Primary Teeth

The roots of primary teeth provide your gums with an opening so that your permanent teeth are able to push up through the gums and complete their eruption in your mouth. Your primary teeth are temporary, but this does not mean that they should fall wayside when it comes to their care. Many people refer to the primary teeth as baby teeth. You need to make sure that you take care of these teeth as they are supposed to be there and they do serve a purpose. If a cavity does invade a primary tooth, it may just be recommended that you leave it alone or have it filled to protect the tooth. Children should have healthy primary teeth to set them up for dental success in the future. Primary teeth help mold how the permanent teeth will look and act.

The eruption of primary teeth can occur at any time in a child’s life, but will often occur somewhere between the age of one and two. Some children may develop teeth most quickly while others may be delayed as to when their first tooth comes in. It is normal for a child’s first primary tooth to come in somewhere between 6 months and 18 months, so do not panic if your child’s teeth are early or late.

When the primary teeth start to come in, you will first notice that the four front teeth appear, which include two on the top and two on the bottom. Children will often have their entire set of teeth by the age of three, but this can vary slightly depending on the child and their development.

The primary set of teeth that are seen are known as the mandibular centrals and the last set of teeth to come in include the second molars. The second molars are located in the back of the mouth. Primary teeth are always replaced with permanent teeth and this occurs when the permanent tooth pushes its way up through the gum. The primary tooth’s root will loosen and fall out.

Primary teeth will fall out at different stages of your child’s life and depending on when the first tooth erupted, it may take more time for your child’s primary teeth to fall out. The process of losing the baby teeth is known as exfoliation. It can be scary for children as their teeth come out, but it is a natural process. Primary teeth will continue to fall out until about the age of 12 when all of the permanent teeth should be in place.

Some teeth in your mouth will have thicker roots than others and this means it may take more time for the tooth to fall out. The baby tooth’s roots are generally weakened by the permanent tooth and the process of the pushing from the permanent tooth.

It is important for your child to keep his or her primary teeth in healthy shape, so that cavities and gum disease do not form. Oral pain is not something that you want your child to experience, but if he or she does, Dr. Luu is able to help.

Primary teeth that become decayed will often become a problem, especially when it is time for the permanent teeth to come in. You may notice that your child’s permanent teeth need work once they have erupted. Sometimes, parents do not understand the importance of the primary teeth and decay happens due to poor oral hygiene.

Tooth decay that occurs on the primary teeth is common in small infants and children who use bottles to consume liquids. If the bottle is left in your child’s mouth, the sugars eat away at the tooth’s enamel and thus lead to cavities and decay.

Dr. Luu says that you should avoid providing your child with a bottle before bed and if you must give your child a bottle, it should contain water only. If your child consumes fruit juice or milk before bed, you must brush their teeth or wipe their gums clean to remove the sugars.

You need to make sure that you always teach your child to spit out the toothpaste in his or her mouth too. Some children like to swallow it, but this can make them sick and is harmful over time, especially with the fluoride varieties of toothpaste.

Fluoride and What to Know about Your Child’s Teeth

Fluoride is a good thing for your child’s teeth because it protects them and helps to strengthen them. You will find that many of the toothpastes on the market contain fluoride. You should ONLY use a fluoride toothpaste on a child who is three years of age or older.

If you do not know if the toothpaste you are considering includes fluoride or not, consult with

Dr. Luu about it. He will be able to provide you with recommendations that meet your child’s individual needs.

It is also important to note that fluoride toothpaste does have an expiration date and you should look for one.

/ Always Brush Your Child’s Teeth

You need to make sure that you are brushing your child’s teeth to protect them and prevent any type of decay. Even if your child’s teeth have not erupted yet, you still need to brush and wipe off the gums to keep the inside of the mouth clean. You should only use a small amount of toothpaste when you do brush and use a circular motion to ensure you cover the entire tooth.

You should brush your child’s primary teeth at a minimum of twice per day and floss the same amount. If your child has two teeth next to each other, make sure you clean out between them as best as you can.

/ Schedule Your Child’s Appointment Now

It is important for your child to receive the dental care he or she needs. You want to make sure that your child’s primary teeth are brushed and flossed regularly to ensure that they do not decay. If there is ever a problem with your child’s teeth, let Dr. Luu know. Schedule your appointment at our Brentwood office today.