Between ages six and eleven is the stage of your child’s dental life when baby teeth are prone to be lost in front and back. When the teeth begin to touch one another, it’s recommended to start flossing habits. The back teeth, gumline, and the molar grooves are where children neglect most often — and in these molar grooves is where the overwhelming majority of cavities develop in the permanent teeth.
For those parents with children who are into sports, mouth guards are highly recommended (required in some cases), especially for contact sports like football or soccer where contact with another child or getting hit in the mouth with the ball is a distinct possibility.
Following are some frequently asked questions and answers for parents of children between six and eleven. Dr. Cohen and his pediatric specialists at Park Smiles NYC Pediatrics are always available for a consultation to answer any other questions you may have regarding your child’s unique dental health care needs.
- What should I know about orthodontia for my children?
Children should receive a comprehensive evaluation for orthodontic development around the age of seven. During your child’s orthodontic evaluation, we may choose to perform a panoramic radiograph. This typically occurs after the first set of permanent molars have erupted. This radiograph allows us to do an overall evaluation of the joints and position of the adult teeth that are still developing.
- What is the best way to prevent cavities in my child?
The best thing any parent can do to prevent cavities is to teach children about good oral hygiene. It’s also important to reinforce good nutrition, which includes talking about healthy and unhealthy snack choices. Parents should also play a role in brushing and flossing until the child is eight or nine years old and has the dexterity that adults have to brush and floss effectively. Of course, parents should follow up every six months for routine exams and cleanings at our office.
- How can I protect my child’s mouth during sports?
Again, we highly recommend mouth guards for all kids that play any type of contact sports including football, hockey and soccer. Mouth guards do more than prevent tooth injuries. They’re also effective in reducing concussions and more severe brain injuries. There are many options such as over-the-counter mouth guards, but custom mouth guards are by far the most effective protection and prevention.
- What are sealants?
Sealants are a protective coating applied to the chewing surface of teeth. The sealant is worked into the tiny grooves where cavity-causing bacteria live. Toothbrush bristles are too large to reach into the grooves, making sealant application one of the most important preventive treatments available. The procedure is painless and quick!
For the best of the best in Comprehensive Pediatric Dental Care in New York City, call Park Smiles NYC Pediatrics today at 212-988-6727. We look forward to serving you with an unsurpassed commitment to comfort, compassion and empathetic care!