baby teeth

child dentist appointment

When Should My Child Have a Dentist Appointment?

As your baby grows and develops, there are so many new milestones to enjoy along the way. You’ll be photographing or video that first smile, the first crawl, first words, and first steps. Before you know it, your child is going to get his very first tooth, and when you grab a photo of that first little tooth popping through, you also need to start thinking about your child’s oral health.

When to Schedule Baby’s First Dentist Appointment

Many new parents aren’t sure when they should take their baby in for that very first dental appointment. While most children don’t have a dental visit until after the age of two, dental professionals actually recommend that you take your baby in for that first visit by the age of one. Baby teeth generally begin coming in at about six months, so seeing a dentist for the first time at the age of one is perfect. Since tooth decay continues to be a problem of epidemic proportions in young children, starting early with good dental care and routine checkups is important. Having the first visit while your child is still very young can also help prevent fear of the dentist in the future. After that first visit, then it’s important to keep up with regular dental visits every six months for cleanings and checkups.

Choosing the Right Dentist

It’s important to choose the right dentist for that first dental appointment and beyond. When making your decision, look for a dentist that has experience working with children. It’s important that the dentist can interact with your child and make sure he is comfortable during the appointment, and this is something that takes practice and patience. A dentist who deals with children regularly will know the right techniques to connect with children and keep them comfortable and relaxed while taking good care of their oral health. Before choosing a pediatric dentist, you may want to take the time to read online reviews from other parents to find out if they were happy with the way the dentist worked with their children.

What to Expect at Your Child’s First Dental Appointment

If this is your first child, you may be wondering what you should expect at that first dental appointment. A pediatric dentist will probably ask you about your child’s medical history and drug allergies. Your dentist will ask you if you have any special concerns as well. During that first appointment, a good dentist will work on getting your child comfortable within the office setting, including the dental furniture and equipment used in the office. Your pediatric dentist will also provide you with guidance and information on the best oral hygiene practices so you can take the best care of your child’s teeth at home.

You may be surprised to find that your pediatric dentist may discuss your child’s diet with you during that first dentist appointment. Since tooth decay is such a huge problem in children, the right diet is very important. Sipping juices constantly from a sippy cup or bottle can result in decay. Regularly snacking on crackers, cookies, and fruity snacks can also be a problem. The pediatric dentist can give you suggestions on how to modify your child’s diet for the best oral health, and the use of additional fluoride may also be recommended for your child.

As you prepare yourself for that first dentist appointment, make sure you begin with oral hygiene practices when your child gets his first tooth. Start by brushing the tooth with a soft toothbrush early. Once your child has two teeth that are touching, begin using floss. Keep up this oral hygiene routine daily so your child is accustomed to his teeth being touched. Reading stories about going to the dentist or even playing dentist with your child can also help make that first appointment easier. Schedule plenty of time for the first appointment and make sure your child is well fed and rested before you head in for the visit. This way you make sure that your child is as comfortable as possible. And it’s also important for parents to relax. Make sure you’re relaxed so your child doesn’t feel your tension as you head in for that first, important visit to the dentist.

 

The girl is holding the tooth in his hand.

Loose Teeth: To Pull or Not to Pull

Losing baby teeth is a rite of passage for many kids, and pressure comes from friends and parents alike to hasten the process. If you’re thinking about helping a loose tooth come out with a quick tug, you might want to reconsider. In most cases, letting baby teeth loosen and fall out naturally is a less painful, healthier option than pulling the tooth out before it is ready.

 Letting Teeth Come Out Naturally

For most kids, baby teeth start loosening and falling out at around age six or seven. It can happen much earlier or later, though. Just because the majority of your child’s friends have lost teeth already doesn’t mean you need to speed up the process with your own kid.

Most of the time, the teeth loosen in the same order they came in when the child was an infant. Typically, this means that the bottom front teeth loosen and fall out first, followed by the upper front teeth.

The permanent teeth form in the gums beneath the baby teeth and push up as they grow, causing the baby teeth to become loose in the gums. The roots of the baby tooth actually dissolve as the permanent tooth pushes on them, which is why the tooth eventually falls out painlessly if left alone. Pulling a tooth out prematurely causes pain and bleeding because the roots aren’t fully dissolved, so nerves and blood vessels are still present under the gums. Another potential problem is that the broken roots left exposed by a tooth pulled too early can become infected.

