Most Hendricks County kids look forward to their first loose tooth. After wiggling it for several days, the tooth either falls out on its own or gets pulled out. Then comes the exciting part – placing it under their pillow for the Tooth Fairy to find and exchange it for money. But have you ever stopped to think about why we have baby teeth in the first place? Why aren’t we just born with our permanent teeth?
Most babies aren’t born with any visible teeth. Between the ages of 6 months to a year, your child’s first teeth will begin to poke through his gums. By the age of 2 to 3 years, your child will have a full set of 20 primary or baby teeth – 10 on the top and 10 on the bottom.
Your child’s baby teeth play an important role in the development of your child’s growing jaws. These baby teeth act as placeholders for your child’s permanent teeth – preserving the space – until they come in. A child’s jaw is just too small to hold the number and size of adult permanent teeth they’ll eventually have. Instead, a child’s permanent teeth form underneath their gums inside their jaws until they’re ready to erupt.
Around the age of 6, most children will start to lose their baby teeth. These teeth will be replaced with their adult teeth. This process will continue until your child turns 12 or 13. Girls tend to lose their baby teeth earlier than boys.
A lot of Hendricks County parents seem to think it doesn’t matter if their children get cavities in their baby teeth, since they’re going to lose them anyway. But if a child has to have a tooth removed early due to decay, some of the space for the permanent tooth is lost, too. This can cause a child’s permanent teeth to become crowded in their mouth later. It can also slow down the eruption of a child’s permanent tooth in the open space.
Therefore, it’s important that you encourage your children to take care of their baby teeth as they would their permanent teeth. Remind your child to brush their teeth at least twice a day and floss their teeth daily.
Make sure to schedule regular dental checkups for your child at Danville Family Dentistry in Hendricks County. Talk to Dr. Jon Erickson about fluoride treatments and dental sealants to help prevent tooth decay in your child’s baby teeth as well as their permanent teeth once they erupt. Also talk to Dr. Erickson if you’re ever concerned about your child’s baby teeth. He’ll be happy to answer your questions.