Elementary School 6 to 11 Years
Does your elementary school-aged child practice good oral hygiene? Are you making regular visits to the dentist? These are valid questions when you consider that nearly 1 out of 5 children ages 5 to 11 have at least one untreated decayed tooth. Is your child in that 20%? With good oral hygiene and scheduled visits to the dentist, cavities are preventable.
Between the ages of 5 and 7, your child’s 6-year molars will emerge. These permanent teeth are sometimes considered “extra” permanent teeth because when they erupt, they are not replacing a primary tooth. Molars have deep fissures and grooves on the chewing surface, which provide excellent hiding places for harmful bacteria. These areas can be difficult to adequately clean. Fortunately, a trip to the dentist can go a long way in adding a layer of protection to these teeth.
Dental Care for Elementary School Children – First Orthodontic Visit at Age 7
Regular checkups are always important for protecting your child’s teeth against cavities. During this stage of your child’s development, those visits are critical. As the molars emerge with their deep grooves and fissures, your child is more vulnerable to getting cavities. Your dentist can protect them by sealing those surfaces with a dental sealant. This process greatly lowers your child’s risk of decay in these teeth. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), dental sealants can prevent 80% of cavities. Sealants can keep your child’s teeth cavity-free for many years.
Children in this age group may also begin to show signs of budding dental problems like misaligned teeth that will need orthodontic treatment later. As your child’s permanent teeth begin to erupt, around age seven, your dentist will begin to monitor the development of your child’s teeth and jaw. X-rays are used to show the position of the teeth and if more permanent teeth are going to come in.
A visit to the orthodontist does not necessarily mean that orthodontic treatment will begin immediately. The first visit is to determine if treatment will be needed and which options will be the best.
The Pediatric Dental Team will help keep your child’s teeth healthy and looking good. Contact our pediatric dental practice today to schedule an appointment with us to help maintain your elementary school child’s oral health.