How well do you know your child’s smile? As a trusted dentist who serves pediatric patients in Baton Rouge, Southern Oaks Family Dental Care welcomes the chance to help you better understand your child’s teeth and gums. After all, knowing your teeth only equips and motivates you to take care of them better. Until your child is old enough, dental hygiene falls in the hands of the parents or caregivers. And yes, while baby teeth are not permanent, they DO matter!
Here are some answers to the most frequently asked questions about baby (or primary) teeth:
When do baby teeth typically start to appear?
Baby teeth, also known as primary or deciduous teeth, usually start to erupt between the ages of 6 and 12 months. However, there can be some variation, and some babies may have their first tooth earlier or later.
In what order do baby teeth come in?
Baby teeth generally erupt in a specific order, although there can be some individual variation. The typical order of eruption is usually the lower central incisors (bottom front teeth) first, followed by the upper central incisors (top front teeth). Then the lateral incisors, first molars, canines, and second molars follow.
How many baby teeth are there?
Children usually have a total of 20 baby teeth. This includes eight incisors (four on top, four on the bottom), four canines, and eight molars (four first molars and four second molars).
When do baby teeth start to fall out?
Baby teeth begin to fall out around the age of 6 or 7 years. This process continues until around the age of 12 or 13 when the last baby tooth is typically lost. The permanent teeth then start to replace the primary teeth.
What should I do if my child loses a baby tooth too early?
If a baby tooth is lost prematurely due to injury, decay, or other reasons, it’s important to consult a dentist. We can evaluate the situation and determine if any intervention is necessary. In some cases, a space maintainer may be recommended to prevent issues with tooth alignment and ensure proper development of permanent teeth.
How should I care for my child’s baby teeth?
Proper oral care for baby teeth is essential. Here are some tips:
- Start cleaning your child’s teeth as soon as the first tooth erupts. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and water or a tiny smear of fluoride toothpaste (for children under 3 years old) and a pea-sized amount (for children 3-6 years old).
- Encourage your child to spit out excess toothpaste but avoid rinsing with water immediately after brushing, as it helps the fluoride protection to stay on the teeth longer.
- Limit sugary snacks and drinks, and encourage a balanced diet for good oral health.
- Schedule regular dental check-ups for professional cleanings, examinations, and early detection of any dental issues.
Why are baby teeth important if they are eventually replaced by permanent teeth?
Baby teeth play several crucial roles. They help children chew and speak properly, maintain proper alignment to guide the eruption of permanent teeth, and serve as placeholders for the permanent teeth. Additionally, healthy baby teeth contribute to good nutrition, self-esteem, and overall oral health.
For more personalized advice and guidance on caring for your child’s baby teeth, schedule a consult with Southern Oaks Family Dental Care.
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8670 Airline Hwy Suite A
Baton Rouge, LA 70815
Phone: (225) 307-3275
Monday - 7:30 AM to 4:00 PM
Tuesday - 7:30 AM to 4:00 PM
Wednesday - 7:30 AM to 4:00 PM
Thursday - 7:30 AM to 4:00 PM
Friday - 7:30 AM to 12:00 PM
Saturday & Sunday - Closed