Also known as the terrible two’s, one of the first signs of proper oral development starts with the eruption of milk teeth! The joys of parenthood can sometimes take a difficult turn during the teething process but we are here to help you and your little one during the start of their oral journey. Here are five things you should know about your child’s first teeth: Fact 1: Everyone is different As parents, we often fall into the habit of comparing our children to others. Being family dentists, we can tell you that every child’s teeth is different – they vary in size, shape and colour. Some children start to develop their milk teeth faster than others. And you know what else? That is totally okay. Usually, your child should start to develop teeth at about six months of age with their first sprouts being their bottom front teeth. Teething symptoms include:
- Irritability due to pain and discomfort
- Swollen gums
- Diarrhoea or fever
- Biting or chewing on things
- Trouble falling or staying asleep.
Fact 2: You need to take care of baby teeth, as you would the permanent ones While baby teeth are not permanent, it is still important to take care of them as they are still prone to pain and infections from tooth decay. Your child’s dental routine should include:
- Brushing twice a day
- Avoiding consuming too much sugar
- Visiting the dentist from when your child’s first tooth starts to appear. This is to monitor their development, pick up on possible problems and most importantly, for your child to have healthy teeth for life.
Fact 3: Milk teeth plays an important role Our teeth play a vital role in how we chew, bite, swallow, speak and most importantly – eat. Children whose teeth develop prematurely or at a later stage may experience difficulties in those developments. Milk teeth are also important in filling the space for permanent teeth to appear. Fact 4: Do Not Pull Out Loose Teeth Your child’s milk teeth should start falling out at around six months old and they should lose about three to four teeth a year. When their teeth start to become loose, it is important to not:
- Feed them hard foods as they could damage their gum tissue while biting or chewing with a loose tooth
- Avoid pulling the tooth out: Often parents pull their child’s milk tooth out but this could damage the soft gum tissue or result in infections and abnormal bleeding. By habit, your child will interfere with their loose tooth, either with their tongue or their fingers. This will loosen it until it eventually falls off with ease.
- If your child is experiencing pain or the tooth is taking longer than usual to fall out, we advise that you visit our Townsville practice for the gentle, safe and expert care that you need.
Fact 5: Some children are born with teeth Although most children develop teeth in their first year of birth, some are born with one or two teeth known as natal teeth. These are teeth that erupt prematurely. Although this rare condition could be a worry to parents, it could also be completely normal. The only way to find out if your baby’s natal teeth is a risk is to consult a paediatrician or a family dentist. Natal teeth could be a result of:
- Cleft palate
- Cleft lip
- Infections during pregnancy
- Irregular calcified tissue that forms teeth.
Types of natal teeth:
- Underdeveloped loose teeth with weak tooth structures
- Completely formed, mature teeth
- A small part of the tooth on the gum
- Small teeth that erupt on the gums
If natal teeth cause complications with breastfeeding, becomes a choking hazard or results in oral infections it is advisable that they are removed as early as possible. Start your child’s dental care sooner rather than later. Book an appointment at All About Teeth Townsville today!