For Our Parents

Below, please find information to help you with your upcoming appointment. We look forward to seeing you, and if you have any additional questions.

About Your Child's Teeth

Children normally have two sets of teeth: primary (baby) teeth and secondary (permanent) teeth. The primary teeth begin erupting around ages 6-8 months, and all 20 are in place by age 3. Some children may begin teething earlier, and in some cases babies are born with a tooth!

Permanent teeth begin to erupt in children around 6 years of age. A full complement of permanent teeth is usually achieved between the ages of 12 and 14 years, with the exception of wisdom teeth. They generally erupt between the ages of 17 and 21 years. The total number of permanent teeth is 32, though few people have room for all 32 teeth, which is why wisdom teeth are usually removed.

Regarding permanent teeth, those present in the very front of the mouth are called incisors. The next teeth, further back, are called the canines, or “eye teeth” The next set of teeth are called premolars, or bicuspids. The last set, in the back of the mouth, are called molars. Your permanent teeth are the ones you keep for life, so it is important that they are brushed and flossed regularly and that periodic check-ups by a dentist are followed.

Caring For Your Child's Teeth


Brush your child’s teeth at least twice daily with fluoridated toothpaste, to avoid the accumulation of food particles and plaque. This will help to minimize your child’s risk for cavities.

For children under 3 years of age, a soft bristled toothbrush and a “smear” of fluoridated toothpaste is recommended, regardless of the child’s ability to spit out. This tiny amount allows the teeth to be protected by daily fluoride exposure, while reducing the child’s risk for fluorosis, which may cause unsightly discoloration of the permanent teeth.

For children between the ages of 3 and 5 years, a soft bristled toothbrush and a “small pea” of fluoridated toothpaste is appropriate.

For patients 6 years of age and older, a regular “pea size” is safe and effective. For older children learning to brush on their own, we recommend they brush for two minutes, attempting to brush the cheek side, chewing side and tongue side of every tooth twice. Brushing should consist of small circles with bristles angled towards the gumline. We do recommend that parents help children under age 10 with their night time brushing, as they do not have the dexterity to brush as adults do. This helps to ensure that all surfaces are plaque free before bedtime.


For areas between the teeth that a toothbrush can’t reach, dental floss is used to remove food particles and plaque. Dental floss is a thin thread of waxed nylon that is used to reach below the gum line and clean between teeth. It is very important to floss between your child’s teeth every day.

We recommend traditional floss or floss sticks. For traditional floss, pull a small length of floss from the dispenser. Wrap the ends of the floss tightly around your middle fingers. Guide the floss between the teeth, forming a “C-shape” at the gumline. For floss sticks, pop them between any teeth that are touching. This will remove any food particles or plaque that your toothbrush cannot reach. Floss daily between any teeth that are touching, both in the front and back of your child’s mouth. When you first begin flossing your child’s teeth, his/her gums may bleed a little. If the bleeding does not go away after 7-10 days of consistent flossing, please call our office.

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