Kids and their Changing Teeth

tooth

Many of our readers are still only pregnant with their first child so kids and their changing teeth is not of much interest to you yet. You are probably more interested in when your baby will get their first baby teeth. Although, once your child gets to the age of losing teeth (my oldest) then the process of baby teeth falling out and adult teeth growing in becomes an interesting topic. Luckily my husband is a dentist so I do not have to worry about my son’s teeth and his eventual need for braces. Most of you do not have that inside connection so I wanted to impart some dental knowledge on you thanks to my husband.

teeth

Starting around the age of 6 and ending around 12, children will lose all their baby teeth and their permanent/adult teeth grow in. Baby teeth are smaller and softer so as the adult teeth come in, they may seem large compared to your child’s size and they will definitely take up more space than the baby teeth. Younger children’s mouth’s are smaller so the newer teeth may not come in straight and may overlap because there is not enough space. This is normal but may result in a crooked and crowded mouth.

Around the age of 8 or 9, if your dentist suggests it, it is a good idea to make an appointment to see an orthodontist. Why do you need your child to see an orthodontist you ask? The reason for a visit at such an early age is that the orthodontist will make sure eruption of the adult teeth is in the correct areas and the correct pattern. The orthodontist will determine how the adult teeth will come in and can prevent crookedness and overcrowding by starting braces early or letting parents know when to plan for braces. An orthodontal visit can address overlapping or crooked teeth which can create bite problems, jaw pain, problems with gums or just an “ugly” smile.

dental braces

Traditionally braces were put on after the age of 12, once all the baby teeth were lost. Now a days, many orthodontists are starting braces earlier and splitting treatment into 2 phases. The 1st phase occurs after the front 4 teeth on the top and bottom have come in. The braces straighten those 8 teeth which then helps the back teeth to come in straighter thereby making the total time the child is in braces shorter than the traditional 2 years.

In some cases, people are congenitally missing teeth and if that is the case then taking your child to the orthodontist earlier allows the orthodontist to plan for the missing teeth. The orthodontist can keep the space open to create the right bite so an implant can be placed later on. Orthodontists can also make sure there are no rare disease or problems developing (1 side of the jaw bone is growing at faster rate than another, teeth fused together, tumor in jaw bone etc)  which can be prevent or treated with proper and timely care.
While all this information regarding adult teeth and orthodontia care may be far out for your baby, it is very important to make sure you take care of your child’s baby teeth. Regular brushing, flossing, dental cleanings and care are important because improper care can result in cavities, crowns, root canals, infections and pulling of teeth. More importantly poor care of baby teeth can result in malformations, defects, discoloration etc in the adult teeth. Oral health is the benchmark is for your overall health. Unhealthy teeth will result in an unhealthy body.