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The Years In Between: Dental Care For Children 5 – 10 Years

A lot is going on in your growing child’s life and mouth. Baby teeth are starting to fall out and make way for adult teeth. At this stage, Kids Dental recommends a regular regime of dental cleanings and visits to our office every six months, regular brushing and flossing and…healthy living! Good habits promote healthy teeth, gums and overall wellness. Daily preventive care that includes regular brushing and flossing will help prevent more difficult problems that become more painful and expensive. In preventative dental care, an ounce of prevention really is worth its weight in gold.

What you need to know

When baby teeth are ready to come out, they will at first feel loose and eventually fall out on their own. The roots of the permanent first molars and permanent incisors are beginning to mineralize at this time too. Sometimes the adult teeth erupt right next to the baby teeth and this may result in two rows of teeth. A consultation with your dentist at this time is important to determine the status of the baby teeth.

At about age six, you’ll start to notice that your child is losing his or her "baby face” as their lower jaw and facial shape starts to change to accommodate their adult teeth.  Your first grader will have their first permanent molars making their way into the mouth. Usually these teeth come in without much fuss. The front baby teeth may be loose too, allowing for the permanent incisors to grow through the gums. The roots of the primary teeth continue to resorb and the crown of the permanent canine is fully formed.

While the schedule is different for every child, by age 10 most children have their permanent incisors and the primary molars are beginning to loosen and fall out. The permanent molars are in position and the second permanent molars are beginning to find their way into the mouth. The roots of the baby teeth are making way for the permanent teeth. The upper tcanines are one of the last teeth to appear. These eye teeth help to close the space between your child's upper front teeth.

By about the age of 13 your child has all of his or her permanent teeth with the exception of the last molars, called the wisdom teeth. The bones and jaws are reaching their adult dimensions and strength. There are 32 teeth in the mouth including the wisdom teeth still under the gums.

What you need to do

Regular check-ups at Kids Dental are an important part of preventive care and a six month dental cleaning and examination is recommended. This regime helps the Kids Dental team and parents work together to identify issues as soon as possible regarding the child’s ongoing oral hygiene and dental health. If your child has special health care needs, we may recommend more frequent appointments based on your child needs or susceptibility to disease as well as special equipment to assist you and your child with his or her oral hygiene.

Here’s all the things you and your child should do every day to help ensure a lifetime of smiles:
  • Brush twice a day and especially before bedtime
  • Floss daily
  • Eat a well balanced diet and limit harmful (sugary) snacks between meals
  • Use Canadian Dental Association approved dental products that contain fluoride
  • On the advise of your dentist, rinse with fluoridated mouthwash
  • If you’re at increased risk for tooth decay, see us about professionally applied fluoride varnish
  • Rinse with water or chew a xylitol (?) chewing gum after eating when it’s not possible to brush and floss.
  • Parents should assist children with tooth brushing to make sure that plaque is removed. Children need this help until their fine motor skills are more developed at about age 7.
  • Check your child’s gums and teeth regularly (about once a month) so you know what the normal appearance of his or her mouth is.
  • Talk to your dentist or doctor about the need to give your child fluoride supplements. This may be necessary for a child with an increased risk of tooth decay or if the level of fluoride in the drinking water source is low.
  • Dental sealants should also be discussed with your child’s dentist or doctor. Sealant is a thin plastic coating that is applied to the chewing surface of primary teeth and is recommended shortly after the teeth erupt.
  • Limit your child’s consumption of any beverages that are high in sugar.
  • Promote healthy eating as much as possible with planned meals and snacks that are appropriate for your child’s age – fruit vegetables, whole grain and unsweetened dairy products are all good choices.
  • Only serve foods containing sugar at meal times and limit the consumption of foods that stick to the teeth such as fruit rollups and dried fruit.
  • As much as possible, have our child eat fresh fruit instead of fruit juice.
  • Encourage water or milk between meals
  • Drink fluoridated water – either from your community water source or bottled at a concentration of approximately 0.7 to 1.2 mg/L (ppm).
Take steps to reduce the risk of injury to your child’s teeth:
  • Be aware that injuries to the head, face and neck are common in children.
  • Do what you can to minimize your child’s risk of an oral injury and know what to do if an injury should occur.
  • Supervise your child’s playground activities and make sure they are only playing on equipment and play structures or with toys that are right for their age
  • If a permanent tooth is knocked out, you should retrieve it, holding it by the top part (crown), rinse it gently with water to remove any debris from the socket, reinsert it into the socket with the front of the tooth facing you and take the child to the dentist immediately. If you can’t replace the tooth, put it in a container of cold milk or in a cold wet cloth and bring the child to the dentist immediately.
  • Never attempt to reinsert a primary tooth that has fallen out. This can damage the permanent teeth underneath.
  • If the tooth is chipped or cracked you should rinse the child’s mouth with water, apply cold compresses and see the dentists immediately.
  • Injuries occur more often during periods of rapid growth. Teach your child about the importance of wearing protective gear, such as mouth guards, helmets, elbow and knee pads or face protectors when doing any activities that could result in an injury to his or her mouth or teeth.
  • Put emergency contact numbers in a prominent place so you or any caregivers can get to them right away.
If you haven’t already done so, call Kids Dental today to arrange your child’s next dental exam and review the section dental care for adolescents – 11 years and up to find out what you can do to help your child enjoy a lifetime of smiles.
Cholakis Dental Group
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