It is something of a milestone when that first baby tooth erupts, and it doesn’t take long for the rest of the baby teeth to emerge. The first tooth can appear anytime around six months of age to a year, and most children will have all their baby teeth by the time they are three or four years old. Some parents think it’s not necessary to really care for these first teeth as they only last a few years. In fact the opposite is true, and it’s vitally important to look after your baby’s milk teeth so they are able to last until the adult teeth are ready to erupt.
- Your child will have 20 baby teeth, and these can also be called milk teeth or primary teeth. The first teeth to erupt are the lower central incisors, or their two front teeth, and these are soon joined by the upper central incisors. The next teeth to erupt are the incisors either side of the two front teeth, and these are called the lateral incisors. After this your child will get their first molar, and this is followed by their canines or eyeteeth. The last teeth to erupt are the second molars.
- You may want to bring your child to visit Leeds City Dentalcare soon after that first tooth has erupted. Dr David Brown will be able to check all the teeth are developing normally, and can advise you on how frequently you need to schedule visits. The dental team in Leeds can also give you advice on how to look after these primary teeth, and how to prevent them decaying. This early dental care can go a long way towards preventing childhood caries.
- Your baby may have sore gums when their baby teeth are trying to push through, and they may experience a number of symptoms. The most common is probably increased drooling, and you may notice them wanting to chew on toys or fingers. Our Leeds surgery can give you advice on how to deal with the symptoms and how to keep them more comfortable.
- Get into the habit of cleaning their teeth regularly, and this could begin before they even begin to erupt. You can get them used to the sensation simply by wiping their gums with a clean flannel or damp piece of clean muslin. Ask our dentist in Leeds when you should begin using fluoridated toothpaste as it’s important not to start too early. You also need to remember your baby probably lacks the ability to spit out excess toothpaste!
This may seem a lot of troubles to go to for teeth that will fall out anyway within just a few years, so why bother? These primary teeth are not simply for show, as they help your baby learn to eat and chew properly, and to speak audibly. Milk teeth are designed to last until the adult teeth are ready to erupt, and help to maintain the correct spaces in the mouth. This ensures the adult teeth can erupt normally, and that they’re more likely to come through straight and strong.
Early childhood caries can cause real problems, as significant tooth decay can leave a child feeling uncomfortable or even in pain. Having to treat a child at such a young age could end up giving them a negative view of dental treatment, and this could last with them well into adulthood. In contrast early dental care could help maintain their milk teeth, ensuring their mouth remains healthy. Regular dental care will help them see there’s nothing scary about visiting Leeds City Dentalcare.