Why Are The Primary Teeth Important?
It is very important to maintain the health of the primary teeth. Neglected cavities can and frequently do lead to problems which affect developing permanent teeth.
Primary or baby teeth are important for: (1) proper chewing and eating, (2) providing space for the permanent teeth and guiding them into the correct position, and (3) permitting normal development of the jaw bones and muscles.
Primary teeth also affect the development of speech and add to an attractive appearance. While the front four teeth last until 6 or 7 years of age, the back teeth (cuspids and molars) aren’t replaced until ages 10 to 13.
Eruption Of Your Child’s Teeth
Children’s teeth begin forming before birth. As early as four months, the first teeth to erupt through the gums are the lower central incisors, followed closely by the upper central incisors. Although all 20 primary teeth usually appear by age 3, the pace and order of their emergence varies.
Permanent teeth begin to appear around age 6, starting with the first molars and lower central incisors. At the age of 8, you can generally expect the bottom four primary teeth (lower central and lateral incisors) and the top four primary teeth (upper central and lateral incisors) to be gone and permanent teeth to have taken their place.
There is about a one-to-two-year break from ages 8 to 10, and then the rest of the permanent teeth will start to come in. This process continues until about age 21.
Adults have 28 permanent teeth, or up to 32, including the third molars (or wisdom teeth).
A child’s first visit to the dentist should be enjoyable. Children are not born with a natural fear of the dentist, but they can fear the unknown. Our office makes a special effort to use pleasant, non-frightening, simple words to describe each treatment. We want you and your child to feel at ease from the moment your family arrives at our office.
Getting to know your teeth is fun!
Preventing tooth decay with regular checkups
Tooth decay is caused by sugars left in your mouth that turn into an acid, which can break down your teeth. Children are at high risk for tooth decay for a simple reason: many children and adolescents do not practice regular, good oral hygiene habits. Proper brushing and flossing routines combined with regular dental visits help keep tooth decay away.
Your son or daughter should visit us every six months for regular dental cleanings and checkups. We recommend fluoride treatments twice a year along with cleanings to keep teeth their strongest.
Tooth sealants are also recommended because they “seal” the deep grooves in your child’s teeth, and prevent decay from forming in these hard-to-reach areas. Sealants last for several years, but will be monitored at your child’s regular checkups.