What parents should know about permanent teeth

What parents should know about permanent teeth

Children start shedding their baby teeth from around six years old, and this will continue for some kids until their early teens. Losing your milk teeth and then getting your permanent set are an expected, although sometimes uncomfortable part of life.

When the milk teeth emerge in babies, they experience loads of pain and other symptoms – so teething babies are notoriously grumpy. There are gels, potions and loads of hacks for parents to follow (like freezing bananas for baby to chew on to soothe the gums as the teeth break through).  

There are certain things parents can do to help kids get through the pains of growing up!

Speak them through the process (and learn about the changes yourself!)

Changes in the body can be scary, and we all know that humans go through many physical and emotional changes in the early years. This can be scary for kids, especially if the changes aren’t expected or explained.

Parents should take the time to learn about the changes that will occur in the mouth — perhaps learning about it together by buying a book about the mouth and reading it together.

According to Perfect Teeth, children will start losing teeth around school-going age (5 or 6) and will have most of their permanent teeth by 13. Permanent teeth include four front teeth on top and bottom. These teeth are called central incisors; four lateral incisors, the teeth between the front teeth and canines; four canine teeth; and eight molars. 

Lastly, kids will get their wisdom teeth. However, these might only come when they’re adults.

How to take care of permanent teeth the right way

When the kids still have milk teeth, be sure to teach them how to brush and rinse well. Yes, the teeth will fall out, but hygiene is a habit! If they are already in the swing of things with their milk teeth, then the transition into caring for their permanent teeth will be easy!

Although it’s important to teach your children a proper dental hygiene routine from their first milk teeth, permanent teeth are way more important. These are the teeth that your kids will have for the rest of their lives; you get one shot at keeping them healthy, or you will lose them to decay and eventually, extraction. 

The best way to set a great example is to lead by doing. If your kids see you cleaning your teeth and mouth every day, they are bound to follow suit. And be sure to assist them by sometimes brushing their teeth yourself. Kids don’t have the agility yet to get to each nook and cranny. 

Denta Gama advises that bi-annual visits to the family dentist are a natural part of keeping good dental hygiene. “Help your children learn the importance of these visits, and you’ll raise health-conscious individuals who are attentive and smart when it comes to the needs of their bodies.”

Why do teeth fall out?

Milk teeth fall out to make way for the permanent set of adult teeth.

When a permanent tooth is ready to emerge, the root of a baby tooth or milk tooth begins to dissolve. It takes a few weeks for the roots to dissolve completely, and when they do, the tooth is only held in place by the surrounding gum tissue. 

Children will usually alert parents to this process. They will start noticing that some of their teeth ‘loosen’ in the gum.

Children shouldn’t fiddle with the loose tooth. They could damage the very sensitive gum tissue, and this can lead to painful swelling and infection. Kids should have regular oral check-ups. The dentist will help you and your children through the many changes they will experience in the first years of life. You should also take the kids for regular, professional cleanings to keep the new teeth strong and healthy, amidst the childhood sugar cravings!

Having dental insurance can mitigate the costs of all the check-ups and possibly dental interventions that may come along as they grow. Milk teeth may not be permanent, but taking care of your child’s overall oral hygiene is very important.

Affinity Dental offers affordable premiums and essential benefits with three expertly crafted dental insurance plans, structured to suit you and your family’s needs.

Children have many dental needs before they lose their milk teeth and also once their permanent teeth start appearing. Having a dental plan in place can save you money by having you covered for the usual childhood dental qualms like tooth decay, mouth sores and other complaints. The dental cover will also assist with orthodontic needs such as braces and Invisalign. Policies do, however, vary regarding the amount of cover for braces.

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