Dental Care for 7-14 year olds

We’re almost done looking at the ‘strategies’ for treating children of different age groups.

Let’s finish off with children in the 7-14 year age group.

Between the ages of 7 (pre-teen) and 14 (teenage) years, children lose their primary teeth and their adult teeth erupt into their mouths….For approximate ‘shedding and eruption’ times, please see the above image. You may also want to review the blog “Anatomy of the Primary Dentition,” posted on November 11th, 2012.

Diet and Oral Hygiene and Hormones
Children may be more prone to getting decay from ages 7-14. Their diet often includes fast food, frequent snacking and drinking soft drinks (high in sugar). Their oral hygiene is often far from ideal (poor brushing, flossing) as well.

In addition, at this age they are going through hormonal changes, which can often affect the state of their gums. Their gums are more prone to developing gingivitis (red, swollen and bleeding gums). If you combine the poor oral hygiene and changing hormonal levels, the result can often be quite dramatic.

Good oral hygiene habits start in early childhood and if reinforced through parents and dentist, will hopefully continue through adolescence and into adulthood.

It is more likely that children who are not taught to care for their teeth, do not eat healthy and do not see their dentist regularly will be the ones to get decay and develop other dental problems.

This is why we like to start seeing children at a very young age in order to develop good oral hygiene habits at an early age.

A teenager will feel more confident and have better self-esteem with a nice smile, strong teeth and fresh breath.

Between the ages of 7-14 years old, consider the importance of Sealants (see the blog “Pit and Fissure Sealants’” posted on July 1st, 2012) as well as the negative effects that Smoking, and Oral Piercings, (see the blog “Oral Piercings and Dentistry,” posted on July 15th, 2013) can have on your mouth. In the New Year we will be doing a series about how smoking affects your dentition…..Hope you can wait until then.

Wisdom Teeth
At 14 years old, the ‘concept’ of wisdom teeth can start be discussed I.e., are they present? When should they be removed, if at all? What can happen if they are not removed? It is possible to see your child’s wisdom teeth on routine dental X rays. We will show them to you so you can see them yourself.

The potential need for orthodontic treatment at this age (7-14 years old), should be addressed.

Straight, nicely aligned teeth are less prone to decaying, and developing gum disease (gingivitis), not to mention improve your child’s confidence.

Quite often, early orthodontic treatment (intervention) can prevent more extensive orthodontic work in the future.

Orthodontic referrals can take place as early as 7 years of age.

I hope you’ve enjoyed the series of blogs concerning dental issues of children of different age groups…I mean, if we’re going to be concerned about anything; it’s going to be our kids…until next time.

Dr. F. Keshavarz Dentistry

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