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During the “mixed dentition” phase, children should take extra care of their teeth. This ensures the newly erupted permanent teeth are healthy.
Good oral hygiene practices to teach your children include:
As a baby transitions into childhood, oral care needs to change. This is because the risk of developing cavities increases with age.
The risk of gum disease, such as gingivitis, and dental pulp infections, is also higher.
Between six and 13 years, primary teeth fall out, and permanent teeth begin to grow in. This time is when children should learn healthy oral hygiene habits to keep their mouths in tip-top shape as they grow into adulthood.
All primary (baby) teeth should erupt between six months to two to three years of age. They shed at different times throughout childhood, beginning around age six.
As baby teeth fall out, permanent teeth start to erupt around the same time, around age six. They fully grow in by age 13.
When a child’s dentition consists of some primary teeth and newly erupted permanent teeth, it is called the “mixed dentition phase.”4
Wisdom teeth are also referred to as third molars. Wisdom teeth should erupt between 17 and 25 years of age. Although, dentists typically remove third molars before age 20.
The standard chronology of permanent dentition is as follows:
Common oral health conditions that affect children include:
Children are prone to developing early childhood caries (ECC). This is especially in primary teeth.
Baby tooth enamel is more fragile than permanent tooth enamel. ECCs begin as white spots on the teeth. Over time, the spots turn brown or black.5
Cavities most commonly appear on the biting surfaces of primary molars.
Common causes of cavities include:
Even though primary teeth fall out at a young age, it is essential to take care of them.
If children develop cavities in their baby teeth, the bacteria can affect the permanent teeth once they erupt into the mouth. This bacteria makes them more susceptible to decay.
Dental fillings are the most common restorative treatment option for minor cavities in primary and permanent teeth.
Treatment options include the following fillings:
Types of dental crowns include:
Teeth may need to be extracted due to:
However, if a primary tooth is removed prematurely, space maintainers are typically placed. Space maintainers ensure the permanent teeth grow in the correct position.6
Space maintainers prevent the misalignment of teeth and overcrowding.
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