Are baby teeth important?

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This is a commonly asked question — especially by new parents.

Baby teeth are present in the jaw at birth and typically the first tooth will erupt between six and eight months of age.

Most children have a full set of teeth by the time they are two years of age and it is important to start caring for your child’s teeth as soon as they appear in the mouth.

Caring for your child’s teeth

  • Begin cleaning your baby’s teeth by wiping the gums and teeth with a warm, damp, soft washcloth.
    • No toothpaste or detergent is needed, nor is it recommended.
  • When your child reaches two years of age, and all their baby teeth are present, introduce a soft bristle toothbrush to their daily routine.
    • If you decide to use toothpaste, it is recommended to use a non-fluoridated toothpaste.
    • A pea size amount of paste is all that that is needed.
    • Encourage your child to spit out the extra toothpaste.
  • It is advised that the first dental visit occur between two and three years of age.
  • Introducing your child early to the dental environment is important to develop a positive relationship.
    • At your first appointment, your child will meet the dental staff and the child’s tooth development will be assessed.
    • We will check for cavities, missing teeth, and discuss any habits like thumb sucking and pacifier use.
    • This appointment is also an opportunity for you to ask questions and discuss any concerns you may have.
  • Fluoride, in appropriate levels, is safe and recommended to prevent tooth decay even if you have fluoride in your drinking water but fluoridated toothpaste is not recommended until your child can properly spit out the toothpaste.
    • Avoid toothpaste with fluoride until your child is about five years old.
  • It is important that an adult assist with tooth brushing until your child is six or seven years old.
    • A very soft toothbrush is recommended.
  • See your dentist and dental hygienist regularly.

Is that a baby tooth or adult tooth?

Typically, all baby teeth are present in the mouth by around two years of age. The baby molars remain in the mouth until 11-12 years old. That is why it is important to assess the teeth for decay and fix any cavities that are present.

The first baby teeth typically fall out between six and eight years old. Usually the lower front teeth exfoliate first. No molars are lost at this time, but it is important to note that at this time the six year old molars erupt. These molars at the back of the mouth are permanent molars and proper care and attention is required. Your child will gain four more molars around 12 years of age. (Wisdom teeth typically appear around 17-22 years of age.)

Contact Simon Pong Dentistry, Oakville to learn more about your child’s teeth.

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