Dental Care for Infants and Children

Dental Care for Infants and Children

Thumb-Sucking and Dental Health

Generally, thumb-sucking before the age of two is normal and harmless. When thumb-sucking is not stopped by the appropriate age (generally by the age of five), then parents should discourage the act. Prolonged thumb-sucking may contribute to crowded and/or crooked teeth development and bite problems.

When should dental care begin?

Most pediatric dentists will agree that regular dental care should begin by one year of age, with a dental check-up at least twice each consecutive year for most children. Some children may need more frequent evaluations and care. In accordance with this recommendation, the following dental checklist for infants and toddlers has been provided by the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD):

Birth to six months of age:

Six to 12 months of age:

Twelve to 24 months of age:

Facts about deciduous teeth

Picture of a young girl holding a tooth

Proper care of a child's deciduous teeth (also known as "baby" or primary teeth) is very important as these teeth hold space for the future eruption of permanent teeth.

Most children begin losing their baby teeth around the ages five or six--usually the front teeth first. They continue to lose baby teeth until the age of 12 or 13 when all of the permanent teeth finally come through, except for the third molars (wisdom teeth). These molars begin to appear around age 17 to 21.

Diet and dental care for children

The AAPD recommends the following to ensure your child eats correctly to maintain a healthy body and teeth:

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Online Resources of Oral Health

 

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