During the early years of your child’s life, many developments and changes happen to their teeth. It’s important to know about these changes, and to take excellent care of your child’s oral hygiene, in order to set them up for a lifetime of good oral health!
The most important place to start is with a good dentist who can help you and your child develop a dental program that includes daily oral care and regular visits to the dentist for checkups and cleanings. Your dentist will also be able to answer any questions related to your child’s teeth and dental development. In the meantime, here are some important things to know:
- Baby Teeth:All of your child’s baby, or primary, teeth should come in by the time your child is 2-3 years old. Your child will have twenty baby teeth, which will come in at different times, usually as early as six months. Teething can be a difficult time for infants (and for parents!) as the teeth coming in can cause pain in the gums. This is normal, and your dentist should be able to provide you with a variety of options to ease this pain and make teething easier on your child.
- Adult Teeth:Your child’s first permanent molars (or adult teeth) should come in by the age of 6-7 years. These don’t actually replace any primary teeth, but come in at the back of the mouth, behind the baby teeth. Around the same time your child will begin to lose their baby teeth, which can last until the age of twelve. By then, all the primary teeth should be replaced by adult teeth. Rewards left by the “Tooth Fairy” can definitely help make losing teeth a more positive experience for children!
- The Appearance of Adult Teeth:Adult teeth can sometimes come in looking yellower than the primary teeth. This is normal, though if you are concerned you should ask your dentist. Other discolourations may arise from damage to the primary tooth or from medications. It’s usually nothing to worry about too much!
- The Importance of Oral Hygiene:Good oral health is a part of good overall health. By teaching your children early on about how to take care of your teeth, you’re providing a good base for their oral health for the rest of their lives. The most common problems dentists see in children’s teeth are cavities and gum disease. Daily brushing and flossing, as well as regular dental cleanings and checkups, are the best ways to counteract these issues and maintain your child’s excellent oral health!