Frequently Covered Topics:

Q: Is it okay if my child grinds their teeth?

A. It is common for children to grind their teeth. Please point this out to your child’s dentist at your next dental appointment for discussion.

Growth and Development of Kids Teeth

Eruption Chart

The order that teeth are supposed to come in. Some adult teeth may come in earlier than others.

Q: What are double row teeth?

A. Do not be alarmed! This is a very common occurrence in children as their permanent teeth are erupting.

If you see a double row of teeth on the TOP it is important to get the tooth out within a few days after eruption of the permanent tooth. Call your child’s dentist to come in if this is the case!

If you see a double row of teeth on the BOTTOM it may not be as urgent to have the primary tooth removed right away. If the baby tooth has not come out a few weeks after eruption of the permanent tooth, call your child’s dentist to schedule an appointment!

Q: What is orthodontics?

A. Orthodontics is the treatment to correct improper tooth and jaw alignment. This is often done using braces.

Q: How long should children suck their thumbs, use bottles, and use pacifiers?

A.  Since decay can damage your child’s teeth, our office and the American Dental Association recommends teaching your child to drink from a cup by his or her first birthday. Baby bottle tooth decay is unfortunately a common and serious cause of childhood cavities. This can happen with frequent and prolonged exposure to sugary liquids including juice, soda and milk. Putting a child to sleep with a bottle or sippy cup containing anything other than water can cause serious widespread decay. If your child will not fall asleep without juice or milk, try diluting it down gradually over a period of a few weeks until it is pure water.

Thumb, finger, or pacifier sucking is a natural instinct for young children. However, these habits can cause problems when permanent teeth begin to erupt around age 5. This can include misalignment of the teeth as well as changes to the roof of the mouth. Pacifiers and finger sucking affect the teeth the same way, however pacifier use may be an easier habit to break. We recommend weaning your child off of the pacifier at one year of age.

Suggestions to help your child stop thumb sucking:

  • Most children stop on their own between the ages of 2 and 4 without any intervention.
  • If the child does not stop on his or her own, the habit should be discouraged after age 4.
  • Offer praise and reward for not sucking as opposed to scolding.
  • Focus on correcting the cause of the child’s anxiety or discomfort, which can be present when they fall back into habit.
  • Seek help from your child’s dentist about talking with your child and have them explain what could happen to their teeth if the sucking persists.
  • Try putting a sock over the hand at night.
  • If these methods do not work, speak with your child’s dentist about the use of a mouth appliance or bitter tasting liquid to apply to the thumb to discourage sucking.

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