Dental Exams and Pediatric Teeth Cleaning in Anchorage, AK

What Is A Pediatric Dentist?
Pediatric dentists are to dentistry what pediatricians are to medicine.  A pediatric dentist has an extra two years of specialized training and is dedicated to the oral health of children from infancy through the teenage years.  Much like a pediatrician, a pediatric dentist is carefully trained in all aspects of growth and development.  This knowledge gives the specialist an awareness of the specific dental and emotional needs of growing children.  The entire focus is on your children; relating to them, fostering good dental health habits and instilling a healthy and positive attitude toward dental visits. 

When Should My Child First See A Pediatric Dentist?
Getting an early start in regular dental care is an important step on the road to teaching your child healthy lifetime habits. The first dental visit should occur shortly after the first tooth erupts and no later than the child’s first birthday. Beginning tooth and mouth examinations early may lead to detection of early stages of tooth decay that can be easily treated. At the first visit we will present:

When Will My Baby Start Getting Teeth?
Teething, the process of baby (primary) teeth coming through the gums into the mouth, is as individual as your baby.  Some babies get their teeth early and some get them late.  In general, the first baby teeth are usually the lower front teeth and usually begin erupting between the ages of 4-10 months.  All 20 baby teeth usually appear at age 3.  The best things to help a teething baby are cold or frozen teething rings or Tylenol (not aspirin) if the pain is very severe.  Remember to consult with your child’s pediatric dentist or pediatrician before giving Tylenol to your child.

When Will My Child Lose Their First Tooth?
Your child has 20 baby teeth. If your child got his/her baby teeth early, then they will loose their baby teeth early and get their permanent teeth early too. If your child got his/her baby teeth late, then they will loose their baby teeth late and get their permanent teeth later too. In general, baby teeth begin getting loose around age 4-6 and permanent teeth begin appearing around age 5-6. The first molars and lower central incisors are usually first to erupt. This process continues until about age 21 or when all 32 teeth (including wisdom teeth) are complete.

Why Are Primary Teeth So Important?
It is very important to maintain the health of the primary (baby) teeth. Neglected cavities can and frequently do lead to problems which affect the developing permanent teeth. Primary teeth are important for (1) proper eating and chewing, (2) providing space for the permanent teeth and guiding them into the correct position, and (3) permitting normal development of the jaw bones and tissues. Primary teeth also affect the development of speech and add to an attractive appearance. While the front 4 teeth last until 5-8 years of age, the back teeth (cuspids and molars) are not replaced by permanent teeth until age 9-14.

How Do I Prevent Cavities?
Healthy eating habits, good oral hygiene and regular checkups are the best way to have and keep a healthy smile.  Children should eat a variety of healthy foods from the 5 basic food groups. Keep sugars and starch snacking to a minimum to cut down on your child’s teeth exposure to sugars.  Good oral hygiene removes bacteria and left over food particles that combine together to cause cavities.  Remember to brush and floss at least twice a day. Use a soft toothbrush, fluoride toothpaste approved by the American Dental Association and floss in between all teeth that are touching.  Children need help brushing and flossing until about the age of seven or eight.  The American Dental Association also recommends six-month visits to the dentist.  Routine visits will start your child on a lifetime of good dental health.

What Do I Do When I Have A Dental Emergency?
The fist thing to do in any emergency is to remain calm, gather the facts of the emergency and call for help.  If your child has KNOCKED OUT A PERMANENT TOOTH, find the tooth and inspect it.  If the tooth is sound, try to reinsert it into the socket.  Have the child hold it in place by biting on gauze.  If you cannot reinsert the tooth, put it in milk or saliva.  The child must see the dentist IMMEDIATELY!  Time is a critical factor in saving the tooth.  If your child has CUT OR BITTEN THEIR TONGUE, LIP OR CHEEK and there is bleeding, apply firm but gentle pressure to the area.  If the bleeding does not stop after 15 minutes, take your child to the emergency room. If your child has BROKEN A TOOTH, rinse dirt from the area with warm water, place a cold compress over their face in the area of the injury, save any broken pieces that you can find and go to the dentist IMMEDIATELY.