Pediatric Dentistry

At Earwood Dentistry, we believe that a child’s first visit to the dentist should be an enjoyable one. Children are not born fearing doctors or dentists, but they can get anxious when confronted with the unknown. That’s why our office takes special care in pediatric dentistry to ensure that your child feels at ease from the moment your family arrives at our office.

We find that the best way to ease a child’s nervousness is to explain the entire process using pleasant, non-frightening and simple terminology. The more you and your child know about this first visit, the better everyone will feel!


Your Child’s First Teeth

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that every child see a dentist by their first birthday or when their first tooth erupts, whichever comes first. It’s important that your child’s newly-erupted teeth receive proper dental care and benefit from proper dental hygiene habits right from the beginning.

A child’s first primary tooth, also known as a “baby” tooth, will begin to erupt between the ages of 6 and 12 months, and will continue developing until around age 3. During this time, commonly referred to as the teething stage, your child’s gums may feel tender and sore. To help alleviate this discomfort, we recommend using a clean finger or cool, wet cloth to gently rub the gums in a soothing motion. Many parents also use teething rings to give your little one something to self-soothe any discomfort they might feel. At the end of the teething stage, your child will have a total of 20 primary teeth.

These primary teeth will shed throughout their following childhood years. Permanent teeth usually start developing around the age of six, and continue until around the age of 21. Unlike primary teeth, adults will have a total of 28 permanent teeth, not including wisdom teeth.

Early Dental Hygiene Habits

As your child’s teeth first begin to erupt and grow, you’ll want to make sure to examine them every two weeks, keeping a keen eye out for any lines or discoloration that might be the early signs of decay. If you do notice any of these symptoms, call your dentist to discuss how we can help.

Avoid feeding your little one sugary foods and liquids, as they can attack a new tooth. Of course, we all need a few sweets every once in a while, so ensure your little ones brush their teeth thoroughly after feeding or eating. We recommend brushing four times a day for optimal oral hygiene: after breakfast, after lunch, after dinner and right before bedtime.

Just because brushing your teeth is necessary doesn’t mean it has to be a chore! Your child should brush as soon as their first tooth arrives. While they’re still little, you can help them by brushing their teeth with a soft-bristled toothbrush and a pea-sized amount of toothpaste. Only use fluoride toothpaste for children older than two unless otherwise instructed by your dentist.

Flossing is another essential part of an effective oral hygiene routine, and your dentist will discuss with you the right time to have your child start flossing. If at any point you or your child notice signs of tooth decay, contact your dentist immediately.

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Staying On Top Of Your Child’s Dental Hygiene

Tooth decay is caused by sugars left in your mouth that turn into an acid that breaks down your teeth. While individuals of all ages can experience tooth decay, children are at especially high risk for one simple reason: many children and adolescents do not practice proper, thorough dental hygiene habits. With support from parents and regular trips to the dentist, your child can develop proper brushing and flossing routines to help keep tooth decay away.

Your child should visit the dentist every six months for regular dental cleanings and checkups. We recommend fluoride treatments twice a year along with cleanings to keep your child’s teeth healthy and strong. Tooth sealants are also recommended, as they “seal” the deep grooves within your child’s teeth, preventing bacteria and plaque from forming in the hard-to-reach grooves of their teeth. Sealants also last for several years, occasionally lasting into adulthood, but we will continue to monitor them at your child’s regular dental checkups.


If you’d like to learn more about Earwood Dentistry’s pediatric dentistry services, call our practice at (919) 847-8413 or schedule your first appointment online. We can’t wait to meet you and your little loved ones!

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Monday 7:30am to 5:00pm
Tuesday 7:30am to 5:00pm
Wednesday 7:30am to 4:00pm
Thursday 7:30am to 5:00pm
Friday 7:30am to 12:00pm

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(919) 847-8413