Pediatric Dentistry Needs

Castle Dental is committed to providing exceptional dental care for everyone in your family, including your smallest members. Our staff and dentists understand the unique needs of our pediatric patients and know how to help make sure your child’s experience at the dentist is a fun, friendly, and safe one. From cleanings and checkups to braces and beyond, your child can receive all the care they need for a bright, healthy smile they can be confident in for a lifetime. Schedule an appointment today at the location nearest you!