Pediatric Dentistry | Reston, VA
Most parents have the same question as to when they should take their baby to the dentist. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) recommends that a child go to the dentist by age 1 or within six months after the first tooth erupts. Primary (baby) teeth typically begin growing in around 6 months of age.
Your child's first dental visit is to help your child feel comfortable with the dentist. Dr. Hanah Pham recommends for your child/children a dental visit for a check up and cleaning every six months to help prevent cavities and other problems. Dr. Hanah Pham is very good with children. She has 3 children and she instills good early routine home care.
Common Questions Asked By Parents
How do I brush my baby’s teeth?
Tooth brushing can begin as soon as baby's first tooth pokes through the gums. Use a clean, damp washcloth, a gauze pad, or a finger brush to gently wipe clean the baby’s first teeth and the front of the tongue, after meals and at bedtime, until your baby is about 18 months and can sleep through the night.
When should I stop night-time feeding?
If your baby is at least 4 to 6 months old, you can probably begin to wean her from nighttime feedings. Of course, even if your baby doesn't need to eat in the middle of the night, she may still wake up wanting to due to habit. Study shows that many, though not all, babies are able to make it through the night without food at 4 months. By 6 months, almost all healthy babies are physically and neurologically able to go 12 hours without food. The later you start weaning off night-time feeding, the harder it is to break the habit at a later age.
Risk of decay are much higher in children with poor plaque control and diets filled with carbohydrates and sugars. This is why it is important to pack healthy meals and have good oral hygiene daily. Brushing at least twice a day and floss daily will help minimize dental problems.
Below are some examples of children teeth that Dr. Hanah Pham have seen with decay:
Typical occlusal decay with plaque stuck on chewing surface and not brushing frequently. (Image on right)
“Baby bottle decay” or sweet drink/milk sitting on teeth all day and night long causing decay on these primary teeth. (Images below)
Poor plaque (food and bacteria) control with changing in enamel color and gums are inflamed (Images below)
Treatment for decay in children
- Fillings -- The same techniques used in adult teeth fillings using composite resin and bonding techniques.
- Fillings + pulpectomy (often know as “baby root canal”) -- Pulpectomy in primary (baby) teeth is needed when deep decay in primary teeth extend into the pulp chamber.
- Extractions of Primary Teeth -- Removal of baby teeth are easier and quicker than adult teeth. Space maintenance may be necessary to prevent space from collapsing, allowing permanent teeth to come in, depending the timing and age of patient.
- Permanent Tooth Loss -- Children are too young to have implants to replace loss of permanent teeth (the second set the comes into the mouth) need to wait until they stop growing. This becomes complicated when a child lost the permanent tooth too soon.
This is why Dr. Hanah Pham and her associate dentists stress the importance of prevention and protection of teeth in children and adult. Should your child require sedation dentistry or evening deep sedation, we have an anesthesiologist to safely sedate your child.
Please call our office for a free consultation about your child/children’s teeth. We serve dental patients all over Northern Virginia, especially Reston, Herdon, Fairfax, and Vienna.