Welcome back, Hartwell Dentistry has today put together a run down on when your child should expect their teeth and the importance of treating baby teeth if needed.

It is only their baby teeth, they will fall out. Why see the dentist at all?

A common question we have from our patients’ parents is why we restore cavities on baby teeth when we know that they will eventually be lost.  There are times of course when this is valid based on the expectation when that the tooth in question will fall out, but many primary teeth are not lost until age 12 or 13 (on average).  In many cases we are driven to treat cavities in primary teeth when they increase your child’s risk for pain, infection, or orthodontic (space) problems.

The enamel in primary teeth is thinner than in adult teeth, childhood cavities can spread quickly as they work their way toward the pulp (nerve and blood vessel) of the tooth. As the cavity deepens, painful sensitivity can develop which progresses to spontaneous, often severe, pain as the pulp becomes infected.  Without treatment, these infected teeth often lead to dental abscesses, which require extraction of the involved teeth, and in severe situations may lead to facial infection and hospitalization.  In many situations, orthodontic problems arise after extractions when neighboring teeth drift into the extraction site and limit the space available for eruption of permanent teeth

When do babies get teeth?

 For most children their first tooth usually erupts at the age of six months, however it is completely normal for your baby to have their first tooth appear at 18 months.

By the age of 3 you child will have 20 baby (primary) teeth. 10 upper teeth and 10 lower.

Your child’s primary teeth are more important than you may think and they need to be taken proper care of. The primary teeth will be replaced by their adult teeth and need to last a lifetime. Any decay in baby teeth can lead poor alignment of developing adult teeth.

From the age of 6 years old your child’s baby teeth are replaced with adult teeth.

The first molars appear usually between the ages of 6-7 years followed closely by the central incisors/front teeth.

Following this, are the lateral incisors (teeth next to central incisors). Between the age of 10-12 years the premolars begin to erupt, followed closely by the second molars at the age of 12-13 years.

The last teeth that may appear are the third molars or wisdom teeth. This occurs at the age of 17-21 years , however we do not all develop wisdom teeth. Some of us may have all four, some three, two or one. Others do not develop them at all.

What are other ways apart from brushing and flossing to protect your child’s teeth from decay as they are erupting? Well, we will inform you of this in our next blog. Stay tuned!