Primary "Baby" Teeth Development
- Functions of primary "baby" teeth:
- help a child to learn how to speak properly
- help to build a child’s self-esteem (appearance)
- guide jaw growth and maintain the space for the permanent teeth
- important for feeding and nutrition (biting and chewing)
- Primary teeth development begins early in pregnancy (6 weeks in-utero), so good maternal prenatal care is eminent since the mother’s nutrition, general health, medications and oral health can affect tooth development.
- At birth, the infant has deep in its jaws all the primary teeth and some of the partially formed permanent teeth.
Normal eruption time of teeth
The first baby teeth that normally come into the mouth are the two bottom front teeth. On an average, you will notice this when your baby is about 6-8 months old. Next to follow will be the 4 upper front teeth and the remainder of your baby's teeth will appear periodically.
Around 2 1/2 years old your child should have all 20 teeth. Between the ages of 5 and 6 the first permanent teeth will begin to erupt. Some of the permanent teeth replace baby teeth and some don't. Don't worry if some teeth are a few months early or late as all children are different.. Eruption is also influenced by genetics and family history.
Important Reminder: Baby teeth are important as they not only hold space for permanent teeth but they are important for chewing, biting, speech and appearance !!!
Tips for Cavity Prevention:
- Limit Frequency of meals and snacks.
- Encourage brushing, flossing and rinsing after meals
- Watch what you drink.
- Avoid sticky foods.
- Make treats part of meals.
- Choose nutritious snacks.
Fluoride therapy is the delivery of fluoride to the teeth topically or systemically in order to prevent the tooth from the cavities. Most commonly, fluoride is applied topically to the teeth using gels, varnishes, tooth paste/.systemic delivery involves fluoride supplementation using water, salt, tablets or drops which are swallowed. Tablets or drops are rarely used where public water supplies are fluoridated
Indications for fluoride therapy
Depending on the individual's risk factors and the reason for treatment will determine which method of fluoride delivery is used. Consult with a dentist before starting any treatment.
- White spots
- Moderate to high risk patients for developing decay
- Active decay
- Orthodontic treatment
- Additional protection if necessary for children in areas without fluoridated drinking water
- To reduce tooth sensitivity
- Protect root surface
- Decreased salivary flow
- Institutionalized patients
We recommend a first checkup by 12 months old to make certain that teeth and jaw development are normal, and even more importantly so that parents and guardians know how to help their children be healthy from the start.
- Let your child brush first when teaching them, then help them their brushing.
- Don't be concerned at first with trying brushing to brush all the teeth at each session.
- Reinforce your teaching with positive role modeling, make sure your child sees you brush and floss regularly - they will want to mi mimic you.
- Let them play with a toothbrush anywhere in the house so that they are comfortable with it (monitor - not to let them run around with it unwatched)
Baby Bottle Tooth Decay
Baby Bottle Tooth Decay, or Baby Bottle Syndrome, or Nursing Bottle Mouth are all terms used to describe a dental condition, which involves the rapid decay of many or all the baby teeth of an infant or child. The teeth most likely to be damaged are the upper front teeth. They are some of the first teeth to erupt and thus have the longest exposure time to the sugars in the bottle. The lower front teeth tend to be protected by the tongue as the child suck on the nipple of the bottle or the breast.
Pit and Fissure Sealants
Agents used to occlude dental enamel pits and fissures in the prevention of dental caries.
A patient asked recently, "What's a space maintainer?" I told him this could be vital to your child's dental health.
If your child loses a baby tooth early through decay or injury, the child's other teeth could shift and begin to fill the vacant space. When your child's permanent teeth emerge, there's not enough room for them. The result is crooked or crowded teeth and difficulties with chewing or speaking.
To prevent that, your dentist inserts a space maintainer to hold the spot left by the lost tooth until the permanent tooth emerges. The space maintainer might be a band or a temporary crown attached to one side of the vacant space. Later, as the permanent tooth emerges, your dentist removes the device. And presto! Your child is ready for a lifetime of smiles