Dental care is an important part of a child’s overall health and well-being. In this blog post, we will outline the dental milestones that your child should reach, and provide tips on how to help them achieve these milestones. We will also discuss common problems that children may experience with their teeth, and offer advice on how to deal with these problems. Keep your child’s teeth healthy by following our guide!
The Dental Milestones
During the initial 24 months of their life, your child’s mouth will undergo an array of significant changes and developmental milestones. As parents, you have the duty of accompanying your child and their teeth through each step of this process. By understanding the major milestones of your child’s dental development, you will be able to address any issues that arise promptly and effectively. To give you the assurance and confidence to navigate your child’s dental development, here is a timeline of the most important milestones.
Preparing for Incoming Teeth
As babies are between 0-4 months of age, their mouths begin to lay the foundation for incoming teeth. Even though it may not appear like there are many options for proper dental hygiene, you should introduce a damp cloth or soft rubber finger toothbrush to clean your infant’s gums. This is an effective way to start caring for their teeth from the very beginning!
Just as you brush your teeth twice a day for optimal oral health, it is essential to clean your baby’s gums regularly too. Establishing a regular brushing routine will help keep your child’s teeth and mouth clean, while also giving their incoming teeth the best chance to develop healthily.
When to Expect Teething
When your little bundle of joy reaches the age of 4-6 months, it is likely that they will begin teething. Ensure that you are cleaning your child’s gums twice daily, but bear in mind that as their new teeth grow in and their mouth develops, they may experience some discomfort.
Once your baby’s first tooth appears, scheduling a dentist appointment is an ideal way to get a jump-start on monitoring your child’s oral health.
Their First Dentist Visit
Before your little one celebrates their first birthday, they should have already visited a dentist for an initial checkup. Subsequently, they will be invited to return every six months for cleanings and routine checkups. These visits are crucial for young ones, as it allows their pediatric dentist to detect any problems that may appear with the emergence of their teeth.
As your child ages to the point of being able to handle a toothbrush, it is important for them to begin using one with soft bristles and learning how to brush their teeth properly and safely spit out the toothpaste. Until they master the art of spitting, it may be best to use fluoride-free toothpaste or just brush their teeth with plain water.
With the emergence of their new pearly whites, it’s time to show your tiny tot how to properly floss and make sure they are taking care of them. Within the year, this will take place as well. To ensure optimal oral health, both you and your child should floss following every meal. Establishing healthy dental habits from a young age can help avoid issues down the line.
Say Goodbye to Pacifiers
By the time they reach two years of age, parents should start to help their children break any pacifier and thumb-sucking habits. Both of these issues can lead to oral health complications such as malformation in the mouth and misalignment of teeth.
Parents should create and maintain a consistent routine to assist their toddlers in brushing and flossing at least twice daily or after each meal for optimal oral health. At this age, it’s perfect to introduce fluoride toothpaste and make sure kids practice spitting out their toothpaste after brushing.
Brushing & Flossing On Their Own (With Supervision)
As your little ones reach the age of three to six, they will strive for autonomy; this should be welcomed with a watchful eye. Let your child take responsibility for brushing and flossing their teeth, but stay nearby to make sure they cover all areas of the mouth ensuring a thorough clean. Once your little ones are finished brushing, it may be beneficial to check and see if some extra touches up is needed.
At 3-6 years, it is essential to bring your child in for their first dental x-ray to evaluate the current condition of their teeth. This milestone will allow you and your dentist to monitor any changes that may occur over time.
As children grow and transition from childhood to adolescence, they are sure to experience the natural phenomenon of losing their baby teeth. This process generally takes place between ages 6-12. With a young child’s first tooth loss often beginning with the front teeth, their pearly whites in the rear of the mouth (the canines and molars) soon follow.
As your child grows, their baby teeth will eventually be replaced by 28 adult ones. This process usually begins when they’re around 12-13 and culminates with the eruption of the four wisdom teeth molars between 15 and 22 years old.
If your child requires orthodontic intervention, Invisalign is one way to straighten and align their teeth. This alternative to traditional braces can be used for both teens and adults, with treatment lasting an average of 12-18 months.
Feeling Overwhelmed? Southern Dental Associates Is Here to Help
When it’s time to take your child for a dental visit, Southern Dental Associates is the ideal choice. Our experienced team of experts will provide compassionate and comprehensive care that you can trust! Our experienced team understands how to care for children and their families, guaranteeing the best possible service as your little ones transition from baby teeth to adult teeth. With offices in Advance, Lewisville, Wilkesboro, and Lexington, contact us today to set up your little one’s first appointment!