Bayswater Dentist

3 Facts about Baby Teeth

Baby teeth play a crucial role in your child’s development. They enable your little one to talk, chew food properly, and flash a beautiful smile. It’s essential for parents to understand these three key facts about their child’s first set of teeth.

  • Usually, baby teeth appear between 6 and 9 months

Most babies start getting their first teeth sometime between 6 and 9 months old. However, in some cases, teeth can come in as early as 3 months or as late as 1 year. The two bottom front teeth typically show up first, followed by the two top front teeth. By around age 3, most children have a full set of 20 baby teeth.

Even before your baby’s teeth come in, it’s important to keep their mouth clean, since they often put their hands and objects in their mouth. As a new parent, dental care for your baby might seem a bit overwhelming. That’s why it’s always a good idea to ask your dentist for guidance and answers to any questions you may have.

  • Baby teeth need daily care as soon as they appear

Just like grown-up teeth, baby teeth can get cavities. Frequently nursing your baby or putting them to bed with a bottle of milk or formula can increase the risk of tooth decay. This happens because breast milk and formula contain sugars that can stick to your baby’s teeth overnight, allowing bacteria to feed on the enamel (the protective outer layer of the teeth).

To prevent this, switch to water in your baby’s bedtime bottle once their teeth start coming in. Water helps strengthen enamel since it usually contains fluoride. Your dentist can advise you on whether your baby needs extra fluoride.

Make sure to clean your baby’s teeth every day to reduce the time bacteria have to cause decay. How quickly decay develops depends on how long sugary and starchy foods stay on the teeth. Try to limit your child’s intake of sugary treats like candy, cake, and cookies.

If you don’t take good care of your baby’s teeth, it can lead to discolouration, cavities, and even speech problems if teeth need to be removed due to severe decay. Your dentist or hygienist can show you the best ways to clean your little one’s teeth.

  • Baby teeth are temporary, but they matter

Around age 6, your child’s baby teeth will start to get loose and fall out as the permanent teeth underneath push them out. But baby teeth shouldn’t fall out until the permanent replacements are ready to come in. The baby teeth act as guides to make sure the grown-up teeth come in straight. If a baby tooth stays in too long, it could mean the permanent tooth is coming in crooked.

This is why it’s recommended to bring your child to the dentist sometime between 6 months and 1 year of age. If the permanent teeth come in misaligned, it can impact your child’s facial appearance, eating, and speech.

So taking care of those baby teeth is just as important as taking care of permanent teeth! Your child will have a mix of baby and permanent teeth until around age 12. By then, they should have all their permanent teeth except the wisdom teeth, which come in during the late teens or early 20s.

Throughout the process of your child losing their baby teeth, those little teeth serve the important functions of allowing your child to speak clearly, chew their food, and share their smile with the world.

The Bottom Line

Keeping your child’s teeth healthy from the start sets them up for a lifetime of good dental health and overall wellbeing. At Bayswater Dentist, our caring professionals are here to help whenever you have questions or concerns!

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