Wow, it is hard to believe how fast 6 years can go! In the blink of an eye, your helpless little bundle of joy has grown into a little child ready to take on the world! This year Kindergarten is most likely on the horizon which will open the opportunity for your little one to learn and experience so many things. Even though the first steps, words and teeth are a distant memory, there are lots of “firsts” on the way! Enjoy every single one of them!
By this time, your child’s “toothless” grin may be starting to fill in with their adult or permanent teeth. The upper and lower center permanent teeth are likely the first to erupt. They will appear very large compared to the size of the tiny teeth they replaced. Don’t worry. This is normal. The next teeth to erupt are typically the six-year molars, which will erupt behind the last baby teeth in your child’s mouth. During this year you can expect your child to have up to 12 adult teeth. But everyone’s timing is different, and it is possible at age 6 for no baby teeth to have been lost.
When your child gets their adult teeth, these are the teeth they will have for the rest of their life. It is important to take good care of them. The good dental hygiene habits you have been establishing need to continue. Tooth decay is the number one chronic infectious disease affecting children in the United States. It is on the rise, but is largely preventable!
Continue brushing at least a twice day and flossing once a day. At this age, you can have a conversation with your dentist regarding the type of toothpaste your child should be using. It may be time to switch to a fluoride paste. Continue to limit sugary foods and drinks and remember to visit your dentist every 6 months.
You, your child and your dentist remain a strong team in maintaining healthy teeth and gums. Soon your “team” will draft a new member as a first visit to the Orthodontist is recommended at age 7. In the meantime brush, brush, brush and enjoy all the new “firsts” this year will bring.