Early Dental Care

Your West Bloomfield, MI Dentist

At Family Dentistry of West Bloomfield, we pride ourselves on providing excellent dental care to patients in a fun, friendly, and easy-going office environment. Our doctors and highly trained team of dental specialists have years of experience keeping our patients' smiles clean and healthy, and we have the knowledge and skills to make every visit to our office a pleasant experience for all involved - even the little ones. We recognize that often, parents are unsure how to best take care of their young child's teeth - and that's perfectly okay! To help, we've put together this useful guide for proper early dental care both in and outside the office.


Teething is the process by which both the baby and permanent teeth emerge, or erupt, from the gum line. The first tooth generally erupts by 12 months old, and it's followed by a teething period where gums may be sore and tender until age 3. To alleviate soreness, try rubbing gums gently with a clean finger, the back of a cold spoon, or a cold, wet cloth. Teething rings are another option, but avoid teething biscuits as their sugar content can damage baby teeth.

The Importance of Baby Teeth

Although they eventually fall out, the primary, or "baby," teeth still play a vital role in your child's dental development. They allow a child to properly chew and swallow food and are critical in the development of speech habits, and they're also important placeholders in jaw development and help guide the permanent teeth into place. If your child loses a primary tooth prematurely, please let us know - they may need a space maintainer, which will keep the natural space left by the tooth open. Without this, other teeth can tilt toward the space and cause the permanent teeth to grow in misaligned. If your child prematurely loses a tooth please let us know as soon as possible as we may need to schedule an appointment for a space maintainer.

The First Visit

One of the most common questions we get from parents is when their child should first come in for a visit - we love this question, as it shows that parents are thinking ahead for their child's dental health. We ask that you please bring your child in to see us around their first birthday. While we may not do much more than a brief examination, this visit allows us to get to know your child and helps accustom your child to the routine of dental appointments. Dental appointments can be scary for children, so if possible we like to have children to sit on their parent's lap in the exam room, and we also encourage you to talk with your child about any anxiety they're experiencing before coming in.

The Importance of Diet

While most people understand how a diet impacts their physical health, few realize that diet also has a big impact on dental health! A healthy, well-balanced diet supports the health of the teeth, bones, and soft tissue of the mouth. We recommend a variety of foods from every food group, and we encourage you to avoid sugary, high carb, or acidic foods, as these can contribute to dental decay.

Watch Out for Baby Bottle Tooth Decay

One danger to watch out for in your child's development is baby bottle decay - while easy to prevent, it can be very hazardous to a child's teeth. Never allow your child to sleep while breast or bottle-feeding, and in general never allow your child to sleep with anything in their mouth besides a water-filled bottle or a pacifier. The problem is that as a child sleeps, their saliva production drops and their mouth can't flush away milk as it can when they're awake. The milk then pools around their teeth, where naturally occurring bacteria in the mouth convert the sugar in the milk into acid that eats away at tooth enamel. You can recognize baby bottle decay by white or light colored lines or rings on your child's teeth. If you think you see signs of baby bottle decay, please let us know so we can address the issue.

Contact Your West Bloomfield, MI Family Dentist

Have more questions about caring for your child's teeth? We're happy to help! Feel free to reach out to us at our contact page or use our easy online form to schedule an appointment at our West Bloomfield, MI office. We can't wait to hear from you, and we look forward to caring for your child's beautiful smile!