Growing Healthy Smiles: The Stages of Tooth Development
Throughout life you will have two sets of teeth: primary (baby) teeth and secondary (permanent) teeth. Good dental hygiene at all stages of tooth development is essential for growing a healthy smile.
Growing Baby Teeth
As early as 4 months old, teeth can push (erupt) through the gum line. The two front teeth (central incisors) in the lower jaw are usually the first to appear, followed by the two front teeth (central incisors) in the upper jaw. This process is also known as “teething.”
Signs of teething include tooth visibility, irritability, drooling, and sore gums. At this stage of tooth development, clean your child’s mouth by gently wiping the baby’s gums with a soft wet cloth.
As your child begins to grow, you can introduce brushing habits. You can clean their teeth with water and a soft-bristled toothbrush. Around the age of 3, your child can use a toothbrush with soft bristles and a pea size of fluoride toothpaste. It’s important to supervise as your child begins brushing their teeth to make sure all teeth are properly clean to avoid tooth decay.
Losing Baby Teeth
A child’s 20 baby teeth typically fall out in the same order they come in, meaning the first teeth to be lost are usually the lower center teeth or lower center incisors.
Teeth become ‘wobbly’ and fall out to make way for secondary (permanent) teeth. Children may start losing their baby teeth anywhere from age 4 to age 7.
Growing Secondary Teeth
It may take a few weeks for a permanent tooth to replace the baby tooth. Remember to help your children take extra good care of these new teeth.
Supervise your child’s brushing and flossing routine. Schedule regular checkups with your dentists about every 6 months.
Contact Jenkins and LeBlanc today.
At Jenkins and LeBlanc, our board certified pediatric dentists are committed to helping you every stage of tooth development. Whether it’s your first visit or your 6-month check-up, our professional staff is passionate about your child’s dental care. Schedule your appointment today!