21 Dec Baby Teeth – Useful Q&A’s
Babies and their first teeth – some helpful facts.
Here at Crown House Dental Practice we have a lot of young patients visiting us absolutely delighted at their first wobbly tooth. This is usually exciting to them because it means they are ‘growing up’ and also, they might get a visit from the tooth fairy.
It is an exciting time for children, but for parents the entire tooth growing period can be very worrying. Why haven’t they got their first tooth yet? Why haven’t they got a wobbly tooth yet? It’s all very tense, especially when you fall into the game of comparing your child’s physical progress to that of other children.
At our Egham dentist we offer reassurance and guidance for this important time, when you bring your child in to see us. That is one of the reasons regular dental checks are so important – they enable us to check everything is OK and provide peace of mind for you and your child. Just to reassure you further, we thought this baby tooth Q&A might be useful to you:
What do I do if my child is worried about their baby teeth coming out?
Reassure them that it is natural and means they have to lose the little teeth to get their proper grown up big teeth. If they are worried about pain, let them know it is unlikely to hurt, but if they do get any pain, there are special creams and gels to help that pain go away.
How many baby teeth should my child have?
Your child will get their first baby tooth come through when they are around one years old, although they might be as young as six months. By age 3 they should have a full set of 20 baby teeth, which tend to come out in the same order they pushed through.
Which teeth are likely to come out first?
Generally the first teeth to push through are the lower centre and the upper centre, which means these four are most likely going to be the first ones to fall out.
Why do the baby teeth become loose? Is it a certain age or is it biological?
The baby teeth become loose and fall out because the adult teeth underneath are pushing through. A child may lose a tooth for other reasons, like an accident or dental disease. If this happens a dentist may need to place a spacer in the gap to leave ‘room’ for the adult tooth when it comes through.
Can a child lose baby teeth early or late?
Generally a child will lose their first tooth any time from the age of 4 to 7. Usually the younger the child was when their first tooth came through, the younger they will be when they start losing the teeth.
When should I bring my child to the dentist in relation to baby teeth?
Please come in and visit our TW20 Egham dentist any time if you want to discuss your child’s dental health in depth, or if they are due a check up, we are always happy to answer your questions. You should also make an appointment if your child loses their first baby tooth before the age of 4, or they get to over the age of 7 without losing any baby teeth. There’s probably nothing wrong at all, but it’s better to check there is no underlying cause.
Is it OK for my child to wiggle their wobbly tooth?
Yes, this will not be harmful but must be done very gently. Wobbling should be where it stops though, as twisting or harsh yanking of the tooth could cause the broken root to be more vulnerable to infection.
Will it be painful for my child to lose baby teeth?
It shouldn’t be painful at all and is in no way comparable to the pain they experienced when they were teething. However, at the age of around 5 or 6 they may get soreness in the back of the mouth, which will be caused by their 6 year molars coming through. These teeth hurt when they push through because the baby teeth did not sit in that place first. If they do get any pain, speak to your pharmacist about child-suitable topical painkillers to help.
What will the new teeth look like?
It may be that your child gets their adult teeth at the same time as the baby teeth are still there. If this happens, don’t worry, it is only temporary and is commonly called ‘shark’s teeth’.
In all cases (sharks teeth or not) the new adult teeth will seem huge compared to the baby teeth and might look really big in the mouth. They are also not as white as baby teeth and have ridges at first. The teeth are bigger than baby teeth but will look more ‘normal’ the more that come through.
How do I help my child care for their new teeth?
Oral hygiene is so important with new permanent teeth. You will probably need to supervise your child brushing their teeth until they are about 8 years old, and pea sized amounts of toothpaste should be used until this age as well. You should also continue to bring our child in to see their Egham dentist about twice a year, and for additional visits if there are any problems. Please call us on 01784 432 641 if you need to make an appointment.
When will my child have lost all their baby teeth and have all their adult teeth?
Usually most children have all their adult teeth by the age of about 12-13.