You get two sets of teeth during your life: your baby teeth and your permanent teeth. Infants are not initially born with teeth, but develop them over the first 3 years of life. These teeth will stay with them for only a few years until they fall out to make way for the permanent teeth. Although the baby teeth are only temporary, they are still around for years. That means they must receive just as much care as the adult, permanent teeth would. Find out more about your baby and permanent teeth and what you can do to keep both of them healthy and strong!
Babies are not born with a mouth full of teeth. However, their baby teeth are just waiting to pop through the gums and will actually start doing so during the first year of life. Most babies start to get their first tooth between 4 and 9 months. There are cases of infants having their first tooth before this time and even after age 1 or 2. It all depends on genetics and every baby is different. However, your child should definitely have baby teeth by the time they are 3 years old. If not, make sure they see a dentist right away.
Getting teeth can actually be a painful process for infants. Delicate gums have to split open at the top to make way for a tooth that is coming into the mouth. The process of getting teeth is known as “teething” and it can actually last for the first 3 years of your child’s life. Some babies don’t have very many symptoms when they are getting new teeth, whereas others will have symptoms such as:
To help your baby through this process, give them something to chew on like a firm rubber teething ring or something similar that is soft. Cold teething rings or foods may help them as well as baby tylenol. Make the process of getting teeth easier as well by enlisting the help of a dentist to avoid tooth decay and oral health problems.
Toddlers will eventually have 20 baby teeth in their mouth. These teeth should line up along the upper and lower jaws and babies should have 10 teeth on top and 10 on bottom. The lower front two teeth generally pop through the gums first, followed by the upper two teeth. The teeth will continue to come in like this on both the upper and lower jaws until all 20 baby teeth are in the mouth. Once that first tooth pops through, you must be meticulous with brushing that small baby tooth and cleaning your child’s gums. This is because sugar from foods can cause tooth decay quickly in such delicate, small teeth. However, these are not the teeth that they will keep forever.
An adult will have 32 teeth, including the wisdom teeth. The baby teeth are there while your child is small, but as they grow, so does their mouth. More room will form in the mouth and the teeth will space out more. Around age 6 or 7, those baby teeth will start to fall out until all the baby teeth have been replaced by larger, permanent teeth. Throughout the entire process of losing and getting teeth, a child should see the dentist at least twice a year as the American Dental Association recommends. This is the recommendation for patients of all ages. The ADA also recommends brushing and flossing your teeth at least twice a day. We would even suggest going beyond that by brushing and flossing after every meal, while also limiting sugar intake and carbonated beverages. All of these habits will keep both your baby teeth and permanent teeth healthier and stronger, as they help you avoid tooth decay and weak tooth enamel.
As you grow, so does your mouth. That is why you end up getting two sets of teeth during your life. Baby teeth for when you are tiny and growing, and adult, permanent teeth for when you are grown. These are the only two sets of teeth you will get in your life, so you must take care of your teeth well. As your child grows, you want to make sure they are visiting the dentist at least twice a year. You start your child off with dental visits within the first 6 months of their first tooth coming in. You want them to keep seeing the dentist so that you can be sure their baby teeth and jaws are forming and growing as they should.
Misaligned bites can cause speech impediments, problems chewing, eating, and functioning normally. We can catch early signs of bite problems when your child is young and correct those problems easily through child orthodontics, or braces for children. If there is anything that seems amiss with your child’s oral health or baby teeth, always call our office for help or to have your child get a dental exam.
At Mountain Aire Dentistry, we are passionate about helping you or your child achieve and maintain optimal oral health and a beautiful smile. Taking care of the baby teeth and the permanent teeth are both very important to us and should be to you. No matter if you are a new parent learning how to take care of your child’s teeth or you are simply trying to take care of your own teeth, we can help! Keep up on dental cleanings and exams, and learn how to keep your oral health in check by calling us at (303) 731-7755!