In this blog from All Kids Dental, we explain dental milestones for your child that you can look forward to.
The First Few Years Of Your Baby’s Smile
The image of a baby’s toothless grin is sure to bring joy to parents and children alike. As new parents, you may be wondering about the growth stages of your little one, including dental development milestones. To help you feel more confident along the journey, we have put together a timeline of some of the biggest dental milestones your child will face during the first two years of their life. As a parent, you are responsible for helping your child—and their teeth—through this process. Knowing the key moments of your child’s dental development will help you tackle problems as they come up.
Newborn To 4 Months Old
As your baby reaches the age of 0-4 months, their mouth begins to prepare for the arrival of teeth. Although it may appear that there is not much you can do for dental hygiene at this stage, it is a wise idea to start wiping your baby’s gums with a damp cloth or a soft rubber finger toothbrush. Clean your baby’s gums twice daily, just like you brush your own teeth. This will create a routine for regular brushing and make certain that their mouth is clean and ready for the arrival of teeth.
4 Months To The First Year
Before your infant has even grown their first tooth, their primary teeth are already forming in their jaw. Generally, the first two teeth to break through the gum line will be the bottom two teeth and can be expected around the baby’s first birthday. As your child approaches four to six months old, they will begin teething. To help soothe their incoming teeth and mouth, continue to wipe their gums twice a day. This will help prevent plaque from forming. Once your baby’s teeth start appearing, it is a good idea to schedule a dentist appointment.
Your Baby’s First Dentist’s Appointment (1-3 Years Old)
When your child turns one year old, it is essential for them to make their first visit to the dentist. Moving forward, they should go for bi-annual check-ups and cleanings. This is very important for youngsters to make sure their pediatric dentist can identify any potential issues that may come up as their teeth start to grow in.
At this age, you can start using a soft-bristled toothbrush to teach your child how to brush and spit out toothpaste. Until they are able to do this, either use a fluoride-free toothpaste or just brush with water.
By the time your child is three, they should have a full set of baby teeth. If they have not gone to the dentist yet, now is the perfect opportunity. It is important to remember that baby teeth do matter! They help maintain space in the mouth for permanent teeth and also aid in speech development.
Time To Help Your Child Floss
Once you start to notice that your child’s teeth are touching each other on the sides, it’s time to get them into the routine of flossing. This usually happens when they are around a year old. It’s best to floss for both your child and yourself after every meal. Establishing this good habit early can help to avoid future dental issues.
Age 2: Goodbye To Pacifiers
By the age of two, parents should take steps to break their child’s pacifier and thumb-sucking habits. These can lead to oral health issues like misshaping of the mouth and misalignment of teeth. Parents should also set up a regular routine to help their toddler brush and floss at least twice a day or after each meal. This is also a good time to introduce fluoride toothpaste and work on teaching kids to spit after brushing.
Brushing And Flossing On Their Own
When children are between 3-6 years old, it’s important to encourage their independence. Let them handle their own brushing and flossing, but stay close to make sure they reach all the hard-to-reach spots and clean their teeth properly. You may need to do a bit of touch up brushing afterwards. Additionally, this is also a great time to get your child their first dental x-ray to get an overall look and health assessment of their teeth.
Time For The Tooth Fairy
Around the age of five or six, your child begins to enter the major dental milestone of mixed dentition, where their baby teeth start to fall out and permanent teeth begin to erupt. It’s important as a parent to make sure your child is brushing their teeth at least twice a day, and to make it an enjoyable activity rather than a chore.
Your child should also be visiting the dentist twice a year for exams and preventative care. Generally, baby teeth start to fall out between the ages of 6-12, usually beginning with the front four teeth then the teeth at the back of the mouth (canines and molars). By the time your child is 12-13, they will have a full set of 28 adult teeth, with the last four wisdom teeth molars erupting between the ages of 15 and 22.
All Kids Dental Is The Best Choice For Your Child’s Smile
If you are searching for the best dental care for your children in Suffolk and the surrounding Virginia neighborhoods, look no further than All Kids Dental. All Kids Dental has the expertise to live up to its name and make all kids feel comfortable and show off healthy smiles. From infant exams, to tooth-colored fillings and sedation dentistry, to creating an individualized dental plan for children with special needs, All Kids Dental can do it all. For pediatric dental expertise, call and schedule a visit with Dr. Joe and Dr. Brett today!