 Dealing with Knocked Loose or Damaged Teeth

Kids play rough sometimes, and sudden bumps or falls can cause an otherwise perfectly healthy tooth to come loose or become damaged. If your child’s tooth didn’t loosen naturally, have a dentist look at the tooth to determine the right course of action. Just because the tooth is loose doesn’t mean that the rest of the mouth is ready for a lost tooth. The permanent teeth underneath the gums might need more time to form. If the baby tooth is chipped or cracked, a pediatric dentist might be able to repair it until the permanent tooth comes in underneath. In some cases, the tooth might need to be removed, but this should be done in the dentist’s office instead of at home. If the tooth is removed due to damage, your child’s pediatric dentist might put in a spacer to keep the other teeth in place until the permanent tooth grows into the vacant spot.

 Pulling Extremely Loose Teeth

Some kids are eager to get loose teeth out as quickly as possible. If your child can’t handle the constant wiggle of an extremely loose baby tooth and is determined to get it out, giving it a little help might be an option. Don’t try pulling out your child’s tooth unless it is so loose that only a tiny amount of tissue is holding the tooth in. If your child is ready to get that tooth out, simply place a piece of gauze or tissue over the loose tooth and gently squeeze and twist the tooth to remove it. If the tooth doesn’t slide out, it probably isn’t quite ready for removal. Children who are nervous about having teeth removed by hand can simply use their tongues to continue wiggling loose teeth until they fall out completely.

 Worries About Losing Baby Teeth

While many kids are eager to get loose teeth out as quickly as possible, others are afraid that losing teeth might hurt. Don’t force a loose tooth to prove that the process isn’t painful, and don’t encourage a child to pull out the tooth to get the pain over with quickly. The most painless way to lose a baby tooth is to let it fall out by itself. You can explain to your kids how the root, which contains the nerves that cause pain, dissolves underneath the tooth before it completely pops out. Knowing that it isn’t going to hurt can make the whole process less stressful.

If you have any concerns about your child’s loose teeth, schedule an appointment with our office.

 

Dental hygiene is important

How to Make Brushing Fun

 

Sometimes getting your kids to brush can turn into a huge struggle, and it’s tough to figure out how to turn this daily fight into a healthy habit that will last a lifetime. The best thing you can do to help build this habit is to turn brushing into something fun. Kids respond well to fun, so how can you turn something as mundane as brushing into something exciting? Here are a few helpful tips and ideas you can use to make brushing a lot more fun so you stop the daily struggle in your house.

Get Your Child Involved by Letting Him Choose a Toothbrush

Kids love getting to pick stuff out at the store, so get your child involved in the teeth brushing process by taking him to the store and letting him choose a toothbrush himself. There are many fun options for kids to choose from, including bright colors and fun TV characters. Just make sure that your child choosing one that has soft or extra soft bristles on it. You can even let your child pick out his toothpaste. Many fun colors and flavors are available for kids, so let them make the choices to make things a lot more fun.

Come Up with a Fun Reward System

Incentives work well with kids, so consider coming up with a fun reward system that will hold kids accountable while rewarding them for sticking with their dental hygiene routine. You can go several different ways with a reward system. You can offer a small reward each day if they brush their teeth each time, or you can offer a sticker system and let them have a reward after filling up their stickers for a whole week. Some great reward ideas include a fun movie night or perhaps a trip to the store to pick out a new toy. You could even let older kids earn special privileges, such as extra internet or television time. However, it’s a good idea to avoid rewarding kids with sugary treats, since these can be bad for your child’s teeth.

Add Some Music to Brushing Time

Adding some music to brushing time can also make brushing more fun for your kids. There are several ways to add music to the brushing process. One idea is to make up your own funny song to sing while your kids are brush so they’re entertained. Another fun idea is to play your kids a sing-a-long music video while they are brushing along to the music. You can even find toothbrushes that play music while kids brush. Some come with multiple songs and will change songs when it’s time to switch from brushing the bottom teeth to brushing the top teeth. You may even want to try dancing around the bathroom with your kids while you all brush together to make things even more fun.

