As your child starts to get older, they suddenly seem to be losing several teeth at one time. Through middle school, your child will lose all of his or her primary (baby) teeth, making room for their adult replacements. Here are a few important things to keep in mind during this process:
Seal Permanent Molars
The last set of permanent molars will usually erupt around age 12. Sealing the deep grooves and pits in these teeth can help your child avoid cavities later. Pre-teens and teens aren’t known for their love of oral hygiene, so sealants can help protect the teeth during these cavity-prone years.
Treat Cavities Early
Even if it’s a baby tooth, cavities can impact other teeth. If the tooth is going to fall out within the next few months, treatment can be avoided. However, you need to prevent the adult tooth from being infected, or the cavity from jumping to the next tooth.
Address Premature Tooth Loss
Let’s say a tooth is knocked out or has to be extracted due to severe decay. Maintaining tooth spacing is very important, as the underlying adult tooth needs a placeholder. We may want to place a space maintaining device such as a “band and loop” to prevent the other teeth from leaning inward and blocking the adult tooth. This temporary appliance can be removed once the adult tooth starts to erupt.
Encourage Healthy Dietary Habits
Dietary choices start at a young age. Encouraging your child to eat fresh fruits and vegetables is great for healthy teeth, gums, and limited plaque buildup. Eat snacks like apples, carrots, popcorn and nuts.
Remember to bring your son or daughter in for a check-up every 6 months to keep their smiles healthy. We’ll make sure everything is progressing as it should be, and offer early therapies for concerns before they get too advanced!
Have Questions? Please don’t hesitate to make an appointment and talk with your dentist. Contact us today!