What You Need to Know About Baby Teeth

toddler-2674001_1280Do you have a baby or young child? If you do, you are probably looking forward to (or in the midst of) playing tooth fairy. Have you ever wondered what’s going on in your child’s mouth? Here’s a quick guide to what you need to know about baby teeth.

Some One-Year-Olds Don’t Have Teeth Yet… And That’s Okay!

While most parents begin seeing little teeth poking through well before their baby’s first birthday, a few babies still have completely gummy smiles in their one-year-old photos. That’s okay! Dentists will generally do some investigating if a child doesn’t have any teeth at 15 months, but a toothless 12-month-old is still within normal limits. For a couple of months before teeth begin growing through the gums, you’ll probably notice some drooling and occasional fussiness, with it getting more intense in the week or two before the tooth’s eruption.

On the other hand, some babies have quite a few teeth on their first birthdays, and that’s fine, too. Remember that all children are different and their teething schedules are no exception.

You Should Be Brushing and Flossing Your Kids’ Teeth

While parents know to brush their toddlers’ teeth, they don’t all know that children in the early elementary school years still need a helping hand. Most children don’t have the dexterity to brush their teeth completely on their own until after the age of 6. And children over the age of 6 and under the age of 10 should still have periodic parental inspections to make sure they’re doing a good job. These children might also need a hand with flossing, particularly their molars.

Your Child Should Have an Orthodontic Evaluation Around Age 7

It’s a good idea to bring your child to an orthodontist around the time that they’re losing their front teeth for an evaluation. By this time, an orthodontist can begin to predict whether braces and other orthodontic treatment might be needed. There are some treatments that can begin before a child turns 10, and these might reduce your expenses later by eliminating the need for braces when your child is a teen. Many orthodontists will offer this evaluation at no cost, so ask your dentist for a referral.

If you have questions about your child’s baby teeth or you’d like to schedule an appointment, don’t hesitate to give our office a call!