Early Dental Care

When you’re looking for a dentist in or around Charleston or Teays Valley, WV, we at Smith Family Dentistry strive to be your premier choice. With our wide variety of dental services, including cosmetic dentistry , and dental implants, we’re able to cater to each and every one of your dental and oral needs. We’re also capable of providing pediatric dentistry for the youngest ones in your family. A healthy smile starts at a young age so we’ll be glad to be there for your child starting from his or her very first dental appointment.

The Importance of Primary Teeth

There are many people who believe that primary teeth aren’t important because they fall out at an early age. However, primary teeth actually play a critical role for children through the following ways: Kids developing jaws and teeth.

  • Primary teeth will serve as the guides for the eruption of permanent teeth. The primary teeth hold the proper spots open for the permanent teeth. Primary teeth will fall out naturally when the permanent teeth push against their roots. If any primary teeth fall out early, the permanent teeth may end up shifting into a more unfavorable position.

  • Your child’s primary teeth will help him or her with many important daily activities throughout childhood, including speaking clearly and chewing properly.

  • Learning to take proper and consistent care of primary teeth will help build healthy dental habits for a lifetime.

Your Child's First Teeth

 Kids mouth anatomy.

Your child will have 20 primary teeth, all typically appearing between the first six and nine months of age. The first teeth to erupt are usually the two lower front teeth, followed by the two upper ones. After that, the first molars will come in, followed by the canines. If your baby happens to experience any teething discomfort during this process, please don’t hesitate to let us know so that we can advise you on how to treat it best.  

Your Child's First Dental Appointment

Age one dental visit

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that you bring your child in to see a dentist by the time of his or her first birthday. By bringing your child in to see us, we can benefit your child’s dental health in a number of different ways, including checking for cavities, watching for developmental problems, and teaching you about proper oral hygiene techniques. Most importantly, we at Smith Family Dentistry want to make sure that your child has a positive experience visiting the dentist and becomes accepting of all the benefits that dentistry can offer. 

Pediatric Dentistry Treatments

At Smith Family Dentistry, we’re capable of providing a comprehensive selection of dental treatments that are crafted to prevent tooth decay and even repair or save teeth when necessary. Some of these pediatric dentistry treatments that we offer include:

  • Topical FluorideFluoride is beneficial because it will incorporate into the enamel of teeth, making teeth harder and more resistant to decay. While fluoride exists in drinking water and toothpaste, it’s only there in small quantities. In our Charleston, WV office, we’re able to apply a higher concentration on your child’s teeth in order to achieve an optimal level of protection (Watch Preventing Cavities in Kids Video).
  • Dental SealantsDental sealants are plastic coatings that are applied to the chewing surfaces of a patient’s back teeth. These chewing surfaces contain small crevices that are perfect environments for decay-causing bacteria to get stuck in. Sealants will smooth out these grooves and prevent food from getting trapped. Sealants are easy to apply and will provide protection to teeth for many years to come (Watch Dental Sealant Video).
  • Root Canal Treatment — Root canal treatment is useful for saving teeth that are badly injured or severely decayed. Root canals aren’t only used on permanent teeth – they can be used on primary teeth as well. Saving primary teeth may end up preventing your child from requiring orthodontic treatment in the future.
  • BondingBonding materials can be used to repair minor chips and fractures to a patient’s front teeth. These lifelike resins are made of plastic and glass and they can be used to fix both primary and permanent teeth (Watch Dental Bonding Video).

Orthodontic Concerns

 Orthodontic Problems.

By the time your child reaches the age of seven, most orthodontic problems will be evident. Interceptive orthodontic treatment is useful around this time because an orthodontist can help direct proper tooth positioning and jaw growth so that later orthodontic treatment is simplified – or even eliminated. Because most orthodontic problems can be identified at the age of seven, you should have an orthodontist evaluate your child at around this time. 

Sports & Your Child's Teeth

If your child is active in sports, we highly recommend a custom-made mouthguard. According to the American Dental Association, an athlete is 60 times more likely to suffer dental harm when not wearing one of these protective devices. We can have a mouthguard custom-made specifically for your child using a model of his or her teeth that will offer greater protection than an off-the-shelf model. It's an investment that pays off highly in the form of reduced pain, suffering — and dental expenses down the road! Please ask us about mouthguards at your child's next appointment.

Contact Your Charleston & Teays Valley, WV Dentist Today!

If you happen to be looking for any of our treatments, such as cosmetic dentistry, periodontal therapy, and dental implants, we encourage you to give us a call at (304) 343-9131. Alternatively, you can fill out our online appointment request form. Feel free to contact us if you have any questions or comments. We hope to hear from you soon! 

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