Overcrowding may be caused by a small jaw, big teeth or a combination of both. This can result in a permanent tooth coming in behind the baby tooth in the lower jaw. In the upper jaw, a permanent tooth may arise in front of the baby tooth. If a child’s mouth is overcrowded, a permanent tooth may not be directly underneath the baby tooth, therefore causing the permanent tooth to erupt out of its natural alignment. We recommend that your child be evaluated by a pediatric dentist to determine the best course of action in allowing the permanent tooth to erupt in the best possible position. If a baby tooth is over-retained on the upper front area, it must be evaluated for possible removal as soon as possible.
After an injury, the nerve inside the tooth may be bruised or infected, causing a grey discoloration. Within a month, the tooth will usually either lighten up or become darker. When there is an injury to the mouth of your child, please bring him/her to the dentist for an evaluation to determine if the tooth needs a nerve treatment.
Parents are often concerned about nocturnal grinding of their child’s teeth (bruxism). Often, the first indication is the noise created by the child during sleep time. Or, the parent may notice physical wear on the teeth as teeth get shorter. One theory on the cause involves a psychological component. Stress from a new environment or changes at school can prompt children to grind their teeth. Another theory relates to pressure in the inner ear at night. Other theories include a normal nocturnal behavioral pattern of children during the growth and development of their teeth and jaws. Most cases of pediatric bruxism do not require any treatment. If excessive wear of the teeth is present, then a mouth guard (night guard) or tooth capping may be indicated. Please ask your pediatric dentist which treatment is right for your child. The good news is that most children outgrow bruxism. There is usually less grinding between ages 6 – 9 years and children tend to stop grinding between ages 9-12 years.
Children’s teeth begin forming before birth. As early as 4 months, the first primary (or baby) teeth to erupt through the gums are the lower central incisors, followed closely by the upper central incisors. By age 3, most children will have grown all 20 of their primary teeth in varying pace and order of tooth eruption. Permanent teeth begin appearing around age 6, starting with the first molars and lower central incisors. This process continues until approximately age 21. Adults have 28 permanent teeth, or up to 32, including the third molars (or wisdom teeth).
Children present a very unique set of physical and emotional traits when compared to adults. They are constantly growing and changing. They have different needs that require creative communication skills and unique behavioral management.
A pediatric dentist is specially trained to manage these differences, much like the way a pediatrician is trained after medical school to care for children. After completing dental school, pediatric dentists continue to train for an additional 2-3 years to learn all the unique needs of children and how best to manage them. Their expertise include behavioral management in young children, techniques in treating children with special health care needs, dental injury and trauma management, prevention of dental diseases starting at an early age and skills to provide children with a positive association with their dental care and visits.
Pleasant visits to the dental office help children establish trust and confidence that will last a lifetime. Our goal is to help all children feel good about visiting the dentist and teach them how to care for their teeth. From our special office design to our communication style, we are here to meet you and your child’s needs.