Making kids smile in Austin, TX!
Our board-certified pediatric dentist, Dr. Stephen Sherwood, and our team emphasize fun and cheer throughout our Austin pediatric dental office. We are specially trained and qualified to use non-threatening language and terminology, and to invite the child to question and participate in the oral healthcare process. It is our goal for all children to learn about and adopt a healthy oral care routine, and carry that forward throughout life.
Dr. Sherwood has more than 18 years of experience as a pediatric dentist. His passion is caring for children with special needs. As the father of a child with cerebral palsy, he has a unique and compassionate perspective on helping to care for children with a variety of disabilities and challenges.
Getting to know your child’s teeth
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that children should visit the dentist by their first birthday. It is important that your child's newly-erupted teeth (erupting at six to 12 months of age) receive proper dental care and benefit from proper oral hygiene habits right from the beginning.
Your child's first primary, or “baby,” teeth will begin to erupt between the ages of six to 12 months, and will continue to erupt until about age three. During this time, your child's gums may feel tender and sore. To help alleviate this discomfort, we recommend that you soothe the gums by rubbing a clean finger or a cool, wet cloth across them. You may also choose to make use of a teething ring.
Your child's primary teeth are shed at various times throughout childhood. Permanent teeth begin erupting at age six, and continue until age 21. Adults have 28 permanent teeth (32, teeth including wisdom teeth).
Learn about your child’s teeth!
Adopting healthy oral hygiene habits
As your child's teeth erupt, be sure to examine them every two weeks, looking for lines and discoloration that may be caused by decay. Remember that sugary foods and liquids can attack a new tooth, so take care that your child brushes his or her teeth after feeding or eating. Dr. Sherwood recommends brushing two times a day for optimal oral hygiene.
Brushing can be fun, and your child should brush as soon as the first tooth arrives. When a baby's tooth erupts, you should brush the tooth with a soft-bristled toothbrush and a pea-sized amount of toothpaste. For children younger than two, do not use fluoride toothpaste unless advised to do so by Dr. Sherwood or another healthcare professional. We suggest reviewing proper tooth brushing procedures with your child.
Flossing is also a part of good oral hygiene habits, and Dr. Sherwood will discuss with you the right time to start flossing your child's teeth. If you notice signs of decay, contact a member of our Austin dental team immediately.
Preventing tooth decay with regular checkups
Tooth decay is caused by sugars left in the mouth that turn into an acid, which can break down teeth. Children are at high risk for tooth decay for a simple reason: many children and adolescents do not practice regular, good oral hygiene habits. Proper brushing and flossing routines combined with regular dental visits help keep tooth decay away.
Your child should visit Sherwood Pediatric Dentistry every six months for regular dental cleanings and checkups. We recommend fluoride treatments twice a year along with cleanings to keep teeth their strongest. Tooth sealants are also recommended because they “seal” the deep grooves in your child's teeth, preventing decay from forming in these hard-to-reach areas. Sealants last for several years, but will be monitored at your child's regular checkups.
To schedule an appointment for your child, please contact our Austin dental office and a member of our staff will be more than happy to help you!