Children's first teeth are important because, apart from being needed for chewing & speaking, they help to maintain space for the permanent teeth, developing underneath them in the jaws.
There are 20 of them. Children's teeth begins forming before birth. The first milk tooth, the lower Central Incisor, erupts by the age of 6-7 mths, closely followed by Upper Central Incisors. By the age of 3, all the 20 milk teeth would have erupted.
The first Permanent Tooth to erupt in the Oral Cavity is one of the 4 first molars, by the age of 6 yrs. These are extremely important as they help shape the lower part of the child's face as well as affect the position of other permanent teeth.
The first Permanent molars are often mistaken as milk teeth & neglected.
With your help, your child can have a healthy smile !!
A balanced diet is important for healthy teeth & gums. Children especially need Calcium to help build strong teeth, henceforth should consume much of Calcium rich foods such as Milk, Cheese etcâ€¦â€¦
Do Discourage Sugary or Starchy Snacks, set regular snack times.
Seek early Dental Care & begin oral hygiene as soon as your child's first tooth erupts !!
Encourage regular brushing habits â€“ brushing twice daily & in between meals is mandatory.
A Milk Tooth, usually stays in until a permanent tooth underneath pushes it out & takes its place. Unfortunately, some children lose a milk tooth too soon. If this happens, the teeth beside it may move into the empty space resulting in lack of space for the permanent teeth, leading to crowding. This can be prevented by the use of Space maintainers. It is more affordable & easier on your child, to keep teeth in normal positions with a space maintainer than to move them back in place with orthodontic treatment.
It should be borne in mind that surgical corrections cannot be possible after the age of 13 yrs. Only, orthodontic correction will be possible. So, in cases where bony / skeletal corrections are advised, the problem has to be identified earlier for optimum correction, hence regular dental check-ups are mandatory.
When should I start caring for my child's teeth ?
Soon after birth, you can start taking care of your child's teeth. Gums should be cleaned after each feeding. You can begin brushing your child's teeth as soon as they appear , using a super soft toothbrush.
Ideally, your child's first dental visit should be by the child's first birthday. Your Dentist will check for decay & other problems, teach you how to clean your child's teeth. By starting dental visits early, you will help your child build a lifetime of good dental habits.
Yes. When babies are teething, they often have sore & tender gums. The pain can be usually soothed by gently rubbing the baby's gums with a clean finger, a small, cool spoon or a wet gauze. Teething does not cause fever or diarrhoea.
Yes. Eventually they will fall out, milk teeth can get cavities & may need to be treated. As soon as teeth appear in the mouth, decay can occur.
One serious form of decay among young children is Baby Bottle Tooth Decay â€“ Babies shouldn't fall asleep with bottles in their mouths â€“ the sugar in the juices or milk
formulas can cause tooth decay, leading to cavities, dental discomfort, & even tooth loss.
Plain water is usually best.
Sucking is a natural behaviour for babies. Many infants begin sucking their thumbs or using pacifiers within 3 months of birth. Neither habit generally poses a dental problem if it is discontinued before the first permanent teeth erupt.
As a child's permanent teeth erupt, the Dentist can prevent cavities from forming with the help of sealants. Sealants are a safe, painless & low â€“ cost way to protect your child's teeth from decay. The sealant is bonded to the chewing surfaces of the molars & premolars, & thus prevents these teeth from decay.
Proper personal care & regular visits to the Dentist can keep dental problems to a minimum.