Early Dental Care

Early dental care.

As your providers of DeWitt and East Lansing dental care for kids, we at the practice of Dr. Jacob Myers can never stress enough how important it is to start with great dental care at a young age. A lifetime of healthy smiles begins at day one and as your home for East Lansing and DeWitt dentistry for kids, we’re proud to say that we’ll be there with you every step of the way!

Infant Tooth Eruption

A child’s teeth will actually start forming before birth, although they typically won’t emerge until at least four months of age. The first primary teeth (also known as baby teeth) to push through the gums are the lower central incisors, followed shortly after by the upper central incisors. The remaining 20 primary teeth will usually erupt by the age of three, although their order will vary.


The first tooth will typically erupt at around six to 12 months of age. This will leave your baby’s gums sore and tender, often making your child irritable. To help ease the teething pain, we recommend rubbing your child’s sore gums with:

  • A clean finger
  • The back of a cold spoon
  • A cold, wet cloth
  • A cool teething ring

While your baby is teething, you’ll also want to monitor for signs of baby bottle decay, which occurs when anything other than water is left in an infant’s mouth while sleeping. As indicated by the name, this can lead to tooth decay because of the sugary liquids pooling around your child’s teeth. Check the teeth – especially on the inside of the mouth – every two weeks for dull spots or lines that are whiter than the tooth’s surface.

A Child’s First Dental Visit

The American Dental Association recommends that your child’s first dental visit should be scheduled around the time of his or her first birthday. Getting a children’s dental checkup in DeWitt around this time is important because:

  • It will allow the dentist to check for any dental problems and fix them before they cause more damage.
  • It will give a child the opportunity to get comfortable with the dentist and the staff, making him or her feel more at ease during future visits.
  • It will be a way to teach children and parents better oral hygiene techniques.

Why Primary Teeth Are Important

Despite the fact that primary teeth will naturally fall out, they provide several vital benefits:

  • Most importantly, primary teeth will guide the eruption of the permanent teeth and make sure that they will emerge in the appropriate spots.
  • They allow for clear pronunciation and speech habits.
  • Strong and healthy primary teeth will allow a child to chew food properly and maintain great nutrition.
  • Also, healthy teeth can provide a child with a wonderful self-image.

Because primary teeth are so vital, infants who lose their primary teeth prematurely will likely require a space maintainer, which is a device that holds the space of the missing tooth open. Without a space maintainer, the surrounding teeth may tilt or shift toward the empty space, causing permanent teeth to come in crooked. This is why it’s vital to treat primary teeth in the same manner as permanent teeth. If any primary teeth fall out early, please make sure to mention this to your dentist.

Good Diet and Healthy Teeth

In order to maintain healthy teeth, a well-balanced diet is also required. We recommend eating a variety of foods from the five food groups. This will help minimize, and sometimes avoid, cavities and other dental problems. Unfortunately, many foods that children eat can be unhealthy and will cause cavities, which is why you should monitor what your child eats. Try to encourage your child to eat healthy foods that will promote strong teeth, like vegetables, low-fat yogurt, and cheeses.

Visit Your Providers of Dentistry for Kids in East Lansing and DeWitt!

If you’re looking for a children’s dental checkup in DeWitt or East Lansing, we encourage you to fill out our online appointment request form. Alternatively, you can give us a call at (517)337-0032 to schedule your appointment. We’re looking forward to hearing from you and setting your child on the path to a lifetime of healthy smiles!