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Thursday, January 31, 2008

Baby teeth

Healthy teeth are important to your baby's overall health, because they help your baby chew food and form words and sounds when speaking. They also affect the way your baby's jaw grows.

For an infant, the mouth is an exquisitely sensitive portal connecting the world around him to his developing mind and body. He uses his mouth to meet his mother, to sate his constant hunger, to comfort himself between feedings, and to explore objects in the widening world around him. When hard teeth begin protruding into this soft, sensitive orifice, it is a major event in the life of an infant.

What are deciduous teeth?

The first set of teeth in the growth development of humans and many other mammals known as milk teeth, baby teeth, temporary teeth, primary teeth. They can be call deciduous teeth. They develop during the embryonic stage of development and erupt — that is, they become visible in the mouth — during infancy. They are usually lost and replaced by permanent teeth, but in the absence of permanent replacements, they can remain functional for many years.

When will the development of deciduous teeth start?

Deciduous teeth start to form during the embryo phase of pregnancy. The development of deciduous teeth starts at the sixth week of development as the dental lamina. This process starts at the midline and then spreads back into the posterior region. By the time the embryo is eight weeks old, there are ten areas on the upper and lower arches that will eventually become the deciduous dentition.

When will my baby's teeth appear?

Many parents worry about the timing of the appearance of their children's teeth. Every baby is different. While the average time for the appearance of the first teeth is between 4 and 7 months of age, there is a wide normal variation of timing. The teeth might come in as early as one month of age, or they might wait until a child is almost one-and-a-half-years old.
The first teeth to come in are usually the 2 front teeth on the bottom. Generally girls' teeth erupt earlier than those of boys (much like with everything else). Delayed eruption of all teeth may be the result of a nutritional problem, such as rickets, or a systemic condition, such as hypopituitarism or hypothyroidism.

Natal teeth or teeth present at birth are found in about one out of two thousand newborn infants. These are often extra teeth, but this should be confirmed radiographically before any attempt is made to remove them. Natal teeth may cause pain to the infant, poor feeding, and, if the baby is nursing, maternal discomfort. Natal teeth may also cause damage or even amputation of the tip of the newborn's tongue due to strong sucking behavior. Early appearance of all teeth may indicate a hormonal problem such as hyperthyroidism.

Baby teeth fall out on their own to make room for permanent teeth. Once your child loses his or her first baby teeth, the remaining baby teeth will gradually loosen and fall out until about age 12 or 13 years. They generally fall out in the order they came in, with the center incisor teeth first, followed by the first baby molars, then the canines, and the second molars.

The average time and usual order of appearance is
• Four central incisors (cutters) start appearing at around 6-7 months
• Four more side incisors appear at around 8 months
• Four back molars (chewing teeth) appear at between 10-14 months
• Four canines (pointed teeth) appear at around 16-20 months.
• Four more back molars appear at between 24-30 months.
The following tables outline the normal ranges for teeth to erupt and to shed: (Adapted from chart prepared by PK Losch, Harvard School of Dental Medicine, from Nelson's Textbook of Pediatrics.)

Eruption of Primary or Deciduous Teeth


Upper

Lower

Central incisors

6-8 months

5-7 months

Lateral incisors

8-11 months

7-10 months

Cuspids (canines)

16-20 months

16-20 months

First molars

10-16 months

10-16 months

Second molars

20-30 months

20-30 months

Shedding of Primary or Deciduous Teeth


Upper

Lower

Central incisors

7-8 years

6-7 years

Lateral incisors

8-9 years

7-8 years

Cuspids (canines)

11-12 years

9-11 years

First molars

10-11 years

10-12 years

Second molars

10-12 years

11-13 years

Eruption of Permanent Teeth


Upper

Lower

Central incisors

7-8 years

6-7 years

Lateral incisors

8-9 years

7-8 years

Cuspids (canines)

11-12 years

9-11 years

First premolars (bicuspids)

10-11 years

10-12-years

Second premolars (bicuspids)

10-12 years

11-13 years

First molars

6-7 years

6-7 years

Second molars

12-13 years

12-13 years

Third molars (wisdom teeth)

17-22 years

17-22 years


What will happen to my child while losing baby teeth?

Some children are excited about losing baby teeth, while others are nervous about this milestone. While losing baby teeth often causes:
  • - no discomfort,
  • - some children experience sore gums and
  • - minimal bleeding.
Pain relievers, such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, others), acetaminophen (Tylenol, others) and over-the-counter topical analgesics may help.

What can I do to help my teething baby?

Teething is usually painless, but it can make some babies uncomfortable and fussy. Giving your baby a cold teething ring or a cold washcloth to chew or suck on may help. Teething gels should be used carefully because too much is not good for your baby.

Teething does not cause a fever. If your baby has a fever, you should talk to your doctor.

What about breast feeding, bottles and sippy cups?

Breast feeding is good for your baby's teeth. If you give your baby a bottle, always hold the baby when you feed him or her. Do not leave a bottle in the crib. Do not put juice in a bottle.

Your baby can start using a sippy cup when he or she is 6 months old. Stop giving your baby a bottle when he or she is a year old. Do not let your baby walk around with a sippy cup unless it has only water in it. Do not give your baby a sippy cup of juice or milk in the crib.

After your child is one year old, give only water or plain milk between meals instead of other drinks. If you give your child juice or flavored milk (like sweetened milk products), only give it with meals. Juice and flavored milk have a lot of sugar in them.

When should I start brushing my baby's teeth?

Start cleaning your baby's teeth twice a day as soon as the first tooth appears. Until your child is 1 year old, you can use a wet washcloth or gauze to clean your baby's teeth and gums. At about a 1 year to 18 months of age, you should start using a soft baby toothbrush and a small dab of toothpaste that does not have flouride in it. (This type of toothpaste is safe for your baby to swallow.)

When should I take my baby to the dentist?

Be sure to take your baby to a dentist by his or her first birthday, especially if there is a high risk for cavities or any other problems with his or her teeth. It is better for your child to meet the dentist and see the office before he or she has a tooth problem.

How to take good care of permanent teeth?

Because your child's permanent teeth will have to last a lifetime, it's important to take good care of them. Teach your child to brush his or her own teeth after each meal. It's also a good time to start showing your child how to floss at bedtime. Children should have their first dentist appointment at about age 3 years — earlier if problems occur.

As soon as the permanent back teeth have broken through, your child's dentist may cover them with a brush-on sealant. This can help protect them against tooth decay. Other steps you can take to decrease your child's risk of tooth decay include:

  • Limit sugary treats. This includes juices with high sugar content, such as apple juice.
  • Give your child a fluoride supplement, if your water doesn't contain fluoride. Your child's doctor or dentist may prescribe a fluoride supplement.

Source:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deciduous_teeth http://familydoctor.org/online/famdocen/home/children/parents/kidshealthy/healthy-choice/834.html
http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/baby-teeth/AN00355
http://www.babyworld.co.uk/information/baby/teeth/order_appearance_teeth.asp#

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childrendentistsca said...

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