A Parent's Guide to Permanent Teeth
by Dr. Beau Beecher, DDS on 1/3/2023
Has your child’s tooth started to wiggle? It might be a sign their baby tooth is ready to fall out and a permanent tooth will grow in soon. But, before you – or the tooth fairy – start collecting cash to put under your child’s pillow, you have one more job to do: Teach your children how to keep their permanent teeth healthy. Luckily, we’ve simplified this with our parent-friendly guide to permanent teeth.
When Do Baby Teeth Start Falling Out?
The age can vary for every individual, but on average, baby teeth can begin falling out when your child is between five and seven years old. The first sets of adult teeth to come in are usually the top and bottom molars, also known as the “six-year” molars because they typically grow in during the age of six or seven.
For most children, losing baby teeth means simply wiggling a tooth until they can pull it out. However, some children can experience the following uncomfortable symptoms:
- Loose teeth
- Jaw pain
To alleviate these symptoms, give your child soft foods and cold drinks, or gently massage their gums. For fever or more intense pain, try over-the-counter painkillers. Talk to your dentist about the best way to reduce your child’s discomfort if they’re experiencing these symptoms.
When Permanent Teeth Start Growing In
Once the baby tooth falls out, it can take up to six months for the adult teeth to grow in. Be sure to monitor the timeline and the growth of your child’s tooth. Some kids can experience delays.
There are many reasons for delayed growth including a calcium deficiency, not enough space between teeth, or misalignment. If you are concerned it is taking longer than normal for your child’s adult teeth to appear, book an appointment with your dentist. They can take X-rays to determine the cause of delay.
4 Kid-Friendly Tips for Healthy Permanent Teeth
As your child’s permanent teeth start to come in, it’s important for them to put good dental habits into practice. Here are four essential tips to teach your kids.
Practice Good Dental Habits Daily
You’ve probably already instilled in your children the importance of brushing their teeth twice a day, flossing at least once, and using the age-appropriate mouthwash. When their adult teeth begin to appear, your children should continue these habits so they can easily avoid cavities, gingivitis, and other dental issues.
Use Mouth Guards
If your child participates in high-impact sports or activities, be sure they are equipped with a mouth guard or sports guard. This will protect their mouth, preventing serious injury like broken, chipped, or damaged teeth, or even losing permanent teeth. Remind your child, if they lose a permanent tooth, it unfortunately won’t grow back.
If your child complains of headaches, toothaches, or jaw pain when they wake up in the morning, it might be because he or she grinds their teeth at night. This is known as bruxism and is a common condition among children and adults. To protect their teeth from clenching and grinding, your dentist can design a customized night guard for your child.
When your child eats healthy foods they will develop healthier teeth. For example, sugary foods can damage teeth by breaking down tooth enamel which causes cavities. However, vegetables like spinach have vitamin C which can strengthen your child’s teeth. While you are educating your children on the proper foods to eat, inform them of foods that may stain or discolor teeth and share age-appropriate tips on how to keep teeth shiny and white.
Get Regular Dental Checkups
It’s natural for kids to be scared of the dentist. But if you introduce them at an early age to a dental office, they’ll realize there’s nothing to be afraid of. Have younger children join the family dental appointments whether or not they are getting checked that day. This will help them get familiar with the dentist’s office, staff, and common dental tools. It will also help your child learn the benefits of regular dental exams.
Keep Your Kids’ Teeth Healthy with a Kimball & Beecher Dentist
Your dentist will be the best guide if you have more questions, concerns or need tips to help care for your children’s permanent teeth. The Iowa-based Kimball & Beecher dental clinics are popular with first-time and long-time patients for their friendly staff and comfortable environment. Schedule an appointment with a Kimball & Beecher dentist to help keep your kids’ teeth healthy.