When you have children, there are so many firsts to remember, and recalling them brings on nostalgia. There’s the first word, the first step and even their first tooth. A parent will always remember their child’s first tooth, but did you know that there are other dental milestones to take note of? Dr. David Groy, your family dentist in Leesburg talks about some other milestones parents can look forward to.
As they begin to arrive one by one, your child’s baby teeth are a milestone and also a stepping-stone to the next phase of dentition and life. These little teeth help your child begin to eat solid foods, learn to form words and talk, and guide the way for permanent adult teeth to come in later on.
Baby teeth can get cavities if exposed to sugary foods and drinks, so it’s important to start brushing these teeth with non-fluoride toothpaste and limit your child’s sugar intake. When your child is able to spit after brushing, it’s safe to introduce fluoride toothpaste, typically around the age of three or four. It’s helpful to teach good oral hygiene habits when your child is very young in order to set them up for a lifetime of good oral health.
Around the age of six years old your child’s teeth will begin to exfoliate, or fall out. This is the time when permanent adult teeth begin to erupt. Kids are becoming old enough to brush on their own, however parents may still want to supervise and ensure that children are brushing and flossing properly. This is also a good time to discuss sealants with your dentist. Sealants are a thin coating that your dentist puts over the chewing surface of your child’s molars in order to protect them from cavities and decay.
This is also the time to discuss early orthodontic intervention with your dentist. Many children benefit from having interceptive orthodontic care at an earlier age. This can help with issues such as crowding by taking advantage of the fact that your child’s jaw is still growing. Early orthodontics can also minimize the time your child spends in full braces later on.
During the teenage years is the time to evaluate wisdom teeth. Your dentist will recommend that wisdom teeth be removed if they’re not fully erupted, or still below the gum line. If they are fully erupted, they may still need to be removed if there’s not enough space in your child’s mouth. Wisdom teeth can cause crowding amongst other teeth. Your dentist will take x-rays and let you know if your child’s wisdom teeth should be removed.
If you’re looking for children’s dentistry in Leesburg, we would love to help. Our team enjoys seeing patients of all ages, especially children. We promise to take care of your child as if they were one of our own.