Have a Brushing Contest with Disclosing Solution

You can talk to your pediatric dentist about getting some disclosing solution. This solution can let you see how good of a job your child did at brushing his teeth. Turn brushing into a contest with your children. After they brush, use the solution to see how good of a job they really did. You don’t need to do this every day, but it’s a fun game to add in. If your child did a great job and you can see how great they did, offer a fun little reward. This is fun and it helps you make sure your child’s brushing is effective.

Switch Roles with Your Child

Be a role model to your kids by brushing along with them. Turn this into something fun by switching roles with your child. Let your child put some toothpaste on your toothbrush and set a timer for you to brush your teeth. You can even let them help you with the brushing part. They’ll get a chance to practice giving you all the oral hygiene directions you’ve given them in the past. When you’re done, switch it up and then let them do the brushing. They’ll love getting the chance to act like the parent, and switching up the roles can add a fun twist that will make brushing time easier and more exciting for everyone.

Of course, don’t forget to head into your pediatric dentist for regular cleanings and checkups. Your dentist can also talk to your child about good brushing habits and encourage them if the checkup shows they’re doing a great job at home.

Closeup smiling little asian girl with a broken teeth

Why Do Baby Teeth Fall Out?

Most parents will eventually hear their children exclaim that they have a wiggly tooth. Just like the initial eruption of your little one’s baby teeth, the presentation of a wiggly tooth can be quite exciting. Nevertheless, you may not know why your child has to lose his or her baby teeth at all.

Why do baby teeth fall out?

Baby teeth must eventually be lost to make room for the eruption of your child’s permanent teeth. Once the shedding process begins, it will continue until your child is a teen or young adult. The wisdom teeth, which are the third molars in the oral cavity, are the final teeth to erupt, and they don’t present until the late teens or early adulthood.

What is the shedding order?

The first two teeth to present in your little one’s mouth are typically the two teeth that rest in the center of your child’s lower palate. These central incisors also tend to be the first teeth to be lost. They are usually followed by the two teeth in the center of your child’s upper palate. If your child’s teeth follow the natural shedding order, he or she will probably lose teeth in the same order in which they came in.

What forces a baby tooth out?

A baby tooth does not usually become loose until the underlying permanent tooth grows enough to start to force the primary tooth out. Thus, you’re likely to notice bits of a permanent tooth peeking through the gums at the site where a primary tooth was lost.

Are there other reasons that a baby tooth can be lost?

Some children do lose their baby teeth before their permanent teeth are ready to present. This is often due to trauma or an oral disease. If your child does lose his or her baby teeth too early, your little one’s dentist can place a customized plastic spacer in place to reserve the proper positioning of the adult tooth that will eventually emerge. The spacer can help prevent problems with dental misalignment that can occur when there is insufficient space for an adult tooth to emerge in proper alignment.

When can you expect your child to lose the first tooth?

Although your child was probably only a couple of months old when the first baby teeth erupted, your little one will probably not lose the first tooth until he or she reaches about four to seven years of age. Just as the order of presentation affects the order in which the teeth will be lost, the age at which a child’s teeth first appear may affect how soon the pearly whites fall out. Children whose teeth present earlier tend to lose their first teeth sooner. Still, your little one is unlikely to lose a tooth before the age of four. If you are noticing wiggly teeth and your child is still in toddlerhood, it is best to schedule a dental appointment to ensure that there are not any problems.

Can you help a wiggly tooth detach more quickly?

You may have heard of different ways to help a wiggly tooth fall out more quickly. It’s best to avoid old home remedies, such as tying a piece of string around the tooth and attaching the other end to a door that can be quickly shut. Instead, you can encourage a tooth to progressively loosen by having your child brush his or her teeth more frequently. In addition, you can offer your little one healthy snacks, such as apples, which encourage your child to chew vigorously.

It is important to keep in mind that a tooth that is pulled from its place before it should fall out naturally can increase the likelihood of a dental infection. If you are concerned that a tooth is not falling out as quickly as it should, consult with a pediatric dentist. In rare instances, a loose tooth may stubbornly remain in place and could need to be extracted.

How should oral discomfort from shedding teeth be handled?

