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Gillette Dental Care | Pediatric in Gillette

Gillette Dental Care

689 Valley Road Suite 101

Gillette, NJ 07933

Gary White, D.D.S.

Lauren C. Simms, D.M.D.




Many people ask if we treat children in the office. The answer is Yes! In most cases, we can cater to all of your child's dental needs. Below are some of the other common questions we encounter regarding children's dental care.

1. At what age should I start bringing my child to the dentist?

The general rule of thumb is that the first visit should be 6 months after your child's first tooth comes in. That means on average between 1-2 years of age is appropriate. Many dental problems can be avoided if proper preventative or interceptive care is introduced early.

2. Why should I fill cavities in my child's baby teeth if they are just going to fall out?

It is important to remember that dental cavities can happen at any age. Children's primary or 'baby' teeth begin to come in around age 6 months and remain in the mouth until age 12-14. Primary teeth are much thinner than permanent teeth so cavities grow quickly and can enter the nerve area much faster. This leads to painful infection that can affect the color and shape of the permanent tooth that is growing below it. Treatment is the same as an adult tooth - root canal or extraction. You can consider the primary teeth as the place holders for the permanent teeth. If a primary tooth is taken out before it naturally falls out, space can be lost as other teeth drift into where it used to be. When the permanent tooth tries to come in, it may not have enough room and this can lead to costly orthodontic or 'braces' treatment to regain the lost space. To avoid pain, infection, and future orthodontic problems, it is important to treat cavities in baby teeth when they are identified.

3. My child's permanent teeth are coming in on the bottom front but the baby teeth are still there. Is this a problem?

No! It is natural for some permanent teeth to erupt behind the primary teeth making your child look temporarily like a shark.  As they come in, they will move forward and put pressure on the root of the primary tooth causing it to reabsorb. This is how the tooth loosens. Encourage your child to 'wiggle' the baby tooth and it will eventually come out naturally.

4. What are sealants and why does my child need them?

Dental sealants are thin coatings that we place on the permanent molars as they come in starting around age 6. Their job is to fill in the deep grooves of these teeth to prevent cavities during the years when your child is still learning to brush well. It is much easier and cheaper to prevent a cavity than treat one!

5. My child is playing sports. Do they need a mouth guard?

Yes! Remember, permanent from teeth start to come in at age 6-7. During this time, they tend to stick out farther than the other teeth around them and are extremely susceptible to injury including chipping or fracturing deeply. This can lead to root canal therapy and in extreme cases tooth loss. Over the counter mouth guards are a cheap and effective way to protect these important teeth.

Hopefully we answered some of the questions you may have had and we hope to see your entire family soon!

Gillette Dentist | Pediatric. Gary White, DDS is a Gillette Dentist.