Caring for Baby Teeth Means Healthier “Grown-Up” Teeth

Last updated on March 3rd, 2018 at 01:26 pm

Baby teeth are referred to as many things such as; deciduous, milk teeth, temporary or primary teeth. These teeth are the first set of teeth that a child develops. They develop in the womb and become noticeable in the mouth during the infant years. Permanent teeth are those which replace the baby teeth when they fall out.

Deciduous dentition consists of central incisors, lateral incisors, canines, first and secondary molars. The lower, two front teeth are the first teeth to go, followed by healthy baby teeththe upper two front teeth, moving on to the teeth on either side of the front teeth. The primary teeth may continue to fall out until the age of 12-13. The ages are general guide lines. Different children, even in the same families, vary in age ranges

Many times we are asked how to tell the difference between a baby tooth and an adult tooth. Primary teeth start to exfoliate between the ages of 4-6 years. Primary teeth tend to be whiter and smaller then the permanent teeth. The permanent teeth are 1.5 times the size of the baby teeth.

Care of baby teeth is just as significant as caring for permanent teeth. While the truth of the matter is that baby teeth only spend a short period of time in a child’s mouth, they play a fundamental role for the permanent teeth that come later. They not only save space for their permanent tooth replacement but they also give the face a normal look. They assist in clear pronunciation of words, help manage good nutrition for the body and help protect the permanent teeth. When a primary tooth is decaying or infected, it can also damage the permanent teeth underneath the gum line.

Care for baby teeth starts before they breakthrough the gums. Start getting in the habit of wiping your baby’s guns with a soft, wet washcloth or gauze during bath time. Toothpaste is not necessary at this stage. You can wrap the cloth around your finger and gently wipe over the gums. This also helps your baby get used to having his or her teeth cleaned as part of their regular routine.

After your child’s teeth start to show around 6 months of age or so, purchase a baby toothbrush with small bristles. Don’t get worried if your child hasn’t cut any teeth by the end of their first year, for some kids this doesn’t happen until 18 months of age. If you are cleaning your baby’s teeth regularly at this stage, toothpaste is still not necessary just yet. Brush gently on both sides of the teeth twice a day. You can brush your baby’s tongue gently to remove bacteria.

It’s always important to replace any toothbrush when it looks worn or the bristles start to spread out. Remember to start forming good brushing habits with your kids at a young age. Call your dentist with questions or concerns you may have with your child’s teeth. There is never a silly question for your dentist; we understand the importance of your child’s health.

About the Author

I am a family dentist who treats children as well as adults. Making smiles people love, extreme makeovers and complex dental reconstruction is our niche including implants, TMJ, orthodontics and cosmetic dentistry. As a participant in the blog, I will be offering dental perspectives on pediatric safety and health care options on a regular basis. I can be reached at www.suwaneedental.com. Blessings to all! Dr Williams is a member of the PedSafe Expert team

Comments

One Response to “Caring for Baby Teeth Means Healthier “Grown-Up” Teeth”

  1. This is the perfect time for me to read this! I have a 2 year old that I can benefit from and a 5 year old who is surely about to start losing his teeth, he’s already thinking he’ll get toys under his pillow. I personally preferred the cash as a kid, but if he wants a box of Legos to wake up under, he’ll get it 😉

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