Many children experience a bit of discomfort during the teeth-shedding process. You can often alleviate the pain by offering your youngster over-the-counter pain medication, such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen. There are also oral analgesic gels that can be applied directly to the area of discomfort.

If your child seems to be in a great deal of pain or if you have additional concerns about the shedding of your little one’s baby teeth, contact our office to schedule a visit.

pediatric dentist

Why Your Child Should See a Pediatric Dentist

Your child’s oral health is an essential part of their development. By the time your child has reached their first birthday, they should have already made their first dental visit. You may think that you can simply take your child to your general dentist to receive exceptional care but this is not the case. If you are taking your child to the dentist, they should be seeing a pediatric dentist as they are specifically trained to deal with children’s teeth. This post will help you better understand why you should be taking your child to a pediatric dentist rather than to a general dentist.

Most children are treated by a general dentist. There are advantages to taking your child to a family dentist such as knowledge of family history and having a relationship with the entire family. However, a general dentist will not have the same training as a pediatric dentist which makes them less prepared to deal with the teeth of a child, such as dental developmental difficulties and conducting root canals on adult teeth that have yet to fully develop.

Pediatric Dentistry

Pediatric dentistry, sometimes referred to as pedodontics, is a dental specialty that focuses solely on the dental treatment of young people. Pediatric dentists are also known as pedodontists and have gone through additional training to be prepared to handle the dental needs of children. Pediatric dentists are required to complete additional training while in school which will allow them to offer primary and comprehensive care to babies, young children, and adolescents. They achieve this training by spending two years, and in many cases three years, in addition to their general dental education so that they can practice pediatric dentistry. To date, there are over 7,000 pediatric dentists practicing in the United States.

Why Is Taking Care of Baby Teeth Important?

Baby teeth may not seem that important because they will eventually fall out but they are actually very important. Baby teeth hold the space that will later be occupied by the permanent teeth. If a child suffers from tooth decay, it could potentially result in that baby tooth needing extraction before it is ready to come out. If this occurs, a neighboring permanent tooth coming in may do so crooked to fill in the empty space. This could cause serious and expensive orthodontic problems. To ensure that your child does not fall into this situation, you will want to take them to a pediatric dentist to ensure their current and future oral health.

What’s the Difference Between a General Dentist and a Pediatric Dentist?

Once a general dentist has graduated from an accredited school and has obtained his or her license in their chosen practice, the dentist will have been trained and able to treat patients of any age. However, this does not mean that they are the best dentist for people of any age. The teeth of children are much different than that of adults and children have special needs. A pediatric dentist has been specially trained with a different set of standards, which have been set by the Commission on Dental Accreditation, with the goal of meeting these special needs of children and teenagers. These special needs include things like fluoride treatment and dental sealants.

Pediatric Dental Training

Pediatric dentists have been specially trained to deal with the unique issues associated with dealing with the teeth of children. Due to this training, pediatric dentists have the ability to conduct infant oral health exams, distribute relaxation medications, counsel on nutrition, conduct emergency dental care, deal with space management after a premature loss of a primary tooth, and discourage thumb and finger sucking using appliances and special methods.

It is perfectly logical to think that you can simply take your child to your general dentist and receive better care than if you took them to a pediatric dentist. This is why a majority of children receive dental treatment from a general dentist. While they may be qualified to handle your child’s dental needs, a pediatric dentist has been specially trained to deal with the teeth of children, meaning they can provide optimal care. If you are looking for a pediatric dentist to take your child to, come see the experts at Pediatric Dentistry of Central Florida.

brushing and flossing

Tips for Brushing and Flossing Your Child’s Teeth

It may not seem like it, but your child’s baby teeth are very important so it is vital to take care of them. For the first few years of their life, prior to the child being able to handle dental hygiene independently, it is up to you, the parent, to ensure that their teeth are properly taken care of. In this post, we will look at tips for brushing and flossing your baby’s teeth.

Why are Baby Teeth Important?

You may be wondering, if baby teeth will eventually fall out regardless, why are baby teeth so important. Baby teeth serve as guides for permanent teeth which come in later. If baby teeth develop cavities and require extraction, it can cause serious problems when the permanent teeth are ready to come in. If baby teeth have been extracted when the permanent teeth come in, the empty space vacated by the baby teeth may be filled by a neighboring permanent tooth which may cause that incoming tooth to come in crooked. The result of this could be expensive orthodontic treatment in the future. Taking good care of baby teeth while they are in will help to avoid this situation.

