The arrival of permanent, adult teeth occur at 6 years +/- 6 months. Tooth eruption can be variable and girls tend to get teeth earlier than boys.
The sequence of tooth eruption is more important than the timing. When individual teeth are delayed this could indicate local problems. A good reason to see your dentist regularly is to have development supervised.
Another good reason for a teeth check-up at this age is that about 1 in 20 people have variations in the number of teeth. Some have extra teeth and some have missing teeth. There may be no apparent reason for this occurrence as it may be something that another family member has as well.
When permanent teeth first come into the mouth they are at risk for tooth decay, so we use sealants to protect them. The most common teeth sealed are molars. These molar teeth arrive about 6 years of age and often have deep grooves on the chewing surfaces. Tooth brushing cannot clean these grooves properly. The sealant sticks to the tooth, so that food cannot collect in the deep molar grooves. This prevents them decaying.
Flossing is an important oral hygiene technique to learn. We suggest that children be introduced to self-flossing at 8-10 years. It is important not to have kids floss before they are ready. It frustrates them, which can lead to non co-operation.
It is important to floss correctly. Your dentist or hygienist will show you the proper way.