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8 Baby Teeth Facts Every Parent Should Know

Baby teeth are only there for a few short years.  Keeping them healthy will save you and your child a lot of heartache.

Know your baby teeth basics.  When they come, when they fall out, and how to care for them while they are there.

ckick here for chart

1. When they come in

Primary teeth start to erupt anytime between 4 and 6 months of age.  

However, anytime in the first year is not unusual and the first tooth can come in as late as 12 months.  

All 20 primary teeth should be in at age 2 1/2 - 3 yrs.  

This chart is helpful for identifying signs of teething and estimating their arrival.

2. When they fall out

Kids begin losing teeth at around age 5 but can lose their first tooth as late as age 7.   If your son or daughters teeth came in late it is likely that they will fall out late as well.  This chart shows  approximate ages when teeth are lost or shed.  

This article explains when and how loose teeth should come out. 

3. Cavities matter

Cavities occur in baby teeth and usually need to be treated unless the tooth with a cavity will be lost soon and there is no risk of the tooth becoming abscessed. Learn when baby teeth cavities don't have to be filled here.   

Cavity prevention is important for baby teeth.   Mainly because it's no fun for a child to get a filling and even worse for them to have a tooth pulled. 

Even though baby teeth will be replaced with adult teeth, they are necessary  to guide proper eruption of permanent teeth.  Read more about cavities in baby teeth here.

4. First dental check up

There is a difference of opinion on the ideal timing for a child's first dental visit.  The Academy of Pediatric Dentists recommends a dental visit when the first tooth erupts.  

Many dentists recommend age 3 as the ideal time for children to have a dental cleaning and check up.  Here's why.

pediatric dentist vs family dentist

5. Pediatric vs family dentist

Many family dentists also see young children.  

Appointment for the whole family can be scheduled together making this option convenient and possibly more affordable for families.

Pediatric dentists love taking care of kids and have devoted their career to caring for children.

This article explains situations when a pediatric dentist may be a better choice.

6.  How to care for baby teeth

Care of baby teeth is simple.  Brush twice a day and avoid sugar. Flossing can be gradually introduced.  Most cavities that occur in baby teeth are due to diet.

Sugar causes cavities and baby teeth tend to decay faster than adult teeth.  Avoiding sugar filled drinks and foods will help your child avoid cavities.  This article provides simple tips to prevent cavities.

7.  When to use toothpaste or mouthwash

It is not necessary to use toothpaste or a toothbrush for babies.  Just a clean soft washcloth will work fine for cleaning the first few teeth.  

Once the molars begin to erupt it is a good idea to introduce a very small and soft toothbrush.  

Training toothpaste can eventually be added.  Training toothpaste without fluoride should be used until you are sure the child is able to spit the toothpaste out after brushing and is not swallowing it.

After age 6 and once you are sure they can rinse without swallowing, ACT fluoride rinse can be used.  ACT is only necessary if your child tends to get cavities.

baby teeth

8. When to see an orthodontist

Most orthodontic treatment can wait until the permanent teeth come in.  

Missing or impacted permanent teeth are two conditions that dentists are able to identify before all the permanent teeth are erupted.  

Your dentist will recommend an orthodontic consultation if there is a reason for early orthodontic evaluation or treatment.  

This article explains the early signs of these problems.  Click here for answers to your orthodontic questions.

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