4 to 6 Years Old
At SCV Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics, we utilize digital dental x-rays, we are able to determine if there are cavities between teeth and begin the process of analyzing the growth and development of permanent teeth. From 4-6 years of age most children love coming to our office and can’t to know their brushing score and receive their special prize we give to all our young patients.
Below are some common questions parents have during dental visits with their young children:
My child still has a thumb sucking or pacifier habit what do I do?
After 3 years of age, persistent sucking habits can permanently change tooth positioning and jaw formation if they are not stopped. Most pacifier habits have stopped by 3, however if they are still present parents should not allow their use. Thumb habits can be tougher to break, with the simplest strategy being to kindly make your child choose if they would rather have their thumb in their mouth or participate in whatever family activity is going on. Most children will immediately take their finger out of their mouth when asked, but it is important to get them to subconsciously choose to end the habit on their own accord. The best strategies are made individually with a pediatric dental team while working with both a child and a parent.
Should I be flossing my child’s teeth?
Yes! Dental floss is the cheapest form of insurance against cavities that you can buy. If the teeth are in tight contact with one another which is common for most baby molars starting around 3 years of age. Most kids by 3 will have all 20 baby teeth and have molars that are in tight contact with one another which should be flossed daily. The easiest way to floss you child’s teeth is to use a pre-made flosser and slide the floss back and forth until you can hug each tooth and the gums. Flossing the upper molars can be particularly tough, so adding flossing to the nighttime regimen when they are laying down works well for many parents.
How should I prepare my children for dental visits?
The best thing you can do for your child is remind them of the ease of the past dental visits and leave any tough questions to our dental team. Regarding dental questions, the less answers at home the better. Our outstanding team is highly skilled and has many versatile ways of describing everything from dental fillings to tooth cleanings. The most important thing you can do is to not say words like “shot”, “hurt” or describe any bad dental experiences you or other family members may have had. When in doubt, simply saying “I don’t know, but the dentist will be very careful and take good care of you” can help make the experience easier for all involved.
How much toothpaste should my child be using?
For children 3 years of age and up a “pea” size amount of fluoridated toothpaste is recommended. If the child is brushing on their own prior to parental assistance it is recommended that only a small smear or taste is applied, and the “pea” size amount applied when parents help with brushing. Under 3 years of age a “smear” amount, about the size of a grain of rice is safe and healthy to use. If children were to swallow these age-appropriate recommended amounts they should not have any issues.
When will my child lose their first tooth?
There is a wide range of normal for children to lose their first tooth, however most children lose their first tooth around 6 years of age. We often see a range of children losing their first tooth from 5-7 years of age with girls typically losing their teeth before boys.
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