Baby teeth are also known as primary teeth. They are the first set of teeth that erupt in a child's mouth, typically between six and nine months of age. Just like adult teeth, they have a special role in your child's health and development. With early care, you help set the stage for a lifetime of healthy smiles! Here are five important facts about a baby's teeth.
Even though those primary teeth are temporary, they still play a very important role. In addition to helping your child chew and speak, they also help guide the permanent teeth into place as they start to emerge. The health of the primary teeth also plays a large role in a child's overall health. If they are not healthy, they will not be able to eat and speak properly. This can lead to a number of other issues down the road.
Baby teeth are also important because they help to stimulate and guide jaw growth. If the natural development of their teeth is altered due to decay or injury, it can also lead to misalignment of the jaw bones. This can result in facial deformities and crooked adult teeth, which can be harder to clean and maintain.
Babies usually have their first tooth appear around six to nine months of age. The first baby teeth to appear are usually the lower central incisors (or front teeth). These are followed shortly by the upper central incisors. Next to follow are the lateral incisors, which are located on either side of the upper jaw. Coming in on the lower arch are the cuspids and then the molars on each side of the upper and lower jaws. Finally, the canines erupt on both the upper and lower arches. Once all the primary teeth have emerged, they will usually start to fall out to make room for permanent teeth. This is often a process that begins around age four, and the cycle repeats itself until the wisdom teeth emerge in your late teens or early twenties.
Tooth decay is caused by bacteria that stick to and break down sugars in the foods children eat. To prevent tooth decay, make sure to wipe your baby's gums gently, especially after nursing or feeding. You can also ask your dentist for advice on using sealants that are applied to the chewing surfaces of the back molars to prevent harmful bacteria from causing cavities in the main teeth. Fluoride helps strengthen the outer layer of teeth, called the enamel. This also helps prevent tooth decay. Ask your dentist if you can apply a fluoride varnish to your child's teeth at their regular cleaning appointments.
As soon as your child's first tooth erupts, you should book an appointment with their dentist. This visit will help to create a positive experience for your child at the dentist's office and also provide an opportunity for the dentist to review oral health and development with your child's parents. Depending on the age of the child, the dentist may recommend fluoride treatments or additional professional cleanings. These appointments also allow parents to ask any questions they may have about their child's dental health.
Proper nutrition is important for your baby's overall health, but it also helps keep their teeth strong and healthy. Giving your baby a variety of foods will help them receive the nutrients they need for good health and a strong immune system. Avoid feeding them sugary snacks, including juice or regular soda.
Drinking plenty of water can help wash away leftover food particles and keep your child's mouth clean and hydrated. You can encourage water consumption by keeping a water bottle nearby or giving them sips of water throughout the day. Water will help prevent dry mouth too, which can attract bacteria and cause bad breath.
Contact Sugar Land Dental in Sugar Land, TX, for more specific instructions on taking care of your child's teeth. To book an appointment, call (281) 980-5100 or visit us at 101 Southwestern Blvd Suite 204, Sugar Land, TX 77478.