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How Your Baby’s Teeth Develop

How Your Baby’s Teeth Develop

Babies are usually born with 20 baby teeth (also known as primary teeth). They start to come through the gums at about six months, and all the teeth have usually appeared by the time the baby is 2 to 3 years old. This process is called teething, and the teeth will fall out at various times during childhood.

About baby teeth

Babies are born with the following teeth:

  • 4-second molars
  • Four first molars
  • Four canine teeth
  • Four lateral incisors
  • Four central incisors

There is one set on each side of the upper jaw and one on each lower jaw.

The teeth in the centre of the bottom jaw often come through first, sometime between 4 months and ten months.

Each child is different, so don’t worry if your baby’s teeth appear earlier or later. Talk to your dentist if you are worried.

Your child’s jaw will continue to grow, and permanent teeth will replace the baby teeth when the child is around age 6.

The outer covering of baby teeth is made of thinner enamel than the enamel of permanent teeth, making the baby teeth look whiter. It also means they are more likely to get tooth decay.

Baby teeth also have shorter and different shaped roots from permanent teeth, making it easier for the roots to dissolve later and allow space for permanent teeth to grow underneath them.

Babies can be pretty uncomfortable when they are teething. Try chilled (not frozen) teething rings, washcloths or dummies to ease the pain.

Baby teeth are essential.

Baby teeth help your child to chew food easily and to pronounce words correctly. They are also needed to hold a place in the jaw for the permanent teeth to come through later.

It is essential to keep baby teeth clean, which will protect against infection, cavities and pain. Decayed baby teeth can damage the permanent teeth underneath.

How to care for baby teeth

Baby teeth can start to decay as soon as they appear in the mouth. Frequent exposure to sugary liquids can destroy the teeth.

After each feed, you should wipe your baby’s gums with a wet facecloth or a clean gauze pad. You can brush your baby’s first tooth as soon as it appears with a soft toothbrush and a little water.

Older children should be supervised while they are cleaning their teeth. Children over 18 months can use a pea-sized amount of children’s low-fluoride toothpaste and, if possible, should be taught not to swallow it. They should rinse with water after brushing.

To reduce the risk of tooth decay:

  • Never allow your baby to fall asleep with a bottle containing milk, formula, fruit juice or sweetened liquid.
  • Don’t dip a dummy in sugar or honey.
  • Clean the dummy before you give it to your baby.
  • Visit your dentist in about 12 months.

To read the original article, click here.

Disclaimer: The material posted is for informational purposes only and is not intended to substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Results vary with each patient. Any dental procedure carries risks and benefits. If you have any specific questions about any dental and/or medical matter, you should consult your dentist, physician or other professional healthcare providers.

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