Seeing your child’s first tooth or cheering them on when their first tooth falls out are reasons to celebrate!
In this post, we’re going to take a look at important dental milestones for kids and explain what you need to do when they come along.
Remember, every child is unique, so yours may hit these milestones earlier or later than average. It shouldn’t be anything to worry about, but do consult your dentist if you have any concerns.
Soon after birth
Register your baby with your community oral health service soon after birth to ensure that they get access to free dental care until they turn 18.
Babies usually get their first tooth when they’re around six months old, and it’s often one of the lower front teeth (a central incisor).
As soon as your little one gets their first tooth, be sure to brush it twice a day using a small amount of fluoride toothpaste.
First visit to the dentist
You should take your child for their first dental check-up between their first and second birthdays.
The dentist will have a good look inside your child’s mouth to make sure that everything is developing well and identify any issues. They will also be able to give you advice about caring for your little one’s teeth.
First full set of teeth
Your child should have their complete set of 20 baby teeth at around three years of age, although this milestone can vary between individuals.
If teething is painful for your child, you can try massaging their gums gently with a clean finger or offering them some cold fruit to suck on to relieve soreness.
First lost tooth
Your child will lose their first baby tooth around the age of six. The first one to drop out will probably be the first one that appeared.
You can encourage your child to rinse their mouth out with warm salt water afterwards to wash away any blood and aid healing…and don’t forget to ask the tooth fairy to visit!
Complete set of permanent teeth
When your child is around six years of age, their first molars will start to erupt (come through the gum). Then, they will gradually get all their permanent teeth (bar the wisdom teeth) over the following years, up to around age 13.
Children will need supervision to brush their teeth up until around age seven or eight. After that, encourage them to brush twice a day and floss once a day too. Continue with regular check-ups throughout their childhood so any issues can be identified and managed early on.
Your child may need braces for a variety of reasons — for example, to straighten teeth, correct their bite or manage crowded teeth.
Your dentist will be able to advise you on the best type of braces for your child and either fit them at their surgery or refer them to an orthodontist (a dentist who straightens teeth) if necessary.
Your child’s wisdom teeth or third molars normally erupt between the ages of 17 and 21. If they are impacted, which means they don’t have room to come through properly, then they may become painful or result in infection.
It’s best to get your dentist to assess your child’s wisdom teeth, and they can advise whether treatment is needed.
Your local children’s dentist in Auckland
We pride ourselves on providing services for all the family, including children’s dentistry, here at Opal Dental.
So, whether your little one has just got their first few baby teeth or is an older child, we’ll be very happy to see them!
Come along to your local dentist in Te Atatu for a whole range of services, from regular check-ups to wisdom teeth treatment and braces.
Just give our friendly team a call to schedule an appointment for your child.