Children have so many important milestones in the first few years of their lives: first steps, first words, first haircut, first day of school, and so many more. Similarly, children have several dental milestones to keep an eye out for! Every child’s dental development is different, but in this article, we’ll break down five of the most important dental milestones from infant to teenage years!
Children begin to grow teeth as early as the first three months of infancy. The front teeth at the top typically appear before the molars or canines. This provides the infant with assistance while breaking down food. As more teeth grow, parents begin to adjust to solid foods. By around age 3, a complete set of teeth will develop. We recommend that children have their first dentist appointment within six months of the first tooth coming in!
First Dentist Appointment
As mentioned above, it’s recommended that children have their first dentist appointment within six months of their first tooth growing in. A child’s first dentist appointment is typically used as an introduction to the dentist in order to make them feel more comfortable. The first appointment generally consists of a routine check-up of their mouth, teeth, gums, and bite. At a young age, dentists usually are looking for signs of normal growth and development of the teeth and mouth.
Losing The First Tooth
By the ages of five or six, children will begin to lose their first few teeth. Unless other complications are present, loose teeth mean that adult teeth are growing below them. You should encourage your child not to pull at their loose teeth before they are ready to fall out on their own. Once adult molars begin to come in around the age of six, you should consider dental sealants to help prevent decay & cavities!
Children should typically have their first orthodontic consultation between the ages of 7 and 10. This consultation at a young age will allow for more efficient and shorter overall treatment plans for your child. This is often the best time to consider braces, especially where there are spacing issues with a child’s teeth. Braces will help set the alignment and straightness of their teeth for life!
Depending on when they grow in, many people have their wisdom teeth removed in their late teens or twenties. Some patients never need to have them removed at all! Routine x-rays at dental checkups will let your dentist know about the status of your wisdom teeth and if they need to be removed in the near future. Wisdom teeth usually need to be removed because they are capable of causing pain and discomfort, and sometimes grow at irregular angles, affecting general tooth alignment.
Contact Gentle Dental Maine!
If you have any more questions about pediatric dentistry or are looking for a family dentist for your children in the Southern Maine area, Gentle Dental is here for you! With offices in South Portland, Biddeford, and Topsham, we provide our patients with general, cosmetic, restorative, and emergency dentistry throughout the region. Contact us today at any one of our offices, or if you’re not yet a patient with us, please fill out the new patient form on our website!