Understanding Your Baby’s Teeth

From Coming In To Falling Out

Ever wondered why your teeth differ in size, shape and location in your mouth? While they give your face its form and shape, teeth differences enable you to chew food well, speak in words, and smile, of course.

Baby teeth are also called milk teeth or primary teeth. In all, children have 20 baby teeth – 10 on the upper jaw and 10 on the lower jaw. They will act as placeholders for the permanent teeth that grow in after the baby teeth fall out. Baby teeth start to come in or erupt at about 6 months of age and fall out or shed at various times throughout childhood. By age 21, all 32 of the permanent teeth have usually erupted.

Apart from being able to chew and eat, primary teeth are needed for providing space for permanent teeth and guiding them into position, allowing for proper jaw bone and muscle development, and for proper speech and having that attractive appearance that engages everyone with babies.

Actually a child’s teeth begin to form before he or she is born. The basic substance of the tooth forms in the fetus at 6 weeks of gestation. Next, the hard tissue that surrounds teeth is formed, around 3 to 4 months. After the child is born, the next stage occurs when the tooth actually protrudes through the gum. This is called teething and its variable among individual babies. It’s at six to ten months when the first lower center usually make an appearance. Although all 20 baby teeth usually appear by age three, their pace and order of eruption may vary.

Permanent teeth begin appearing around age six, starting with the first molars and lower central incisors. This process continues until approximately 21 years of age, if there is space for the third molars to erupt in. The front teeth (incisors) are usually lost between six to eight years of age, and the back teeth (canines and molars) are not lost until ages nine to thirteen.

Every child is different, so when teeth first come in, some babies may have sore or tender gums. Gently rubbing the child’s gums with a clean finger, a small, cool spoon or a wet gauze pad can be soothing. A clean teething ring to chew on is another tip. If your child is still cranky and in pain, consult your dentist or physician.

All About Baby Teeth in West Seattle

Know more about your baby’s or young toddler’s teeth with a visit to your West Seattle dentist. It pays that parents are concerned with their little one’s oral health care this early.