Pediatric Dentistry

“Baby Teeth”

The first baby teeth, known as primary teeth, usually begin to erupt through the gums between the ages of 6 months to one year. The timing can vary from child to child, but all 20 primary teeth (baby teeth) will usually erupt by the age of three. All those baby teeth are extremely important! Healthy baby teeth are important for eating, talking, smiling, and keeping a place for adult teeth. Therefore, the first “regular” dental visit should be at 6 months of age.

Baby teeth:

  • Help children chew food easily and properly
  • Help children speak more quickly and clearly
  • Hold space in the jaws for the permanent adult teeth
  • Set the stage for a lifetime of healthy smiles

Baby teeth are also just as prone to cavities as adult teeth. In fact, more than 50% of children will be affected by tooth decay before the age of five. So, you want to keep those cavities away to avoid an early loss of a tooth. When a baby tooth is lost too early, the permanent teeth can drift into the empty space and make if difficult for other adult teeth to find room when it’s their turn to erupt. Proper oral hygiene is important as soon as your baby is born! 

What if my child has a cavity?

If your child develops a cavity in a baby tooth, the decay will slowly (and sometimes rapidly) get bigger and deeper. If the tooth is really close to falling out, we may have the option of just leaving it alone or facilitating the tooth to “fall out”. If it looks like it may be a while until the tooth would normally fall out, we need to do something! Otherwise, your child could be in for toothaches, infection, and more extensive dental work.

Small and sometimes medium cavities can be filled with a white filling (we also offer colored fillings for baby teeth that children can choose from), but deep or large cavities may need a crown to cover the whole tooth. The tooth may even need a pulpotomy or “nerve treatment”. By having your child come in for regualr dental visits, cavities can usually be detected when they are small and require a simple filling. Prolonging dental visits can allow the decay to progress and the treament to get more complex.

  • Pediatric crowns are done in same day visits
  • There are no impressions taken and no temporary crowns
  • Pediatric crowns will come out when the baby tooth naturally falls out 
  • We also offer natural-looking tooth colored pediatric crowns

If your child does need a filling or crown, there are different options available that you can discuss with Drs. Christopher and Stephanie Padilla to see which option is the best for your child.