It’s an exciting time when your child gets their first tooth, but all of a sudden there is something else to look after. Along with the sleep deprivation and copious amounts of drool due to teething we start worrying about their teeth. Is it coming through in the right position? What is that weird looking spot? Why is my child shoving their whole fist in their mouth?
Here is some information to try and ease your mind.
All About Baby Teeth
Generally your child will develop their first tooth by the age of one, although this can vary from not yet having any teeth to being born with their first tooth already. The baby teeth continue to come through until the age of 3 having a total of 20.
Around the age of 6 is when the first adult tooth starts to come through and baby teeth start to fall out. This will continue until around the age of 10-12 where all the adult teeth bar the wisdom teeth will have come through and the last of the baby teeth will have fallen out. Normally there will now be a total of 28 teeth.
Please have a look at this baby teeth eruption chart prepared by the American Dental Association:
Cleaning baby teeth
Start with a washer over your finger on the gums. When teeth first appear brush twice a day using a soft tooth brush and low fluoride kids toothpaste. (eg. Milk teeth, Colgate first). Since babies naturally swallow the toothpaste do not use adult toothpaste. Start flossing once the teeth are touching, often when molars are through.
Early loss of baby teeth can be from anything such as decay or trauma and can result in orthodontic concerns. Decay can be prevented by fluoride application which helps strengthen the enamel. It should be introduced to the enamel from about 6 months old through tap water and low fluoride toothpaste. If a baby tooth does fall out the space can be maintained to allow the adult tooth to come through properly.
Their first dental visit can start from when the first couple of teeth come through when you have your appointment. Getting them used to the sounds and environment, maybe sitting on your lap and letting the dentist have a quick look at their teeth and slowly progressing to them laying back in the chair and have a clean done. If at first they won’t allow this try not to stress, they will eventually. What’s most important is that they leave with a positive experience and have enjoyed their visit.