10 facts about baby teeth

Are baby teeth important?

Baby teeth are important to a child as are the permanent teeth to older children and adults. Milk teeth or the ‘First teeth’ are important and help your child in

  • Speech ( developing phonetics )
  • Chewing
  • Jaw growth
  • Maintaining space for the permanent teeth to come into place
  • Aesthetics

How does baby teeth develop?

Your child’s milk teeth begin to develop in the womb itself. The first signs of tooth development begins at your 6 th week of pregnancy. At 8 weeks of pregnancy 10 “Tooth Buds” develop in the upper and lower (future) jaw. These tooth buds grow into fully formed teeth, until they erupt ( teething )into your child’s mouth.

What is tooth “eruption”?

Tooth eruption( teething ) in humans is a process in tooth development in which the teeth enter the mouth and become visible. The periodontal ligaments play an important role in tooth eruption. Primary teeth erupt into the mouth from around six months until two years of age. These teeth are the only ones in the mouth until a person is about six years old. At that time, the first permanent tooth erupts. This stage, during which a person has a combination of primary and permanent teeth, is known as the mixed stage. The mixed stage lasts until the last primary tooth is lost and the remaining permanent teeth erupt into the mouth.

There have been many theories about the cause of tooth eruption. One theory proposes that the developing root of a tooth pushes it into the mouth.  Currently, the most widely held belief is that the periodontal ligaments provide the main impetus for the process.

Why do I see gaps between teeth in my child?

Milk teeth are smaller than adult teeth. Gaps between teeth in a child is normal. These gaps help accommodate the adult teeth into the right place when they erupt. If there are no gaps between milk teeth, then the possibility of crowding in the adult teeth is higher. So don’t worry about the gaps between baby teeth.

Can a child’s tooth have decay?

Yes!!!! a baby tooth or the milk tooth is similar in structure to the adult tooth. The milk tooth has enamel, dentin and the pulp just like the adult tooth. These hard structures are made of calcium. Any bacterial attack on the tooth, which produces acid can cause decay in the milk teeth. Getting your child to brush early on is important. Talk to your dentist / Pedodontist for guidance on the brushing methods.

The care for your child’s teeth begins before the first tooth erupts. The infants “gum Pads” should be cleaned after every feed. You should start brushing  a child’s tooth when the first tooth comes into the mouth. Plenty of brushing accessories are available in the stores today.

What causes bad breath in my child?

Bad breath is caused by the bacteria in the mouth. Morning breath when your child wakes up first in the morning is common. However, if the bad breath lasts the whole day, then it can indicate deeper problems. Dental reasons for bad breath include tooth decay, gum infections, dryness and poor oral hygiene. Good oral hygiene practices like brushing and flossing, treating tooth decay can help overcome bad breath. Poor digestion, chronic sinusitis and diabetes can be other non-dental reasons.

Why does my child have tooth pain?

There are many reasons for tooth pain in your child. But the most common cause of tooth pain in children is infection of the tooth due to a tooth decay. An untreated decay can infect the pulp ( Nerves ). When the infection reaches the nerves, your child will have a tooth pain. Your child will complain while eating or during bed-time. Sometimes tooth pain can be associated with swelling in the gums.

Should I brush my child’s teeth

Yes………  you have to brush baby teeth regularly. Food debris and plaque accumulates on milk teeth and cause tooth decay and gum infections.  Hence,it is important to brush twice a day. Use a brush that is easy to hold and with soft bristles. Fluoridated paste can be used as recommended by your dentist. You may have to even floss your child’s teeth. Brushing teeth should begin when the first baby teeth appears in the mouth.

Why is my child’s tooth yellow?

Baby teeth are generally whiter than the adult teeth. However, baby teeth can become yellow or discoloured because of

Is late teething a problem?

Generally, your child’s baby teeth come in between 6 months and 36 months. So by the time you child is 3 years old all 20 milk teeth will be present. However, delayed tooth eruption is seen because of hereditary, nutritional, developmental defects or low birth weight. Milk teeth coming late can cause

  • Difficulty in chewing
  • Difficulty in speech
  • Crowding in adult teeth
  • Tooth decay


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