Baby teeth are the first set of teeth also known as primary or deciduous teeth. These appear at approximately six months at the front of the mouth and continue to appear posteriorly until approximately three years. The Irish and American Dental Associations recommends that you take your child for a first dental visit within six months of the appearance of the first baby tooth and by no later than the first birthday.
Even before teeth appear at six months it is recommended you clean your child’s gums with a soft cloth. From the age of six months to two years a small soft brush or clean cloth and tap water should be used to clean the gums and new teeth. Toothpaste should not be used at this age. After two years of age a pea sized portion of fluoridated toothpaste should be used. Until the age of six or seven, the parent should help with brushing.
Around six years old, on average, the child will start to lose baby teeth. From the age of seven to nine approximately the child is in the stage of mixed dentition. At age nine approximately the remaining primary teeth will loosen in stages to be replace by permanent premolar and canine teeth. By the age of 12, on average, all the permanent teeth will be in position.
Bring your child to the dentist on a regular basis which will allow for early intervention with the appropriate treatment or referral to an orthodontist if necessary.
Terence Mc Alinden BSc PhD DDS, Breaffy Dental (094 902 3163 ).