- Learning How to Care for Their Teeth
Learning how to brush and floss their own teeth is another key milestone in child oral development. Just make sure you don’t leave them to it too early! As children progress from pre-schoolers to older children, they begin to take on more of the brushing responsibility themselves. HOWEVER, children between the ages of 6-10 still need you to help, evaluate, teach, and help them to consistently brush. Children need to make sure they brush each section, front and back. Your guidance and encouragement can help prevent serious plaque buildup and decay. Conduct follow-up brushing that is needed–your child might not appreciate it at the time, but they will appreciate it when they are examined and found to not have any cavities!
Before you know it, your child will be hitting their teen years and will reach yet another big oral milestone–braces and wisdom teeth. The teenage years represent a time when your teen needs to understand the connection between a healthy mouth AND a healthy body. Helping them understand the connection of nutrition and oral wellness is crucial. Brushing, flossing and fluoride-enriched products may need to be left out where these busy teens can see them and be reminded of their importance. Teens can use phone apps to help them care for their teeth–timers, reminders, and oral education resources are no freely available to them and can be–literally–at their fingertips. Receiving orthodontic treatment to correct misalignment or crooked teeth is a common milestone in oral development. Many different methods are available for your teen today for obtaining the smile they need and want! Typically after orthodontic treatment has terminated, your teen will be reaching one of their final oral development milestones–wisdom teeth arrival/eruption/extraction. Encourage them to closely monitor the eruption of their wisdom teeth.