The beginning of dental care for all of us starts from a young age and it is down to parents to make sure that their children learn to take care of their oral hygiene and maintain the condition of their teeth. Getting them into a regular teeth-cleaning routine is essential from very early on.
Windsor Centre for Advanced Dentistry has a wealth of experience in the areas of dental implant treatments and tooth replacements plus many more areas of the dentistry spectrum, and while we don’t specialise in children’s teeth and dentistry specifically, we felt it was important to address the issues of early tooth growth and create a guide for parents to help them get to grips with their child’s dental health.
From an early age establishing cleaning children’s teeth in the morning and before bed is very important and helps them to adjust to making this a daily activity. If kids start too late, they will find it difficult to adjust to the routine later on, so start early!
Children’s teeth start to develop before birth. There are two sets of teeth: milk teeth (also known as baby teeth) and permanent teeth.
The first set – milk teeth
In the beginning, a child will have around 20 milk teeth grow through the gums within roughly six months. By the time a child reaches three years old they should have all of their milk teeth although some growth in children will vary. The milk teeth are essentially the training wheels of the mouth that help a child to eat and speak. Their main purpose beyond the obvious biological necessities is that this stage is important for the development of permanent teeth.
The second set – permanent teeth
Once a child reaches the age range of 5-7 their permanent teeth start to grow through and by the time a child reaches adolescence most of these teeth will have erupted. Generally, adults have up to 32 permanent teeth.
The last set – wisdom teeth
The last stage of tooth growth comes with the arrival of wisdom teeth, which erupt between the ages of 17 to 25.
It’s natural for milk teeth to fall out, but it is their permanent teeth that need protection and quality care. Regular trips to the dentist are a must so that a practitioner can check the progress. Tooth decay and dental erosion are two preventable causes of damage to children’s teeth that can be combated through a strict follow-up to the dentist every three to six months.
Children are still at risk of tooth decay and dental erosion regardless of age. Lots of children’s food and drink contains acids that can gradually ware away the surface of teeth. These acids usually come from drinks such as fruit juices, fizzy drinks and squashes – even the sugar-free varieties. Due to the fact these drinks are so popular over half of all five-year-olds in the UK have some dental erosion.
Help to reduce your child’s risk of tooth decay and dental erosion:
- Take your child for regular visits to the dentist
- Regulate their diet so they cut out all the acidy foods and drinks
- Encourage a rigid brushing routine with at least 1,000ppm fluoride toothpaste
Thanks for reading.