It takes our mouth almost 20 years to fully develop. While those years seem to go by in a flash, a child’s mouth is constantly changing. Take a look at how your mouth grows as you age and what your dentist in Phoenix does to keep it healthy.

Baby Teeth, Ages 1 to 3

All babies are born with two sets of teeth waiting to erupt. The first set, our baby teeth, begin to erupt between 4 and 6 months of age. Teething, a baby’s tendency to chew on things while their teeth come in, is a baby’s way of alleviating the discomfort from erupting teeth. Most children will have all of their baby teeth by age 3.

Most children don’t take their first trip to their dentist in Phoenix until they’re about 2 years old, but the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that children see a dentist as soon as their first tooth erupts. Baby teeth are susceptible to issues like tooth decay, and baby teeth need to be monitored for issues like improper eruption.

dentist in phoenixEarly Childhood, Ages 3 to 6

Early childhood can have a considerable impact on a child’s lifelong oral health. Good habits are established, and baby teeth need to be well-maintained in order to protect the adult teeth waiting underneath. Children usually need their teeth brushed for them until they’re nearly school age, but it’s best to let them try on their own with ample supervision as soon as they’re interested.

It’s also important to start establishing a good relationship between a child and their dentist now. Choosing an office with caring staff and experience with children is a good place to start. During their yearly or twice yearly exam, children should be encouraged to ask questions, have fun and get involved with the “gross” stuff if it helps them open up.

Young Children, Ages 6 to 12

A child’s first permanent tooth will begin to come in around 6 years of age, and the last will come in around age 12. Dentists monitor the progress of permanent teeth and can intervene whenever something goes amiss. Orthodontic treatment may need to begin, off and on, as early as age 7 to make room for permanent teeth. Using a full service practice that offers both general dentistry and orthodontics makes it easier to balance both treatment plans.

During this time, making sure a child has consistent brushing and flossing habits becomes crucial. Another important factor is whether or not a child is still sucking their thumb or fingers. While thumb sucking is harmless with baby teeth, it can cause serious malformation of adult teeth. Most children stop thumb sucking on their own by the time adult teeth are coming in, but if they don’t, a pediatrician can help.

Teenagers, Ages 12 to 17

By their preteen years, most children have cemented whatever oral hygiene habits they are going to have for the rest of their lives. Their jaw is still growing, but all permanent teeth are in place. The preteen and early teen years are the most common period for a child to get braces. Whether the braces are for function or cosmetics, it’s easier for a young mouth to heal and “hold onto” the changes that are made. If orthodontic work is skipped now, it can still be completed in adulthood.

Orthodontics can be as simple as braces alone or a longer process of creating space in the mouth, manipulating the teeth and adjusting the bite. If it’s obvious there are going to be issues, an orthodontist may recommend getting braces early. If the orthodontist suspects some concerns may resolve themselves or change too much while the jaw continues to grow, they may recommend holding off until the child is older. Older teens are often happier with Invisalign braces. Sky Dental Alliance offers a special Invisalign plan for teens that includes the cost of four replacement Invisalign trays.

Young Adults, 17+

When college acceptance letters start coming in, most children are ready to transition from pediatric to adult dentistry. Having a full service dentist in Phoenix makes the transition from childhood to adult dental care effortless. There are no files to transfer, and it’s even possible to keep seeing the same dentist.

The biggest concern between the ages of 17 and 21 is wisdom teeth. Wisdom teeth are obsolete third molars. While some people’s wisdom teeth come in without issue, they often erupt at awkward angles, get impacted, crowd the existing teeth or are too difficult to clean. Many people will need their wisdom teeth removed.

Come See Your Dentist in Phoenix

Whether you’re an adult that needs a cleaning or a parent with a teething child, Sky Dental Alliance is happy to give you quality dental service. Call and schedule your appointment today.