When I took my kids for their routine dental exams and cleanings last week, I was surprised to learn that my 9-year-old son only had 4 more baby teeth to lose. FOUR! And two are currently loose. He started teething super early–at 3 months–so I’m not surprised by how rapidly he’s gotten his adult teeth. But it’s crazy to think his tooth fairy days are almost over.
Kids really do grow up so fast. Too fast!
Like most kids his age, he is in what’s called mixed dentition. The mixed dentition stage starts with the eruption of the 1st permanent tooth and lasts until the last baby tooth–or primary tooth–is lost. During this time, children in this stage of development have a mixture of adult teeth and primary teeth. Their toothy grins are adorable, aren’t they?!
But along with getting used to their bites, many children develop tooth grinding during this time. Especially at night. The good news is that tooth grinding–or bruxism is common and completely normal. During one of our Q+As, Dr. Christopher Bob shared the leading theory about why children grind their teeth: they just don’t all fit together properly. And even though this grinding can be pretty loud, most of the time it causes zero damage to permanent teeth.
Focus on Oral Hygiene
The best thing you can do during this stage of your child(ren)’s dental development is to focus on oral hygiene. Encourage them to own their dental health as much as possible by helping them create routines for brushing and flossing. They should brush their teeth with fluoridated toothpaste (at least!) twice a day–in the morning, and before bed–and floss daily. This will not only help them avoid plaque, cavities, tooth decay, and other issues but will help them set a foundation for a lifetime of oral health. And that makes the constant reminders totally worth it 😉
Visit the Dentist
In addition to flossing and brushing, it’s important to stay on top of regular dental exams and cleanings. Going to the dentist every 6 months is a great way to reinforce the importance of dental health and to catch any potential issues early on before they become bigger problems. And if you have a mixed dentition, a pediatric dentist will also regularly check for any abnormal wear on the permanent teeth that could result from tooth grinding. Just in case.
If you’re new to the area or just looking for a local pediatric dentist, reach out to Dr. Bob Pediatric Dentist! You will LOVE the quality of dental care your child(ren) will receive at Dr. Bob’s small boutique practice in South Miami. And they will love it, too! Dr. Bob is accepting new patients, and you can call the office at 305-397-8214 or click here to schedule an appointment today!
We’ve partnered with Dr. Bob Pediatric Dentist to bring you a ton of resources on a variety of pediatric dental topics. Check them out here!