What Parents Need to Know About Permanent Teeth

Your child’s smile is bound to change throughout the years, as they transition from baby to permanent teeth. One of the most common question our Rochester family dentists get from parents is, “When will my child lose their first tooth?” The answer is not concrete. For many, the first tooth is lost between the ages of 5 and 7. Typically, the first teeth lost will be the lower, central incisors.

permanent teeth

When permanent teeth erupt, they tend to have bumps on the edge. These are called mammelons – and they are normal! As time goes on, they wear down to be flat.

The other things parents notice is the color of the new teeth. Compared to baby teeth, permanent teeth tend to be a bit more yellow. The color change is not a sign that your child isn’t brushing well enough! When teeth exfoliate, you’ll notice the teeth take on a generally lighter color again. The color becomes less prominent when permanent teeth don’t have the contrast of baby teeth next to them.

Shortly after or around the same time the first permanent central incisors come in, the permanent 6 year molars in the back on the mouth begin to erupt. Thankfully, there aren’t many symptoms associated with this. Sometimes the gums may be sore for a few days as the tooth is erupting. This generally doesn’t affect sleep or day functions.

How to Care for Permanent Teeth

These new molars are teeth your child will have forever. Once the teeth are fully erupted, sealants will usually be recommended by your dentist.  It is important to protect the chewing surfaces with sealants, as those teeth typically have deep grooves that are hard to clean. As the rest of the premolars and molars erupt throughout the years, your dentist will recommend sealants on these as well.

I always encourage parents to continue to brush their children’s teeth at the ages of 5, 6 and 7 – or as long as your child lets you! Kids don’t have the dexterity that adults have. Encourage your child to brush on their own, but “check for any remaining sugar bugs” once they are done.

During this transitional period of tooth loss and new teeth coming in, it is important to teach your child the importance of caring for these new teeth. Let them know they only get this set in their life. Emphasize proper care for teeth with good brushing and flossing. It’s also good to encourage a healthy diet. Avoid juices and junk food frequently with these new teeth. A visit to the dentist at least twice a year is a good way to help your child realize the importance of their new teeth and how to care for them.

We hope your child has a visit from the tooth fairy soon. Don’t forget to come visit the dentist too!

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Family Dentist Tree is a family-oriented dental office located in Rochester, MN. Whether you need a cleaning, filling, crown, root canal, treatment for gum disease, or teeth whitening, we are here to help you with all your dental needs. We serve all ages, and our offerings include family dental care and senior plans. Request an appointment online or call us at 507-288-1188.