Primary Pearly Whites
Throughout the human lifespan, our bodies go through several changes. And most of us have embarrassing pictures as evidence of a particularly awkward stage -- especially those toothless grins seen during our childhood years.
Also known as baby teeth, primary teeth are our first set of teeth that pave the way for our permanent teeth, and they're an important part of a child's development.
Dental health is a major aspect of your infant's or toddler's well-being. Parents often have questions when it comes to their child's primary teeth. Here's what to expect when you're expecting -- a baby tooth!
There are so many things for new parents to look forward to: a lack of sleep, changing diapers and lots of crying. Once you think you've got it all under control, your child will most likely start teething. The truth is, our teeth are forming before we're even born, but they don't start to erupt until about the age of 6 months.
Although every child is different, there is a basic pattern that primary teeth follow as they emerge. You'll probably see one or two teeth erupt from the lower jaw at first, and before you know it your baby will have a full set of baby teeth! The central incisors, the teeth located in the front of the mouth, will start to come in at 6 or 7 months, with the lateral incisors on either side following a month later. The first molars should arrive after your child's first birthday, followed by the pointy cuspids and second molars. When all is said and done, most children will have 20 teeth, with 10 in each jaw, by the time they are two and a half years old.
As one might expect, a tooth breaking through the gums isn't very fun, and the resulting discomfort is an unfortunate aspect of the teething experience. Infants and toddlers may experience sporadic drooling, irritability or even disruptions in eating or sleeping patterns during this period. Luckily, there are some things you can do to ease the pain -- the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends letting babies bite down on a teething ring, cool spoon or cold, wet washcloth to ease sore gums. Rubbing the baby's gums with a finger may also do the trick -- as long as it's clean!