Early Dental Care


American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends...

Children should visit the dentist by their first birthday. It is important that your child’s newly erupted teeth (erupting at six to 12 months of age) receive proper dental care and benefit from proper oral hygiene habits right from the beginning.


Your child’s first primary, or “baby,” teeth will begin to erupt between the ages of six to 12 months, and will continue to erupt until about age three. During this time, your child’s gums may feel tender and sore. To help alleviate this discomfort, we recommend that you soothe the gums by rubbing a clean finger or a cool, wet cloth across them. You may also choose to make use of a teething ring.

Your child’s will lose their primary teeth at various times throughout childhood. Permanent teeth begin erupting at around age six, and end with "wisdom teeth" or 3rd molars in late teenage years. Adults typically have 28 permanent teeth (32 teeth if including wisdom teeth).

Baby Bottle Tooth Decay(Early Childhood Caries)

Baby bottle tooth decay is a serious form of decay among young children.  This condition is caused by frequent and extended exposure of an infant's teeth to liquids that contain sugar(milk, breast milk, formula, fruit juice and other sweetened drinks).

It is never a good idea to put a baby to bed or down for a nap with a bottle containing anything other than water as this can cause serious and rapid tooth decay.  Sugar will pool around the child's teeth, giving plaque and bacteria the opportunity to produce acids that attack the tooth enamel.

A baby's bedtime bottle should contain only water.  If your child has trouble falling asleep without his/her usual beverage, gradually dilute the botttle's contents with water over a period of 2-3 weeks.  

We advise after each feeding, you wipe the baby's teeth and gumswith a damp washcloth, a square of gauze or a "spiffies dental wipe" to remove plaque. 

Eruption of Your Child's Teeth

Did you know that children's teeth begin forming before birth?  As early as 4 months, the first primary(or baby) teeth can begin to erupt through the gums, these are typically the lower central incisors, followed by the upper central incisors.  Although all 20 primary teeth usually appear by a child's third birthday, the pace and order of tooth eruption will differ between children.

Permanent teeth should begin appearing around age 6, starting with the first molars and lower central incisors.  A person continues to get new teeth until approximately 18-21 years of age.  Adults have a total of 28 permanent teeth, or up to 32 including the third molars (wisdom teeth).

Does Your Child Grind His Teeth At Night

Parents are often concerned about their children grinding their teeth at night (Bruxism).  Parents may notice the noise created by grinding on their teeth during sleep or that a child's teeth are getting shorter and worn down.  Causes include:

  • Stress such as new environments, divorce, changes at school, etc.
  • Inner ear pressure

The majority of cases of pediatritc bruxism do not require any treatment.  The teeth grinding tends to lessen between 6-9 years old and children tend to stop grinding their teeth between ages 9-12.