Oral Health Care Professionals, LLC
2033 Ogden Avenue
Downers Grove, IL 60515
Phone: (630) 963-6750

Oral Health Care Professionals, LLC
2033 Ogden Avenue
Downers Grove, IL 60515
P: (630) 963-6750
F: (630) 963-6761

 

The Importance of Baby Teeth

Eric G. Jackson, DDS, MAGD, FICOI, FICD, FADI

Baby teeth (aka deciduous/primary teeth) may only be temporary but they play an extremely important role in a child’s development.  These teeth not only aid in the development of clear speech, they reserve space for a permanent teeth and give the face its normal appearance as well. Baby teeth help a child attain good nutrition and give the permanent teeth a health start. Decay, infection and missing baby teeth can make it difficult for a child to chew causing them to reject some foods and cause damage to the permanent teeth developing beneath the baby teeth.

Baby teeth normally begin to erupt around 6 months of age and all twenty baby teeth have typically .erupted by age 3. Remember, these teeth erupt at different speeds from child to child.  A good rule of thumb is that for every 6 months of life approximately 4 teeth will erupt.  The bottom two incisors are normally the first teeth to erupt.

Primary teeth eruption chart.JPGPerm teeth eruption chart.JPG

Once a child’s first tooth erupts it is susceptible to decay and cavities, so it’s important to start good oral hygiene habits from an early age. The American Dental Association recommends that a dentist examine a child within six months after the first tooth erupts and no later than the first birthday.

At home there are few things to help parents jump start those good oral hygiene habits, such as brushing the newly erupted teeth with a child’s size toothbrush and water. Children over the age of two can use a pea size amount of toothpaste to brush their teeth. (Consult the child’s dentist on toothpaste & fluoride recommendations.) When it comes to bedtime and naptime, children should never sleep with a bottle. 

Here are some parting thoughts to ponder…

  • Girls generally precede boys in tooth eruption
  • Lower teeth usually erupt before upper teeth
  • Baby teeth typically fall out in the same order that they came in
  • The average age for a child to lose his/her first baby tooth is 6 years old
  • Primary teeth are smaller in size and whiter in color than permanent teeth
  • Thumbsucking & pacifier use before the age of four can affect your child’s permanent teeth

If you would like to speak about mouthguards, or any other dental topic, please feel free to call the office and schedule a complimentary appointment with me.  Email and Twitter are also available options.  I am extremely passionate about modern dentistry and love discussing it with patients, so don’t hesitate to contact me. 

Sincerely,

Eric G. Jackson, DDS, MAGD, FICOI, FICD, FADI

[email protected]

Twitter: @EjacksonDDS