It is important that primary teeth are taken care of. Even if they will eventually fall out, they play an important role in helping children bite their food, chew their food, speak properly, and they also play an important role in guiding the permanent teeth into their proper places. Milk (deciduous) teeth start coming through when babies are between 5 and 8 months old. They are smaller than adults’ teeth because children’s jaws are smaller. As the jaws grow, more teeth come through. There are 20 deciduous teeth altogether, and they finish coming through by about age 2 to 2½ years.

Teething:5 Facts about Teething

The emergence of a baby’s first tooth is an exciting milestone. From the early appearance of the first tiny tooth to caring for the new set, learn what to expect from your baby’s new arrivals.
1. Most infants have their first tooth erupt between 6 and 8 months of age.
2. Teeth usually come up in pairs.
3. Bottom front teeth (central incisors) typically emerge first, followed by the top ones. Then the molars and the canine teeth (the pointy ones) appear. Lastly the back molars.
4. Although parent’s usually associate “teething” with the few days of discomfort and swelling before and after a tooth erupts, tooth development actually begins in the womb. Primary or “baby” teeth begin to form under the gums during the fifth month of pregnancy and slowly emerge as your infant grows older. But it’s not until the teeth start breaking through the gums that things get uncomfortable for baby.
5. Baby should have her full set of 20 primary teeth by age 2 to 2½ years. Her permanent teeth won’t begin to replace them until she’s 4 to 6 years old.

Teething Signs and Symptoms
• Biting, drooling, gum rubbing, sucking, irritability, wakefulness, ear rubbing, facial rash, decreased appetite and mild temperature.

Keeping New Teeth Healthy
Between ages 1 and 3, your child will grow his full set of 20 teeth. Here, tips on how to keep them healthy and strong.
1. According to AAPD [American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry], take your baby to his first dental exam by age 6 months. The dentist will go over feeding and cleaning habits, plus check for early signs of tooth decay.
2. Brush your infant’s teeth with tap water. It contains fluoride (bottled water doesn’t), which is needed for developing teeth and bones. Since too much fluoride can cause brown or white spots on incoming teeth, wait until age 2 years to use pea-size amounts of fluoride toothpaste.
3. Don’t let kids fall asleep with a bottle or sippy cup; milk or juice that sits in the back of the top two front teeth can cause cavities.

5 Ways to Soothe Your Teething Baby
Teething babies often find relief by chewing, leaving bite marks on crib railings, board books, and even you. To discourage clamping down on an arm, breast, or finger offer the following teething remedies.
• A cold or wet washcloth
• Hard, cold objects such as spoons
• A frozen bagel
• A cold teething biscuit
• A chilled plastic teething ring or pacifier.

What is Baby Bottle Decay and How Can I Prevent It?
Baby bottle decay is caused by frequent exposure, over time, to liquids containing sugars. These include milk, formula, and fruit juices. The sugary liquids pool around the teeth for long periods of time as your baby sleeps, leading to cavities that first develop in the upper and lower front teeth. For this reason, you shouldn’t let your baby fall asleep with a bottle of juice or milk in his mouth. Instead, at naptime, give your child a bottle filled with water or a pacifier recommended by your dentist. If you breast-feed, avoid letting the baby nurse continuously. And after each feeding, wipe your baby’s teeth and gums with a clean, damp washcloth or a gauze pad.

How do you take care of primary teeth?

Good oral care starts from the beginning of your child’s life. Even before his or her first teeth emerge, certain factors can affect their future appearance and health. For instance, tetracycline, a common antibiotic, can cause tooth discoloration. For this reason, they should not be used by nursing mothers or by expectant mothers in the last half of pregnancy. Since baby teeth usually emerge around six months of age, standard oral health procedures like brushing and flossing aren’t required for infants. However, infants have special oral health needs that every new parent should know about. These include guarding against baby bottle decay and making sure your child is receiving enough fluoride. Before your children get their first teeth, you should wipe the gums of your child and clean it with a washcloth.
When the teeth start erupting into the mouth, brush them twice a day with a soft toothbrush only [no toothpaste]. Brushing with fluoride tooth paste should be done only after 2 years of age. If the child is above 2 years, use only a small amount of toothpaste because children might swallow the toothpaste instead of spitting it out and this could lead to cosmetic problems like fluorosis when the permanent teeth come out. When two teeth touch each other, you should use floss in between them. Using regular floss will do but you may opt for the special plastic floss holders to assist you.
You should talk to your dentist about fluoride. If your child drinks water that isn’t fluoridated then fluoride treatments or supplement may be necessary. At some point in time, you child will want to brush their own teeth. It is alright to give them a turn but you should always brush your child’s teeth one more time. Most children are unable to brush properly up until they are eight years old. If your child is at a high risk for cavities then sealants should be placed on their teeth. Dental sealants are plastic coverings placed over the grooves of the teeth in order to prevent them from decaying.


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