Most children around age 3 will begin to have their back teeth (molars) touching, if other teeth were not already touching to begin with. As cooperation allows, a typical part of the dental exam will also involve xrays to check for cavities in between teeth, where the dentist cannot see during the visual exam. Many times this will be around age 4-5, but xrays will be prescribed as needed on an individual basis.
As your child begins to lose baby teeth and permanent teeth are erupting, another important part of the exam will be evaluation of any spacing or orthodontic concerns. A significant component of Dr. Jessie’s residency training involved extensive training in the detection and treatment of orthodontic problems. As a result of those experiences, Dr. Jessie understands the complexities of orthodontic correction and recommends her patients seek the care of highly trained orthodontic specialists to treat those needs. Dr. Jessie evaluates various features of each child’s bite at every visit and any orthodontic concerns that are found will be discussed with you. As needed, a referral to an orthodontist for further evaluation will be made.
School-age children do become more self-reliant and begin to learn how to take on self-care tasks, but it is still important for parents to be involved in the oral healthcare of their children. It is recommended that parents continue to be primarily responsible for brushing their children’s teeth until at least 7-8 years old, as they have not developed the manual dexterity prior to that in order to sufficiently clean their teeth. The dental education we provide to families in this age group will continue to consist of ensuring parents know the ideal oral hygiene techniques, but to also begin teaching your children how to take over those tasks at the appropriate time.