Most children change their teeth from the age of 6. The changeover period is a very important phase in the development of permanent teeth. Breaking the teeth and choosing the permanent teeth follows a certain pattern. The permanent tooth or molar dissolves, as it were, the roots of the milk tooth or molars. This causes the milk tooth or dial to come loose and fall out. The permanent tooth or molar replaces it.
Many children and parents do not notice that the first permanent choices break through. This usually happens before the front teeth change. They break behind the last milk. Because of this they are a bit hidden. Taking care of these molars is very important. The enamel of the newly broken molar is still very porous and vulnerable. Brush the dots of the new molars immediately once they have come through.
Around the 12th year break, behind the first permanent molars, again permanent molars. Just after the breakthrough they are also extra sensitive to getting holes. The wisdom teeth are the last ones that break through. Some people don't get wisdom teeth.
When new teeth come through, the gums often swell. That is normal. It can hurt, but you don't have to worry.
Differences between the milk teeth and the permanent teeth
The incisors of the permanent teeth have a serrated edge. Milk teeth do not have those. The knurled edge consists of three bumps on the cutting surface. The knurling disappears over time due to natural wear.
Permanent teeth and molars have stronger enamel than milk teeth and molars. In addition to the white milk teeth, the permanent front teeth appear darker and / or yellower in color. This is normal. Brushing does not help to make them lighter in color.
Deviations in the development of children's teeth
In some cases the development of the teeth is different. Your dentist or dental hygienist will see this during the periodic check-up. He will take measures in consultation. The following deviating developments require advice from your practitioner:
- Your child is almost eight years old and does not change yet.
- There are more than six months between changing a tooth or choosing the left and right jaw half.
- A new tooth or molar comes through, but the baby tooth or molar is still stuck. The new tooth or molar then appears before or after the milk tooth or molar.
- Your son or daughter is in pain for a longer period of time than his peers.
Note: good oral hygiene remains necessary, even if brushing your teeth hurts.
Temporarily crooked teeth in the child's teeth
The teeth of the permanent teeth may break slightly crooked. Sometimes many teeth break through at the same time. Then it looks like "too many" teeth and molars have entered that little mouth. That's okay, because the jaw is still growing. Then there is more room for permanent teeth. Often, the position of the teeth will end up automatically on its own.
Care when changing
Many toddlers suck on their thumb, teat or finger. Some children press their tongue against the palate when swallowing and press it between the upper and lower teeth. Thumb, finger or teat sucking and tongue presses influence the position of the teeth. Try to stop your child from sucking and pressing. Do this before breaking the permanent front teeth. For example, give something to your child or distract your child during the day. Or reward your child if it has stopped for a certain time. Don't you get unlearned wrong habits? Then ask your dentist or dental hygienist for advice.
Brushing and polishing after children
Usually children want to brush their own teeth at a young age. That's fine. Above all, encourage that. They just don't do this equally well everywhere. Brush the teeth of children until they are 10 at least once a day, even if your child brushes electrically. Older children can usually brush independently. Even then it does not hurt if you occasionally check whether the teeth and molars are clean. Use for example plaque reminders. That is a red dye in tablet form that makes plaque visible. You can buy the tablets at the drugstore. Does (post) brushing cause problems? Then ask your dentist or dental hygienist for advice.
Pay attention to the following when brushing (after):
- Brush the teeth of children from the age of 5 twice a day with fluoride toothpaste for adults. You can also use toothpaste that says "child" or "junior". Then look at the age indicated here (for example 5-12 years).
- Use a special brush for the child's mouth. Choose a variant with soft hair and a small brush head. Do not press too hard. Replace the brush if the hairs are no longer aligned. As soon as children can hold a toothbrush, they can also brush electrically. Electric brushing in children is not better, but some children work better if you use an electric toothbrush.
- Brush at least once a day, even if your child brushes electrically.
- Make sure you have good vision in your mouth and that there is sufficient support for your child's head when you brush or after brushing. Try out the cleaning attitude that is most comfortable for you. For example, stand diagonally behind your child. If you support the chin with your hand, the head rests against your upper body. Bend your child a little, so that you can clearly see where you are brushing. Or stand in front of your child and let the head rest against the wall, for example. Support the chin with one hand while brushing with the other. This way you can clearly see where you are brushing.
- Pay extra attention to the breakthrough when polishing choose the rear. Place the brush across the row of teeth here.
- Does your child wear braces that cannot be removed? Then pay extra attention to (post) brushing. Tooth plaque easily remains between the bracket and the teeth. Ask your dentist or dental hygienist how you can (re) brush the best.
- Does the gum bleed despite a good brushing technique? Then consult your dentist or dental hygienist. Maybe your child needs extra aids.
Food and drink and children's teeth
In addition to good brushing, after brushing and checkup by the dentist or dental hygienist, it is important that you pay attention to your child's diet. Dental plaque develops on and between the teeth and molars: a barely visible, sticky white-yellowish layer. The bacteria in the dental plaque convert sugars (for example from sweets, cakes, soft drinks and fruit) and starch (for example from potatoes, pasta, bread or crackers) in the mouth into acids. These acids cause cavities (caries) in the teeth. Soft drinks, fruits (juice) and, for example, sports drinks contain acids as well as sugars. These acids can dissolve the tooth enamel. This form of wear is called dental erosion. To prevent cavities and dental erosion, limit the number of eating and drinking moments to a maximum of 7 a day: 3x a meal and a maximum of 4x a day a snack. Encourage your child to drink tap water.
Treatments while changing children
Holes in the milk teeth
The most common problem with milk teeth are holes, also known as caries. They usually start in the molars. Holes can be prevented by careful brushing your teeth and a sensible diet. You can also stop starting holes and prevent a hole from getting bigger. The dentist or dental hygienist will give appropriate advice about nutrition and brushing your teeth. Holes that nevertheless become larger can cause pain or inflammation. This can also damage the permanent teeth. Sometimes the dentist or dental hygienist must remove the caries (drill) and fill the tooth. He will gladly explain to you and your son or daughter why he chooses which approach.
It is important for several reasons that a hole (caries) in a milk teeth or tooth does not get bigger:
- A hole can lead to pain and inflammation.
- The milk teeth still have to function for a while to keep room for the molars of permanent teeth.
- Inflammation in the milk teeth can affect the permanent teeth.
Choosing have many grooves on the chewing surface. Dental plaque is easily formed in this. Not regularly removed plaque can cause cavities. So brush well! If the dentist or dental hygienist sees that a hole is created in the chewing surface, he may decide to apply a layer. This is called sealing. He can seal deep grooves by sealing. Only the permanent molars are normally eligible for sealing. This usually happens shortly after they have completely broken through. You must also brush sealed packages well.
If cavities are likely to occur, the dentist can advise extra fluoride use. For example, he may recommend brushing his teeth once more or using a fluoride mouthwash. The dentist can also decide to apply extra fluoride with the help of a brush or in a spoon. Brushing your teeth remains the basis of dental care.
What to do in the event of an accident?
A tooth can fall out or be damaged due to an accident. In such situations, contact your dentist immediately. Find all loose pieces or the complete tooth as quickly as possible and go to the dentist. Never replace a failed milk tooth. That way you can damage the new permanent tooth. Keep a fallen tooth or a broken piece of tooth moist, preferably with milk. Preferably do not rinse the tooth under the tap. No milk within reach? Then store the tooth or tooth part loosely in the mouth of the parent / caregiver, preferably in the space between the molars and the cheek.