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dental problems, your child should see a pediatric dentist
when the first tooth appears, usually between 6 and 12
months of age, certainly no later than his/her first birthday.

When should I start brushing my child's teeth?

Newborns and infants under age one should have their
gums and teeth cleaned with a facecloth at least two times
a day. A toothbrush with soft bristles and a small head,
especially one designed for infants, is the best choice for
infants. Parents should be brushing the child's teeth at
least twice a day, in the morning and at bedtime, which will
remove plaque bacteria that can lead to decay.

What is baby bottle tooth decay and how can I prevent it?

Baby bottle tooth decay now referred to as early childhood
cavities is a pattern of rapid decay associated with
prolonged nursing. It takes place when a child goes to
sleep while breast-feeding and/or bottle-feeding containing
juice or milk. Baby bottle decay or bottle rot refers to the
cavities that babies get from the sugar found naturally in
milk and juices when placed in bottles.

During sleep, the flow of saliva is reduced and the natural
self-cleansing action of the mouth is diminished.  Avoid
nursing children to sleep or putting anything other than
water in their bedtime bottle. Encourage your child to drink
from a cup as they approach their first birthday. Your child
should be weaned from the bottle at 12-14 months of age.
dentist instead of a regular family
dentist?

Pediatric dentistry is a dental specialty
that focuses on the oral health of
children. Following dental school, a
pediatric dentist has two to three years
additional specialty training in the
unique needs of infants, children and
adolescents, including those with special
health needs.

Why is it necessary to take my child to
the pediatric dentist every six months?

Regular visits help a child get
comfortable with the dentists and our
staff. These visits also allows evaluation
of your child's growth and if needed
makes early intervention and corrective
treatment possible. Additionally, regular
exams and cleanings help prevent
decay and avoid costly problems in the
future. Regular dental visits are part of
leading a healthy and normal life for
your child.
Can thumb sucking be harmful for my
child's teeth?

go on for a long period of time can
create crowded, crooked teeth or bite
problems due to misalignment of teeth
and result in a need for braces. If they
are still sucking their thumbs or fingers
when the permanent teeth arrive, a
mouth appliance may be recommended
by your pediatric dentist.
What causes tooth decay?

Three things are lead to dental cavities -- bacteria, sugars or other carbohydrates and time. Dental
plaque is a thin, sticky, colorless deposit of bacteria that constantly forms on everyone's teeth. When
you eat, the sugars in your food cause the bacteria in plaque to produce acids that attack the tooth
enamel. With time and repeated acid attacks, the enamel breaks down and a cavity is formed.

What are dental sealants and how do they work?

Sealants are a protective clear layer applied to the teeth deep pits and crevices of teeth, usually it
helps to keep the child's molar cavity-free. Sealants fill in the grooved and pitted surfaces of the teeth,
which are hard to clean. They prevent food particles and plaque from getting caught and causing
cavities. Fast and comfortable to apply, sealants can effectively protect teeth for many years. Sealants
need to be monitored and replaced if chipped. They are important to maintain good oral health. Your
child will get sealants when the first and second permanent molars come in.

How safe are dental X-rays?

With contemporary safeguards, such as lead aprons and digital sensors, the amount of radiation
received in a dental X-ray examination is extremely small. Even though there is very little risk, pediatric
dentists are particularly careful to minimize the exposure of patients to radiation. In fact, dental X-rays
represent a far smaller risk than an undetected and untreated dental problem. X-rays are highly
valuable to find hidden decay, oral pathology and determine growth patterns.

How to protect my child's teeth when he or she plays active sports?

A mouth guard should be a top priority on your child's list of sports equipment. Athletic mouth
protectors, or mouth guards, are made of soft plastic and fit comfortably to the shape of the upper
teeth. They protect a child's teeth, lips, cheeks, gums and jaws from sports-related injuries.  Any mouth
guard works better than no mouth guard, but a custom-fitted mouth guard fitted by your pediatric
dentist is your child's best protection against sports-related injuries.
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© 2008 pediatric denticare, p.c.
3750 Dacoro Lane | Ste 120 | Castle Rock, CO 80109 | (303) 663 3388
Purvi V. Shah
Board Certified Pediatric Dentist