0-1 YEAR OLDS
Life has changed for you, but what a great change! Most babies are born without teeth, but the mouth still needs to stay clean! Gently wipe your baby’s gums after feedings. Infants will begin to teethe, or grow brand new teeth, as early as three months. It is typical for the front teeth (top or bottom) to appear before canines or molars. As soon as teething begins, infants may start experimenting with solid foods. Babies can grow one or several teeth at a time. Each baby’s rate of growth will differ, and most will have a full set of teeth around age two. We do recommend using a “smear” of fluoridated toothpaste when brushing your child’s teeth. This is equivalent to a rice grain amount of toothpaste. Not much!
2-3 YEAR OLDS
Toddlers should typically have a full set of teeth by age three. This milestone is marked by having a full mouth of “baby teeth.” The last teeth to grow into the mouth are the molars. The completed growth of baby teeth is important because it sets how their adult teeth will grow. If there are issues with the baby teeth, like overlapping or an over/under bite, be sure to discuss this with Dr. Al. This is also an important milestone for parents because it signifies the end of the teething stage! Pacifier habits should be discontinued around their 2nd birthday. By age 3, you should encourage your child to discontinue any thumb or finger habit.
4-5 YEAR OLDS
This is a very fun age! Kid’s imaginations are soaring and they love life. Keep their teeth clean with a “pea size” amount of fluoridated toothpaste 2 times per day. Spit out but don’t rinse. Spaces will become much tighter so flossing is needed. Make brushing teeth fun! Sing songs, make noises, etc. Let them brush independently, but always brush after them to make sure the teeth are being properly cleaned, especially before bedtime. Establish a nighttime routine that includes brushing teeth. If thumb or finger habits continue to this age, you will most likely see bony changes. Intervention may be needed depending on the circumstances.
6-10 YEAR OLDS
Around 6 years old, permanent teeth start coming into the mouth starting with the 6 year molars. These teeth usually have many deep grooves and sealants are recommended to prevent cavities in these grooves. Usually children have the hand eye coordination to brush properly around 7-8 years old. So be sure to brush after your kids if the plague is not properly being brushed away. Emphasize brushing in small circles around the gum line to prevent gingivitis. Sometimes interceptive orthodontics is needed at this age. As your child starts their growth spurt, modifications can be made in their facial growth through oral appliances or limited orthodontics. Children also become more active in sports at this age. Mouth guards are recommended to protect your child’s teeth. Ask us about our custom mouth guards.
11-14 YEAR OLDS
Kids are gaining more independence at this age and making more decisions regarding their diet and nutrition. During recall cleaning visits, the All-Star Team will educate your child on these decisions for their dental health and overall health. Sodas, sports drinks, energy drinks and junk food are consumed by many teens and healthier options are encouraged. By this age, kids most likely have all their permanent teeth and proper oral hygiene is demonstrated. Evaluations for orthodontics are completed at this age and referrals are given if needed.
15-18 YEAR OLDS
Evaluation for possible wisdom teeth removal occurs during this period. Proper diagnosis requires a Panoramic x-ray to confirm the positioning of the teeth and timing of removal if necessary. High school is also a critical time to touch up sealants and reinforce healthy personal oral hygiene habits for the journey into young adulthood.