Early Dental Care

A lifetime of health starts now.

Tooth Development

Playing a vital role in your child's overall health.
Young boy laying in a treatment chair wearing green glasses, while a dental hygienist is examining his mouth

The primary, or “baby,” teeth play a crucial role in dental development and the intake of proper nutrition. Your child cannot chew food properly and will have difficulty speaking clearly without them. Primary teeth are also vital to the development of the jaw and for guiding permanent teeth into place.

If these teeth are lost, it can change your child’s bite or cause crowding, which can have consequences for the permanent teeth, even leading to the need for orthodontics.

Our team of pediatric dentists in Wichita, KS, can evaluate and care for your child’s baby teeth until their permanent counterparts are ready to come through.

The Growth of Baby Teeth
When do teeth start to come through?
A woman with a black shirt carrying a baby wearing a yellow shirt with stripes while both laugh

Your child’s teeth begin forming before he or she is even born! You will usually start to see those teeth at around six months, but they may start pushing through the gums as early as three months.

Primary teeth stay in for much longer than you may think. In fact, baby molars remain in the mouth until your child is between ten and twelve years old. By keeping the first set of teeth healthy, it sets the stage for long-term oral health.

Here are some things to remember about the development of your child’s teeth:

  • Most of your baby’s primary teeth should have erupted by the time he or she is three-years-old

  • Baby teeth usually begin to fall out by the time your child is six-years-old. Your child’s six-year molars will start to erupt around this time

  • Baby molars remain intact until your child is between ten and twelve-years-old

A woman with a black shirt carrying a baby wearing a yellow shirt with stripes while both laugh
A smiling baby with a yellow shirt lying on the dentist's chair while two dental assistants check it
Symptoms of Teething
A smiling baby with a yellow shirt lying on the dentist's chair while two dental assistants check it

While some kids seem to have teeth appear without any pain, others have a little bit of trouble while their teeth are breaking through the gums. Symptoms of teething include:

  • Increased drooling

  • Rash on face or chest

  • Biting on fingers or toys

  • Refusal to eat or drink

  • Increased fussiness or crying as if in pain when there seems to be no cause

How to Soothe Your Child’s Teeth
Dr. Walker playing with a little girl inside the dental office with two stuffed monkeys

Of course, parents want to do all they can to soothe a baby when they are experiencing pain. When your child is teething, we recommend you stick to teething rings, children’s Tylenol, or children’s Motrin.

Here are some additional soothing tips:

  • Gently rub or massage the child’s gums with a clean finger

  • Keep teething toys and gel-filled rings in the refrigerator. The cold is especially soothing

  • Allow your baby to chew or suck on a clean wet washcloth

Dr. Walker playing with a little girl inside the dental office with two stuffed monkeys
Eating Right for Healthier Smiles
We offer expert dietary guidelines for developing teeth.

Our board-certified pediatric dentists highly recommend that parents stop giving their children a bottle at twelve months. We recommend having milk at meal times, and it’s best to have water between meals. Drinking water, instead of sugary drinks, will help reduce the risk of tooth decay. Fruit snacks, raisins, gummy vitamins, and other sticky snacks can also put patients at a higher risk for cavities.

A child holding a jar of freshly cut up fruit

Here are some tips for healthier habits:

  • Instead of sticky snacks, such as fruit roll-ups or raisins, try bits of fresh fruit, vegetables, yogurt, nuts, and string cheese

  • Instead of a bottle or sippy cup of juice or milk, try water

  • Water rinses the mouth while it hydrates. Drinking water can also help prevent childhood obesity by cutting back on sugar intake

  • We do not recommend giving your child soda. The phosphoric acid in soda causes tooth enamel erosion

  • Do not allow milk or juice to be consumed after bedtime brushing. If your child feels thirsty at bedtime, offer water instead

  • We would recommend trying to stop the use of a pacifier by two years of age. Pacifiers can affect jaw growth

Please contact us if you have any questions or concerns about your infant’s teeth between visits. We are here for you!

Kids Love Us, Just Ask Their Parents

Every experience at Children's Dental Professionals has been fantastic! All the staff makes sure your child is comfortable by being so compassionate and caring.

Sara B.

Such a fantastic staff. Their care for children is beyond comparison. My family loves the attentive service and personal connection.

Craig D.

This is a great place to bring your kids. I am so glad we found them! Everyone was so understanding and patient with our girls.

Pam W.

They are incredibly professional, kind, and strive to make your child as comfortable as possible. There are just not enough superlatives to adequately sum up this office and staff!

Carol F.
Frequently Asked Questions
We've asked the experts and they've given us the answers!
  • When Should I Bring My Child in for His or Her First Visit?

    We support the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry’sOpens a new window to the AAPD website recommendation that children should be seen for their first dental visit at one year, or six months after the first tooth appears. A good start prevents future problems.

  • Will My One-Year-Old Cooperate?

    You’d be surprised at how cooperative little kids can be, even when they are initially unsettled. It is a natural reaction for a young child to cry when something unfamiliar is happening. It does not necessarily mean that they are frightened or hurt in any way. This is part of their learning process.

    To maintain comfort, we usually have them sit on your lap, where they feel the safest. We then lean them back and do an exam and tooth count. The essential thing is getting a look in their mouths and checking to see that all teeth are developing well and that there are no signs of decay.

  • What Happens At My Child's First Visit?

    We want the first visit to be as much fun as possible. Our specialist pediatric team has a lot of experience working with very young children, putting them at ease, and making sure they are comfortable.

    We are setting up their expectations for what a trip to the dentist will be like, and we hope that expectation leads to a lifetime of good oral health.

    Learn more about their first visit.See what to expect

  • How Can I Keep Teeth Healthy at Home?

    We spend plenty of time with you learning about your child’s habits, and discussing what and when they eat. We’ll also demonstrate how to brush your child’s gums and teeth.

    We take our jobs as educators very seriously. We discuss how to prevent future problems, inform you about the risks of dental decay, and show you ways to care for your child’s teeth at home.

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Giving your child a head start with exceptional Wichita dentistry.