Primary Teeth

The roots of the primary teeth provide an opening within the mouth so that your permanent teeth are able to push through the gums and fully erupt within your mouth. Your primary teeth are temporary and many people refer to them as baby teeth. You do need to take care of these teeth as they are supposed to remain there and not simply fall out due to poor hygiene. A child needs to have primary teeth that are healthy to help facilitate the development of the permanent teeth and to allow them to eat and speak correctly.

The time of eruption of the primary teeth can vary from child to child, but will occur sometime between the first year and two years. Some children may begin to develop teeth more quickly while others may not develop any until later on. It is normal for a tooth to erupt at 6 months and also at 18 months, so do not panic if your child is early or late.

When the primary teeth begin to come in, you will notice the first four front teeth develop, which includes the two top and two bottom. Children often have their entire set of primary teeth by the age of three, but again, you do not have to hold your child to this number. Eruption can start at six months and end at 36 months.

The primary set of teeth seen are the mandibular centrals and the last to come in are the secondary molars, which are located in the back of the mouth. Primary teeth will eventually be replaced with permanent teeth around the age of six or seven. The permanent tooth will begin to push its way up through the gum, which will then cause the primary tooth’s roots to loosen and eventually fall out. The roots are often dissolved by odontoblasts and then become the permanent teeth you see.

Primary teeth will start to fall out somewhere between six and seven years of age, but you may notice your child’s teeth take a little longer to fall out, especially if the baby or primary teeth did not arrive until later on. The process of losing primary teeth may be scary for a child, but it is a natural process called exfoliation. The process continues until the child reaches the age of 12. At this time, all of the permanent teeth should be in place.

There are some teeth that have thicker roots and they are referred to as deciduous teeth. They will not fall out right away as they have a difficult root complex. The baby tooth’s roots are weakened by the permanent tooth and the root will loosen allowing the tooth to fall out and make room for the tooth behind it.

It is important for your child to keep his or her primary teeth healthy and clean so that gum disease or cavities do not form. Oral pain is not something your child wants to experience and Dr. Cho does not want your child to lose his or her baby teeth until they are absolutely ready.

Primary teeth that are decayed can cause problems when it comes to the permanent teeth underneath. This means that the new permanent teeth may grow in and need dental work performed on them the moment they are received. Sometimes, parents do not fully understand the importance of the primary teeth and they decay quickly.

Tooth decay that occurs on the primary teeth is common in small children who use bottles to consume liquids. If the bottle or liquid is left in your child’s mouth, the sugar eats away at the teeth and this leads to cavities.

Dr. Cho says that you should avoid giving your child a bottle in bed and should make sure that you remove the bottle and brush your child’s teeth before bed. You do not want to leave a sippy cup or bottle filled with juice or milk in the crib or bed as this leads to tooth decay. If your child needs something to drink, you should offer him or her water.

You do need to make sure you teach your children to spit the toothpaste out when they are done brushing their teeth as well. Some children like to swallow it and this can be harmful over time. If your child is too young to spit out the toothpaste, make sure you choose a paste that is safe if swallowed.

Fluoride and Your Child’s Teeth

Fluoride is a wonderful thing for children’s teeth because it helps protect the teeth and strengthen them. You will find that many of the toothpaste options out there have fluoride in them. You should only use a fluoride toothpaste on a child who is three years of age or older.

If you do not know what type of fluoride toothpaste to choose for your child, you should ask Dr. Cho. He will provide you with some of the best toothpaste options.

Brushing and Your Child’s Teeth

You need to make sure that you start brushing your child’s teeth the moment they start to grow in. You should even brush the gums where teeth have not erupted either. You want to use a small amount of toothpaste and simply brush it onto the teeth in a circular motion.

You should brush your child’s primary teeth twice per day and floss them when you can. If your child has two teeth near each other, you should place the floss between the teeth to clean out any stuck food particles.

Schedule Your Child’s Dental Appointment Today

It is important for your child to receive the dental care that he or she needs. The sooner you seek out dental cleanings and care for your child’s teeth, the more likely they will be to avoid decay and grow healthy and strong.

If there is a problem with your child’s primary teeth, Dr. Cho is ready to work with you. Schedule your appointment with Dr. Cho today.



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