From ages 4 to 6 your child's mouth is starting to prepare for the next stage of development, adult teeth. It is important to understand what is happening.
From age 4 and up until around age 6, it may seem as though not much is happening with your child’s teeth. Their baby teeth have all come in, they’re eating exclusively solid food and have begun attending school.
In fact, a great deal is happening from a dental perspective — but it's mostly “behind the scenes,” where their baby teeth and jaw are preparing to make room for permanent, or adult teeth.
During this period, be sure to continue supporting your child’s oral and dental health with great daily self-care and proper eating habits, as well as twice-yearly trips to the dentist for care, assessment and cleaning.
Around age 4, children’s jaws and facial bones are undergoing significant growth and development. Specifically, space is being created between their baby teeth, space they’ll need for their much bigger adult teeth that will soon begin coming in.
For about 2 years, these spaces will be developing even as there are no obvious changes to the teeth they have.
Then, by the time your little one reaches grade 1, or around age 6, their baby teeth will begin to fall out. They will experience a slow weakening at the root level, and for some time before each tooth actually detaches, it will be become increasingly loose.
Confronted with a loose tooth as children, many of us enjoyed the exciting experience of tying one end of a string around a doorknob and the other end around said wobbly tooth—and then loudly slamming the door. This is best avoided with your own kids.
It's okay for children to gently wiggle loose primary teeth, but encourage them not to push at or pull a tooth with force to make it fall out more quickly.
Letting this process follow its natural, if not speedy, course will ensure your children’s gums stay as healthy as possible, which will increase the chances that their adult teeth will come in straight and remain strong. Much less bleeding will also occur as each tooth falls out if it’s not forced.
So, how best to care for those baby teeth as they move apart to make way for adult teeth, and then begin to fall out?
During this period, your child will be doing a lot of their daily eating and snacking at school. To help them maintain the great eating habits you’ve been helping them develop, be sure to pack nutritious, dental health-friendly lunchboxes for them.
And don’t be afraid to talk to their teachers about how they can maintain their oral hygiene practices, such as brushing after each meal, while they’re at school, too.
And be sure to get your child to the dentist every 6 months for a check-up and cleaning!
We are your children's pediatric dental specialists in Southwest Calgary.