Understanding The Stages Of Pediatric Dental Care – Keep Your Child’s Mouth Healthy‍

Pediatric dentists specialize in dental care for kids from infancy throughout their teenage years, and even into early adulthood, in some cases. However, children require very different types of dental care as they grow and age. Are you wondering what to expect as your child grows? In this blog from Campfire Pediatric Dentistry, we’ll discuss what you need to know about the stages of pediatric dental care from the ages of 0 to 18.

0-1 Years Old

Your child should be feeding on breastmilk or formula until they're about 6 months old, then you can start feeding them baby food. There’s no need to brush until they get their first tooth. Just wipe down their gums with a soft, clean cloth after feeding.

They will get their first tooth between 6-12 months, in most cases. When they get their first tooth, you should bring them to Campfire Pediatric Dentistry for an appointment with Dr. Nathan Benassi. 

You can also start brushing their teeth as they grow in. Use a smear of fluoride toothpaste that’s no bigger than a grain of rice, and brush their teeth at least twice per day. 

1-3 Years Old

During their early toddlerhood, your child will get all of their baby teeth. These usually grow into the mouth by the age of 3. Keep brushing with a grain-of-rice-sized blob of fluoride toothpaste. When your child can spit on command (usually by the age of 3), you can use a pea-sized blob of toothpaste.

Make sure to feed your child a tooth-healthy diet. Avoid sweets, and make sure you brush at least twice a day. Keep bringing them to Campfire Pediatric Dentist every six months for a teeth cleaning and oral exam. Your child will usually get their first set of dental x-rays around the age of 2-3 when their teeth have all grown in.

3-6 Years Old

From the age of 3-6, keep brushing your child’s teeth twice a day for two minutes. You should also start flossing once they have all of their baby teeth. Do this once per day. 

You will usually have to brush your child’s teeth for them until they're coordinated enough to tie their own shoes, around the age of 5-6. Once your child starts brushing on their own, supervise them to make sure they're doing a good job, and to give them pointers and tips on better dental care.

Make sure to bring your child in for a visit at our office every six months, and maintain a healthy diet and good oral hygiene to avoid cavities in baby teeth. Dr. Benassi may recommend fluoride treatments to keep their teeth strong.

6-13 Years Old

During this time, your child will start losing their baby teeth, and their adult teeth will emerge. It’s good to get an orthodontic exam around the age of 6-7 to make sure your child’s mouth is developing properly.

You also may want to get your child a mouth guard if they play sports. Mouth guards help protect and cushion the teeth from damage if your child is hit in the mouth or face while playing a sport. 

Your child should be able to brush on their own by now, but you may want to check in every once in a while to make sure they're doing a good job. Make sure you come back to Campfire Pediatric Dentistry for an exam and cleaning every six months, too.

13-18 Years Old

By the age of 13, your child will have all of their adult teeth. Once their adult teeth have all erupted, they may need to get orthodontic treatment like Invisalign or braces. 

During this time, teens may have a higher risk of unhealthy habits like a sugar-rich diet, poor oral hygiene, or even things like smoking. Look out for these unhealthy habits, make sure your child’s mouth stays healthy, and bring them to our office for a visit every six months.

Your child’s wisdom teeth may emerge as early as the ages of 16-18, though the wisdom teeth may erupt as late as 25 years old or even later. If their wisdom teeth don’t fit into their mouths, they may need to be extracted.

Graduating From Pediatric Dental Care 

After the age of 18, your child can start seeing a general dentist. They should continue to maintain good oral hygiene, eat a healthy diet, and visit the dentist every six months for a checkup. As long as they’ve maintained great oral habits throughout childhood, they’ll be set up for a lifetime of healthy smiles.

Need A Pediatric Dentist In Middleton? Come To Campfire Pediatric Dentistry

At Campfire Pediatric Dentistry, we provide expert care for infants, toddlers, older kids, preteens and teenagers, and young adults alike. If you want to keep your child’s mouth healthy as they grow, we're here to help. Contact us online or give us a call at (608) 535-9382 to schedule a consultation at our Middleton pediatric dental office today.

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