Merced Pediatric Dentistry - Kids Dentist
Through the years, Dr. Andrew Propes has been recognized as a leading provider of pediatric dentistry in Merced and the surrounding communities. While most dentists refer their pediatric cases, our dental team is equipped to treat your child's dental issues directly in our office. By specializing in pedodontics, we can provide a true "family" practice where we address the dental needs of your entire family in our Merced office location.
A Window to Your Child’s Health
We are born with two sets of teeth, primary or baby and secondary or permanent. Primary teeth begin to appear at about six to eight months. 20 teeth make a complete set and all are in by age three. The permanent teeth start to grow at about age six and all are present except the wisdom teeth between the ages of twelve to fourteen. Don’t ignore baby teeth because the baby teeth are responsible for guiding the permanent teeth into their proper place in the mouth.
32 is the number of permanent teeth including wisdom teeth. Few people however have room for all 32 teeth, which is why wisdom teeth may need to be removed. Some parents worry that their child’s teething is either too early or too late. There is absolutely no link between when the child’s teeth come in and how strong the teeth will be. Be sure to examine all of your baby’s teeth especially on the inside or the tongue side every two weeks for dull whiter spots or lines. These can be signs of nursing bottle decay. If a bottle is left in an infants mouth for a long period of time and it contains anything but water, decay can occur more rapidly. Sugar in the liquid mixes with bacteria in the dental plaque to form acids that attack tooth enamel. Each time your child drinks liquids containing sugar, acids attack the teeth for at least 20 minutes. When children are awake, their saliva tends to carry away the liquid. But during sleep the saliva flow decreases and these liquids pool around the child’s teeth for long periods bathing the teeth in acids. If your baby needs a bottle for comfort before falling asleep, fill the bottle with plain water. Regardless of your child’s age, if you notice anything unusual in your baby’s mouth, seek dental care immediately.
Protect your children’s oral health
More than 51 million school hours are lost each year because of dental-related illness.
Tooth decay remains one of the most common diseases of childhood.
About one-third of persons across all age groups have untreated tooth decay.
More than half of children aged 5-9 have had at least one cavity or filling; 78 percent of 17-year-olds have experienced tooth decay.
By age 17, more than 7 percent of children have lost at least one permanent tooth to decay.
Fewer than one in five Medicaid-covered children had a preventive dental visit during a year-long study two weeks.
Gingivitis: The most common disease among kids in the world
What is the most common disease in the world among kids? Polio? Cancer? Malnutrition? No, it’s gingivitis which, is inflammation of the gums. An estimated 98 percent of all young people have some degree of gum inflammation. Existing gingivitis is intensified during the period of hormonal changes, although it is gradually reduced throughout the remainder of the teen years. Gingivitis results form the buildup of bacterial plaque on the tooth. The plaque serves as a breeding ground for multiplication of bacteria and their destructive byproducts, which eventually, through some complex changes, cause the gums to bleed. When gums bleed on brushing, it is a clear sign the gums are inflamed and that gingivitis is present.
Dental Checklist for Kids
Birth to 6 months
– Clean mouth with gauze after feedings and at bedtime
– Regulate feeding habits
6 to 12 months
– First tooth should appear
– Begin to brush teeth after each feeding and at bedtime with small, soft-bristled brush
– Baby begins to walk; be alert to dental injuries
– Wean from breast or bottle by first birthday
12 to 36 months
– Follow the schedule of exams and cleanings recommended by a dentist
– Start using pea-sized portions of fluoridated toothpaste when child is able to rinse
– Check with the doctor or dentist about your child’s specific fluoride needs. In many areas drinking water does not have enough fluoride
As your child grows
– Supervise brushing and flossing
– Watch for cavities
– Inquire about sealant to prevent decay
– Use mouthguard to prevent sports injuries
– Don’t ignore any changes in mouth – teeth or gums
– Always remember that prevention is better than cure
– Beware of frequent snacking
– Seek regular dental check-ups
A Quiz for Parents
1. All children older than 6 months should receive a fluoride supplement every day. True Or False?
2. Parents should start cleaning their child’s teeth as soon as the first tooth appears. True Or False ?
3. Parents should start brushing their child’s teeth with toothpaste that contains fluoride at age 3. True or False ?
4. Children younger than 6 years should use enough toothpaste with fluoride to cover the toothbrush. True or False ?
5. Parents should brush their child’s teeth twice a day until the child can handle the toothbrush alone. True or False ?
Learn More About Our Merced Pediatric Dentistry