On the occasion of the National Tooth Fairy Day, celebrated annually on August 22nd, let us discuss when and what to expect in your child’s teeth development.
Losing our baby teeth is a rite of passage that we, as humans, experience as we grow older. This famous milestone can be confusing, amusing, or even terrifying for children.
As a parent, ensuring that the child associates losing baby teeth as a positive experience is essential. This is especially crucial for the first one as it can determine how the child deals with losing the rest of them in the next few years.
Without considering the remote possibility that you remember your “de-toothing” experience in detail, here is a guide to help you learn about it:
- Growing and losing baby teeth
- Best practices for your child’s proper oral hygiene
- Ideas to celebrate National Tooth Fairy Day
Growing and losing baby teeth
Babies are born with twenty teeth which start to come out approximately when they turn 6 months old. This is called teething, known as primary teeth/baby teeth/milk teeth. This process continues until the child reaches age 3.
When the child reaches the age of 6, they begin to lose these baby teeth as and when the permanent tooth is ready to erupt. This can continue until they replace all their baby teeth, usually by age 12. Wisdom teeth often appear between the ages of 17-21. At the end of their teenage years, children typically have a complete set of 32 permanent teeth.
It is important to remember that children lose and grow teeth on their own timelines. You can always consult a dentist if you feel your child has missed a dental milestone.
Oral hygiene practices differ depending on the age of the child. As a parent, it is essential to understand and teach your children good oral hygiene practices for better dental health. Some children may require supervision. Here is a list of best practices to follow for each age group:
Babies are at risk for tooth decay from the moment the first tooth appears, so parents must be proactive in ensuring your baby’s dental hygiene.
Regularly cleaning your baby’s gums can help safeguard the yet-to-erupt tooth. This can be done by wiping the gums with a clean, damp cloth/ infant toothbrush.
Remember, babies’ teeth cleaning should start from the moment the first tooth appears.
If the baby has started teething, the gums could be a little sore. Using a couple-minute-frozen washcloth can soothe their gums.
Schedule a dental visit around the child’s first birthday.
Parents should assist the toddler with brushing to ensure good oral hygiene and promote dental habits.
It is best to use a soft-bristled toothbrush with a small head. Apply no more than a rice-sized amount of toothpaste and brush the teeth at a 45-degree angle.
Gently brush the teeth in a circular motion for a good two minutes. Use a non-fluoride toothpaste unless the child has learned to spit it out.
If your child has two teeth touching each other, you should floss them daily.
Children up to age 10
Parents can buy fluoride toothpaste once the child is old enough to spit it out.
Please switch to a soft, child-sized toothbrush and ensure the child brushes their teeth twice daily.
Teach your child to floss their teeth twice a day for good oral health.
Parents should supervise their children while brushing, typically up to the age of 7-8.
Routinely check your child’s teeth for cavities, discoloration, or any abnormalities.
Schedule regular dentist visits to catch any early symptoms of dental issues.
Ideas to celebrate National Tooth Fairy Day
- Switch out monetary compensation for a fun treat such as stickers, a new fun toothbrush, toothpaste, small trinkets, etc.
- Just as Santa Claus expects good behavior, the tooth fairy expects excellent oral hygiene. This is a great way to teach young children the importance of healthy teeth and oral hygiene. This is a fantastic time to begin a morning and nighttime routine that they can manage for their age group.
- Eliminate dental anxiety. Many young children fear going to the dentist for many reasons. They may have overheard someone else’s experience or watched movies that depict a dental visit as a scary experience. Use the tooth fairy concept to teach children the importance of healthy teeth, and visiting the dentist is part of the process. Some parents have even encouraged positive imagination by telling their young ones that the dentist is very good friends with the tooth fairy.
- Tooth fairy activity sheets, coloring books, or an arts and crafts project are a few examples to celebrate National Tooth Fairy Day.
- Leave a note! Your child can practice writing and reading skills by writing a sweet letter for the tooth fairy.
It may be a little overwhelming to deal with your child’s teeth development as a parent or caregiver. However, it is essential to be aware of best practices to help your child maintain good dental hygiene and oral practices early on.
On this National Tooth Fairy Day, let us pledge to help our children learn, understand and adopt good dental habits for maximum oral health and hygiene.
Torbram Dental has leading experts in children’s dentistry. The staff at Torbram Dental will be more than happy to share more information on oral hygiene for young ones. At Torbram Dental, we offer fluoride treatments and dental sealants for extra cavity protection. Love what you read? For additional tips on pacifiers and thumb sucking, visit our blog!