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When do all of my baby's teeth come in?
The two lower front teeth (central incisors) usually appear around six months of age, with the upper front teeth following soon thereafter. During the next two years, at approximately four-month intervals, the remaining baby (primary) teeth appear. The sequence of appearance is not orderly from front to back, so you may see molars before the eye (canine) teeth.
Pain from teething can be comforted by having the child chew on a cold teething ring or a teething biscuit. Topical teething medication may be applied directly to the gums and can be purchased at your pharmacy. Occasional use of Tylenol (as directed by a physician) may also help your baby tolerate teething better.
When should my child quit thumb sucking or using the pacifier?
As kids grow, their need to suck their thumbs or pacifier usually goes away by the time they are three to four years old. Children are more able to control their behavior at this age. Ideally, a child will not need any help breaking the habit or will grow out of it with the help of positive reinforcement. If this happens before the age of four, then usually no intervention is necessary. However, older kids, who may continue to suck when they are bored, may need help breaking their habit with a specially designed retainer. Wearing the retainer will block the sucking habit and reduce deformation of the palate, allowing a more normal growth pattern to progress. It is important to mention these habits at your child's routine exams so that we can properly monitor your child's growth.
Additional Reading: Thumbsucking - Beyond the Toddler Years
How safe are dental x-rays?
We are very careful to minimize the exposure of children to radiation. With modern technology and safeguards, the amount of radiation received in a dental x-ray examination is extremely small, and the risk is negligible. In fact, dental x-rays represent a far smaller health risk than an undetected and untreated dental problem. The average child with a low risk of tooth decay will require x-rays about every two years, while a child with a high risk will require them more frequently.
How safe is nitrous oxide?
Very safe. Nitrous oxide/oxygen is perhaps the safest sedative in dentistry. It is non-addictive. It is mild, easily taken, and quickly eliminated from the body. Your child remains fully conscious and keeps all natural reflexes when breathing nitrous oxide/oxygen. If nitrous oxide/oxygen will be used at a visit, we ask that you give your child little or no food before the visit. Nausea or vomiting may occur when a child has a full stomach.
What is a Dental Home?
Establishing a "Dental Home" means that your child's oral health care is delivered in a comprehensive, continuously accessible, coordinated and family-centered way by a licensed dentist. The concept of the Dental Home reflects the AAPD's clinical guidelines and best principles for the proper delivery of oral health care to all children and establishing a good foundation for life. The Dental Home enhances the dentist's ability to assist children and their parents in the quest for optimum oral health care and prevention of disease, beginning with the Age One Dental Visit. Additionally, the establishment of the Dental Home may include referral to and collaboration with other dental specialists when the pediatric dentist cannot alone provide the needed care.