Many parents have questions about their children’s teeth and oral health. Our dentist and team at Dixon Landing Family Dental Care have compiled answers to some of the questions that we hear most frequently. If you have further questions, or you would like to set up an appointment with Dr. Maung Maung Ryan Thaw at our dental office in Milpitas, California, please call us today at 408-942-7791 .

Does your child grind their teeth at night?
Bruxism, or the grinding of teeth, is common in children. While this problem is most common during nighttime hours, it may also occur during the day. In many cases, children develop bruxism as a response to bad bites and life stressors. Children with developmental disorders and brain injuries may also be at risk for teeth grinding.

Common symptoms of bruxism including:

  • Audible grinding
  • Frequent complaints of headaches
  • Injured teeth and gums
  • Loud grinding or clicking sounds
  • Rhythmic tightening or clenching of jaw muscles
  • Complaints about painful jaw muscles
  • Heightened sensitivity to heat and cold

Bruxism will usually cease without intervention by the age of 13 in the majority of children. Our dentist will monitor your child’s mouth to track the effect of bruxism on their teeth, and will provide treatment if necessary. Some treatments include altering the biting surface of the teeth, occlusal treatment, relaxation classes, professional therapy, muscle relaxants, or special exercises. If your child’s teeth are sustaining significant damage, our dentist may recommend a night guard to prevent further damage.

How often should my child have a dental checkup?
Your child should visit the dentist for a checkup twice each year, or every six months. These regular visits allow our dentist to monitor your child’s growth and development, advise you on good oral care strategies, and help keep your child’s teeth and gums clean and healthy. Dr. Maung Maung Ryan Thaw may recommend more frequent visits for children who are at greater risk of developing tooth decay or who show early signs of orthodontic problems.

When should my child have their first dental visit?
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) recommends that children visit the dentist for the first time about 6 months after their first tooth erupts, or no later than the child’s first birthday. These initial visits are designed to help the child feel comfortable in the dental office and begin developing a positive, trusting relationship with the dentist. Many oral health care professionals refer to this first visit as a “well-baby” visit or a “happy” visit.

Remember, our dentist and team are here to act as resources to help you care for your child’s oral health. We are happy to provide you with additional information to promote your child’s dental health and to help them develop good oral habits.

When will my baby start getting teeth?
Babies actually begin developing teeth during the second trimester of pregnancy (16-20 weeks). It is important that expectant mothers eat a healthy, nutritious diet to ensure proper bone and soft tissue development.

You can expect your child’s teeth to begin erupting through the gum line between 6 and 8 months of age. A complete set of 20 primary teeth should have erupted by the time your child is 3 years old.

Why are primary teeth important?
Baby teeth play a number of important roles in your child’s growth, development, and future oral health. Here are a few of the major functions of your child’s primary teeth:

  • Speech production and development – primary teeth that are properly positioned and healthy facilitate your child’s ability to speak correctly.
  • Eating and nutrition – healthy primary teeth help your child to chew their food effectively, which in turn facilitates good health and nutrition.
  • Self-confidence – children can be very conscious of their appearance, and even young children can be quick to point out ugly teeth and crooked smiles. Taking care of the primary teeth boosts your child’s self-confidence, promotes confident smiles and positive social interactions, and reduces the risk of bad breath.
  • Straighter smiles – primary teeth hold the spaces for the permanent teeth, so that when the permanent teeth come in they will erupt properly aligned. Baby teeth also promote proper jaw development.
  • Excellent oral health – healthy primary teeth help your child to avoid health and spacing problems for emerging permanent teeth, and help prevent gum disease and other problems. Children should follow a thorough home care routine each day. Our dentist and team will be happy to show you the best ways to care for your child’s teeth.

For more information, please contact our office today.