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Pediatric Dentistry

Your child’s journey to healthy teeth and a bright smile begins early on.

A visit from the tooth fairy may be something to look forward to, but there’s a whole lot more to making sure your child grows up knowing the importance of having healthy teeth. At Horizon Dental, we’re here to help guide you and your child on the path to a happy and healthy mouth.

Find a participating dentist, oral surgeon or other oral health professional here.

Did you know?

  • The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends bringing your child to a pediatric dentist when their first tooth appears, or no later than their first birthday
  • Your child should get a check-up every six months to prevent cavities and other dental problems

A tooth be told timeline

For most infants, lower front teeth (incisors) come in between six and 10 months of age, with their upper incisors coming in a few months after. However, some teeth can develop earlier or later than this timeline so there is no need to worry. Your pediatric dentist will be able to see your child’s teeth development and anything impacting it on their first visit.

(Note: Your child will have a mix of primary and permanent teeth until around age 12)

Primary Tooth Development

Upper Teeth Erupt Shed
Central incisor 8-12 months 6-7 years
Lateral incisor 9-13 months 7-8 years
Canine (cuspid) 16-22 months 10-12 years
First molar 13-19 months 9-11 years
Second molar 25-33 months 10-12 years
Lower Teeth Erupt Shed
Second molar 23-31 months 10-12 years
First molar 14-18 months 9-11 years
Canine (cuspid) 17-23 months 9-12 years
Lateral incisor 10-16 months 7-8 years
Central incisor 6-10 months 6-7 years

Permanent Tooth Development

Upper Teeth Erupt
Central incisor 7-8 years
Lateral incisor 8-9 years
Canine (cuspid) 11-12 years
First premolar (first bicuspid) 10-11 years
Second premolar (second bicuspid) 10-12 years
First molar 6-7 years
Second molar 12-13 years
Third molar (wisdom tooth) 17-21 years
Lower Teeth Erupt
Third molar (wisdom tooth) 17-21 years
Second molar 11-13 years
First molar 6-7 years
Second premolar (second bicuspid) 11-12 years
First premolar (first bicuspid) 10-12 years
Canine (cuspid) 9-10 years
Lateral incisor 7-8 years
Central incisor 6-7 years

Keeping your child’s primary (or baby) teeth healthy will not only help your child speak clearly and chew naturally later on, it will promote normal growth of their jaw and set up a path for permanent teeth when they are ready to come in.

Some tips to keep in mind:

  • To prevent early development of tooth decay, don’t let your child fall sleep with a bottle in their mouth or put anything other than water in it when it’s time for bed or a nap
  • Starting at birth, you should clean your child’s gums daily with a soft infant toothbrush or a damp cloth
  • As baby teeth come in, use a tiny dab of fluoride toothpaste on a soft, age appropriate toothbrush to brush them twice a day
  • When your child is between the ages of three and six, increase the toothpaste to a pea-sized amount and assist them with brushing, making sure they spit out and do not swallow the excess when they’re done

Frequently Asked Questions

Question: Thumb and pacifier sucking. Should I be concerned?

Answer: These habits will generally only become a problem if they go on for a long period of time. Most children stop on their own, but if they are still sucking their thumbs or fingers past age three, your pediatric dentist may recommend measures to discourage the habit.

Question: Can my child’s diet impact their dental health?

Answer: Making sure your child has a balanced diet is a key factor in their overall health, not just their teeth and gums. Limiting the amount of sugar, starches and acidic food and drink is always recommended. Depending on your child’s dietary restrictions or allergies, they should have daily single servings of:

  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Breads and cereals
  • Milk and dairy
  • Meat, fish and eggs

Question: What should I do if one of my child’s permanent teeth is knocked out?

Answer: First, locate the tooth. Next, hold it by the crown (not the root) and try to reinsert it in the empty gum socket. If that’s not possible, put the tooth in a glass of milk and bring it to the dentist with your child as soon as possible.

Question: What should I do if my child has a toothache?

Answer: Schedule a dentist appointment as soon as possible. Until then, rinse the irritated tooth or gum area with warm salt water and place a cold compress on your child’s face or jaw if it is swollen. You can also give your child acetaminophen (Children’s Tylenol) to help relieve the pain. Do not place aspirin on the teeth or gums.

Question: My child is playing sports. How can I protect their teeth?

Answer: A custom-fitted mouthguard is one of the best ways to protect a child from teeth, lip, gum and potentially severe head injuries when playing sports. Speak with your pediatric dentist about the best options available.