Age development info

Your Child’s Dental Development

Click below to read important information regarding the development of your child’s dental health.

0-2

AGES 0-2

Dental care for your infant starts before your child gets their first baby tooth! You can start caring for your baby’s oral health by wiping their gums with a soft cloth after feedings. You can start brushing when their first tooth comes in with fluoride containing toothpaste in a smear amount which just covers the tips of the bristles. This small amount is limited because children at this age are not able to keep from swallowing during brushing. It is also recommended to wipe the remaining toothpaste from the mouth gently with a soft cloth afterwards.

When we consider diet, milks, and juice choices, we need to remember that beverages and carbs can lead to softened teeth and cavities.
Another great way to protect your infant’s teeth is to monitor their use of a bottle or sippy cup. Dr. Anya and her team will talk with you at each visit and discuss how you can keep your baby healthy and happy while using bottles and sippy cups, to safely avoid tooth decay.

Your child should come to our office for their first visit with Dr. Anya as soon as their first tooth comes in, or by their first birthday, whichever comes first. Some insurance companies require a preventative visit at 6 months old, such as Texas Traditional Medicaid, MCNA and Dentaquest.

3-5

AGES 3-5

By the time your child reaches 3 years of age, they should have all of their baby teeth. They have completed the first stage in their oral development and have a mouth full of little treasures that they need to learn to care for. Now is the time to develop good dental habits that will keep them cavity free. Almost half of children will have their first cavity before they start kindergarten, but Dr. Anya believes that this finding is avoidable!

Children at this age should still have their teeth brushed twice a day by their parent or guardian. We recommend using fluoride toothpaste and only using a small amount at each brushing (a pea-sized amount). Children at this age should no longer be using sippy cups or bottles by this stage in their development. We should all strive to brush for at least 2 minutes, twice a day! Teaching your child good habits now, will help to keep them cavity free.

Your child’s diet will have a great impact on both their dental and overall health. Try to avoid giving your child too many sugary snacks and limit the amount of juice that they are drinking. Healthy snacks, like fruits and vegetables are a great way to help your child avoid the processed sugars that lead to cavities and tooth decay.

6-11

AGES 6-11

This stage of your child’s development is very exciting, when it comes to oral health care. Your child’s teeth will start to grow in and fill their mouths, as well as pave the way for the arrival of their permanent teeth. Your child’s teeth will start to touch each other on the sides, indicating that continuing to floss is incredibly important. Flossing will help keep their mouth much healthier and can help to prevent gum disease, which leads to tooth and bone loss later in their life.

This is also the time that your child will start losing their baby teeth and the tooth fairy may even make her first visit to your home. Your child’s baby teeth in the front and the back are likely to come out naturally at this time. As your child’s permanent teeth begin to erupt, Dr. Anya may recommend that your child get dental sealants to protect the grooves in your child’s teeth from harboring bacteria that can cause cavities. Ask our team if sealants are right for your child.

12-18

AGES 12-18

The baby teeth are typically gone by now and have been replaced by your child’s permanent teeth. Your child is growing and will probably be involved in more activities and groups than ever! They also tend to have more influence on their own diet and are more likely to be eating sugary snacks and drinking soda and other sugary drinks. Our role in your child’s heath is more important than ever during this time. We want to prepare your child for a lifetime of happy, beautiful smiles that they are proud to display.

We will continue to work with your child to reinforce good dental habits as well as address any treatment concerns that may arise for them. If your child is an athlete and is playing a sport where contact may occur, ask our office about making a custom mouth guard to protect your child’s smile.