As dentists, the staff at Willow Pass Dental Care is just as concerned about permanent teeth as they are about primary teeth. Primary teeth, otherwise known as baby teeth, are the first set of teeth that grow in the child’s mouth during infancy. Primary teeth are functional and can be used by the child for many years, with proper care. When primary teeth fall out, they are replaced by permanent teeth. Our Pediatric dental specialists advise parents to take special care of their children’s primary teeth. This is because they are essential in the overall development of the child’s mouth and will affect their ability to chew and talk. Since primary teeth will eventually be replaced by permanent teeth, an infected baby tooth can cause staining or damage to the tooth that will replace it. Also, several factors are dependent upon the proper growth of primary teeth including the development of the muscles of the jaw, the development of the jawbone, determination of the proper spacing for permanent teeth, and guiding permanent teeth eruptions.
Around the age of six, a child’s primary teeth may begin to fall out and make room for permanent teeth. They usually fall out so that they first erupted, with the lower teeth falling out before the upper teeth. Sometimes, children get crooked permanent teeth because their primary teeth fell out prematurely and were not able to serve as guides for the growth of the permanent teeth. Also, premature loss of a primary tooth may result in crowding and leave limited space for the new tooth to grow in.
When a primary tooth becomes loose, you can assist your child in removing it by holding the loose tooth with a piece of gauze or tissue and removing it with a quick twist. You can wait a few more days if the tooth is not loose enough to fall. Consulting with the dentist may also prove to be beneficial as he can advise whether it would be best just to wait for the tooth to fall off, or set an extraction date for it.
When children start losing their primary teeth, it is vital that they learn the importance of proper dental care. Always remind them to brush their teeth at least twice a day using proper brushing technique and show them how to floss properly. You should also help them make better food choices to prevent tooth decay from developing on their permanent teeth. By taking them to their regular dental visits at Willow Pass Dental Care and assuring that they care for their teeth at home, you can help them have a beautiful smile from birth to adulthood.
Baby Teeth Eruption
Since our expertise is seeing children, the pediatric dentist often gets asked about tooth eruption. Tooth eruption is the process of the tooth entering the mouth and becoming visible as they protrude through the gums. At around six months of age, the lower incisors erupt first. This will be closely followed by the eruption of the lateral incisors, then the canines, the first molars, and finally the second molars. Tooth eruption happens in various stages of early childhood and is different for each child. It normally occurs between the ages of six months and two years. Our Pediatric Dentist has divided the timeline of tooth eruption into three major parts the primary dentition stage, mixed dentition stage, and the permanent dentition stage.
Generally, humans will have 20 primary teeth and 32 permanent teeth that appear within the three stages of dentition. During primary dentition, the first primary teeth erupt and before long there are 20 primary teeth in the mouth. The mixed dentition stage begins when the first permanent teeth appear, around age six, and this stage continues until the last primary teeth fall out. Finally, the permanent dentition stage is characterized by the absence of primary teeth, when all of the child’s permanent teeth have erupted in the mouth.
Just as the eruption of primary teeth differs from child to child; the timeline for the eruption of permanent teeth is also different in each child. Ideally, the first molars erupt when the child is between six and seven years old; the central and lateral incisors when he is about eight years old; canines, premolars, and second molars erupt between 9 and 13 years; and the third molars usually erupt between the ages of 17 and 21, or not at all for some children.
At any age, tooth eruption may be an uncomfortable process for children. However, the most common symptoms may be effectively managed without any medication. Warm salt water rinses and softer foods for a couple of days may be all that a teething child needs. We do not recommend the use of Orajel, because, once swallowed, it could numb the child’s throat as well, making it uncomfortable to swallow. If there is any concern about tooth growth or a great deal of pain associated with tooth eruption, it is always a good idea to come in and see a pediatric dentist. In fact, regular dental visits can help assure that the teeth are erupting at the correct time and in the correct position.