Thursday, June 19, 2014

When do baby teeth normally fall out?

Many parents worry that their children's teeth are not falling out on time. At what age should the baby teeth be lost? When should the last one fall out? Is there a predictable order?

The first baby teeth (also known as primary teeth) to erupt are usually the lower central incisors around the age of six months. The last baby teeth erupt are the upper second primary molars, which appear between 30 and 36 months of age. A child normally has 20 baby teeth by age of 3. These primary teeth then remain unchanged for about three years.

By the time a child is 6-8 years old, there is a flurry of activity in the mouth, as kids normally lose eight primary teeth within a short period of time. Between the ages of 8-10, there is a pause in the loss of teeth, which is when many parents start to question why more teeth are not falling out (or exfoliating), since they have become so accustomed to the teeth falling out routinely. The final 12 primary teeth are normally lost between the ages of 10 and 13. The following chart summarizes the standard schedule of tooth loss in children:

    • Ages: 3-6 not much happens
    • Ages :6-8 First 8 primary teeth normally exfoliate
    • Ages: 8-10 Not much happens
    • Ages: 10-13 Last 12 primary teeth exfoliate

    • Age 6: Lower and upper central  incisors exfoliate
    • Age 7: Lower and upper lateral incisors exfoliate
    • Age 10: Lower canines and upper first molars exfoliate
    • Age 11: Lower first molars exfoliate
    • Age 12: Upper and lower second molars and upper canines exfoliate
Remember this chart reflects the average schedule for tooth loss! Some kids lose teeth faster than this, while others lose them more slowly. It is not unusual to see a 10 year old with no remaining baby teeth, nor does it catch us by surprise to see a 14 year old with a few still hanging on. The age the teeth are lost is not as important as the pattern in which they are lost.

If a baby tooth does not exfoliate in the correct order, or if a tooth is lost early, causing a few months to pass before a permanent tooth erupts, a problem could occur in the positioning of the new, permanent tooth. This is exactly the reason why the American Association of Orthodontists recommends that children should visit an orthodontist at the age of 7.  Your orthodontist will look for certain conditions during your child's orthodontic evaluation, and can inform you whether or not interceptive treatment is recommended. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact any of our Sondhi-Biggs Orthodontics team members.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

How much sugar are you drinking?

Pop is no longer an occasional treat. It has become a daily habit for a growing number of people, especially kids, teens and young adults. A steady diet of soft drinks is the leading cause of tooth decay.

Following are a few tips on how to help reduce the possibility of decay:

  • Drink soft drinks in moderation.
  • Don't sip for extended periods of time. Ongoing sipping prolongs sugar and acid attacks on your teeth.
  • Use a straw to help keep the sugar away from your teeth.
  • After drinking, swish your mouth out with water to dilute the sugar.
  • Never drink soda or juice before bed because the liquid pools in your mouth, coating your tongue and teeth with sugar and acid.
  • Drink water instead of soft drinks. It has no sugar, acid or calories.
  • Use a fluoride toothpaste to protect your teeth.
  • Use dental floss regularly to help remove bacteria from between the teeth.
  • Get regular check-ups and cleanings to remove bacteria build-up (plaque).
Pop contains more sugar than you think. Listed below are a few common drinks and the amount of sugar they contain:

Barq's Root Beer 11 tsp        
Minute Maid Orange Juice 9 tsp
Sprite10 tsp    
Mtn Dew 12 tsp     
  SoBe Energy Citrus 12 tsp    
Minute Maid Lemonade 10 tsp  
Gatorade 5tsp
Coca-Cola Classic 10 tsp
The next time you go to take a drink, check the label; you may be surprised. If you have any further questions, please contact any one of our Sondhi-Biggs Orthodontics team members.