A Guide for Parents 2018-05-14T18:35:18+00:00

Pediatric Dentistry: A Guide for Parents

To teach your children how to have healthy teeth, it’s necessary that you understand the basics. Dr. Cochran encourages all patients to learn everything they can about the role of a pediatric dentist in your child’s health.

What is a Pediatric Dentist?

A pediatric dentist is a dentist that studied dentistry and continued their study to specialize in children’s teeth. This speciality is dedicated to training in regards to the oral health of infants, toddlers, young kids, and teenagers. All of those age groups require a different approach, due to each age group’s risk of dental problems, development, growth, and behavior.

Advantages of a Pediatric Dentist

If you have an excellent family dentist, you may not have thought about taking your child to a pediatric dentist, but it’s worth giving it some thought, especially if your child needs specialized dentistry.

The difference between a pediatric and a family dentist is that pediatric dentists received their training in general dentistry, and then spent a few more years studying the development, treatment options, and needs of children. Therefore, they will not only know how to treat your child’s teeth, but they will also know how to interact with them and explain things to them in a way that they can understand.

Our aim at Cochran Orthodontics is to bring you a wide range of treatment options in a secure and comforting environment, helping children feel comfortable while at the dentist, improving your child’s oral health, and promoting lifelong dental habits

The Importance of Primary or Baby Teeth

You may not think that primary or baby teeth are important, as they will fall out eventually, but they are essentials to the health of your child, both present, and future. Baby teeth are a child’s first tools for speaking and chewing. Primary teeth will also promote a healthy development of muscles and jaw bones, along with guiding the permanent teeth into place.

Eruption of the Primary Teeth

Children’s teeth start to form while they are in the womb, sometimes erupting as early as three months of age. The teeth that first erupt are usually the lower two front teeth, followed by the upper two front teeth. The order and the pacing may vary from child to child, but most children will have all of their teeth by around three years old.

Around age six is when baby teeth start to fall out and are replaced with permanent teeth. Depending on wisdom teeth, a person should have 28 to 32 teeth by age 21.

Dental Emergencies in Children

Dental emergencies can happen at any time, and it’s essential that you remain calm. Should something happen, use the following guidelines:

  • Toothaches: Clean the area with dental floss or warm water, dislodging any food particles. If the pain persists, contact your dentist. To reduce swelling, use a cold compress, but never place aspirin or heat on the tooth.
  • Bitten or cut lip, cheek, or tongue: To reduce swelling, apply ice to the injured area, and if there is any bleeding, apply gentle but firm pressure with a cloth or gauze. If the bleeding doesn’t stop, contact your dentist.
  • Knocked-out primary tooth: Treatment is not necessary in most cases, but your dentist should be consulted about a possible space maintainer.
  • Knocked-out permanent tooth: If you can, find the tooth and never handle it by the root, only handle it by the crown. Clean it by running it under water, without scrubbing or using soap. If there is no damage to the tooth, place it back in the socket and cover it with gauze so your child can bite down. The tooth can also be transported in a cup of milk or saliva, or your child can hold it in their mouth if they are old enough not to swallow it. You should immediately visit your dentist to save the tooth.
  • Fractured or chipped primary tooth: Talk to your pediatric dentist about the best course of action.
  • Fractured or chipped permanent tooth: Contact your dentist immediately to prevent infection and save the tooth. The area should be rinsed with water and swelling can be reduced with a cold compress.

Bruxism or Nightly Teeth Grinding

It is normally apparent when your child grinds their teeth at night by wear and tear on their teeth or a loud sound. Children can begin grinding their teeth due to stressors such as home life or school, or due to pressure in their ears.

Bruxism doesn’t typically need to be treated, as most children outgrow it between ages 10 and 13, but a night guard to cushion the jaws and teeth may be required if there is excessive wear. If you have concerns about bruxism, you should speak to your pediatric dentist.

If you are looking for a pediatric dentist in San Antonio, Texas, we welcome you to contact Cochran Orthodontics at 210-714-5525. We look forward to meeting you!

Make An Appointment

The benefits of proper orthodontic treatment and care go far beyond a more pleasing appearance; they include teeth that are more likely to last a lifetime and a healthier mouth. If you’re interested in undergoing orthodontic care, contact Cochran Orthodontics today to schedule your appointment.