Your little one is starting to show the first signs of pearly whites poking through the gums. As a parent, what should you know about this first set of teeth? These very first teeth are more important than you might realize, and they’re good for more than just chowing down on solid foods. While they do help your child chew and talk, baby teeth do more than that.
Learn more about baby teeth in this short guide!
Only 20 Baby Teeth
While adults have 32 teeth (including the wisdom teeth), your little one will only have a set of 20. They’ll come in over a relatively short period of time, with most children seeing all of their baby teeth pop through the gums before they hit their third birthday. At six months of age, most babies will experience the first teeth through the gums.
Typically, the first teeth to become visible are at the centre of the bottom jaw, followed by the two front teeth on top.
What most people don’t realize is that your baby’s teeth are already in their mouth from before they were born. It’s just a matter of waiting for them to rise to the surface and make their way through the gums.
Help Guide Permanent Teeth
One of the most important functions of baby teeth is that they can help permanent teeth grow into the right spots. At this stage of development, baby teeth are only there to provide spacing for the permanent teeth that have yet to form. When your child is old enough (usually between ages six and eight), their permanent teeth will typically come in using baby teeth as guideposts.
Have you ever noticed that most young children lose their incisors first? These are typically the first of the baby teeth to drop out of the gums between ages six and eight. They are closely followed by the molars and canines a few years later, usually between ages nine and thirteen.
Brush Even Before Baby Teeth
You don’t want to wait until the baby teeth officially make their arrival to teach your child the importance of brushing. From the time they’re just a few weeks old, you should start to massage their gums with a wet washcloth in preparation for the baby teeth that are only a few months away.
Abandon Sugary Beverages
If you want those pearly whites to stay healthy, limit the amount of sugary drinks you give to your child. Cut back on the amount of juice you give them, substituting it for water, which is much less likely to lead to tooth decay.
Seek Out a Dentist
Once your child has their first teeth (or around their first birthday), it’s important to make sure that they get the dental care they need. East Kildonan Dental Group is a dental clinic in Winnipeg where we make going to the dentist fun for children. Give us a call today to learn more about when to make an appointment and how you can help your child develop healthy oral hygiene habits!