What Should You Feed Your Child After Getting a Tooth Extraction?

Being told your child needs a tooth removed can be quite a shock. You might wonder why they need an extraction, how much pain they might experience, and what you can feed them.

Childhood tooth extractions are sometimes necessary due to tooth impactions, to provide room for other teeth to grow in, or because a tooth is damaged. Your child’s dentist will address various methods for decreasing their discomfort during and after the tooth removal, as well as their diet options. Even after a tooth extraction, consuming enough calories and proper nutrition is crucial in children.

Recommended Foods for Children Post-Tooth Extraction

When Can Your Child Have Soft Foods?

Your child may begin eating soft foods several hours after the procedure or even the next day, as long as chewing doesn’t cause them any discomfort and the numbness has worn off. Encourage and remind your child to chew on the unaffected side of their mouth; however, they can resume chewing on both sides when it feels comfortable for them.

Questions about Your Child’s Dental Health?

Whether your child is a picky eater or will eat anything you put in front of them, there are many options for feeding them after a tooth extraction. If you have questions about your child’s dental health or tooth extraction, our team of dental professionals is here to help. Contact Pediatric Dental Care - PDOC by phone at 901-363-8192 or request an appointment today.

What Age Should a Child Get Braces?

Braces can straighten a child's teeth and improve their oral health. The ideal age to start braces treatment is between ages 9 and 14.

Why Get Braces Within This Age Range?

Children ages 9 to 14 already have most of their permanent teeth, but they are growing rapidly. The gums, teeth, and jaw remain pliable so the orthodontist can maximize their chance of success.

Why Children Need Braces

Some parents doubt the need for braces, but they are about more than straight teeth and an improved appearance. The following are some of the top reasons why your dentist may recommend braces for your child:

The First Orthodontic Visit

All children need to see an orthodontist by the age of 7. The doctor can evaluate the child's bite, airway, and any oral habits such as thumb-sucking or mouth breathing. In certain cases, orthodontists may start treatment around age 7 using early intervention methods. The orthodontist may provide interceptive treatment with palate expanders and other appliances. These appliances can steer the child's oral development in the proper direction and prevent future problems.

The Braces Process

First, you and your child will have a consultation with the orthodontist, where you will learn about available treatment plans. Your child may receive X-rays and impressions. The orthodontist may also take photos to establish a baseline.

The next visit is when the orthodontist places the braces. This appointment could be lengthy. It starts with a dental cleaning to ensure no food or plaque is trapped under the braces to cause tooth decay. The doctor applies metal brackets to the teeth with special cement. The dentist installs bands around the back teeth and threads an archwire through the brackets. Finally, they secure the archwire with rubber bands. Your child may have some discomfort for a few days after the braces go on.

Once each month, your child will visit the orthodontist for adjustments. The gradual process will transform your child's smile. Treatment with braces can take from one to three years.

After the braces come off, your child must wear a prescribed retainer to keep the teeth from slipping back into their old positions. You may lose the time and money you invested in braces without a retainer.

Call Pediatric Dental Care

Not every child needs braces, but many children benefit from having their smiles addressed by an orthodontist. Braces not only improve appearance, but they also improve oral health.

If you are concerned about your child's teeth and want to know whether braces would be an appropriate choice, we can help. Call our office at 901-363-8192 to schedule an appointment and ensure your child's future oral health.

What Age Should a Child Go To the Dentist?

According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry and the American Academy of Pediatrics, all children should see a dentist for the first time by their first birthday, or within six months of getting their first tooth. Although your baby will eventually lose their primary teeth, seeing the dentist regularly for preventative and diagnostic care is essential. 

Why is Dental Care Important for Infants?

Early pediatric dental visits are essential for both preventative treatment and to diagnose minor problems before they have a chance to become complex problems. Even though baby teeth won’t stay, they are vital to your child’s healthy development as they help your infant to smile, chew, and speak. Baby teeth also play a critical role in saving space for the adult teeth to erupt. 


During your infant’s dental exams, your pediatric dentist will not only examine the teeth for any signs of decay or demineralization (white chalky areas), but they will also inform you on the best techniques for cleaning your infant’s teeth. Your pediatric dentist will also recommend fluoride treatments for your child as a painless treatment to help prevent cavities. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), fluoride treatments may prevent up to 33% of cavities in baby teeth.  


As your child’s permanent molars come in, your pediatric dentist will carefully examine them to look for deep grooves or crevices. Teeth with naturally deep grooves are more likely to accumulate bacteria that can cause cavities. If your child has deep crevices in their teeth, your pediatric dentist may recommend dental sealants as a preventative treatment. The CDC estimates dental sealants may prevent up to 80% of cavities. 


Benefits of Regular Dental Cleanings and Exams for Kids

After your infant or child’s first dental exam, they should return to the pediatric dentist every six months. Even if your child practices excellent oral hygiene habits, regular brushing and flossing just aren’t enough to remove all of the plaque and tartar that builds up on the teeth. During your biannual dental cleaning and exam, this tartar and plaque are removed, helping to prevent cavities and gum disease from taking root between each visit.  


