A child’s baby teeth are just as important as permanent adult teeth. Technically called “primary teeth”, the 20 baby teeth are already present in the jaws at birth and usually begin to appear at 6 to 12 months of age. Most children have a full set of primary teeth by the time they are 3 years old.

It’s important to provide proper oral care early on in order to help protect teeth for decades to come. Primary teeth help children chew and speak properly. They also provide a path for permanent teeth that are growing under the gums. If a primary tooth is lost too early, the permanent teeth may not properly grow into the empty space, making it difficult for other permanent teeth to locate properly when they come in. The result can be crooked or crowded teeth.

When baby teeth first come in, some babies may have sore or tender gums. If that is the case, try rubbing your child’s gums with a clean finger or a wet gauze pad. A clean teething ring may also help. If your child is still restless and gums seem painful, please let us know and we can take a look.

The American Dental Association recommends that children have their first dental visit when they are one year old. The first visit is not only to check for tooth decay but also to review healthy habits and to discuss potentially bad habits that may cause damage to the teeth, such as pacifier and thumbsucking habits, and sleeping with a bottle.

The dental hygienists or the doctor will show you how to properly care for your child’s teeth.