Start Dental Care in Infancy

Q: When should a child first see a dentist?

A: The American Dental Association recommends that a child see a dentist within six months after the eruption of the first tooth. Bear in mind that the first teeth to erupt, primary or “baby” teeth, are as important as the permanent teeth that follow. Generally primary teeth start showing up between the ages of six months and a year. Not only do the teeth help a child chew and speak, they are placeholders for the permanent teeth that are developing under them. 

Baby teeth can develop cavities, just as permanent teeth can. Once an infant’s diet contains anything other than breast milk, the new teeth are at risk for decay, sometimes called early-childhood caries or baby-bottle tooth decay. A visit to Chips Dental Associates with a toddler is also an opportunity for a parent to get a demonstration from the Drs. Chips on how to care for your child’s mouth and how to show the child what to do. The Drs. Chips can also assess whether a thumb-sucking habit is having a harmful impact on a child’s teeth. Also the sooner your child starts becoming comfortable in the dental office environment, the easier it will be for him or her as they age. Talk with the Drs. Chips about your child’s dental health.

Brought to you as a community service by Chips Dental Associates.

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4 Responses to “Start Dental Care in Infancy”

  1. Samuel Says:

    well when that baby gets old and starts using fake teeth he/she should take this blogs advise.

    • drtimchips Says:

      While it is not uncommon to lose teeth with age due to oral and systemic disease or even dental trauma, dentures are not always the recommended method of maintaining oral health. There are many cases where a full denture is the optimal choice for a person to maintain their oral and overall health, but at Chips Dental Associates we find that patients are more satisfied with the look and especially the function of their natural teeth. Good oral hygiene and regular visits to Chips Dental Associates for a dental examination, oral cancer screening and periodontal maintenance can help you keep your natural adult teeth for a lifetime.

      It is important to take note that there are a variety of tooth replacement options available ranging from full or partial dentures, to fixed partial dentures or bridges and dental implants. Each of these options has distinct advantages and disadvantages.

      While a denture is many times an economical means to replace your missing teeth, the removable nature of a denture as well as the repeated trauma it produces on your remaining skeletal structure (your jaw bones) make them the least effective as functioning teeth. You are not able to chew as effectively as you would with a fixed tooth replacement option. The trauma also causes atrophy (shrinking) of the jaw bones over time, causing dentures to fit poorly after long term use. Consequently, denture patients will have irritation of the gums and loose dentures after a period of time.

      Dental implants are a fantastic means of fixing your dentition so that you can improve your function and consequently the nutrition that you receive from your diet. They are extremely versatile and can be used to support or retain full or partial dentures or even individual teeth. They stop the atrophy of the jaw bones that occurs with dentures and will reduce irritation of the gums because they make the denture more stable in the patient’s mouth. They also improve a patient’s function by allowing them to chew their food more effectively.

      Fixed bridges can also be used to replace single teeth or just a few teeth. Frequently at Chips Dental Associates a fixed bridge will be recommended as a tooth replacement option. A bridge is sometimes slightly less expensive than implants and is an excellent way to replace a missing tooth (or multiple teeth) quickly. To put in a fixed bridge the teeth on either side of a missing tooth (teeth) are filed down and then a tooth shaped restoration (like a crown) is placed over the top, this will be connected to a tooth shaped restoration for each missing tooth and one for the other filed down tooth at the other end of the bridge. This will function similar to your normal dentition, but relies on the other teeth in your mouth for strength. Additionally if you have a problem, such as decay around the edge of the restoration on one of your supporting teeth, the entire restoration will require replacement. The success rate of a fixed bridge is very good (upwards of 90% over 10 years) with regular periodontal maintenance and dental exams at Chips Dental Associates.

      Dental implants can also be used for the replacement of only one or a few teeth. They eliminate the need to file down the teeth on either side and are not succeptable to tooth decay. Their strength is gained from the underlying jaw bone where a titanium fixture has been placed. Implants take more time to replace a missing tooth because there is a long healing period. Their success rate is also very good (upwards of 90% over 10 years). The greatest advantage of the dental implant is not its success rate or the fact that it is not succeptable to decay but that it is so versatile. An implant placed today can serve as an anchor for another restoration in the future should another tooth be lost. It is also important to maintain your dental implants with good oral hygiene and regular visits to Chips Dental Associates for periodontal maintenance and dental exams.

      This information is supplied in good faith but is not intended to serve as medical diagnosis or treatment advice. For diagnosis and treatment of your missing teeth or your oral health care needs, visit Chips Dental Associates ( or call today (412) 364-7144 or (724) 443-5710. Mention this blog for a free consultation about your tooth replacement options.

  2. account money Says:

    After reading you site, Your site is very useful for me .I bookmarked your site!

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