Your child is running around the house showing everyone their wiggly tooth. It’s a bit unnerving, really. You remember when you were that age, and you refused to even touch a tooth once it started to move. You guess it’s better that they are excited rather than nervous. The question is, however, is this the right time for them to be losing teeth? Are your child’s teeth developing properly? Dr. Cofer, your dentist in Waco, TX, let’s you know how your child’s teeth should develop.
How Baby Teeth Develop
The first signs of teeth actually occur when a baby is in the womb at about 6-8 weeks. At about 3-4 months, the different layers of a tooth, including the enamel, dentin, and dental pulp begin to form. Once the child is born, the eruption of the first tooth typically occurs before their first birthday. Usually, the bottom two incisors are the first to come in, followed by the top four front teeth. The teeth will continue to come in, usually in pairs, until the child has 20 baby, or primary, teeth. This whole process typically lasts until the child is 2 and a half to 3 years of age. It is important to care for your child’s teeth at this time because the early formation of good dental habits will help them when their adult teeth inevitably come in. Be sure to use a soft-bristled brush and limit the amount of fluoride they are exposed to.
Development of Adult Teeth
A child’s adult teeth start to develop right after they are born. Your child’s teeth with start to become loose and fall out around 6 years old. The first adult teeth to emerge are usually the molars, behind their set of primary teeth. These are followed once again by the central incisors until a child has 28-32 permanent teeth. The last teeth to come in are the third set of molars, or wisdom teeth. However, it is common for people to not develop wisdom teeth. All of the adult teeth, excluding the wisdom teeth, should erupt by the age of 11-13 years.
Taking Care of Your Teeth
No matter what stage teeth are in their development, routine brushing and flossing are the best ways to keep them clean. This is especially important for kids as they tend to have a preference for sugary drinks and snacks that can break down teeth. Bi-annual visits to your family dentist in Waco, TX are also an essential way to make sure your child’s teeth are developing correctly and should be part of their general oral care routine. Regular check-ups and cleanings will assure that your child’s teeth are well taken care of while they are growing.
If you have any questions or concerns about your child’s developing teeth, be sure to ask us. We want to take care of their teeth no matter what stage they are in, so be sure to come see us so they can smile for years to come.