7 to 12 Years Old
During the years of 7-12, children will not only be losing their baby teeth, but they will start to obtain their permanent teeth. Maintaining proper oral health is extremely important during this age range as we don’t get a second chance with permanent teeth. At 6 years of age most children can begin to brush on their own, however it is recommended to confirm if they are brushing sufficient during their 6-month checkups at a pediatric dental office. Often parental assistance is recommended for brushing and flossing prior to bed especially for the younger ones in this age group.
It is crucial to maintain visits to the pediatric dentist every six months during this time to ensure that the permanent teeth are erupting properly and that they are protected. When the first permanent molars fully erupt they can be sealed to help protect these permanent teeth in the area where 80% of cavities develop. As each child transitions into all permanent teeth, these years are a pivotal time to establish habits and cavity prevention that will last a lifetime.
At each visit we will evaluate the eruption of the permanent teeth, and ongoing development of the unerupted teeth and jaw development. By closely monitoring the eruption of permanent teeth we can determine if there is a need for early orthodontic treatment, or if they the teeth are developing in a healthy manner.
Below are some common questions parents have during dental visits with their pre-teen children:
My child’s lower teeth are coming in behind the baby teeth is that okay?
We often see permanent teeth come in behind the baby teeth. In these situations, it is very important for a pediatric dentist to evaluate the position of the permanent teeth and determine if the baby teeth may need some help with “wiggling out.” Often if the tooth is close to erupting in the right position we are able to monitor and reevaluate during a set time frame. With the baby teeth out of the way the tongue which is a very strong muscle will aid in improving the positioning of the permanent teeth.
Is it okay for my child to wiggle on their loose tooth?
When a baby tooth is being replaced by permanent tooth, we do recommend aiding in the loss of the baby tooth. Some children may be eager to lose teeth, so comparing the tooth to the eruption chart provided below will aid in determining if the tooth may ready to fall out naturally.
What can I do to help decrease the chance that my child has cavities?
The simplest thing in this age group is to ensure that they are both brushing twice daily and flossing once a day. We as well want to limit any sugar containing drinks to mealtime if consumed at all. If extra steps are deemed necessary, the use of a fluoride mouth rinse when the patient is able to swish and spit properly may be used.
Will my child need braces?
We evaluate the growth, development, and alignment of teeth at each dental visit. Usually around 7-8 years of age we have an idea of how a child’s permanent teeth will line up. At this age we are able to determine if there are any concerns or if there is a need for an orthodontic evaluation. By having an orthodontist in our office, we are able to make sure that each child in has the care they need efficiently, easy, and fortunately for parents these evaluations are always free. It has been a trend to see younger and younger patients with early orthodontic treatment. By Dr. Justin have extensive orthodontic training he is able to evaluate if there is a true need for early treatment, or if the patient would benefit from waiting until they are more mature and are able to have 1 set of braces.
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