Dental Milestones: Baby Teeth
For the first few months, you and your baby have loads of fun with purees and mashes that go in your little one’s tummy. But eventually, the time will come for your baby to start munching on some solid food. This is when and where the conversation shifts to teeth. More specifically, the topic will be about baby teeth and when your baby is going to get them.
Teeth buds start forming inside the womb during the second trimester of pregnancy. So when your baby is born, there are already 20 primary teeth that are present in the jaw, ready to erupt. These baby teeth push through the tissue of the jaw and typically begin to appear between the ages of 6 months and 1 year.
Milk teeth or baby teeth are the temporary set of teeth that a baby has until their permanent teeth come in. With regard to the eruption of baby teeth, there are 5 kinds of teeth that your little one will grow - central incisors, lateral incisors, canines, first molars, and second molars. These break through the gum at different points in time and differ between the upper and lower jaw.
Order of appearance: Upper Jaw
1.Central Incisors: 8-12 months
2. Lateral Incisors: 9-13 months
3. Canine/Cuspid: 16-22 months
4. First Molar: 13-19 months
5. Second Molar: 25-33 months
Order of appearance: Lower Jaw
1. Central Incisors: 6-10 months
2. Lateral Incisors: 10-16 months
3. Canine/Cuspid: 17-23 months
4. First Molar: 14-18 months
5. Second Molar: 23-31 months
The first teeth to grow are the central incisors (the front two), which are also known as cutting teeth, and the last to grow are the molars.
In order to make space for the permanent teeth to grow, it is necessary for these baby teeth to fall. This also happens at different periods, but the chronology remains similar for the upper and lower jaw.
Order of shedding:
1. Central Incisor: 6-7 years
2. Lateral Incisor: 7-8 years
3. Canine/Cuspid: 8-12 years
4. First Molar: 9-11 years
5. Second Molar: 10- 12 years
Dental care is extremely important in order to ensure that your baby has healthy teeth and gums, as well as to prevent any infections and discomfort. But how? The first thing to remember is that dental care doesn’t start from when the first teeth pop out. It’s important to pay attention to this issue from the time of birth. Soon after birth, start wiping your child’s gums with a soft, damp washcloth. Once the teeth start coming in, start brushing your little one’s teeth using the appropriate brush (sensitive, soft bristles) and paste (containing fluoride, as it helps to prevent tooth decay), keeping in mind that you need only use a tiny, rice-grain-sized bit of toothpaste. For children between 3-6 years, you can use a pea-sized blob of toothpaste. Make sure to brush their teeth twice a day and ensure that too much paste is not swallowed.
Remember that when their teeth come in, your little one may experience some pain and discomfort. Giving him/her something cold, and/or massaging the gums could help relieve some of this pain. You could also try giving your child some medicine after consultation with the doctor to ensure that the right dosage is being administered.
It’s important to keep in mind that this period of time is going to be a strange new experience for your baby. It’s also an important experience. So remember to be patient and careful.