Primary or “Baby” teeth start developing at 4 months of pregnancy. What moms eat matter for the formation of healthy teeth. Medications also play a role on the formation of teeth.
Primary teeth start to erupt at around 4-5 months and the last “baby teeth” come out at 2yr-2 ½ years old. Most of the time teeth have gaps between them and that is a good thing! They are easier to clean and food and bacteria will not get stuck in between teeth. Some children have the two upper central teeth contacting. Make sure to run a floss pick carefully through them to make sure they do not develop cavities. For the most part, children do not require regular flossing until the teeth contact each other, around 3yrs- 3 ½ yrs of age.
The primary teeth are important for eating and speech. They also help maintain the space for the adult teeth to come out in the right place at the right angulations. Missing a baby tooth can bring a lot of consequences. For example, when you lose a tooth the adjacent teeth start moving towards the empty space. When this space is closed the permanent tooth may erupt outside of the arch and orthodontic treatment will be necessary to correct it.
Taking care of baby teeth is essential for a lifetime of good sound teeth. The good habits form when the first teeth are just peeking out of the gums. You may rub the gums with a cool wet rag. This soothes the gums and children may find it comforting. Please remember to bring your child in before the age of 1.