Dental Milestones Your Kids Should Meet

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If you have children, you’re probably tracking their progress and seeing if they’re meeting landmarks as they get older. Here, we’ll share an overview of dental milestones that indicate your child is on track with their oral health development.


As a baby’s teeth begin to erupt, children will show an increased tendency to chew on objects. It’s a way for them to explore the world around them and to ease the pain of their baby teeth emerging through their tender gums. The first tooth can begin erupting as early as three months, but usually around six months.

Eruption of Baby Teeth

By the time your child is two or three years old, they should have a full set of 20 primary teeth, or baby teeth. But don’t wait until they have a full set of teeth to start caring for them. Once their first tooth has erupted, it’s time to bring your child in for their first dental checkup! Early visits to the dentist will help your child develop a positive association with routine dental care. Our friendly team strives to put each patient at ease, whether they are 1 year old or 101, so they can achieve and maintain a healthy smile. These visits will also be beneficial for you as a parent because we can provide tips to care for your child’s teeth and gums.

Shedding of Baby Teeth

Kids will start to lose their baby teeth around age six. Then, for the next few years they will continue to lose their baby teeth as their adult (permanent) teeth start to erupt. During this time they may experience some pain or discomfort when they are losing the primary tooth and the permanent tooth is coming in. Encourage your child to gently wiggle with a clean finger or tissue loose baby teeth until they fall out, and refrain from pulling loose teeth in case they aren’t ready yet. By age 12, your child should have lost all their baby teeth, and at age 13 they should have a full set of 28 permanent teeth.

Orthodontic Consultation

Around age seven, bring your child to the orthodontist to see if they need any help with their teeth alignment. Although they may not need braces until around 12 or 13 years old, some children benefit from braces even before they have lost all their baby teeth.

Wisdom Teeth Removal

Your child’s wisdom teeth, or third molars, will emerge sometime between 17 and 25 years old. However, they often need to be removed because they can cause a lot of harm to your child’s oral health due to misalignment and impaction. For example, if they are misaligned then they can crowd and damage nearby teeth, nerves, and even the jawbone. Impacted wisdom teeth are stuck under the gums, unable to erupt, and can lead to infection. At your child’s routine checkups, we will track the development of their wisdom teeth and recommend the right time for their removal.

Kids’ Dentistry in Columbia, SC

At Bethea Family Dentistry, we are dedicated to providing comprehensive oral care for every member of your family, and that includes kids’ dental care. Contact us today to schedule a cleaning and checkup for your little one!

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