Dental Growth and Development Overview
From baby teeth to wisdom teeth, there are several phases of life in which new teeth are entering the mouth and old teeth may be on their way out. To make things even more complicated, the jaw is constantly growing and expanding as a child ages. It can be difficult to keep track of these phases, but it's always important to be aware of what's going on within the mouth of your family. Poor dental care during one of these phases can greatly impact the health of the teeth moving forward and lead to worn teeth, difficulty biting, and TMJ disorders.
In order to ensure teeth are healthy and properly aligned, it's crucial to schedule regular appointments with West Bridgewater Dental in West Bridgewater, MA. This way, our experienced staff can closely monitor the growth and development of the jaw, as well as the eruption patterns of the teeth. This process lasts from childhood all the way into adulthood in the form of continued dental examinations and panoramic x-rays. These precautions can be used to identify any impacted teeth or signs of potential problems. Regular exams, cleanings, and proper dental care at home can ensure proper function of the jaw and teeth, correct occlusion of the teeth, and improve physical appearance throughout the rest of your life.
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What Are Primary Teeth?
Primary teeth are the initial set of teeth that begin to erupt in a child's mouth within 6 – 12 months of being born. These teeth are usually finished growing in by age three, but don't let the short length of this phase fool you into thinking it might be unimportant. These baby teeth can affect the way that future teeth will erupt into the mouth when the child is older. Our team can help prevent behaviors in small children that have the potential to cause future oral damage, such as:
- Pacifier use
- Teeth grinding
- Mouth breathing
What Are Adult Teeth?
Once a child is around the age of six, their primary teeth will begin to fall out and will slowly be replaced by adult teeth until around age 12. These new teeth will remain in the child's mouth into adulthood and throughout the rest of their life. There are many issues, however, that could hinder the natural development of the teeth and jaw during this phase. For instance, certain baby teeth can cause the now-erupting adult teeth to become misaligned. In cases like this, it is usually recommended to extract the baby tooth in order to prevent potential damage. Without an examination from the dentist, problems like this usually go unnoticed and will lead to the need for orthodontics later down the line.
What Are Wisdom Teeth?
Once the child becomes a teenager, usually around the age of 17, a new group of teeth — known as wisdom teeth — will begin to erupt in the back of the mouth. Once these teeth begin to emerge from the gums, it is incredibly essential to maintain biannual dental examinations so we can continue to monitor the trajectory of these new teeth. Not everyone ends up with four wisdom teeth. In fact, many have three, two, or one, and some are even lucky enough to have none. Still, it is important to get a professional dental opinion, even if you do not see or feel any new wisdom teeth coming in during this time. If these teeth are not in perfect alignment with the rest of the adult teeth, they can push the preexisting teeth out of place, causing damage or overcrowding.
Plan Your Procedure
Develop a Healthy Dental Routine
To prevent damage that could lead to corrective procedures in the future, it's important to stay on top of your family's oral care. Regular brushing and flossing are a must, as well as biannual dental exams and cleanings so our staff can identify potential problems before they even happen. Give West Bridgewater Dental a call today to set up an appointment to discuss the dental needs of yourself or your family.