By the time your baby reaches 6 or 7 months old, the primary or “milk” teeth start erupting at the gum lines. Though this can be an exciting time for you as a parent, the natural growing process can be uncomfortable for your baby.
In a couple of years, your youngster will have 20 primary teeth. These first teeth should be brushed and flossed as if they are not temporary, even though they will eventually come loose and make way for 32 permanent teeth. Getting your son or daughter accustomed to visiting a dentist once they turn 2 or 3 can help avoid decay and dental problems later.
First, you need to prepare for the typical baby teeth timeline and when your child’s adult teeth will come in.
What Order Do Baby Teeth Start to Erupt?
Although every child is unique, baby teeth tend to follow a standard eruption order. Usually, a few incisors come in first. These are the teeth at the front of the mouth and are used for ripping and tearing food.
After the incisors, the premolars typically begin to erupt when your child is around 1. Premolars are necessary for chewing and grinding food. Once the premolars come into place, the pointy canines on either side of the incisors erupt, followed lastly by the second molars at the back of the mouth.
This process can take place over more than 20 months. It’s important to be patient and help your child deal with any transient discomfort, also called teething.
How to Comfort a Teething Baby
When your child initially starts to teethe, you may notice a difference in normal behavior. For instance, your baby might become fussier or unable to sleep soundly.
Since babies can’t talk, you need to look for a few indicators that your child is teething:
- Tugging at the ears
- Chewing on objects
- Drooling more than expected
- Putting fingers in their mouth
- Biting down hard while nursing
Try helping your baby feel better by offering them a chilled, but not frozen, teething ring to chew on. You might even want to let your child bite on carrot or celery sticks. Avoid teething biscuits, as they contain sugars that can lead to tooth decay. If your baby’s teething is causing serious distress, talk with your pediatrician about giving a sugar-free painkiller to dull the aches.
When Do Permanent Teeth Come In?
The timeline for adult teeth starts when a child is around 6 or just starting school. One by one, the primary teeth will start to loosen and fall out, typically in this order:
- Premolars and molars
It can take up to 10 years or longer before a child has fully developed all teeth, including the final molars known as wisdom teeth. During this period, your child should continue to see a trusted dentist who can guide their healthy oral development.
Finding the Perfect Dentist
Dental Choice offers the compassionate support you and your little one deserve. Feel free to make an appointment with Dental Choice at our Edmonton or Calgary office.
This article was reviewed by Dr. Abouhassan.
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