Stages of Pediatric Dental Care

Understanding The Stages Of Pediatric Dental Care

If you’re a parent, helping your child develop good oral hygiene habits will set them up for a lifetime of healthy smiles. But you may be wondering what to expect as your child grows. How will their pediatric dental care needs change? In this blog from the pediatric dentists at Mission Peak Pediatric Dentistry, we’ll break down the basics, stage by stage!

0-1 Years Old

When your child doesn’t have teeth, you don’t need to worry about brushing. Instead, just wipe their gums with a clean cloth after they breastfeed or bottle feed. When they get their first tooth, start brushing it with a soft-bristled baby toothbrush and a tiny smear of toothpaste.

Your child should also see a pediatric dentist like Dr. Michael Wang for the first time once they turn one year old, or their first tooth comes out, whichever comes first. During their first visit, Dr. Wang can examine their mouth, answer your questions about oral hygiene and teething, and more.

1-3 Years Old

During this time, your child will likely get most or all of their baby teeth. You’ll need to continue brushing their teeth with fluoride toothpaste at least twice a day. Use a dab about the size of a grain of rice until they're about three years old. Once your child can spit on command, you can use a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste.

It’s important to continue bringing your child to Mission Peak Pediatric Dentistry every six months for regular appointments. Dr. Wang can keep an eye on their oral development, clean their teeth to prevent cavities, and ensure their baby teeth are healthy.

3-6 Years Old

Every kid is different. Usually, your child can start brushing on their own when they're coordinated enough to tie their own shoes, which happens around age five or six. Until your child can brush on their own, you’ll need to keep brushing for them. Once they have all of their baby teeth, you should floss their smile once per day, too.

Your child’s jaw and mouth will continue to develop during this time, and they may even lose a baby tooth or two. They also may be more prone to cavities, especially if they like sweets. Keep bringing your little one into Mission Peak Pediatric for six-month checkups to make sure their mouth stays healthy.

6-12 Years Old

During this period, your child will start losing their baby teeth, which will be replaced by adult teeth. By now, your child can brush on their own. Make sure they brush twice a day for at least two minutes. Kids can usually start flossing on their own around the age of eight, too. 

Good oral hygiene is especially important after kids start getting their adult teeth. So make sure your kids brush regularly, and bring them in for teeth cleanings and oral exams every six months. Around the age of seven, Dr. Wang may also recommend an orthodontic consultation if he thinks your child may need braces.

12-18 Years Old

By the age of 12 or 13, your child will have all of their teeth except their wisdom teeth. Kids around this age often get orthodontic treatment. It’s an ideal time for this, since their mouths are still growing, but their adult teeth are all in place.

As your child continues to become more independent, you’ll still need to make sure that they're maintaining good oral hygiene habits. Six-month dental visits with Mission Peak Pediatric Dentistry are also key for preventing cavities, gum disease, and other oral health issues as your child grows older.

Graduating From Pediatric Dentistry

Generally, young adults over 18 years of age will switch to a general dentist. With routine dental visits and good oral hygiene, your child will be able to keep their teeth healthy for a lifetime.

The only other thing to keep in mind is the emergence of their wisdom teeth. The wisdom teeth usually grow in between the ages of 17 and 25. If your child’s wisdom teeth don’t emerge properly, wisdom tooth extractions may be necessary to keep their mouth healthy.

Need A Pediatric Dentist In Fremont? Come To Mission Peak Pediatric Dentistry!

At Mission Peak Pediatric Dentistry, we’d be proud to be your child’s “dental home.” With our child-friendly approach and emphasis on preventive care, we can help your little ones take control of their oral health, and keep their teeth healthy as they grow into pre-teens, teenagers, and young adults. Give us a call at (510) 980-7325 or contact us for a consultation. We're currently accepting new patients in Fremont, and we’d love to meet you and your family.

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