Pediatric Dentistry


Right from the time your children develop their first tooth, oral care begins, to ensure healthy development of their teeth and gums. You want to provide the best care for your children, so why not choose a dentist specialized to work with children. Pediatric dentists are basically the pediatricians of dentistry. Even though the baby teeth doesn’t last forever, it does not mean that they don’t require as much care. Starting your child’s dental health maintenance early will be beneficial as your child moves into adulthood because the temporary baby teeth have important functions.

The primary teeth are guides for the growth of adult permanent teeth as they hold the place for the new teeth to erupt. The crowns of the top part of the adult teeth push against the root of the baby teeth, slowly displacing them to take their place. It is important to note that your child’s primary teeth will be present for most of their childhood, aiding in learning to bite, speak and chew. During the initial six years or so, your child will depend on the primary baby teeth to perform these functions. Up to the age of about 12, your child will have a combination of primary and permanent teeth. It is therefore important to ensure that the teeth remain healthy and are lost naturally when the time comes, not due to decay or other dental issues.


Usually, between six and nine months, your child’s 20 primary baby teeth start to appear. In few cases, it could start early at three months or late at 12 months. The first teeth to erupt are usually the two lower front teeth. The two upper front teeth follow it. Next come the molars, followed by the canines. During this time, your baby may experience teething discomfort, which can be eased.

You should gently wipe the gum tissue and the new teeth with a wet washcloth or gauze after each feeding. Fully formed teeth can be cleaned with a soft toothbrush and a little bit of fluoride toothpaste. Ages 3 through six, you can encourage your child to brush with fluoride toothpaste the size of a pea. When needed, help your child with this process.


The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) recommends that your child visits a dentist by his or her first birthday. This is necessary to learn proper oral care techniques, check for cavities and assess any developmental problems.

There are several forms of decay that affect babies and children. Childhood caries (tooth decay) develop and progress quickly, going from the hard enamel to the soft dentin in about six months.

Your child needs to have a positive experience at the dentist so continued regular care is comfortable. We at the San Anselmo Family Dentistry have a family environment where you will feel comfortable instantly. Your child will get the best care for all of his or her developmental dental needs.

Pediatric dentists do the same basic course work and training as any other general dentists. They need to complete four years of dental school, passing with satisfactory grades. Once that is done, pediatric dentists receive two years of training to learn to work specifically with children.

This training is a kind of residency in a dental office dealing exclusively with children. They learn how to apply what they have learned at school in real life situations. They learn to interact with children, infants and children with special needs in particular. After these 6 years, they professionally work as pediatric dentists, helping children feel comfortable while getting their treatments for maintaining their oral health.


One of the toughest parts of pediatric dentistry is handling infants. They cry easily and are unresponsive to attempts at opening their mouths. Pediatric dentists conduct oral exams on infants and uncover issues like caries. Extreme cases may even require them to perform a surgery, which takes a lot of skill.

Pediatric dentists handle your child’s oral health from infancy to adulthood. They clearly explain and teach parents about issues like breaking thumb sucking habit or pacifier dependency. They advise which diet and nutrition works well, and which foods to be avoided. Basic practices include teeth cleaning and fluoride treatment.

They also do regular dental work, diagnosing problems like over biting and irregular shaped teeth. Since the condition does not get better without treatment, your dentist may add braces to straighten the teeth. They also fix tooth decay, remove wisdom teeth and treat gum diseases. They can also identify and diagnose conditions related to oral health such as diabetes, hypersensitivity, and asthma.


The dental treatments offered to prevent tooth decay and protect your child’s teeth include:

Use of fluoride: Fluoride strengthens the teeth by incorporating into the enamel. Fluoride applied professionally by the dentist gives maximum protection; though there may be fluoride in the toothpaste used.

Dental sealant: These are the plastic coatings applied onto the chewing surfaces of the back teeth where there are lot of crevices and opportunity for tooth decay. This offers years of extra protection making the teeth resistant to decay.

Root canal treatment: These are done when a decayed tooth needs to be repaired. Premature loss of baby teeth can lead to malocclusion (bad bite) requiring orthodontic treatment. So the tooth is saved using root canal.

Bonding: Chipped away front teeth and other minor cosmetic changes are done by bonding tooth colored composite resin to the surface of the teeth.

Mouthguards: Custom made mouthguards can be used to protect your child’s teeth from breakage especially when involved in sporting activities.

We value your child’s oral health and development. We make your child feel perfectly comfortable. We have the expertise to take care of your child’s teeth, gums, and mouth and advice you on how to care at home. If you have a baby or a teen in need of dental care, do reach out to us by booking an appointment or calling us. Rest assured, your child will get the best possible care from our dentists.