Healthy permanent teeth begin with healthy baby teeth. Many parents regard baby teeth as unimportant, thinking all children eventually lose them. However, caring for baby teeth is just as important as caring for permanent teeth. It is common for parents to be unaware that baby back teeth ( molars ), do not fall out till age 11 or older. Tooth decay in these teeth can grow, sometimes to the point of abscess or infection if tooth decay is left to progress.

Baby teeth are used for chewing to obtain good nutrition for proper growth and development. A full set of teeth is important for the development of good speech. Appearance is also a major factor. A bright smile is not complete without nice teeth. Baby teeth also serve as a guide for the proper positioning of permanent teeth.

Loss of baby tooth before its normal shedding time can cause overcrowding and hinder the proper development of your child's jaws, causing more expensive and more invasive treatment later on. Lastly, toothache and infection can result from improper care of baby teeth.

Our pediatric dental office follows the recommendations of the American Academy of Pediatrics ( AAP ), American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry ( AAPD ) and the American Dental Association ( ADA ), that your child's first visit to the dentist occur by the age of one.

This visit serves to educate the parents on proper care of your child's teeth, preventive regimen custom tailored to the unique needs of your child, growth and development that is expected, anticipatory guidance we your pediatric dentist can offer, dental trauma prevention, diet counseling, oral habits that can affect the teeth, and any concerns you may have regarding your child's oral health. This visit will establish a dental home for your child and protect your child's smile now and the future.

Our Pediatric Dental Office follows the recommendation of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry ( AAPD ) that children visit their dentist at least twice a year. Tooth decay is not the only reason for a dental visit. Fluoride treatments strengthens the teeth, teeth cleaning removes debris that accumulate and irritate the gums.

Some children may need more frequent dental visits because of unusual growth patterns that the pediatric dentist hopes to intervene when the appropriate time comes. More frequent visits are also needed in cases of poor oral care, or higher risk for tooth decay and other dental problems. Because every patient presents with their unique needs,we tailor the frequency of your child's visits based on what is best suited for your child.

Dental decay ( cavity ) is the major cause of tooth damage and tooth loss among children and young adults. Tooth loss is critical in this age group. Everyone knows about the pain from a toothache. However, if a youngster loses a tooth before its normal time of shedding, the remaining teeth shift much, much faster than in adults. This could jeopardize the space intended for the developing permanent tooth ( not yet visible in the mouth ).

The good news is that we can prevent these problems - yes, cavities are preventable. It is possible to let your child grow up cavity free. Preventive dentistry offers many good options including sealants, which is a bonded coating that fills in the grooves, cracks and crevices of back teeth, where cavities, usually start. There is also flouride tablets and drops prescribed in age appropriate dosages if the child's drinking water is not fluoridated.This way, fluoride ions get incorporated into developing permanent teeth. There are also fluoride varnishes, and fluoride rinses. Special fluoride tooth gels professionally applied or home applied are available, some formulations are especially geared towards radically reducing cavity causing bacteria in the mouth. Flossing removes cavity causing germs in between teeth and other smooth surfaces of teeth. Lastly, a healthy, low sugar diet is very important to keep cavities away.

There are many aspects of early childhood caries. baby bottle tooth decay is recognized as one of the more severe manifestations of this syndrome. Prolonged bottle feeding beyond the usual time when the child is weaned from the bottle and introduced to solid food, may result in early and rampant tooth decay.

This can be seen as "rotting" away of front and sometimes back teeth in babies. This occurs when the child has been put to bed with a nursing bottle containing milk, juice or other sugar containing liquids. As the child falls asleep, these liquids which contain sweeteners ( such as lactose in milk, fructose in juice ), becomes pooled around the front teeth. The decreased saliva flow during sleep, coupled with a slow clearing of liquid from the mouth via swallowing, provides a very good environment for tooth decay causing bacteria to act on the teeth. This may cause early childhood caries in babies.

Early childhood caries can be prevented by early counselling of the parents. This is one of the reasons for suggesting that children be first examined by the dentist by one year of age per recommendation of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry.

Sealant is a bonding material that is applied to chewing surfaces of back teeth ( premolars and molars ) to prevent cavities.

When back teeth are developing inside the gums, irregularities in the form of crevices, grooves and pits form in the chewing surfaces. These irregularities are impossible to keep clean because the bristles of a toothbrush cannot reach into them. Therefore, these crevices and pits are good places for bacteria and food particles to hide, causing cavities in teeth.

