Our dentists and team are dedicated to helping your child achieve and maintain a healthy smile. We will work with you to help you keep your child’s mouth healthy as they grow and develop. Dr. Darryl Stich or Dr. John Peters provide a number of tips on preventing dental problems in children. Please call us at 262-786-8440 if you have any questions about preventive care in Brookfield, Wisconsin, or to schedule an appointment for your child at Brookfield Dentistry.
Your Infant’s Oral Health
We recommend that infants visit our dentists when their first tooth erupts, or no later than their first birthday. We will review what you need to do to help keep your child’s mouth healthy and avoid problems such as baby bottle tooth decay and thumb and finger sucking.
Teething, Pacifiers and Thumb Sucking
Teething is a sign that your child’s gums are sore and is a normal response to tooth eruption. You can relieve your child’s discomfort by having them suck on a teething ring or gently rubbing their gums with the back of a small spoon, a piece of wet gauze or your finger.
For babies under the age of 4, teething rings and pacifiers are a great way to facilitate your child’s needs for relieving discomfort and sucking. After age 4, use of pacifiers is discouraged as it may interfere with the development and eruption of your child’s teeth. Thumb sucking should also be discouraged after that age as it can lead to malformed, crooked and crowded teeth.
Children have 20 primary teeth, which have usually erupt by age 3. These teeth are gradually replaced with permanent teeth by about age 12. There are 28 permanent teeth, plus four “wisdom teeth” molars.
It is essential that you keep your child’s primary teeth healthy, as their development contributes to the health and longevity of the permanent teeth. Our dentists will work with you to help your child learn good oral habits and keep their mouth healthy.
You may gently clean your baby’s teeth and gums with special infant toothbrushes that fit over their teeth. We recommend using water in lieu of toothpaste as your baby may swallow the toothpaste. Avoid using a fluoridated toothpaste on children under the age of 2.
Primary teeth can be cleaned with a child-sized, soft-bristled toothbrush. Use a pea-sized amount of toothpaste and teach your child to spit out their toothpaste when finished instead of swallowing it.
Our dentists will check your child’s fluoride levels during their appointments. If your child is not receiving enough fluoride, we may recommend a supplement or a professional fluoride treatment.
When sealants are applied to your child’s teeth they fill in the ridges, pits and grooves of the chewing surfaces on their teeth, sealing out decay-causing bacteria, plaque and food debris. The protection provided for your child’s smile by a dental sealant will last several years.
Toothaches are common in young children. Sometimes they are caused by erupting teeth, but they could also indicate a more serious problem. Rinsing your child’s mouth with a solution of warm water and salt can relieve discomfort. Mild pain relievers may also be used. If your child’s discomfort does not subside please contact our office.
You can help your child avoid oral injuries by closely supervising them during play and not allowing them to put foreign objects in their mouth. If your child is involved in physical activities and sports, we strongly encourage you to have them wear an athletic mouth guard. This will protect their teeth and smile from damage and injury.
If your child’s tooth has been knocked out:
- Try to place the tooth back in its socket while waiting to see our office. Hold the tooth by the crown and do not touch the root.
- If the tooth cannot be placed back into the socket, place it in a container of cold milk, saline or your child’s saliva.
- Rinse the mouth of any blood or other debris and place a cold cloth or compress on the cheek near the injury to keep swelling down.
If your child’s tooth is fractured:
- Rinse their mouth with warm water and apply a cold pack or compress. Ibuprofen or another mild pain reliever may also be used to relieve discomfort.
- Bring your child in to our office to receive treatment.
Irritation caused by braces, retainers or other oral appliances may be relieved by placing a tiny piece of cotton, gauze or wax to the tip of the wire or other protruding object. If an injury occurs from a piece of the appliance lodging into the soft tissues of your child’s mouth, contact us immediately Do not try to dislodge it yourself.