Watch for “Preemie” Teeth

Even though they do not have any teeth yet, prematurely born babies can expect to have dental complications as they grow older.

About 6 percent of babies are born before their due date and below 7.2 pounds, and of these, up to 70 percent will have enamel hypoplasia when their teeth erupt, according to a 2000 study. Enamel hypoplasia causes teeth to appear brownish and less smooth, as well as to be softer and more prone to decay or chipping.

“You won’t discover this until your child is about 6 months old, because that’s about the time when the baby’s first tooth would erupt,” says Henry Finger, DDS, FAGD, past president and spokesperson of the Academy of General Dentistry. “Prematurely born children should see a dentist when their first tooth erupts to avoid any dental complications.”

Children with the lowest birthweight and shortest gestational ages have the lowest rates of dental development, particularly before 6 years of age, according to the study. Children who are born prematurely can have delays in the eruption of their baby teeth and even their permanent teeth.

The front teeth are the first to erupt at 6 to 8 months, and the back teeth erupt between 18 and 24 months. Prematurely born children should visit the dentist regularly, even at this early stage, because they are more likely to be candidates for cavities than children born at term.

source: knowyourteeth.com website

For more articles on dental health, see our main blog page.

We Look Forward To Welcoming You And Your Child…

You will find our office to be a pleasant and caring environment. We know a positive experience can set the tone for your child’s future dental health. That is why our office has been designed to be “kid friendly”. Even more importantly, our pediatric dentists and professional staff have dedicated their careers to helping children. We establish trust with your child by creating a safe and happy place for them to be. The latest in dental technology is combined with genuine compassion and concern.

We are open Monday through Saturday and offer appointments as early as 7:30am

The first checkup is recommended at the first birthday. Our patients generally stay with us until they graduate high school. We are proud to say we are now seeing the children of former patients, as the practice was established in 1973 by Dr. Robert Harmon.

We have 24 hour coverage for our patient’s dental emergencies. There is a pediatric dentist on call at all times. Should you need after hours advice or emergency care, simply dial our telephone number and our message will direct you.

Are we accepting new patients? Yes, absolutely! We are happy to welcome new patients to our practice and we appreciate your referring your friends and family to us.




Leave a Reply