In this part of our blog series, Sea of Smiles Pediatric Dentistry be looking at the basics of dental care for kids between the ages of 3-6. We’ll discuss what to expect, how to care for their teeth, when they can start brushing, and more!
Each child is different, but most kids have all of their baby teeth by the time they’re about 3 years old. Your child will have 24 baby teeth in total!
In addition, your child may even lose a baby tooth or two during this three-year period. Most kids get their first loose tooth by the age of 5 or 6. Your child’s teeth will fall out in the order they grew in, so their front teeth will loosen and fall out first.
Kids can practice brushing as early as 3, but they don’t usually have the manual dexterity or knowledge about how to brush properly and thoroughly until they’re about 5 or 6.
The rule of thumb most dentists use is that kids can brush on their own once they’re able to tie their own shoes. However, even when your child starts brushing on their own, we recommend brushing with them or supervising them to make sure they’re doing a good job, and that they’re brushing all of their teeth for at least two minutes.
Once your child has all of their baby teeth and their adult teeth start to come in, it’s important to floss at least once per day. Flossing helps clean the gaps between their teeth and keeps them healthy, reducing the risk of gum disease and tooth decay.
You’ll need to floss your child’s teeth for them until the age of about 7 or 8, in most cases. It’s harder to learn to floss than it is to learn to brush.
Once your child’s baby teeth have come in, you should try to get them to stop sucking their thumb, and you should move away from sippy cups and bottles.
This is because thumb sucking, sippy cups, and bottles can all cause issues with their oral development, especially as their adult teeth start to develop.
Kids of all ages need to see the dentist every six months, just like adults. If your child is 6 years old, you also may want to consider scheduling an orthodontic consultation so that your dentist can check on your child’s oral development.
This is because the first stage of orthodontics is usually done between the ages of 6-8. Early intervention can help improve your child’s oral health and development, so if your dentist at Sea of Smiles recommends an orthodontic consultation for your little one, follow their advice.
As your child grows, it’s important to continue to see an experienced pediatric dentist. And at Sea of Smiles Pediatric Dentistry, we’re here to help in Yardley, Bensalem, Warrington, and Glenside. Schedule an appointment at one of our offices today, and get the expert guidance and dental care you need from one of our board-certified pediatric dentists.