5 Things About Baby Teeth Every Parent Should Know
Like your baby, baby teeth are small and fragile. And whilst baby teeth aren’t around for long before they get sold to the tooth fairy, they have several important purposes.
Seeing your baby’s first tooth appear is a milestone event and a very exciting time! As your family dentist in Canley Heights, we share with you 5 things about baby teeth and how to best take care of them.
The Purpose Of Primary Teeth
Baby teeth, also known as primary teeth, are important. Your child requires their primary teeth to chew and to learn to speak. They serve another important purpose which affects the development of your child’s mouth.
Baby teeth tend to stick around until the permanent teeth underneath are ready to emerge. At this point, the roots connecting the baby teeth dissolve, causing the tooth to loosen and fall out.
In summary, baby teeth hold the space for the permanent teeth that will fill their place, later. They stop other teeth from drifting into the empty spaces. This prevents poor positioning of the permanent teeth.
Misaligned and overcrowded teeth are hard to clean. They also have a greater chance of needing costly orthodontic treatment later.
Expecting The First Tooth
Babies begin navigating their new world with their mouth at about 3 months old. At this age, they will have increase saliva and you will notice their hands in their mouth a lot.
Parents confuse this with teething, but generally, a baby’s first tooth will appear at around 6 months old. Of course, this can vary from child to child with their first teeth making an appearance earlier or later.
The lower central incisors (lower front teeth) are usually the first to show. And most babies will develop all 20 (or sometimes more) of their primary teeth by the age of 3.
Commencing a Dental Hygiene Routine
A question we get asked often is when to start a dental hygiene routine with your child. For many reasons, we recommend commencing this as early on as possible. Not only does this lead to good dental health from a young age, but it instills great dental hygiene habits for life.
Begin your baby’s dental hygiene routine before their first tooth appears. You can do this by gently wiping your baby’s gums with clean, damp gauze or a soft-bristled finger brush.
This helps prepare your baby for tooth brushing. Tooth brushing should begin as soon as their first tooth appears.
Delicate baby teeth are more susceptible to cavities. Amongst young children, tooth decay is the most common chronic illness. Commencing a dental hygiene routine should begin in your baby’s first few months of life.
Beginning Regular Dental Check-Ups
Once your baby’s first tooth shows, consider making their first dental appointment at a trusted children’s dentist. As soon as baby teeth appear, they are at risk of tooth decay.
In your baby’s appointment, your dentist will check that their mouth is healthy and that their jaw and teeth are developing as they should be.
Taking a proactive approach to your child’s oral health ensures that they have a healthy mouth for life. Getting your child comfortable in the dentist chair and having them form a trusting relationship with your local dentist is a great step towards achieving this.
Losing Baby Teeth
Around the age of 6 is when you can expect your child to start losing their baby teeth. The loss of primary teeth and consequent replacement with their permanent counterparts is a process that goes until the age of about 12.
Usually, the central incisors (lower and upper front teeth) are the first to fall out. These are followed by the lateral incisors, first molars, canines and second molars.
If your child happens to lose a tooth before its time, i.e. before the permanent tooth is ready to erupt, space needs to be saved.
Your dentist can do this by inserting a ‘space maintainer’ to replace the baby tooth. This holds the space until the permanent tooth is ready to emerge.
Your Friendly Kid’s Dentist in Canley Heights
Baby teeth are just as important to little ones as adult teeth are to adults. The fact that they aren’t permanent means little in how much gentle care they need to stay healthy and strong.
Maintaining healthy teeth and gums for life is easier to achieve when great dental hygiene habits are formed early on in life.
At Canley Heights Dental Care, we adore children! We’re here to support you and your child through all those exciting dental milestones. We are committed to ensuring that your child has the best opportunity for a life of optimal dental health. Contact us today!
Our friendly team would love to look after your child’s dental health. Book an appointment today!
Child Dental Benefits Schedule in Canley Heights
Up to $1000 worth of dental treatments for two years