3 TO 5 YEARS
WHY ARE PRIMARY TEETH SO IMPORTANT – AREN’T THEY GOING TO FALL OUT ANYWAY?
Primary teeth, sometimes called “baby teeth,” are important to your child’s health and development and should be cared for just as you would for permanent teeth. Primary teeth serve critical functions as a child learns to eat and speak. They are important for the normal growth and development of the face. In addition, they maintain space on the dental arch and guide the eruption of the permanent teeth. While some primary teeth are typically replaced around age 6, the back teeth (molars) can remain in until age 12 or 13. Without proper care, these teeth can decay and possibly cause toothaches, gum disease, and serious health problems. For these reasons, primary teeth are significant and require good daily hygiene and regular professional attention, just like permanent teeth.
ERUPTION OF TEETH
During this age, your child will get his final primary teeth as – the second molars generally erupt around age two years. He will then experience a lag time during which he will neither gain new teeth nor lose any teeth. Children typically begin to lose, or exfoliate, their first primary teeth around six years of age, but some children may begin this as early as four years. If you have any questions regarding your child’s tooth eruption or loss, please consult with his dentist.
PREVENTING CAVITIES AND CONTROLLING DENTAL CARIES
Between the ages of 2 and 5, children tend to become more independent and we recommend that parents stay diligent at controlling their child’s nutrition, snacking habits, and oral hygiene. This is the age where children often increase their snacking and drinking of sugary liquids. It is no coincidence that we see a lot of tooth decay in children who drink a lot of fruit juice. Therefore, we highly recommend that juices be limited to twice a day consumption or the child be given plain water or flavored waters with no sugar.
Also at this age, children tend to want to do more things by themselves; however, we strongly recommend that a parent continue to help a child brush and floss his teeth until he is 7 or 8. A good rule of thumb is that if they can not tie his shoes, he can’t do an adequate job of brushing and flossing.
IS IT A PROBLEM IF MY CHILD SUCKS HIS THUMB OR USES A PACIFIER?
Thumb-sucking and pacifier use in children younger than 4 is not considered a problem. Children usually stop this habit between the ages of 2 and 4.
Children who suck their thumbs frequently or with great intensity after the age of 4 or 5 ARE at risk for dental or speech problems. Such problems include the improper growth of the jaws, misalignment of the teeth and shape of the dental arches. A child may also develop speech problems, including mispronouncing Ts and Ds, lisping, and tongue thrusting. Questions regarding oral habits are common, so please do not hesitate to ask yours!
If you are concerned about your child’s thumb sucking or pacifier habit, talk with the dentist about your child’s dental condition, and what you can do to help your child quit their habit. A good book about thumb sucking is David Decides About Thumbsucking: A Story for Children, A Guide for Parents, by Susan P H.D. Heitler.
EARLY ORTHODONTIC EVALUATION AND TREATMENT
The ages of 2 to 5 years often present opportunities to correct many orthopedic (concerns the positioning of the facial bones) discrepancies and to allow for normal function of the jaws. The goal of most intervention at this age is to create an environment that allows for normal eruption of the 6 year molars. Also, at this time, we can begin to assess crowding and develop strategies for managing the eruption of the permanent teeth.
THE POTENTIAL FOR DENTAL EMERGENCIES
This is very active and adventurous time for most children. They are often climbing, jumping , and testing their limits. Please keep a watchful eye on them and help them to understand how to have fun while making good choices to avoid major injuries. We also recommend that you put our emergency number in your cell phone and next to your home phone. When you need it, you do not want to have to look for it! If your child experiences any facial trauma, please call the emergency number and consult with his dentist.
My kids did not want to leave Dr. Z’s office!! Hands down the BEST dental experience my kids, 17 months and 3 years, and I have ever had! The office is spotless and the staff treated us like family. My kids were enthralled with the toys and ipad wall in the waiting room, the TV’s on the ceiling of the exam room, the huge prize wall and the “big kid” nature of Dr. Z himself. We will never go anywhere else!!
Great experience! Dr. Z and staff are 100% child focused from the moment you walk in the door. Beautiful office!
Everybody knows how hard children are to handle. I took my one year old for her very first time to the dentist, and I was amazed on how Dr. Hassan was able to keep her calm while attending to her dental needs in the most professional way!
We love Dr. Z. Our 10 year old son has autism with communication issues and hates going to the dentist. It’s always a production. Dr. Z is his 4th dentist and we have new hope for his teeth! With Dr. Z, he feels comfortable, engaged and actually complies with what Dr. Z needs him to do. Recently, I managed to get our 5 year old there. Last time we took the 5 year old to a dentist she clammed up and would NOT open her mouth. I was dreading this appointment with her because she is so stubborn, but…
My son just turned 1 year old and I brought him to the dentist for his first dental appointment…Dr. Hassan is SO great! He’s wonderful with children. My son will definitely continue to see him!
Outstanding experience from Dr. Z and his staff. Going to the dentist for a young child can be scary but Dr. Z and his staff went above and beyond for my 5 year old. She left her visit feeling happy and can’t wait for her next check up.
Dr Z and his staff were amazing. From the moment you walk into the office until the moment you leave, Dr Z and his staff make you and your child feel so welcomed and taken care of. My 2 year old and 4 year old daughters are terrified of the dentist, but the first time we walked into A to Z, Dr Z made them feel so comfortable that my oldest walked straight to the back to sit in the chair. The question I get every morning from my daughter’s is, “Daddy can we go back to Dr. Z’s office today”!!! I w…
WoooooW!!! Such a wonderful place and EXCELLENT staff!!! My girls were afraid to go to the dentist, but by the end of our visit my youngest began to pout because she didn’t want to leave. Dr. Z was amazing he really made sure our visit was comfortable and fun! I wish I could give more stars because 5 is just not enough. Thank you soooo much for a wonderful dental experience ALL SMILES HERE!!! 🙂
Dr. Z was amazing. Our 2.5 year old boy was immediately drawn to the activities in the waiting room which was nicely decorated. My son loved interacting with Dr. Z whose demeanor was great. While I expected my son to cry some, Dr. Z was great about keeping the appointment as stress-free as possible. My son and I talked later that night about how much fun he had at the appointment. We will definitely bring our kids back for future cleanings.
We loved Dr. Z! I brought all three of my kids including my son with special needs/sensory issues and my daughter for her first visit to the dentist!