Your child’s teeth begin forming before birth. The time and frequency of when teeth come through the gum line vary depending on the child. Here is a general timeline of when you can expect your child’s teeth to erupt, and fall out.
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Whether this is your child’s first visit to a dentist or just their first visit to our office, we want to make sure they feel welcome and safe. You can be confident that we will care for you kids as if they were our own.
As parents, it is difficult to refute the power of the pacifier. When your child is in a state of disarray and in some cases, discomfort, the pacifier is a soothing tool to help get through the emotional or physical pain. As many benefits are known about pacifier use, there are as many risks, most related to long-term dental and speech issues.
Before discussing how to wean your child off their pacifier, it is important to point out the specific advantages a pacifier has as well as its risks.
One of the most well-known benefits to pacifier use is its ability to prevent SIDS in small infants. When used during naptime or bedtime, pacifiers can reduce the potential for sudden infant death syndrome by up to 50%.
Additionally, pacifier use can be used to fulfill a baby or toddler’s need to suck without giving an additional bottle or breastfeeding long after their tummies are full.
Finally, self-soothing is a powerful benefit to pacifier use, as it has been proven to relax and calm a child when they are uncomfortable. Unfortunately, the soothing aspect of a pacifier is also what makes pacifier weaning a challenge.
Risks are inherent to pacifier use, particularly after the age of two, and can include long-term dental damage. According to the American Dental Association, prolonged pacifier use can lead to an anterior open bite, which presents as a gap between upper and lower teeth in the front of a child’s mouth.
Also, extended pacifier use may cause crossbite, which is when the upper back teeth are tucked inside the lower. Both conditions can be expensive to correct once your child gets older, making pacifier weaning a necessary and important task.
The questions of when to take away pacifier or when to wean pacifier use is common among parents of young children. In most cases, pediatricians and dentists suggest that if a child has not started weaning off pacifier on his or her own, it should be initiated by the parent between 8 and 12 months.
Weaning off pacifier use takes patience, and knowing when to stop pacifier use can be different for each household. However, it is necessary by the age of two as to avoid the dental issues listed above.
Each parent will have a different method of weaning off pacifier use based on their child’s ability to find other ways to soothe. If you’re in the process of determining when to stop pacifier use, these common methods may be of benefit.
Ask the experts for more information at Dentistry for Children.
Many children suffer from what is known as dentist anxiety – feeling nervous or scared before and during a visit is a common occurrence. Whether it is for a simple six-month cleaning or a major procedure such as getting a cavity filled or pulling a tooth, dentist anxiety can make it difficult to get your child to feel comfortable coming into the office for a necessary visit. Fortunately, advances in pediatric dentistry provide some respite from dentist anxiety. Procedures such as oral conscious sedation can help your child (and you) get through the next appointment with less stress.
Sedation dentistry and the use of conscious sedation is being widely used throughout many children dentistry practices. According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, “Sedation is a technique to guide a child’s behavior during dental treatment. Medications are used to help increase cooperation and to reduce anxiety or discomfort associated with dental procedures.” Conscious sedation, or oral conscious sedation, does not work like general anesthesia in making a patient unconscious or unresponsive. Instead, conscious sedation works to relax a young patient prior to a procedure, keeping them awake and responsive to certain stimuli throughout.
Minimal to moderate conscious sedation may prove beneficial during your child’s pediatric dentistry appointment
where a procedure must take place. Under both minimal and moderate conscious sedation, the process is induced with a pill taken by mouth, known as oral conscious sedation. Deep sedation, often used in more anxious patients, is brought on through the combination of oral medication and intravenous sedatives. After a pre-sedation evaluation by your dentist, the oral medication is provided in the form of a syrup, making it easy to take. Conscious sedation is fast acting and very safe compared to general anesthesia.
Although sedation dentistry provides a level of relaxation for the patient, it typically does not minimize pain. Your pediatric dentist may also use a combination of inhaled nitrous oxide/oxygen and a local anesthetic to provide pain relief throughout your child’s procedure. Each of these methods can be administered simply by a children dentistry professional who is properly trained in sedation dentistry.
Sedation dentistry can create a better dentist visit not only for your child, but for you as well. When they are calm and relaxed during a procedure, your anxiety level will naturally decrease, too. If you think your child is a candidate for sedation dentistry, the America Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends you contact your dentist about options for your next visit.