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Barbara J. Utermark, DMD

Dentist (Pediatric)

Dr. Barbara J Utermark DMD is a top Dentist (Pediatric) in Augusta, . With a passion for the field and an unwavering commitment to their specialty, Dr. Barbara J Utermark DMD is an expert in changing the lives of their patients for the better. Through their designated cause and expertise in the field, Dr. Barbara J Utermark DMD is a prime example of a true leader in healthcare. As a leader and expert in their field, Dr. Barbara J Utermark DMD is passionate about enhancing patient quality of life. They embody the values of communication, safety, and trust when dealing directly with patients. In Augusta, GA, Dr. Barbara J Utermark DMD is a true asset to their field and dedicated to the profession of medicine.
Barbara J. Utermark, DMD
  • Augusta, GA
  • Accepting new patients

Is it important for children to floss their teeth daily?

It is very important to assist your child or at least supervise daily flossing. It seems since your child is not always a willing brusher that flossing may be an additional challenge READ MORE
It is very important to assist your child or at least supervise daily flossing. It seems since your child is not always a willing brusher that flossing may be an additional challenge and this is certainly not uncommon. At age 8, many children do have the dexterity to floss and using the disposable flossers like you can buy in bulk is easiest for them. Some of these flossers come with animal shapes and are colorful and may be more appealing to children. I find that the front teeth often are spaced slightly and the toothbrush can reach between the teeth, However, the back teeth are usually tighter and this is where more cavities occur and where we must concentrate on flossing for children. The first primary molar is usually lost around age 9 to 10 years old and the second primary molar is not lost until 10 1/2 to 11 years of age and sometimes a little later. Especially the second primary molars are very important in holding space for the eruption of the first and second bicuspids that are the permanent teeth that replace these primary molars. The second primary molar serves to hold the first permanent molars back. If the primary molar is lost early (which can happen if decay occurs), the permanent molar can drift forward quickly and cause a space shortage for the bicuspid to erupt. The likelihood of needing braces increases and it can increase the chance of needing extractions with the braces if too much space is lost. Please try an electric toothbrush and encourage your child to brush and floss. If they see you flossing, it may help them to do so, also. The rechargeable toothbrushes are easier to manage and I feel better than most battery powered brushes. Of course, we also want to floss to decrease decay and minimize the need for fillings and tooth removal due to infection. I hope this reply is helpful and thank you for you good question. Dr. Barbara Utermark

What are the chances that the spaces in my daughter's teeth will recur when her permanent teeth grow in?

Many of my parents have this concern and I advise them that as both a Pediatric Dentist and an Orthodontist, I prefer to see spacing in the primary (baby tooth) dentition. There READ MORE
Many of my parents have this concern and I advise them that as both a Pediatric Dentist and an Orthodontist, I prefer to see spacing in the primary (baby tooth) dentition. There is not a guarantee that a child with spacing of the baby teeth will not be crowded when the permanent teeth come in. I do feel spacing of the baby teeth as long as there is not a lot of protrusion of the upper front teeth over the lower front teeth is desirable. It is possible that the spacing could be repeated in the permanent dentition but I feel the positive aspect of spaced baby teeth out weighs the negative. I hope this answers your question and thank you. Dr. Barbara Utermark

When should a child start brushing his own teeth?

This is a very good question and important for many reasons. We want our children to develop their independence and yet we want to safeguard their teeth with good brushing. The READ MORE
This is a very good question and important for many reasons. We want our children to develop their independence and yet we want to safeguard their teeth with good brushing. The age range for successful brushing varies, but I personally ask my parents to brush their children's teeth twice per day (morning and night) using a "swipe" of fluoride toothpaste if the child still tends to swallow some and cannot rinse and spit until around age 6. Then, based on the child's dexterity, they can oversee once per day and actually assist until around age 7-9 years old. We must be very careful to keep the fluoride toothpaste out of reach of children who may swallow it. Now, flossing is another story. In my experience, children are about age 9 when they begin to be able to floss fairly well on their own. I ask parents to floss their children's teeth as soon as they notice food catching in between the molar region and this usually occurs about age 4. It is not wrong to start flossing earlier if you can. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry has a nice site with videos to help children remember to brush twice per day and adds a fun aspect to this routine. Please visit http://2min2x.org and thank you for your question.

Dr. Barbara Utermark