Tips for Brushing Your Child’s Teeth

For most of the first year of your baby’s life, there will be no teeth to brush so you should gently wipe the gums with a clean washcloth or a gauze. Once the baby’s first tooth appears, you can start using a baby toothbrush to brush the tooth. However, only use water at this point. Make sure the teeth that come in are well brushed and kept clean. The American Academy of Pediatrics advises that the best time to clean your baby’s teeth are following breakfast and just before bedtime.

The first birthday for your child is a milestone for several reasons, including their dental health. At this point, your child should have been to their first dental appointment and it also marks the time when the child can start using toothpaste. Continue using the child-sized toothbrush until the baby is at least two years old and use a pea-sized amount of toothpaste. It is best not to use toothpaste with fluoride at this point, waiting until the child can safely spit on their own. This will prevent any excess amount of toothpaste from being ingested. The length of time that you will need to brush your child’s teeth varies from child to child but most children are able to brush independently at around six years of age.

To brush your child’s teeth, hold the toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to the gums and gently move the toothbrush back and forth. Make sure that you are brushing all surfaces of the tooth, including the outer, inner, and chewing parts of the teeth. To make sure that you are brushing the inner surface of the front teeth properly, tilt the toothbrush up vertically and brush up and down. Also, make sure to brush the tongue to rid it of bacteria.

Tips for Flossing Your Child’s Teeth

Once your child has two teeth that are touching, it is time to start flossing. This usually occurs when your child is around two to two-and-a-half years old. Children are typically prepared to floss independently around the ages of eight to 10 years old, so prior to that period, you will have to do the flossing for them. To do so, cut a piece of floss at about 18 inches long and wrap it tightly around each middle finger. Hold the floss between the thumb and forefinger and gently insert the floss between the teeth. Make sure you floss all the teeth and don’t miss the back teeth.

Once your child is old enough to floss on their own, you will want to help them by offering them every advantage. A great way to make the flossing process easier is to use a floss holder. For older children who are ready to floss on their own, they may want to tie a piece of floss in a loop of about 10 inches which will allow them to hold the floss between their thumb and forefinger. This will also make it easier for them to use the proper flossing technique.

Taking care of your child’s baby teeth is essential to their future dental health. These brushing and flossing tips will ensure that your child has the optimal care and will be well prepared once it is time for them to take on the tasks themselves. Another important task for your child’s oral health is a regular visit to a pediatric dentist. If your child is at that age where they need a regular visit, come to Pediatric Dentistry of Central Florida.

baby teeth

When Will Your Child’s Baby Teeth Emerge?

Two of the milestones for your child include when their baby teeth start coming in, when their baby teeth fall out, and when their adult teeth come in. This is a major part of their development. It may seem like these teeth come in and out in their own time depending on the child but they actually tend to do so around specific ages. When your child’s baby teeth first come in, they will be too young to be able to brush themselves so you will be expected to do so for them to ensure they avoid any early cavities. Knowing when your child’s teeth are ready to come in will help you to be prepared when this time comes.

The Emergence of Baby Teeth

Primary teeth, more commonly known as baby teeth, are the first teeth that a person will have in their life. Your child’s mouth is divided into two different parts; the upper teeth and the lower teeth. The central incisors are the teeth that are the most forward in the mouth and they are the first to come in. The lower teeth generally come in first and do so anywhere from six to 10 months of age. They are followed by the upper front teeth which begin to come in between eight and 12 months of age. These central incisors tend to fall out somewhere between the ages of six and seven years.

Moving from the front of the mouth to the back, the next teeth in line are the lateral incisors. These teeth are the next ones to come in. The upper laterals first start to come in around the ages of nine months to 13 months. They are quickly followed by the lower laterals which tend to come in around the ages of 10 and 13 months. These teeth typically fall out just after the central incisors between the ages of seven and eight years.

The final baby teeth the come into the mouth are the canines, or cuspids, which are the furthest back in the mouth. The upper canines are the first to come in appearing between the ages of 16 and 22 months. The lowers often follow about a month after between the ages of 17 and 23 months. After being the first teeth to come in, they are usually the final teeth to fall out doing so between the ages of nine and 12 years.

