Belmont, MA Dentist

Belmont Dentist

What Is a Pediatric Dentist?

A Pediatric Dentist attends a residency program for 2 or more additional years of specialized training after dental school focusing just on infants and children through adolescence, including those with special health care needs. This gives pediatric dentists additional training in the unique dental health needs of children as well as skills to work with them and to build trusting relationships.

A lifetime of healthy teeth begins with good dental habits. Give your child a solid foundation by bringing them for an exam and cleaning twice each year. Encourage your child to listen to the dental team during their visit. Work with your child at home to improve their dental hygiene routine.

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry has found that your child should visit the dentist within six months after the presence of the first tooth or by his or her first birthday. Early oral examination aids in the detection of the initial stages of tooth decay. Early detection is also essential to maintaining good oral health.

During each visit, we will gently clean your child’s teeth and remove any plaque or tartar. We will carefully examine their mouth and teeth for any potential issues. Regular cleanings and exams can help prevent tooth decay, gum disease, and other oral health issues.

Tooth decay has become the most common chronic childhood illness in the U.S. We will teach you and your child how to properly brush and floss their teeth as they grow. We will discuss dental hygiene habits and healthy food choices. We will teach your child to be our partner in keeping their mouth and teeth healthy.

We may recommend treating your child’s teeth with fluoride. This mineral can strengthen tooth enamel, making teeth more resistant to decay. Fluoride may be applied in the office or used in certain kinds of toothpaste and mouth rinses.

In some cases, we may recommend the use of dental sealants. Sealants are a protective coating applied to the chewing surfaces of molars. Recent studies have found that sealants can be highly effective in preventing tooth decay.

Help your child have a lifetime of healthy teeth and gums. Contact Sunrise Pediatric Dentistry PC and request a dental exam and cleaning for your child.

Birth – 2 Years

When should my child first go to the dentist?

Children should begin visiting the dentist 6 months after their first tooth erupts, but no later than their first birthday, according to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry. Contact Sunrise Pediatric Dentistry, PC of Belmont for more information or to schedule an appointment.

When will my child grow teeth?

Around 3 months of age, most babies will begin exploring the world with their mouth. They will produce more saliva and start to put their hands in their mouth. Parents may question whether or not this means that their baby is teething, but a first tooth usually appears at around 6 -12 months old.

Why are baby teeth (or “primary teeth”) so important?

Primary teeth help kids smile, speak, and chew. They hold the space in a child’s jaw for the arrival of the permanent teeth that are growing under the gums.

How do I clean my child’s teeth?

You should gently wipe your baby’s gums using a clean, damp washcloth or gauze pad after every feeding and before bed. Baby’s teeth will start to come in between ages 6 to 12 months, you should start cleaning them as soon as they appear. Gently brush your child’s teeth with a soft, child-sized toothbrush and water. Children’s Fluoride toothpaste is recommended to use even before your child can spit, but only use a rice-sized amount. After they learn to spit, you can use about a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste.

Can my child get cavities at this age? (Baby Bottle Tooth Decay)

They may be temporary, but your child’s baby teeth are important – and they are susceptible to cavities. Tooth decay in infants is sometimes called Baby Bottle Tooth Decay. Kids need strong, healthy teeth to chew properly, speak correctly, and have a good looking smile. A child’s first teeth help to make sure that adult teeth come incorrectly. Be sure to start infants off with good oral care and help protect their smile for decades to come.

Nursing and bottle feeding during the night

Use a pacifier instead of a bottle to soothe your child or help them go to sleep. If a bottle is truly necessary, fill it with plain water. Be sure to avoid high-sugar choices like juice or soda in a baby’s bottle.

Is thumb sucking and pacifier use a problem for dental health?

Thumb-sucking is one of an infant’s natural reflexes. Generally there is little to worry about with this behavior. However, prolonged or intense thumb sucking can cause problems with the growth of the mouth and alignment of the teeth.

Dental emergencies

Any problem that puts a child’s tooth in danger, causes ongoing bleeding, or causes pain is an emergency and you should seek care immediately. If you have a dental emergency outside of our operating hours, please call as soon as possible to schedule follow-up care.

Preschool 3-5 years

Will my child get new teeth at this age?

Most children have their full set of 20 primary teeth by the age of 3 years, but it is not until the ages of 6-7 that the primary teeth start to shed and their permanent teeth begin to come in. This process will continue until the age of 17-21.

