Children develop primary teeth when they are only a few months old. The primary teeth are also known as baby teeth and these fall off within a few years. They mostly appear when the child is six to nine months old. The baby teeth are twenty in total and they are replaced by thirty two permanent teeth. The main aim of baby teeth is to maintain the spaces where the permanent teeth will erupt. If the spaces are not maintained, the permanent teeth will be crowded and misaligned. They are also essential in speech development; without them proper speech pattern will be difficult. Primary teeth also form a good basis for teaching the child proper hygiene practices. Though the teeth will fall off with time, it is important to maintain them well to avoid decay, cavities and infection.
Baby teeth are fully developed by the time the child starts preschool. They then begin to fall off at the age of six to thirteen. By the time your child becomes a teenager, he or she will have 28 permanent teeth and later develop 4 wisdom teeth. You should start taking the little ones to a children dentist when the first teeth begin to come out. By his or her first birthday, you should have had at least one dental appointment. Pediatric dentistry is necessary for oral healthcare education and early detection and prevention of dental issues.
As the baby develops, the child’s gums may be sore and this may cause discomfort. However, some kids do not experience any discomfort. Those that do may show a restless behavior, lack of appetite, upset stomach and drooling. Some will start sucking their fingers or toys to sooth the discomfort. Some mothers have reported that their kids bite them when breastfeeding. The symptoms only last a while, and will be gone as soon as all the baby teeth develop.
Pressing the teeth and gums with a cold and wet cloth may help soothe the baby. You can also buy some teething accessories from the store to help relieve the discomfort. When you visit the pediatric dentist, they will rightly advise you on the best approach to use to relieve the discomfort.
The baby teeth should not be pulled out until they are ready to come out. If you pull them out too early, you will affect the positioning of the permanent teeth. The space left by the tooth may be filled by the other primary teeth thus causing the permanent teeth to become crooked when they develop. If a child loses the primary teeth by accident, it is important to visit a dentist immediately. They will give the child something to maintain the space so as to reserve the gap for the development of the permanent tooth.
Since the primary teeth have a direct impact on permanent teeth, ensure that your kids eat healthy and brush their teeth. Also, don’t overlook the need for pediatric dental care.
FAQ about Pediatric Dentistry:
- Cleaning and Flossing Baby Teeth
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- What to do if your child knocks out a tooth?
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