When Do Baby Teeth Fall Out?

Many parents in our practice are curious about when do baby teeth fall out.  It is one of the more common questions that Dr. Bechtloff answers every day.

There are a total of twenty primary (baby) teeth.  The first ones to come in are usually the lower front teeth around the age of six months. The last baby teeth to show up are the upper second baby molars, and they appear between 30 and 36 months of age. 

Not much happens to the baby teeth between 3 and 6 years of age. But between 6 and 8 years however, there is a lot of action as kids normally lose their eight primary front teeth. Four teeth on top and four teeth on the bottom.  Between age 8 and age 10 there is another two-year pause that catches many parents by surprise since they have become accustomed to teeth being lost left and right. The last twelve primary teeth are then lost between ages 10 and 13. 

These are merely averages however. In some cases baby teeth fall out faster or sometimes slower than this.  It is not unusual to see a 10-year-old with no baby teeth remaining, nor is it surprising to see a 14-year-old still hanging on to a few. The actual ages are not as important as the pattern.

If baby teeth are not lost in the right order, or if a tooth is lost and more than three months go by without a permanent replacement coming in, there may a problem. Some possibilities include missing teeth or overcrowding of the permanent teeth.  This is what Dr. Bechtloff is evaluating at your child’s recall visits.  He can tell you if everything is normal or if interceptive Phase 1 orthodontics is advisable. If you are concerned about how things are going in your child’s mouth, just ask.  That’s what we do at DrB4kids.

Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontics
Oxford Valley Professional Center
400 North Buckstown Drive
Suite 1-C
Langhorne, PA
215-750-1717

What are Dental Sealants? Do All Kids Need Them?

Langhorne, Pa.     www.DrB4Kids.com

I was applying a sealant on a little girl the other day when her mom asked me some questions. I think that many moms (and dads) are sometimes confused about dental sealants for kids so I decided to shed some light on the subject (no pun intended – we use a blue light to harden the plastic).

  • What is a dental sealant?

A sealant is a very thin layer of strong plastic that bonds to the chewing part of the tooth in order to seal out the germs that cause cavities.  

  • Do all kids need them?  

No.  However, it does take some detective work to find out which teeth can benefit from them. Let me explain: The tops of the back teeth have tiny grooves that can sometimes be impossible to clean. If the grooves are deep and narrow, the toothbrush bristle cannot reach them to remove the plaque (bacteria).  As a result, despite excellent oral hygiene habits, cavities develop. When we apply dental sealants for kids, they fill in the deep narrow grooves and make them smooth and slippery. This greatly reduces the chances for decay to develop.  

  • How long do dental sealants last?

The lifespan of a sealant will vary, but we have found that they last a few years, but occasionally dental sealants for kids need to be repaired or reapplied. In our practice, the recommendation for sealants is considered on an individual basis using my best clinical judgment. If recommended, sealants are a good investment, especially when you consider the expense of restoring a tooth already damaged by decay. BTW, in our practice, I feel so strongly about the benefits of sealants, if I see that one of our sealants needs to be replaced or reapplied, I do it as a courtesy.

Have any questions or comments?  I’d love to hear them.  You can leave us a comment in the box below.  Don’t forget to join us on Facebook.

Dr. B’s 5 Steps to Prevent Cavities and Dental Decay

Dr. B’s 5 Steps to Prevent Cavities
90% of Tooth Dental Decay is Preventable

Did you know that about 90% of all dental decay is preventable?  

At DrB4Kids, we believe that ensuring your child’s dental health starts as soon as the first tooth comes in, usually when they’re around six months old. By beginning early, you can encourage habits that can lead to a lifetime of dental health for your child. We are committed to educating young mothers about the proper techniques to help prevent dental decay in their children.  It’s not enough to bring them to us for six-month checkups; parents must be active participants in their children’s dental health. Don’t worry, it’s easy and we’re here to help:

  1.  Infancy: fluoride vitamin drops to resist decay
  2.  6 Months: once a baby tooth comes in, brush or wipe it with a wet gauze or cloth twice a day.
  3.  Age 3: a parent flosses between the back two teeth to prevent dental decay. Adult brushing 2x/day with fluoridated toothpaste.
  4.  Age 5: child begins brushing 3x/day – adult supervision 2x and 1x flossing daily
  5.  Regular dental checkups as recommended

Bottles: Children should not fall asleep with a bottle containing anything other than water. Drinking other beverages, especially from a bottle, should be avoided as they can damage teeth and lead to cavities and dental decay.

Healthy foods: Parents should ensure their children are eating a balanced diet and limit frequency of snacking on sugary foods, which can increase a child’s risk of developing cavities. In addition, avoid soda, energy drinks and juices with high sugar content. 

Take good care of your own teeth. It sets an example of good healthy dental habits. In addition, studies show that babies and small children can acquire cavity-causing bacteria from their parents.

Many parents ask Dr. Bechtloff why it’s important to keep the baby teeth healthy.  There is confusion because baby teeth eventually fall out, so why should it matter if they are lost early? Let us clarify.  Baby teeth should remain in the mouth and the dental decay must be avoided as long as possible, because they serve as placeholders for the adult tooth that will follow. When baby teeth are lost early, the surrounding teeth often tilt and move toward the empty space. This can cause the permanent teeth to come in crooked and require future orthodontic care.

Please reach out to us directly with any questions you may have, or visit us on our website: www.drb4kids.com

What Do People Think About Your Smile?

http://www.DrB4Kids.com      Langhorne, Pa.

I came across an article that I thought might interest you.  It was a study done at the University of Michigan to evaluate the attitudes of how the public judges people with uncorrected orthodontic problems.  Whether we think it is fair or not, the public makes a variety of assumptions.  They rated photos of adults with malocclusions to be not only less attractive, but less intelligent, less conscientious and less approachable.  The 889 respondents also stated that they would be less likely to interact with them in both personal and professional settings.
At DrB4KIds we know that the treatment we render has a significant effect on self esteem and attractiveness, but we had no idea that it had this type of long term significant impact.  Is it fair?  Not in our opinion, but apparently it is reality.  What’s your opinion?