In total, your child will end up with 20 baby teeth. Half of these teeth are on the upper jaw while the other 10 are on the lower jaw. The first teeth that come in, the ones closest to the front, are the teeth that are meant for smiling so your child will have those pearly whites first. As the teeth go further back, the teeth are more rigid meant for chewing.  These are the last teeth to come in, doing so around the time that your child can start eating solid foods. They are also the last to come out.

The Entrance of Adult Teeth

One of the primary purposes of baby teeth is to serve for a guide for adult teeth. The reason why the health of baby teeth is so important is that the adult teeth, or permanent teeth, will follow the path of the baby teeth. If baby teeth have been neglected and are forced to be removed before they are ready, the adult teeth may come in the wrong place, taking up the area vacated by the pulled baby tooth, which could cause crowding and requiring expensive orthodontic treatment in the future. So when are these adult teeth supposed to come in and in what order.

Most of the teeth that an adult has are simply larger teeth replacing the baby teeth as they come out. But there are 12 new teeth that will come in as your child’s jaw is able to handle the additional teeth. The 12 new teeth that come into the mouth are the first premolars, the second premolars, and the third molars. The first and second premolars, or first and second bicuspids, typically erupt between the ages of 10 and 12 years. The third molars, better known as wisdom teeth, usually erupt between the ages of 17 and 21. Depending on each individuals oral specifications, wisdom teeth may or may not need to be removed.

With the 12 additional teeth coming in, six on the top and six on the bottom, your child will reach adulthood with 32 teeth in total. They will have 16 teeth on the upper jaw and 16 teeth on the lower jaw.

Your child’s first baby teeth may start to come in as early as at six months of age. By the time they are 12 years old, it is likely that all their baby teeth will have fallen out and their adult will be well on their way to filling the mouth. To ensure that your child’s teeth are healthy setting them up for future oral success, you should take them to the dentist by their first birthday and then follow up every six months from then on. If you are looking for a pediatric dentist for your child, bring them to Pediatric Dentistry of Central Florida.

baby teeth

When Are Baby Teeth Supposed to Fall Out?

When children first start growing teeth, they grow primary teeth, also known as baby teeth. These teeth are later pushed out and replaced by adult teeth, known as permanent teeth. While everyone knows how baby teeth fall out and are replaced by permanent teeth, many parents don’t know much more about the process.

Why Baby Teeth Are Important

Baby teeth typically start to come in when children are between four and seven months old. Their primary importance is that they hold the place for the permanent teeth that come in years later. If the teeth fall to decay and are prematurely removed, the permanent teeth may fill the space left by the missing baby tooth causing overcrowding and other orthodontic problems.

When Children Start Losing Baby Teeth

Children typically start losing their baby teeth sometime between the ages of five and seven. Sometimes, a child’s tooth will begin to wiggle around the age of four. While this is before the usual age of when baby teeth typically fall out, it’s still considered natural. The most common reason why a child’s tooth might come out before it is ready is due to some type of trauma such as a fall or some other type of injury. If the bottom front teeth come out before you expect and there is no sign of decay or trauma that might have caused the early loss, there is no reason to be concerned.

Another aspect that might be a factor on when the first tooth comes out may depend on the gender and health of the child. Girls develop faster than boys, and that carries to their mouths as well. They typically lose their baby teeth earlier and grow their permanent teeth earlier than boys. If a child has special needs, that may have an impact on when their baby teeth fall out as well. For example, a child with down syndrome may lose their teeth later than normal.

What to Expect When Your Child Loses a Tooth

The reason why baby teeth fall out is that the permanent teeth that follow push up through the jaw, resorbing the baby tooth’s root, and causes the baby teeth to eventually fall out. The baby teeth essentially are used as guides for the permanent teeth when they are ready to come in.

The two bottom front teeth are typically the first teeth to come in, followed by the two top front teeth. The next two teeth on either side of the bottom front teeth are the next to depart, followed by their counterparts on the top. These are typically the only teeth that will fall out before the child is seven or eight years old. Between the loss of those eight teeth and the loss of the remaining baby teeth, the child’s six-year molars will come in to fill the empty space at the back of the still growing jaw. This may cause some minor irritation for the child but is completely normal.

