Children's mouths are in an almost continuous state of change between the infant and teenage years. Here, you'll learn what to expect in your child's oral development between the ages of 4 and 6.
Most children have developed all of their primary teeth by the time they are 3 years old. Around age 4, children’s jaws and facial bones begin to grow, which creates spaces between the primary teeth.
This growth process provides the necessary space for the larger, permanent teeth to eventually erupt. Starting at around the age of 6 until about 12, your child’s permanent teeth will emerge.
Remember, primary teeth are just as important in the development process as permanent teeth. Just because they eventually fall out does not mean that they don’t need to be carefully cared for and cleaned.
Not only do primary teeth allow children to speak and chew properly, they also function to reserve space in the gum tissue for future permanent teeth to grow in, and guide them into the correct place.
Between 4 and 6 is a good time frame in which to begin teaching your child to brush and floss his or her own teeth.
At this age, most children’s manual dexterity has developed to the extent that they can hold a toothbrush and dental floss correctly, and they are mentally capable of comprehending teeth cleaning instructions, as well as why it’s important to keep your teeth clean.
This makes it the perfect age to help your child establish good oral hygiene habits to last a lifetime. Of course, they’ll still need help, guidance and supervision, to make sure they’re being thorough and cleaning each and every tooth.