January 19, 2022
Nothing is more exciting than your child’s first tooth. Although they are only in place for a few short years, their primary teeth are crucial for their health and development; however, every child’s smile is unique. It can be difficult to know what’s normal or not. Don’t worry, here’s a complete guide to baby teeth, so you know exactly what to expect over the years.
Most Primary Teeth Erupt Between 6-12 Months
Most babies will have their first tooth appear between 6-12 months. While this is considered normal, it’s not unusual for infants as young as 3 months to get teeth. Some babies won’t have any emerge until their first birthday. If they don’t have any teeth before they are 6 months old, don’t panic. Everyone’s child develops at their own rate but usually has all 20 baby teeth by the age of 3.
Every Baby Tooth is Important
Your child’s first set of teeth will fall out, eventually. Although they are only there for a short time, every baby tooth serves a purpose. Not only do they create a smile that will melt your heart, but baby teeth allow them to learn to eat and speak. They are essential to developing necessary oral functions while acting as placeholders for the adult teeth. Baby teeth also give your child’s face its shape and form. If even one tooth is lost too soon, it can have lasting consequences for their dental health and development, like alignment issues.
Expect the Tooth Fairy About Age 6
Around the age of 6, you can anticipate your child’s first loose tooth. Their primary teeth will be replaced one by one until about the age of 12. As they reach the end of their teen years, you can expect their wisdom teeth to emerge.
Baby Teeth Aren’t Immune to Tooth Decay
Although cavities are preventable, tooth decay is the most prevalent chronic condition for American children. It’s more common than childhood asthma, so you’ll want to take several steps at home to support a cavity-free smile, such as:
- Create a daily oral hygiene routine, even if they don’t have any teeth.
- Provide a healthy diet that’s limited in sugars and starches.
- Don’t put your baby to bed with a bottle or cup unless it’s water.
- Choose dental products containing fluoride.
- Schedule semi-annual cleanings and checkups.
Your child should see their pediatric dentist for the first time before they turn one year old. This might seem young, but it allows their dentist to monitor their developing smile to provide the services necessary to keep their teeth and gums healthy.
About Dr. Dana C. Jones
Dr. Jones earned his dental degree from the University of Buffalo School of Dental Medicine. He has completed advanced educational courses in many specialties to treat patients of all ages. As a father, he understands the compassionate approach young children need to enjoy their time at the dentist. If your child needs a cleaning and checkup, contact our office today.
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