I’m a little worried. My six-year-old son has some adult teeth coming in, but the baby teeth aren’t out. He hasn’t been to a dentist yet. Do I need one to help him get those teeth out?
I’d start by wiggling the teeth to see if you can get them loose. If you can’t, then yes, he will need to see a dentist and have them removed. The remaining baby teeth can deflect the adult teeth coming in and cause misalignment, which will mean expensive orthodontics later in life.
It will be good for your son to see a dentist either way. Sometimes, parents mistakenly think children don’t need a dentist until they’re older. They don’t see any problem and young children’s teeth often look very white so they think they’re fine.
Decay can sneak up on a child, though. Too often that means their first visit to the dentist is usually for a dental emergency. That is a traumatic first experience and can negatively impact their view of the dentist for many years. It’s much better if their first appointment is a good, pain-free experience.
Pediatric or Family Dentist
You wouldn’t necessarily have to see a pediatric specialist. There are plenty of family dentists who are great with children. I’d speak to your dentist and ask if he considers his a family practice and what age he first likes seeing children.
If he says two or three years old, you can know he enjoys children. If he says around eight years old, I’d look elsewhere.
There are benefits to a family practice. You can have all your appointments at about the same time. Plus, the dentist is familiar with your family’s genetics. He’ll know if you are prone to decay and will keep a closer eye and maybe recommend more fluoride treatments to help protect your children.
It’s always a good idea to get sealings on your son’s molars. There are lots of grooves and crevices in there. Sealings will protect them from decay. This is especially important on his back teeth which he’ll need to keep until he’s around twelve years old. Though, all of this your dentist will talk you through and let you know what is useful.
This blog is brought to you by Hoffman Estates Dentist Dr. William Becker.