Adult teeth start coming through at around age 6, these are the lower front ones. Often, when the space is insufficient they can come through rotated. It is not an immediate concern as this can correct itself with time as the jaw grows but it is something that should be looked at if the problem is still there around 8-9 yrs of age. The last baby teeth are lost around 12 years of age and then the wisdom teeth come around 18-25. (this can be extremely variable, the other day I had a patient who was 74 and his wisdom just came through and he suddenly felt a lot smarter too).
Fluoride or not?
A lot of my patients from this area are on tank water. As such you do not get any Fluoride that is contained in the town water. From a dental standpoint, it is important that Fluoride from the water comes into contact with the tooth enamel. If you are not getting this, perhaps you should consider Fluoride drops from the chemist and adding some into the jug of water daily.
Teens and brushing and regular check ups, diet
Teenagers are notorious for brushing poorly. This coupled with their new-found independence, frequent consumption of soft drinks and junk foods leads to damaging results on their teeth. It is very important that teens are regularly brought to the dentist for monitoring of their teeth, to catch decay before it gets irreversibly damaged. Regular bite wing xrays are necessary in order to detect any early changes in the enamel before it is too late. Often when caught early, a cavity can be fixed with a filling rather than needing a root canal treatment.
Fissure seal molars at 6, 12
The first adult molars come through at age 6, the next set at age 12. It is a great idea to seal the fissures in these teeth with a plastic sealant (just like no more gaps in the kitchen) so that bacteria does not penetrate through the enamel and cause decay. It is fast, easy and effective preventive treatment. Ask your dentist about this the next time you are there.
We start to assess children for braces from around 8 years old. If the problem is severe and there would be advantages to starting treatment then this is the case. Otherwise, we often wait until all of the baby teeth are lost before commencing orthodontic treatment.