Babies and children teeth
What is the normal eruption sequence of baby teeth?
- At about 5-8 months, the first 2 baby central incisors (front teeth) erupt on the bottom.
- From 8-10 months, four upper incisors come in.
- At 10-16 months, the lower lateral incisors and the first baby molars come in.
- At 16-22 months the cuspids ("eye teeth" or "canines") erupt.
- Finally, when the child is 2-3 1/2 years old, all 20 baby teeth have usually arrived. (These age intervals are approximate.)
At what age do children loose their baby teeth?
Usually, these teeth are lost at around 7 years of age with the last tooth staying in the mouth until 12-14 years of age. During this span of time, the baby teeth (deciduous teeth) are important for eating, speaking, smiling, and most importantly, to hold and maintain the spaces for the adult teeth.
Caring for baby’s teeth
The new teeth can be cleaned with a gauze square or the corner of a washcloth. As soon as all parts of the tooth can’t be easily wiped, you should begin brushing them.
How to choose a toothbrush?
A soft, multi-tufted, end-rounded toothbrush is best for all teeth and their surrounding gum tissue. A small brush head is ideal for a child's mouth. The appropriate size of the head is depends more on the size of the child's mouth rather than the child's age. Therefore, age categories indicated on toothbrush packaging should be seen as indications and not rules for choosing the right toothbrush for children.
Changing toothbrushes frequently is important for overall dental health. A toothbrush has the potential to harbour bacteria at the very base of the bristles. It is best to change a toothbrush every one to three months, or immediately following any flu, cold, or throat infection.
How much toothpaste should a child use?
The amount of toothpaste to be used should be no more than the size of a small pea. Too much toothpaste is not pleasant for a child, and the frequent ingestion or swallowing of the paste can cause dental fluorosis, a health condition that could cause staining or in severe cases some damage to the tooth structure. Parents should always supervise young brushers.
Can children get too much fluoride?
Yes. If excess fluoride is ingested it can result in a condition known as fluorosis. Fluorosis can cause varying degrees of staining and irregular enamel formation in your child's permanent teeth. Most municipal water supplies are fluoridated at safe levels (1.0 ppm). If your water source is an independent well, or if you drink only bottled water, you should investigate the level of fluoride that the water contains. Another potential source of excess fluoride is fluoridated toothpaste. Children should use a "pea" size dab of fluoridated toothpaste and expectorate as much as possible. Parents should always supervise young brushers.
Is it important to floss children's teeth?
For children as well as adults, flossing is very important to overall dental health. Whenever two teeth are touching, there is potential for bacteria to be between them.
Flossing is best if the child puts his or her head in the parent's lap so the parent has better access to the child's mouth.
At what age should my child first visit the dentist?
Generally speaking, when a child has all of the primary teeth in place it is a good time to have the first oral exam. The first cleaning and check-up appointment can follow a few months later, depending on the child`s maturity and readiness to accept the treatment. The goal is to have your child’s first dental experience be a positive one.