How Important Are Children’s First Teeth?

happy smiling little boyYour child’s primary teeth, or baby teeth, are destined to fall out and make room for their permanent replacements. Nevertheless, Livonia children’s dentist, Dr. James Stewart, warns that maintaining the health and integrity of your children’s baby teeth is extremely important to the health of their adult smiles. Teaching your children to care for their baby teeth will help prepare them for a lifetime of excellent hygiene. As the precursors to your child’s permanent smile, primary teeth also help guide adult teeth into healthy growth and development.

Children-Specific Dental Treatments

Dr. Stewart advises bringing your child in for an initial visit (the “happy visit”) by the age of one, and for regularly scheduled dental checkups every six months after the age of three. If a baby tooth is prematurely lost, the remaining teeth can crowd the space where the permanent tooth is destined to erupt. If one or more primary teeth develop cavities, the infection can reach the permanent teeth below, compromising their health before they’ve even fully developed. When a child’s first set of teeth are crooked, or the jawbone is asymmetrical (uneven), then the problem can grow worse if not addressed with early orthodontic treatment. Dr. Stewart employs a number of children’s dentistry techniques designed to address the many concerns that can afflict your child’s dental health and affect their permanent teeth, including;

Dental sealants

Dental sealants are a thin plastic coating that is painted onto the chewing surfaces of your child’s teeth, where bacteria and food debris are fond of hanging out. Once Dr. Stewart ensures that your child’s teeth are free of bacterial plaque and tooth decay, he will apply the sealant, which will provide a protective barrier against the germs that lead to tooth decay and cavities.

Fluoride treatments

Tooth enamel, the super-resilient outer layer of your teeth, is made mostly of minerals, and can retain its strength when your teeth have an ample supply of calcium (as well as other minerals). If your child’s enamel is weak, then he/she is at an increased risk of developing cavities. Fluoride is a mineral that bonds to tooth enamel and helps fortify it against infectious oral bacteria. While fluoride is found in most major toothpaste brands, Dr. Stewart can also directly apply fluoride treatments to your child’s teeth to help strengthen weakened enamel.

About Your Children’s Dentist:

Our philosophy is that excellent dental begins with developing a relationship with the patient. James Steward, DDS, and our compassionate staff proudly serve patients of all ages from Livonia, Farmington Hills, Plymouth, Northville, Dearborn Heights, Garden City, and all surrounding communities. To schedule an appointment, call our office today at (734) 425-4400.