Early Dental Care At Your Columbus & Grove City Dentist

Your Columbus and Grove City family dentist, Dr. David A. Dixon, and his wonderful team are committed to providing exceptional dental treatment and comfortable care to you and your family. Serving patients of all ages, Columbus Family Dental Care offers quality early dental treatment to the children of Columbus and Grove City, Ohio.

We highly recommend early dental visits with Dr. Dixon for your child as they are essential to maintaining your child’s oral health. Establishing good dental care early in life can prevent cavities and tooth decay. In fact, according to information gathered from The American Dental Association, every child should see a dentist as soon as his or her first tooth appears. Learning to take care of your child’s early dental needs will be beneficial to both you and your child in the long run. In addition to visiting Dr. Dixon at our Grove City dental office, we also encourage you to learn more about your child’s developing teeth and early dental treatment in the following paragraphs.


Normally, the first tooth erupts between ages six to twelve months. A child’s gums can be sore, tender and sometimes irritable until age three. Rubbing sore gums gently with a clean finger, the back of a cold spoon or a cold, wet cloth helps soothe the gums. Teething rings work well, but avoid teething biscuits—they contain sugar that is not good for baby teeth.

While your baby is teething, our Grove City dental practice recommends monitoring your child’s teeth for signs of baby bottle decay. Examine the teeth, especially on the inside or the tongue side, every two weeks for dull spots or lines. A bottle containing anything other than water that is left in an infant’s mouth while being put to sleep can cause decay. This happens because natural sugars in liquids, like milk and formula, mixes with bacteria and dental plaque, forming acids that attack the tooth enamel. Each time a child drinks liquids containing sugar, acids attack the teeth for about 20 minutes. When awake, saliva carries away the liquid. During sleep, the saliva flow significantly decreases and liquids pool around the child’s teeth for long periods, covering the teeth in these acids.

Infant’s New Teeth

The primary, or “baby,” teeth play a crucial role in dental development. Without them, a child cannot chew food properly and has difficulty speaking clearly. Primary teeth are vital to development of the jaws and guide the permanent (secondary) teeth into place when they replace the primary teeth around age six.

Since primary teeth guide the permanent teeth into place, infants with missing primary teeth, or infants who prematurely lose primary teeth, may require a space maintainer, a device used to hold the natural space open. Without a maintainer, the teeth can tilt toward the empty space and cause permanent teeth to come in crooked. Missing teeth should always be mentioned to Dr. Dixon. The way your child cares for his or her primary teeth plays a critical role in how he or she treats the permanent teeth. Children and adults are equally susceptible to plaque and gum problems—hence, the need for regular care and dental check-ups with Dr. Dixon in Columbus and Grove City, Ohio.

A Child’s First Dental Visit

A child’s first dental visit should be scheduled around three years of age, unless you suspect a problem earlier. Morning appointments are best for children – they feel more relaxed and easy-going then. To better prepare your children, let them come to our family dentistry office location in Columbus, Ohio and observe Mom or Dad having their preventive care visit. Let them come in each time a family member has a preventive care visit with Dr. Dixon. Familiarity builds comfort.

Why Primary Teeth Are Important

Primary teeth are important for several reasons. Foremost, good teeth allow a child to eat and maintain good nutrition. Healthy teeth allow for clear pronunciation and proper speech habits. The self-image that healthy teeth give a child is immeasurable. Primary teeth also guide eruption of the permanent teeth.

Good Diet and Healthy Teeth

The teeth, bones and soft tissue of the mouth require a healthy, well-balanced diet. A variety of foods from the five food groups help minimize (and prevent) cavities and other dental problems. Most snacks that children eat cause cavities, so our Grove City dentist recommends that children should only receive healthy foods like vegetables, low-fat yogurt and cheeses, which promote strong teeth.

Infant Tooth Eruption

A child’s teeth actually start forming before birth. As early as four months, the primary or “baby” teeth push through the gums. The lower central incisors erupt first, then the upper central incisors. The remaining primary teeth, about 20 total, typically erupt by age three. However, the placement and order of eruption can vary.

Permanent teeth begin eruption around age six, starting with the first molars and lower central incisors. This process continues until around age 21. Adults have 28 secondary (permanent) teeth—32 including the third molars (wisdom teeth).


Preventing Baby Bottle Tooth Decay

Tooth decay in infants can be minimized or totally prevented by not allowing sleeping infants to breast or bottle-feed. Infants that need a bottle to comfortably fall asleep should be given a water-filled bottle or a pacifier. Your Grove City & Columbus dentist, Dr. Dixon, is dedicated to fighting baby bottle tooth decay. It is very important for you to let our office know if you notice any signs of decay or anything unusual happening in your child’s mouth.

Contact Columbus Family Dental Care!

Please contact Columbus Family Dental Care, your Grove City and Columbus, Ohio family dentist, at (614) 878-1397 if you have any questions about our services, billing options, concerns about your child’s oral health or would like to schedule an appointment. Our friendly staff will gladly assist you. Dr. Dixon and our staff look forward to helping your child maintain a healthy, long-lasting smile!

Columbus Family Dental Care assists patients of all ages. We offer general treatment, cosmetic dentistry, and restorative dentistry using the safest and latest dental technology. If you have any questions about our dental services feel free to contact us!