Teething Timeline is a rough guide and some babies may be earlier or later.
AGE OF ERUPTION (MONTHS):
CRUCIAL DIET FOR STRONG AND HEALTHY BABY TEETH
One item from each group everyday will help your child grow stronger baby teeth that will ensure that their permanent teeth grows and develops into their correct positions.
Babies are cute but once teething begins, they become cranky and literally sink their teeth into everything around them. Now, how can you protect those little teeth and ensure that the adult teeth directly underneath will not loose their "reserve lot"? When should you bring your child to the dentist, and how can you prevent tooth decay that plagues more than fifty percent of the children before they enter primary school. Will proper care of baby teeth lead to better development of adult teeth, or should you just let dental hygiene slide just because baby teeth get replaced by adult teeth anyways?
The surprising truth is, baby teeth are extremely important, and dental hygiene should start from the eruption of the very first tooth. When does this begin? Formation of teeth starts in the womb, during the 6th week of embryonic development. During the 9th to 12th week, teeth buds start to form. However, it is only in the 6th month of infancy when these baby teeth start to erupt, and are visible in the mouth. Eruption of teeth lasts until the child is 25 to 33 months old.
In total, 20 baby teeth are formed, with 10 on each of the lower and upper jaws. The first teeth that normally emerge are the lower centrals and the last ones are the upper second molars. The teething age differs for the different types of teeth. The replacement of baby teeth by adult teeth starts at the age of six and lasts till the age of twelve.
This process is known as exfoliation. Baby teeth are normally replaced by their complementary adult teeth. The first and second molars which are replaced by premolars. When the adult teeth erupt, the roots of the baby teeth are dissolved and absorbed by the adult teeth.
So why are baby teeth so important? Your baby learns, with his new primary teeth (baby teeth), proper chewing and eating techniques as well as how to speak and speak well. The baby teeth are also extremely important as place holders for the permanent teeth, guiding them into their correct positions, permitting normal development of the jaw bones and muscles.
While the front 4 teeth last till 6-7 years of age, the back teeth (molars) are not replaced until age 10-13. A good set of teeth also allow your child to grow with a confident smile, improving his self image and outlook.
Knowing the time-line of tooth eruption isn't enough, you can help create the chance of better adult teeth for your child.
The skeletal structure of children is malleable, so if a potential problem like misaligned teeth is caught early enough, there are measures to help the adult tooth grow better and in the right position.
To prevent tooth decay, remember that giving water before bedtime is better than giving juice or milk, as they both contain sugars. Plaque is a sticky film of bacteria that loves the sugars found in many foods. Plaque bacteria uses the sugar in the foods to produce acids that can destroy the hard surface of the tooth, called the enamel. After a while, tooth decay occurs.
If your baby falls asleep while drinking milk or juice, the traces of the liquid is kept in the mouth. The longer the traces are in his mouth, the more damage to his teeth is done. The type of decay plagues more than 50 percent of the children growing up in Singapore, and it is known as “baby bottle decay”.
In our modern times, there is absolutely no reason to have major dental problems as there are so many preventive measures available. Proper oral hygiene, sealants, space maintainers and nutritious diets can all prevent future problems. Good dental habits should be established as soon as the first tooth appears, as it sets a habit for good oral health for a lifetime.
Your teeth can last a lifetime with proper care, and for your baby, it is still early enough to plan for a good set of teeth.
COMMON QUESTIONS ABOUT BABY TEETH
1. WHEN DO I BRING MY CHILD TO THE DENTIST?
Within six months of the eruption of the first tooth and no later than the first birthday. A dental visit at an early age will allow the dentist to check for tooth decay and other problems, as well as demonstrate how a child can clean his teeth the right way. The dentist can also evaluate any potential problems due to thumb sucking, baby bottle tooth decay and more.
2. DO THUMB SUCKING AFFECT THE ADULT TEETH OF MY CHILD?
Thumb sucking may cause problems in jaw development, where an anterior open bite may result, and or "buck teeth". Unless you want your child to look like a bunny, do take preventive measures now. Dentists are able to fabricate an appliance whereby the child will stop their thumb sucking habit.
3. BABY TEETH HAS FALLEN OUT DUE TO TRAUMA. DOES IT AFFECT THE ADULT TEETH?
Trauma can damage the adult teeth which lies directly beneath the baby teeth. If such an occurrence happens, check with your dentist immediately, and remember to request for an X-Ray. Even if the adult teeth are not damaged, crowding may occur due to early tooth loss, and the adult teeth lose their "reserve lot".
4. SHOULD I GET THE DENTIST TO EXTRACT MY BABY'S TEETH SO THAT THE ADULT TEETH CAN EMERGE AT THE SAME TIME?
Baby teeth should not be extracted unless it is time for the adult teeth to emerge. An X-Ray should be taken before the extraction to check if the adult tooth is ready to emerge.