Around six years old, your child will begin to lose their baby (primary) teeth, and they will continue to do so until they are approximately 13 – when they get their upper canines.
Why Hasn’t My Child Lost a Tooth Yet?
Approximate ages are just that – a guess! I recall seeing children that start getting their permanent lower incisors in around four years old, and I have seen children not lose a tooth until they are eight years old! Keep in mind that your child will get their first permanent molars in around age six, and these molars will not replace any of your child’s baby teeth. Once your child’s permanent molars erupt far enough into the mouth, I encourage you to have them sealed.
What are Sealants?
One of the most beneficial preventative procedures I could recommend would be dental sealants. A dental sealant is a restorative material that is designed to fill the grooves of the biting surfaces of molars and bicuspids. The idea is that the sealant will keep cariogenic (cavity causing) material from becoming packed into the groves. Some children’s teeth have such shallow grooves that sealants won’t be necessary, but this is more of the exception than the standard.
Do Sealants Work?
The key to sealants working is proper placement and maintenance. If a sealant is poorly placed or your child has a habit of chewing hard suckers, candy, or ice; then sealants may not be a good fit. Sealants have been known to last several years, but historically you can expect a sealant to last approximately three years. Even if your child has sealants, they will still need to brush twice a day and floss at night before brushing. A tooth has five surfaces, and sealants only protect one (chewing surface) of the five surfaces.
IMPORTANT: Please don’t believe the myth that if you seal over an active cavity, the sealant will suffocate the bacteria causing the lesion. Strep Mutans, bacteria that causes cavities, are facultative anaerobes!!! Therefore, they can survive without oxygen!
Thanks for stopping by, and please don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions. I look forward to any comments or suggestions you may have and keep up the great work of being concerned about your child’s oral health!