Those first eight baby teeth usually come out around the ages of five to seven with the remaining teeth falling out at the ages of 10 to 12 years of age. If, by the age of seven, the first tooth has yet to come out, you should contact a pediatric dentist and likely have x-rays done to see why the baby teeth are not falling out. The reason for this could be that there are extra teeth in the bone which is causing the permanent teeth to be halted from pushing out the baby teeth.

Getting the Teeth Out

When baby teeth get loose, many people have different methods they use to pull the teeth out. The most well-known method is connecting the tooth to a doorknob by a string and then closing the door, pulling out the tooth. However, you shouldn’t attempt to pull the tooth out, but rather, allow it to fall out naturally. This will ensure that the tooth comes out when it was meant to, allowing the permanent tooth to come in. If a tooth is loose, the child should also brush the gum line well. Often the tooth will come out during the brushing of the gum line.

When a child is five to seven years old, they’ll start to lose their baby teeth. By the time they are 12, all of their baby teeth will likely be gone, soon to be replaced by permanent teeth. Understanding when the teeth are meant to fall out and how to handle that process will ensure that your child has the best chance of avoiding orthodontic problems in the future.

baby teeth

The Importance of Baby Teeth

Since a child’s primary teeth, often called baby teeth, are temporary coming in at an early age and falling out before the permanent teeth come in, it may seem as though these early teeth are not important. However, that could not be further from the truth. In fact, these teeth are just as important as the permanent teeth that follow.

Baby Teeth

Baby teeth are the set of 20 teeth that come in at a very early age and are later replaced by permanent teeth. These teeth are already present within the jaw at birth and will usually begin to appear when the child is between six months and a year old. The teeth fall out at various times throughout childhood and, by the age of 21, all 32 of the permanent teeth will have erupted.

The teeth begin to erupt at the front and move back. The first teeth that erupt are the central incisor. These teeth erupt between eight and 12 months for the top teeth and between six and 10 months on the bottom. The last teeth that erupt are the second molars. The top second molars erupt at between 25 and 33 months and the bottom second molars erupt at between 23 and 31 months.

When it’s time for the baby teeth to make way for the permanent teeth, they shed in a similar order. The first teeth to make way are the central incisor which come out between the ages of six and seven years of age. The final teeth to make way are the second molars which do so at the ages of 10 to 12 years. The main difference in the way the teeth come in and shed are that the top teeth come in before the bottom teeth but they shed at about the same time.

Some children may have sore or tender gums when their baby teeth first come in. This can be easily taken care of by rubbing the gums of the child gently with a clean finger, a small, cool spoon, or a wet gauze pad. Another option is to provide the child with a clean teething ring that they can chew on.

Baby Teeth Are Important

As with adults, baby teeth help children to speak and chew. But there’s actually a differentiating factor between baby teeth and permanent teeth that make them very important. Baby teeth act as place holders in the jaw while the permanent teeth continue to grow under the gums. If a baby tooth comes out too early, there’s always the possibility that permanent teeth can drift into the empty space which can cause the other teeth to come in crooked or crowded. The way to ensure that your child achieves dental health for years to come is to start them off with good oral care as infants.

To ensure that your child has good oral habits going forward, begin right away by cleaning the baby’s mouth during the first few days after birth. You can do this by wiping their gums with a clean, moist gauze pad or washcloth. It’s important to remember that decay can begin happening to the teeth right after they appear which is normally at about six months for the front teeth.

From the time the child’s first teeth start to emerge until they are three years old, brushing of the teeth should begin. Make sure that the teeth are brushed thoroughly twice a day, morning and night, with toothpaste the size of a grain of rice. From the age of three until six, continuing brushing twice a day but with toothpaste the size of a pea. You should continue to brush the child’s teeth until you are sure they are capable of handling the duties on their own. This is to ensure a quality cleaning to prevent any decay from occurring. Once the child has two teeth that are close enough to touch, the child should begin flossing.

You may think that because baby teeth will eventually be replaced by permanent teeth that they’re not important but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Your child’s future dental health is largely dependent on how they take care of their baby teeth. If you need a pediatric dentist to examine your child, call on Pediatric Dentistry of Central Florida.