Why are baby teeth (or “primary teeth”) so important?

Primary teeth help kids smile, speak, and chew. They hold the space in a child’s jaw for the arrival of the permanent teeth that are growing under the gums.

How can I prevent cavities in my child?

Maintain a regular dental hygiene routine. Allow your child to choose aspects of their routine like toothpaste flavor and toothbrush color. Dental hygiene apps, a reward system, and family brushing time can also help. Contact Sunrise Pediatric Dentistry of Belmont for more information or to schedule an appointment.

Is thumb sucking and pacifier use a problem for dental health at this age?

Prolonged or intense thumb sucking or pacifier use can cause problems with the growth of the mouth, growth of the jaw, and alignment of the teeth. It can also affect a child’s speech by causing a lisp or other speech impediments.

What if my child grinds their teeth?

Bruxism, or grinding and/or clenching of the teeth, is fairly common. Parental observation and regular visits to the dentist can help mitigate any risks. In cases where grinding and clenching make your child’s face or jaw sore or damage their teeth, we may recommend a special night guard.

How can I prevent dental injuries for my child?

The best ways to prevent an injury to your child’s teeth and/or mouth wearing a mouth guard during any sports and special special helmet when riding a bike or playing contact sports. If your child grinds their teeth, they should be wearing a night guard. All kids should avoid eating hard foods or chewing on hard objects and take safety measures at home to protect their teeth.

Primary School 6-11 Years

Will my child get new teeth at this age?

Most children will begin to get their adult teeth between the age of 6-7.

Does my child need braces?

Many factors play into needing braces. Some common signs are crowding of the teeth, difficulty with chewing or biting, and misalignment of the jaws. If you are concerned about your child needing braces, contact Sunrise Pediatric Dentistry today to schedule an evaluation.

What is a Panoramic Radiograph?

A panoramic radiograph, also called panoramic x-ray, is a dental x-ray that captures the entire mouth in a single image, including the teeth, upper and lower jaws. These valuable images usually provide detail of the surrounding bones, tissues, and teeth.

What are good practices to prevent cavities in my child?

The best way to prevent cavities in your child is by teaching them to brush at least twice a day with fluoride toothpaste and to floss regularly. Regular use of fluoride will toughen the enamel and make it harder for acid to penetrate the tooth. Limiting sugary drinks and snacks is also important, and it’s a good habit to have them rinse their mouth with water when they do indulge in sweets.

What are Sealants and why are they important?

We may recommend the use of dental sealants for some patients. Sealants are a protective coating applied to the chewing surfaces of molars. Recent studies find that sealants can be highly effective in preventing tooth decay, especially in children. Contact Sunrise Pediatric Dentistry of Belmont for more information or to schedule an appointment.

Should my child wear mouthguards for sports?

Yes, the best way to protect a child’s teeth, mouth, and face from injury while playing any sport is with a sports mouthguard.

Adolescent 12-18 Years

What are good practices to prevent cavities for my adolescent child?

The best, and easiest way to prevent cavities in your child, is to teach them to brush at least twice a day with fluoride toothpaste and to floss regularly. The regular use of fluoride will toughen the enamel on their teeth and make it harder for acid to penetrate. Limiting their intake of sugary drinks and snacks is also important. When they do have the occasional sweet snack or drink, encourage them rinse their mouth with water to limit the amount of decay-causing acids left on their teeth.

What are Sealants and should my adolescent child get them?

We may recommend the use of dental sealants for some patients. Sealants are a protective coating applied to the chewing surfaces of molars. Recent studies find that sealants can be highly effective in preventing tooth decay, especially in children. Contact Sunrise Pediatric Dentistry, PC of Belmont for more information or to schedule an appointment.

What if my adolescent child grinds their teeth?

Grinding or clenching of the jaw is called bruxism. Parental observation and regular visits to the dentist can help mitigate any risks. If there is concern about them damaging their teeth, we may recommend a night guard to protect against any long-term wearing of the teeth or pain in the jaw.

What about my adolescent child’s wisdom teeth?

Wisdom teeth commonly come in during the ages of 17-21. If you have any questions about your child’s emerging adult teeth, please contact Sunrise Pediatric Dentistry and schedule an appointment today.

Should my adolescent child wear mouthguards for sports?

Yes. The best way to protect a child’s teeth, mouth, and even their face from injury while playing any sport is a mouthguard.

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