Regular dental cleanings and exams can also help parents who struggle to get kids to brush for a full 2 minutes twice daily. Your pediatric dentist will reinforce the need for excellent brushing and flossing habits during each dental exam and cleaning. They may suggest ways to make brushing fun. They can help demonstrate proper techniques for cleaning the teeth. If you are worried about your child’s ongoing thumb-sucking or pacifier habit, your pediatric dentist can also provide you with tips and techniques for helping your child break the habit.


Schedule a Dental Appointment for Your Infant or Child in Memphis

Pediatric Dental Care of Memphis (PDC) provides comprehensive pediatric dental care to infants, toddlers, tweens, and teens in Memphis. Home to two of Memphis’s most highly respected pediatric dentists, PDC’s pediatric dentists are Board Certified by the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry.  PDC also has a general dentist for your tweens and teens when more adult problems arise.   Our kid-friendly office and gentle dentists are here to help provide your child with a foundation of excellent oral health that they can maintain for a lifetime. To book an appointment, call 901-363-8192. You may also request an appointment online, and our friendly staff will contact you to confirm. 

Importance of Baby Teeth

Just because your child’s primary teeth, often known as “baby teeth,” eventually fall out, doesn’t mean they’re not important. Baby teeth play a crucial role in your child’s overall health, development, and well-being. 


Most children have a full set of baby teeth by the time they are two years old.  The baby teeth are exfoliated (come out) in stages.  The first stage usually begins between the ages of 5 and 6 (give or take 6-12 months) and lasts till about the ages of 8 or 9.  During the first stage, the child will lose his front 8 teeth.  4 on the bottom and 4 on the top.  The second stage usually lasts between the ages of 9 and 12 (give or take 6-12 months).  During these stages, your child will experience some discomfort/irritation and growing pains which is all very normal.  


Much like your own permanent teeth, your child’s baby teeth require professional and at-home dental care. Decay can happen at any age, so it’s time to visit the dentist within six months of your child’s first tooth appearing or by their first birthday, whichever comes first. In addition to checking for tooth decay and other pediatric dental problems, we will show you the best ways to teach good oral health habits that lead to a lifetime of healthy teeth. 


Benefits of Maintaining Healthy Baby Teeth 

Maintaining healthy baby teeth offers the following benefits: 



Potential Dental Concerns For Baby Teeth

Baby teeth are susceptible to decay and may develop cavities just like adult teeth. In addition to the pain caused by a cavity, young children can develop dental infections.  Baby tooth decay is a serious, infectious, and transmissible disease that can spread quickly and lead to infection or abscess when left untreated. This can be especially harmful to children because their immune systems aren’t fully developed.


If a tooth becomes infected and needs to be extracted, your dentist may recommend inserting a space maintainer. If the space is not preserved, other teeth may drift, causing crowding and other orthodontic problems when permanent teeth come in.


Teaching and Modeling Healthy Habits 

The most important aspect of taking care of your child’s primary teeth is setting a positive example from an early age. Your child should develop the habit of brushing (at least twice daily, in the morning after breakfast and at night before bedtime) and flossing daily (at least once a day at bedtime) that will carry into adulthood. Healthy teeth also lead to more positive experiences at the pediatric dental office, helping your child establish a healthy view of dental care. 


Frequently Asked Questions About Baby Teeth

How often should children brush and floss their teeth?

We recommend brushing at least twice a day and flossing once a day for best results. If your child has a tendency to develop cavities, it may be helpful to brush more frequently, such as after every meal. Begin brushing your baby’s teeth as soon as a tooth erupts. It is also important to clean your baby’s gums with a soft cloth or an infant toothbrush. 


What is baby bottle tooth decay (early childhood caries)?

Baby bottle tooth decay can occur when babies are allowed to constantly drink from a bottle or cup (especially at night) or nurse on demand. This causes the teeth to be repeatedly exposed to sugar that clings to the teeth and feeds bacteria in the mouth, leading to early childhood tooth decay. To prevent baby bottle tooth decay, don’t put your baby in their crib or bed with a bottle or cup. If nursing, try to avoid nursing during the night but if you must try and wipe the teeth with a washcloth afterwards. Do your best to have specific feeding times and encourage your baby to finish their bottle or cup in one sitting. Allow a few hours to pass between bottles to give the teeth time to recover. 


When should my baby’s first tooth come in?

The average age for an infant’s first tooth to erupt is between the age of 6 and 12 months. Some babies will get teeth earlier, and others later. If your child still has no teeth showing above the gums by 18 months, let us know so we can schedule an evaluation. Delayed tooth eruption is not necessarily a concern, but it is always a good idea to have a professional assessment. 


When do baby teeth fall out?

The average age for loss of the first tooth is between 5 and 7 years old. The first tooth to be shed is usually one of the front teeth on the bottom row because it is typically the first tooth to erupt in infancy. Most children will have shed all of their baby teeth by the age of 12. 


To learn more, call 901-363-8192 today to schedule or request an appointment with Pediatric Dental Care in Memphis, TN.