Did you know that February is National Children’s Dental Health Month? Well, now you do! Here at Vermette Orthodontics, our patient and their family’s overall dental health is our main priority. Let’s discuss some of the important dental milestones and what you as a parent could be doing to keep your child’s dental development moving in the right direction!
- Baby’s first tooth- Healthy baby teeth are important since they serve as placeholders for permanent teeth. Ensuring that your child will have a healthy, straight smile as an adult starts with their baby teeth! As soon as your child’s first tooth appears, you will need to clean their teeth twice a day in order to prevent decay. All you need is a dab of toothpaste, preferably fluoride free until they learn not to swallow the toothpaste. Continue to help your child brush and floss routinely until you feel they are able to do it correctly on their own.
- First visit to the dentist- The American Dental Association recommends that your child’s first visit to the dentist should be 6 months after their first tooth appears. A dental examination at this stage can make sure that baby teeth are erupting successfully and that there are no issues. These early developmental years are a wonderful opportunity to get your child into the habit of regular dental visits in order to help encourage routine dental care and avoid possible dental phobias in the future.
- Dental needs of pre-teens- The pre-teen years are a time of tremendous growth and development for a child, which can greatly affect their dental needs. During this stage, when your child has a mixed dentition- made up of baby teeth and permanent teeth- your dentist will be able to make sure there is plenty of space for healthy development and eruption. If the dentist notices any crowding or bite issues, an orthodontic evaluation may be recommended. The American Association of Orthodontists recommends orthodontic checkups starting at the age of 7. There are many different options available today for effective orthodontic treatment, which Dr. Vermette will discuss with you in detail at your initial, complimentary consultation.
- Dental needs of teens- As a teen, your child may become more involved in sports. It is important to protect their teeth from injury by wearing a properly fitting mouthguard. Here at Vermette Orthodontics we provide special mouthguards that will fit around any orthodontic appliance. During teenage years, your dentist may also be monitoring development and eruption of wisdom teeth. It is typically recommended to have wisdom teeth removed to prevent problems down the line, such as infection or pain. Crowding from wisdom teeth can be prevented with good, consistent retainer wear, which is why Dr. Vermette recommends lifelong retainer wear.
Knowing about these milestones and their importance in your child’s development will help your child make a healthy, successful transition to caring responsibly for their dental health as an adult. So, take the opportunity this month to check up on your child’s dental progress and make sure they are on the right track to optimum oral health!