Early Dental Care

Early Dental Care

At Panoramic Dental, our Walnut Creek dentist, Dr. Miyasaki and his associates provide all the dental services your family needs to achieve and maintain the healthy and attractive smiles you deserve! When it comes to the youngest members of your family, it's important to get them off to a good start toward a lifetime of good oral health.

We know that the earliest experiences at a dental office can significantly shape a child's oral health habits. That's why we've created a safe, kid-friendly environment to help our youngest patients feel comfortable when spending time with us. Below is some information about early dental care that can you understand the importance of keeping your child's teeth and gums healthy.


Between the ages of six and twelve months, you should start seeing your child's first teeth coming in. During this time, your child will have some soreness of the gums that can cause him or her to be irritable and cranky. During the teething period, you can alleviate some of the discomfort your child feels by:

Massaging the gums with a clean finger

Rubbing the gums with the back of a cold spoon or a damp, cold cloth

Giving your child a teething ring

We don't recommend giving your child teething biscuits because they're full of sugar that can easily damage new teeth.

While your child is teething, take the time to look for signs of baby bottle decay. Examine the teeth carefully every two weeks and pay particular attention to the inside surfaces of the teeth. Look for dull spots or lines which are telltales signs of baby bottle decay.

What is Baby Bottle Decay?

Baby bottle decay is a condition that causes dull spots or lines to appear on the teeth due to the sugar present in baby formula. Each time your child drinks something containing sugar, the sugar mixes with bacteria in plaque to form acid that attacks the teeth for about 20 minutes. When your child is awake, this is not a concern because the saliva flushes away the liquid. However, during sleep the saliva flow is reduced, allowing harmful acids to cover the teeth for a longer period.

Tips for Preventing Baby Bottle Decay

To help your child avoid baby bottle decay, do not allow him or her to fall asleep while bottle feeding. If your child needs a bottle to relax and go to sleep, try giving him/her a bottle filled with water or a pacifier.

Your Child's New Teeth

The primary (baby) teeth play a key role in your child's dental development. This first set of teeth help by:

- Making it easy to bite and chew food properly for good nutrition

- Making it possible for your child to pronounce words correctly for clear, understandable speech

- Guiding the permanent teeth into place when they start coming in by the age of six.

If your child is missing some primary teeth, the permanent teeth can come in crooked. That's why our Walnut Creek dentists sometimes recommend a space maintainer that is a device used to hold the natural space open for the developing permanent teeth.

Good Oral Health Starts with Good Oral Hygiene

It's very important to teach your child how to properly brush and floss because good oral hygiene is crucial to good oral health. Remember that your child learns by watching you. A great way to help your child learn how to brush and floss the right way is to do the task together. Just make sure that you're using the right brushing & flossing techniques and are spending at least two minutes with that toothbrush and floss of yours!

How Your Child's Primary Teeth Erupt

You may find it surprising to learn that your child's teeth start forming before birth. By the time your child is six months old, you should start seeing the first primary teeth emerging from the gums which are typically the lower central incisors, followed by the upper central incisors. The rest of your child's 20 primary teeth will come in by the time he/she is three years old.

There are five different types of primary teeth:

1. Central incisors

2. Lateral incisors

3. Canines

4. First molars

5. Second molars

Your child's permanent teeth will begin coming in at around the age of six, starting with the first molars and lower central incisors. This process will continue until around the age of 21. Once your child is all grown up, he/she will have 28 permanent teeth or 32 if all the third molars (wisdom teeth) come in.

Your Child's First Visit With Our Walnut Creek Dentist

When you bring your child into our office for his or her first dental visit at around the age of one, it will help build trust to make subsequent visits positive experiences. The most important part of this first visit is to help your child feel comfortable with all the sights, sounds, and people at our office. Our staff is very experienced with making kids feel at ease and comfortable, which should make you feel better too! During this first appointment, one of our dentists will examine your child's mouth to see if there are any problems present.

A Proper Diet Leads to Healthy Teeth

Just like the rest of the body, the teeth, bones, and soft tissues of the mouth require a healthy, well-balanced diet. This is why you should always provide your child with a variety of foods from the five main food groups. Children who consistently eat healthy diets have fewer cavities and other dental problems than those who don't. When it's time for a snack, give your child something that's good for his/her teeth like vegetables or low-fat yogurt & cheese.

Contact Panoramic Dental

We're always more than happy to speak with you so please don't hesitate to get in touch with us if you have any questions about early dental care or any of the Walnut Creek general dentistry treatments we offer to patients both young and old! If you'd like to schedule an appointment for your child, just give us a call at (925) 934-3251 or request an appointment online. We look forward to seeing you and your child soon!