Your Children’s Teeth Explained

A child learns to eat and speak properly with the help of the first set of teeth. Primary teeth (baby teeth) hold the space open for permanent teeth, guide them into position and help the jaw find its correct alignment. They come into the mouth at different times, but usually make an appearance six or eight months after birth. The lower incisors are first, generally followed by the upper ones.

On average, your children should have a full set of primary choppers by the time they reach two and half years of age. You may see spaces between your child’s primary teeth – this is normal. Children with spaces between their primary teeth are less likely to need braces when they get older.

Around your child’s sixth birthday, permanent teeth begin to erupt. It is important that during this visit there are regular visits to the dentist as Dr Martin will be able to look for early signs that your child may need corrective orthodontic treatment that should not be delayed.  By the twelfth birthday they should all be present or accounted for. This process will vary from child to child so don’t worry if other kids your child’s age have lost more or fewer teeth. Teeth usually erupt earlier in girls than in boys, and the lowers often come in before the uppers.

Habits like thumbsucking and blanket sucking need to be treated because they can cause the permanent teeth to grow in the wrong place. Sometimes the permanent teeth will appear behind the primary incisors before these are even loose, looking like two rows of teeth. Be assured that normally, in time, the baby teeth will be pushed out and the permanent teeth will take their place. If you’re not sure your child’s primary teeth are loosening and coming out when they’re supposed to, please give us a call.

If your children can reach adulthood with strong, healthy, unfilled teeth then, barring accidents, their dental future should be very simple and inexpensive… just routine check-ups and regular cleaning. This is a great gift you can give to your children!

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