Family Dentist: 3 Development Checkpoints That a Family Dentist Should Keep an Eye On

Do you make sure to visit your dentist at least twice a year to check on your oral health? Learn why dental visits are so important.

Family Dentist: 3 Development Checkpoints That a Family Dentist Should Keep an Eye On

18 November 2016
 Categories: Dentist, Articles

Choosing a specific dentist as your family's primary dentist is amazingly beneficial when you have children. If you continue to visit the same dentist year after year, the dentist will have a more complete profile on the dental health and condition of each member in your family. The dentist will be able to catch minor dental problems before they worsen. In particular, a family dentist can monitor the dental-development checkpoints in young children and be the first to be alerted when anomalies appear. This article will look at three development checkpoints that are particularly important.

The Emergence of Baby Teeth and Adult Teeth

One of the most important factors that a family dentist should monitor is the timeline of when baby teeth and adult teeth emerge. It's crucial that baby teeth emerge and fall off on time to make room for adult teeth. Generally speaking, your family dentist will want to confirm that all of your children's baby teeth have emerged by the time that they reach 2 ½ to 3 years of age. Emergence of the baby teeth is crucial in instigating jawbone growth. The baby teeth should then fall off to make room for adult teeth.

If the baby teeth are not falling off to allow for the emergence of adult teeth, the baby teeth might end up causing the adult teeth to come out crooked. This situation may also result in teeth or jaw misalignment. The family dentist may recommend extracting the baby teeth by force in situations like these to ensure that the adult teeth will come out straight. 

The Growth Rate of Both the Upper and Lower Arch

As your children grow up, significant growth and changes can be witnessed in both their upper and lower dental arches. If the upper or lower dental arch is growing too much or not enough, your family dentist will want to take action immediately to prevent the situation from worsening and becoming permanent. Most dentists or orthodontists recommend using a two-phase growth-modification treatment to correct the jaw imbalance. This type of treatment basically maximizes growth opportunity to bring facial balance back to your children's face and to correct any issues concerning improper upper or lower dental-arch growth.

If you leave the problem unattended, the jaw imbalance will only worsen to the point where jaw surgery is the only option left. This is not only painful but also costly. Correcting improper growth of either the upper or lower arch is easiest when children are still young and developing.

The Space Provided for Wisdom Teeth

Wisdom teeth will generally emerge when your children reach the ages between 17 and 21. A family dentist will want to use x-rays and other methods to determine whether there is sufficient space for the wisdom teeth to emerge without impacting the neighboring teeth. In the event that there simply is not enough space, the family dentist will determine when the best time to extract the wisdom teeth may be. It's crucial that the wisdom teeth do not end up putting excess pressure and force on surrounding teeth and causing them to come out crooked.

The family dentist will need to determine the position of the wisdom teeth and whether there are any alternatives to extraction. Once the wisdom teeth have been extracted, the family dentist will want to continue monitoring jaw growth and teeth position to determine whether braces or any other orthodontic treatments are needed.


Staying with the same dentist can be the best option for your family, as the dentist will be well aware of the dental profile of each family member. They will know which issues should be kept under careful supervision and whether there are any dental problems that are prevalent among family members. A family dentist such as Jeffrey S. Thaller DMD can craft and tailor dental care for the entire family.