Knowing When to Ask for Help

Every milestone your child reaches is important—and this includes their dental milestones. Because every child is unique, however, it can be tough to know whether yours is developing as they should be.

By having a clearer idea of what the dental milestones are, you can know when it may be time to ask for help from a pediatric dentist. With experts helping your child when they need it, they have the chance to achieve a healthy smile.

Baby’s First Tooth: The Beginning of Dental Development

Most babies will develop their first tooth when they’re between six and 12 months old. Often, the first tooth that appears will be a lower front one. Seeing that first tooth is very exciting, but the teething process can be uncomfortable for your child. You may notice that they’re fussier than usual.

You should start brushing your child’s teeth every day with fluoride toothpaste. Use a soft brush when doing so.

The Teething Phase: Navigating Discomfort and Irritability

The teething process can cause a few sleepless nights for both parents and babies alike. Some babies can get a bit irritable for a few days and may cry more than they usually do.

Before your child’s teeth erupt, you may notice some swelling and redness in the area. The process can even cause a slight elevation in temperature. Your child may drool a bit more and want to chew on things.

You can offer your baby something cold to suck on, like a clean, chilled washcloth or even a solid teething ring you’ve put in the refrigerator for half an hour. You could also gently rub their gums with a clean finger.

Throughout the teething period, continue to brush your child’s teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste and a soft-bristled brush made for babies.

Transition to Primary Teeth: Early Childhood Dental Care

By around age three, your child should have all of their primary teeth. This is one of the most important dental milestones because these are the teeth that your child will depend on until they’re about six years old.

To help pave the way for a permanent healthy smile, help your child build some strong oral health habits. This means encouraging them to brush their teeth twice a day and limiting the sweets they consume.

Dental checkups are essential as well. You want to get your child accustomed to the idea of visiting the dentist every few months. A pediatric dentist will be able to spot any tooth decay or other issues early, making it easier to resolve the problem.

Losing Baby Teeth: Milestone Markers of Growing Up

Around the age of six, your child will begin another important dental milestone—losing their baby teeth and getting permanent teeth.

The baby teeth will begin to loosen and then fall out, making room for the erupting new tooth. It can take up to six months for the permanent tooth to appear and up to 12 months before it’s fully in. For the next few years, your child will lose their baby teeth and grow permanent ones.

Once that process is complete, it becomes more important than ever to ensure that your child is brushing their teeth twice a day and flossing once a day. These are the teeth that they will depend on for the rest of their lives, so it’s also crucial that your child visit the dentist regularly, which they should already be doing.

Orthodontic Considerations: Monitoring Dental Development

A pediatric dentist is the person who will first notice that your child needs orthodontic treatments. Some pediatric orthodontists will recommend Phase I orthodontics, which takes place when your child still has some baby teeth. Most, though, will focus on Phase II orthodontics, which takes place when their permanent teeth have erupted.

Phase I orthodontics can include the use of space maintainers, headgear, expansion appliances, and specialized retainers. Phase II treatments involve the use of retainers or braces to help straighten and align teeth. This phase usually starts around the age of 11 or 12.

Some children may need both Phase I and Phase II treatments. These can include children who experience crowded teeth at the age of seven or eight, those with evidence of a crossbite, or those with protruding upper or lower teeth.

Wisdom Teeth: The Final Milestone in Dental Development

This final milestone occurs between the ages of 17 and 25. Wisdom teeth are the third molars. Often, their eruption disturbs nearby teeth. For that reason, the majority of people choose to have their wisdom teeth removed.

Your child’s dentist will monitor the development of their wisdom teeth and recommend whether removal is the best option or not. If there’s not enough room in the mouth, they will likely recommend extraction.

Turning to Prince Frederick Pediatric Dentistry Professionals

Knowing the stages of your child’s dental development is vital. From the moment the first baby tooth appears to the eruption of their wisdom teeth, maintaining good oral health and visiting a dentist can make a huge difference.

Help your child through their dental milestones by turning to Waldorf pediatric dentistry experts like us at We Make Kids Smile. Call us now to schedule an appointment.

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Prince Frederick

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Prince Frederick

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Prince Frederick, MD 20678


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