Dental Care: 3 Years to 6 Years
All of a child's 20 primary (baby) teeth usually break through the gums (erupt) between the ages of 6 months and 3 years. Then the permanent teeth begin to emerge, usually starting at about age 6. Your child probably had his or her first trip to the dentist between 6 and 12 months of age, and now you probably have regular appointments set up. If for some reason your child has not yet seen a dentist, make an appointment for an exam.
Your 3- to 6-year-old child will be busily developing language skills and exploring the ever-widening world. Hard as it is to get a preschooler to sit still, this is the age during which you can teach good dental health habits.
After your child's permanent teeth begin to appear, usually around age 6, talk with your dentist about having dental sealant placed on the molars. Sealants are made of hard plastic and protect the chewing surfaces of the back teeth from decay.
Children play hard, sometimes hard enough to knock out or break a tooth. Learn how to prevent injuries to teeth, and what to do in a dental emergency. For more information, see the topic Mouth and Dental Injuries.
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