The journey from gummy grins to pearly whites is a big part of your child's health. Learn the different stages of your child's dental development.

The Formative Stages of Your Child's Dental Journey

The Formative Stages of Your Child's Dental Journey
Posted on 08/21/2023
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The journey from gummy grins to a mouthful of pearly whites is a significant part of your child's health journey. As they grow and develop, your child's teeth will start to come in, and their mouths will change as they lose baby teeth and gain adult teeth. Knowing what to expect at each stage of dental development can help you provide the best care for your little one's oral health needs.

This blog post will walk you through the different stages of your child's dental development, break down what you can expect at each stage, and offer tips to help you ensure their oral health is thriving.

Birth to 6 Months

Newborns don't have any teeth, but their baby teeth are already growing beneath the gums. This is known as teething, typically occurring around three to six months of age.

You may notice that your child is irritable, drooling, and frequently biting or chewing on things. This is normal behavior and due to the discomfort that comes with teething. The baby's teeth constantly push through the gums, which causes some tenderness.

During this stage, keep your child's mouth clean and gently wipe their gums with a damp cloth after each feeding. This helps remove sugar from the mouth that can cause tooth decay. While they don't have any visible teeth yet, you can still begin to introduce them to a good oral hygiene routine as you try to form a habit.

6 Months to 5 Years

Around six months of age, your child's first primary tooth will start to emerge. This usually is the central incisor, in the middle of the bottom gumline. The remaining baby teeth typically come in pairs over the next few months and can be observed as they sprout up through the gums, totaling 20 in all.

During this time, establish good oral hygiene habits, such as brushing your child's teeth twice a day with a soft-bristled brush and fluoride toothpaste. But if they only have a few teeth at first, you can use a soft cloth dampened with water to gently clean the teeth. This will help prevent plaque buildup and maintain healthy teeth and gums.

Also, introduce them to flossing when you feel they are ready. But if they still have difficulty using dental floss, you can opt for interdental brushes or water flossers instead. These tools are easy to use and help remove food particles that can get stuck between their teeth. It may take some practice for them to learn the proper technique.

Also, begin to schedule regular dental checkups for your child to ensure their teeth are developing correctly and to catch any potential problems early. This helps ensure your child's teeth remain healthy and allows you to discuss any concerns about their oral health.

5 Years to 10 Years

At some point in this timeframe, your child's baby teeth will begin to fall out, making way for their permanent teeth. This is a critical time in your child's dental development, as proper care of their baby teeth can affect the health of their permanent teeth. This is the time to be extra vigilant about their oral hygiene routine and attend regular checkups.

Continue brushing your child's teeth twice a day and flossing between them as they begin to touch. Limit their intake of sugary snacks and drinks, as these can increase the risk of tooth decay. The last of the baby teeth should typically fall out around 10 to 12 years to make room for their adult teeth.

When you schedule an appointment for your little one at Treasured Smiles Pediatric Dentistry, we will take the time to explain the different stages of dental development and provide helpful tips on how you can keep your child's teeth healthy. We also offer a range of services for kids, from preventive care to restorative dentistry, to ensure their smile shines for years! Contact us today.

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