7+ Years Old

7+ Years Old

Between the ages of 7 and 12, children not only begin to lose their baby teeth, but they also start to grow their permanent teeth. It’s crucial to maintain proper oral health during this period as there’s no second chance with permanent teeth. Around 6 years of age, most children can start brushing on their own, but it’s advisable to confirm their brushing effectiveness during their 6-month checkups at a pediatric dental office. Parental assistance is often recommended for brushing and flossing, especially before bedtime, particularly for the younger ones in this age group.

Regular visits to the pediatric dentist every six months are essential during this time to ensure that the permanent teeth are emerging correctly and receiving the necessary protection. When the first permanent molars fully come in, they can be sealed to provide extra safeguarding in the area where 80% of cavities tend to develop. As each child progresses into a full set of permanent teeth, these years become a critical period for establishing habits and practices for cavity prevention that will last a lifetime.

During each visit, we’ll assess the emergence of permanent teeth and monitor the development of those still beneath the surface, as well as the overall jaw development. This close monitoring allows us to determine if there’s a need for early orthodontic treatment or if the teeth are growing in a healthy manner.

Below are some questions that are frequently asked during pre-teen dental visits:

My Child’s lower teeth are coming in behind the baby teeth. Is that okay?

It’s not uncommon for permanent teeth to emerge behind baby teeth. In such cases, it’s crucial for a pediatric dentist to assess the placement of the permanent teeth and decide if the baby teeth might benefit from some assistance in naturally falling out. If the permanent tooth is close to erupting in the correct position, we can often monitor it and reevaluate within a specific timeframe. Once the baby teeth are out of the way, the tongue—a powerful muscle—will play a role in improving the alignment of the permanent teeth.

What can I do to help decrease the chance of cavities for my child?

In this age group, the most straightforward approach is to make sure they brush their teeth twice a day and floss once a day. Additionally, it’s important to restrict any sugary drinks to mealtime, or better yet, avoid them altogether. If extra measures are considered necessary, using a fluoride mouth rinse can be beneficial, provided the patient is capable of swishing and spitting properly.

Will my child need braces?

During each dental visit, we carefully assess the growth, development, and alignment of teeth. Typically, around the ages of 7 to 8, we start to get a good idea of how a child’s permanent teeth will align. At this point, we can identify any concerns and determine if an orthodontic evaluation is necessary. With an orthodontist on our team, we’re able to ensure that each child receives the care they require in an efficient and convenient manner. Thankfully, these evaluations are always provided at no cost to parents.

We’ve observed a growing trend of younger patients seeking early orthodontic treatment. Dr. Priestly, with his extensive orthodontic training, is adept at assessing whether there is a genuine need for early intervention or if the patient would benefit from waiting until they are older and better equipped for a single round of braces.

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The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that parents establish a dental home for their child by the age of 12 months.

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