What You Should Know About Baby Teeth
Do you have questions about your child’s baby teeth? While your first resource for information should always be your dentist, here are a few common questions that parents have about their little ones’ pearly whites.
When will my baby begin getting teeth?
This varies and can be very different from baby to baby. A few babies are born with one or more teeth, though this is rare, and sometimes these very early teeth fall out. Most babies begin drooling, chewing on their hands, and showing other signs of teething by four to six months of age. The first teeth, usually the two on the bottom center, make their appearance between six and nine months. Having teeth erupting at two months is not unheard of, however, and neither is not having any teeth erupt until after the first birthday. If you do get to your baby’s first birthday and no teeth have erupted, ask your dentist to take a look. Most of the time, there’s nothing wrong, but it’s good for the dentist to make sure. Most toddlers have all 20 of their baby teeth by age 3.
When will my child’s baby teeth start falling out?
This also varies. Some children will begin experiencing loose baby teeth at age 4, while others won’t until they are 7. Most children will begin losing their bottom front teeth around age 5 or 6, though. Around the same time, their first permanent molars, called the six-year molars, will begin erupting. Children lose their baby teeth in roughly the same order they grew in, but there are no hard rules concerning this. There might be a long period of no loose baby teeth, then they might lose four or more all within a week of each other. Your child’s dentist will keep an eye on how things are progressing and will let you know if there are any concerns.
Will my child need braces?
By the age of 7, most children should see an orthodontist for a consultation to find out whether they look like they might need some orthodontic work. Most of the time, this consultation is free. Some orthodontic work can often be done during the elementary school years; in some cases, this will eliminate or reduce the need for braces later. Most children who get braces get them during middle school or the first year or two of high school. While there are no guarantees, chances are good that if you and/or your child’s other parent needed braces, your child will, too. This doesn’t mean that two parents with straight teeth will produce a child with straight teeth, however. Ask your dentist to refer your child to an orthodontist if you have concerns.
Give us a call if you are concerned about your child’s baby teeth or to schedule an appointment if they are due for a checkup and cleaning.