The primary teeth, which are also called “baby teeth,” are as important as the adult permanent teeth. They guide the permanent teeth into their proper positions, as well as help your child eat and speak. If a baby tooth is lost too soon, the permanent teeth may drift into the vacant space, which makes it difficult for other adult teeth to have room to come in as they should. This can cause crowded or crooked teeth.
When Will My Baby’s Teeth Come In?
The first baby tooth usually erupts at about six months of age. However, it can come in as early as three months or as late as one year. Here’s a general rule of thumb: every six months of a child’s life, about four teeth will erupt. Tooth eruption usually begins sooner with girls than with boys. The lower teeth usually erupt before the upper teeth. The baby teeth usually erupt in pairs. By the time your child turns two or three years old, all of their baby teeth should have come in. Keep in mind that the primary teeth are smaller and whiter than the permanent teeth that will come later.
How Do I Care for My Baby’s Teeth?
Before the teeth grow in, use a piece of gauze or a moistened washcloth to wipe your baby’s gums at least twice a day. This is especially important after feedings and before bed. Once your baby starts teething, you can switch to a toothbrush. Choose one that has soft bristles, a small head, and a large handle. Just use water on the toothbrush until the teeth actually break through the gums. Then you can switch to using a bit of toothpaste about the size of a grain of rice. When your child turns three, you can increase to a pea-sized amount of toothpaste. Brush all surfaces of your child’s teeth.
For more information about baby teeth and to schedule an appointment with our dentist in Phoenixville, Pennsylvania, contact Always Dental Care today!