Baby Teeth and What Parents Need To Know
Having a baby is thrilling, especially for first-time parents. There will be endless “firsts,” like the first word, first laugh, and first steps. Another first that every parent looks forward to is the baby’s first tooth. When that first baby tooth appears, it’s a sign that your baby is growing and flourishing.
While baby teeth may be temporary, they are still important. Often parents are unaware of the importance of taking care of baby teeth, not realizing that they should care for them in the same manner that they would care for their child’s permanent teeth. So, what do you need to know about baby teeth?
When Do Baby Teeth Appear?
Baby teeth, or primary teeth, typically start to erupt between six months of age until about 12 months. However, some babies can start teething before they hit six months. By age three, all baby teeth should be in place. Take a look at this eruption chart, a baby tooth timeline that can help you track when your baby’s teeth should come in.
When all baby teeth have erupted, there will be 20 primary teeth, including:
- Second molars
- First molars
- Lateral incisors
- Central incisors
How Do You Deal With Teething?
Teething can be stressful for some babies. While it doesn’t hurt at all for some, parents can observe the following symptoms in others:
- Red and sore gums
- Mild temperature
- Flushed cheeks
- Rash on their face
- Rubbing their ear
- Gnawing and chewing
- Dribbling more than usual
- More fretful than usual
- Not sleeping well
If your baby is having a hard time, there are ways you can make the phase more bearable. You may give them teething rings or healthy food to chew on, such as fruits and vegetables. You can also try teething gels if you find that nothing else is working effectively. Ensure you choose a teething gel designed for young children.
Paracetamol and ibuprofen can help with the pain, but talk to your baby’s pediatrician first. To comfort babies, you can massage their gums with a clean finger. To prevent rashes, wipe your baby’s face more frequently to clean their dribble.
How Do You Keep Baby Teeth Clean?
Every parent should remember that developing healthy oral habits for a child’s teeth starts the moment the baby teeth come in. Yes, baby teeth are temporary and will eventually fall out, but taking care of them is essential in keeping your baby’s mouth healthy.
Baby teeth hold space for permanent teeth and give your baby’s face a normal shape. They’re also essential for proper chewing and help in proper speech development. When you keep the baby teeth healthy, you also help the permanent teeth grow healthy.
When brushing baby teeth at least twice a day, use a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste. Brush baby teeth in small circles, and cover all the teeth surfaces.
Some parents will find it hard to make babies love brushing their teeth. Be creative and try making it fun for them by singing or making funny faces. You can also let your baby chew on the toothbrush for a while to get them used to the sensation.
Try to avoid giving kids sugar–sweetened drinks. And, for complete oral health, regularly visit a pediatric dentist.
When Do Baby Teeth Fall Out and Permanent Teeth Emerge?
At four years old, the jaw and facial bones start to grow, providing gaps for permanent teeth that are larger than baby teeth. At around age six, baby teeth begin to fall out, and permanent teeth start to erupt. The process can last until age 12. So, by age 13, all permanent teeth should be in place.
When Should You Start To See a Pediatric Dentist?
The best time to see a children’s dentist is when the baby teeth start to come in. Pediatric dentists can help you develop a dental care routine for your baby and ensure that their baby teeth are healthy. Dental visits should be every six months or as recommended by the dentist.
At Bay Area Kids Dentists, our services focus on the dental health of toddlers, kids, teens, and families. We are committed to providing an exceptional dental experience for every child, and we’re ready to check your baby’s teeth as soon as they emerge. Whenever you’re ready, book an appointment with us!