Children (4 to 12)

Your child’s oral health changes rapidly over the next 10 years. All of their baby teeth will be replaced with permanent teeth.  Most children are excited and proud when they lose a tooth. It is an important milestone in their lives that deserves to be celebrated. As your child’s adult teeth come in it is especially important to pay close attention to their dental care and nutrition. Childhood cavities are completely preventable, but your child cannot accomplish this without your help.

4 to 7 Years

What IS Happening In Your Mouth

Between 6 and 7 years children will begin to lose their baby teeth which are replaced with permanent teeth that, with proper dental care, will  last a lifetime. It is during this time that children may also get their first permanent molars.

If your child sucks his or her thumb and it continues after age 4 it may cause bite problems and cause crooked or crowded teeth.

Recommend Professional Dental Care

During these early years it is important to schedule regular visits to Dr. Bakken. He will work with your children to clean their teeth, place protective sealants on their teeth, and monitor their oral health.  Preventing and treating cavities early is essential to retaining permanent teeth into adulthood.

At Home Healthy Oral Hygiene

Parents should continue brushing their child’s teeth and slowly transition that responsibility to their child as they approach age 6 or 7.  Parents should always supervise brushing their child’s teeth.  Dr. Bakken, will provide your child with a special toothbrush that lights up for the length  of time that a child should be brushing their teeth. This helps children learn how to care for their teeth and makes tooth brushing fun.

Only use soft-bristled toothbrushes and a pea-sized dab of fluoride toothpaste. Encourage your child to spit out the toothpaste while brushing.

7 to 12 Years

What IS Happening In Your Mouth

By the age of 13 a child will have lost all of their baby teeth. Without proper dental care and good nutrition, children will get cavities in their permanent teeth.  As permanent teeth erupt, they may cause crowding or may come in misaligned and or crooked.

Recommend Professional Dental Care

Continue to bring your child to Dr. Bakken every six months for routine dental care including professional cleanings, and checkups.  Dr. Bakken will be able to advise you on the best course of treatment to correct bite problems caused by crooked teeth and may refer you to an orthodontist for braces and other corrective appliances.

At Home Healthy Oral Hygiene

Children should now be able to brush their teeth on their own and should also be flossing daily.  It is important to continue to monitor and supervise children to make sure this is done twice a day.

Limiting sugary or starchy foods and drinks that quickly convert to sugar is an important part of caring for children’s teeth. Also limiting sports, energy, and vitamin water drinks is important as they contain chemicals that are even more damaging to your child’s teeth than the sugar in soft drinks. Plain water is the best choice for in between meal beverages.

It is also common for children in the age group to begin to play sports that require the use of mouth guards. Mouth guards protect your child’s teeth from being chipped or broken, but are often uncomfortable because they do not fit properly. Talk with Dr. Bakken about how to properly fit mouth guards and to shape them to your child’s mouth so that they will be comfortable wearing them while playing sports.

Resources and Patient Education






These are critical years in your child’s dental health. Healthy smiles need regular checkups every six months. Call (541) 289-1020 to schedule your appointment today.