Sealant acts as an excellent decay preventive agent by forming a thin covering that "plugs" the pits and crevices, preventing bacteria and food to get lodged in teeth, thus preventing cavities. Children's newly erupted teeth get the greatest benefit from sealants.

Water Rules

Water, especially fluoridated water, is the best beverage for maintaining your oral health. That's because fluoride helps to make teeth more resistant to the acid attacks that can cause cavities.
As of 2012, nearly 75 percent of the U.S. population had access to fluoridated water, so drinking water from your own kitchen sink can help prevent dental problems.

If you Can, Choose Dairy

Milk, and other dairy products such as cheese and yogurt, are low in sugar, which is a good thing for your dental health.
Plus, they contain protein and are full of calcium, which can help to strengthen your teeth.

Lean Proteins for the Win

Phosphorus-rich foods such as meat, poultry, fish, milk and eggs help to strengthen your teeth and contain valuable protein.
These foods also help protect and rebuild your tooth enamel.

Fruits and Veggies Pack an Extra Punch

Fruits and veggies are an important part of any balanced diet, and they are also good for your teeth. Since they are high in water and fiber, they help to balance the sugars they contain and help to clean your teeth.
Chewing also helps to stimulate saliva production, which washes harmful acids and food particles away from your teeth.

Nourishing Nuts

Nuts contain protein which help strengthen and protect your teeth. Also, chewing helps to stimulate saliva production, which naturally cleans your mouth.
Remember: Not only is a balanced, nutritious diet essential to healthy living, your eating patterns and food choices play an important role in preventing tooth decay and gum disease. You may eat with your eyes first, but your mouth, teeth, and gums are more than just tools for eating.

What You Eat Matters

While these hard candies seem harmless, eat too many and the constant exposure to sugar can be harmful to your teeth.
Hard candies also put your teeth at risk because in addition to being full of sugar, they can also trigger a dental emergency such as a broken or chipped tooth
Better alternative? Chew sugarless gum that carries the ADA Seal.

Ice is for Chilling, not Chewing

You’d be surprised at how many people think ice is good for their teeth. It’s made of water, after all, and doesn’t contain any sugar or other additives.
But chewing on hard substances can leave your teeth vulnerable to a dental emergency and damage enamel.
Advice: Break the habit and enjoy water in its liquid form.

Watch your Citrus Intake

The truth is that frequent exposures to acidic foods can erode enamel, making teeth more susceptible to decay over time.
So even though a a squeeze of lemon or lime can turn a simple glass of water into a fun beverage, it's not always the best choice for your mouth.
Citric fruits and juices can also irritate mouth sores. Make sure to drink plenty of plain water.

Not all Coffee is Good for You

In their natural form, coffee and tea can be healthy beverage choices. Unfortunately too many people can’t resist adding sugar.
Caffeinated coffee and tea can also dry out your mouth. Frequent drinks of coffee and tea may also stain your teeth. If you do consume, make sure to drink plenty of water and try to keep the add-ons to a minimum.

Sticky Foods are your Mouth's Worst Nightmare

When it comes to picking healthy snacks, many people put dried fruit at the top of the list. But many dried fruits are sticky.
Sticky foods can damage your teeth since they tend to stay on the teeth longer than other types of food. If you find yourself eating dried fruits or trail mix often, make sure to rinse with water after and to brush and floss carefully.

Beware of Things that Go "Crunch"

Who doesn’t love the nice, satisfying crunch of a potato chip? Unfortunately potato chips are filled with starch, which tends to get trapped in your teeth.
If you choose to indulge in snacks like these, take extra care when you floss that day to remove all the food particles that can lead to plaque build-up.

Swap out Soda with Water

When you eat sugary foods or sip sugary drinks for long periods of time, plaque bacteria use that sugar to produce acids that attack your enamel, the hard surface of your tooth.
Most carbonated soft drinks, including diet soda, are acidic and therefore, bad for your teeth. Caffeinated beverages, such as colas can also dry out your mouth.
If you do consume soft drinks, try to drink alongside a cup of water.

Limit Alcohol Consumption

Alcohol causes dehydration and dry mouth. People who drink excessively may find their saliva flow is reduced over time, which can lead to tooth decay and other oral infections such as gum disease.
Heavy alcohol use also increases your risk for mouth cancer.

Watch out for Sports Drinks

They sound healthy, but sugar is a top ingredient for many sports and energy drinks.
The American Academy of Pediatrics says sports drinks can be helpful for young athletes engaged in prolonged, vigorous physical activities, but unnecessary in most cases.
Before your next sip, check the label to make sure your drink of choice is low in sugar or drink water.