Pediatric Dentistry works with patients ranging in age from birth to adolescence. Here at Marblehead Smiles we emphasize the guidance of growth and dental development, behavioral management, preventative and interceptive orthodontics, full treatment orthodontics, medicine and hospital dentistry while maintaining an empathetic and sympathetic approach.
As seen from the chart, the first teeth begin to break through the gums at about 6 months of age. Usually, the first two teeth to erupt are the two bottom central incisors (the two bottom front teeth). Next, the top four front teeth emerge. After that, other teeth slowly begin to fill in, usually in pairs - one each side of the upper or lower jaw - until all 20 baby teeth (10 in the upper jaw and 10 in the lower jaw) have erupted. The complete set of primary teeth is typically in the mouth by 2 ½ to 3 years of age.
Other primary tooth eruption facts:
- A general rule of thumb is that for every 6 months of life, approximately 4 teeth will erupt.
- Girls generally precede boys in tooth eruption.
- Lower teeth usually erupt before upper teeth.
- Teeth in both jaws usually erupt in pairs--one on the right and one on the left.
- Primary teeth are smaller in size and whiter in color than the permanent teeth that will follow.
- By the time a child is 3 years of age, all primary teeth should have erupted.
Shortly after age 4, the jaw and facial bones of the child begin to grow, creating spaces between the primary teeth. This is a perfectly natural growth process that provides the necessary space for the larger, permanent teeth to erupt into. Between the ages of 6 and 12, a mixture of both primary teeth and permanent teeth reside in the mouth.
While it's true that primary teeth are only in the mouth a short period of time, they play a vital role in the following ways:
- They reserve space for their permanent counterparts.
- They give the face its normal appearance.
- They aid in the development of clear speech.
- They help attain good nutrition (missing or decayed teeth make it difficult to chew causing children to reject foods).
- They help give a healthy start to the permanent teeth (decay and infection in baby teeth can cause dark spots on the permanent teeth developing beneath it)
- Starting at birth, clean your child's gums with a soft cloth and water.
- As soon as your child's teeth erupt, brush them with a soft-bristled toothbrush.
- If they are under the age of 2, use a small "smear of toothpaste.
- If they're 2-5 years old, use a "pea-size" amount of toothpaste.
- Be sure and use an ADA-accepted fluoride toothpaste and make sure your child does not swallow it.
- When brushing, the parent should brush the child's teeth under they are old enough to do a good job on their own.
- Flossing removes plaque between teeth and under the gumline where a toothbrush can't reach.
- Flossing should begin when any two teeth touch.
- Be sure and floss your child's teeth daily until he or she can do it alone.
Oral health is an imperative element of total health. Establishing Marblehead Smiles as your child’s dental home base provides us the opportunity to execute preventive dental health habits that keep your child free from dental and oral disease. In addition, it is always beneficial to have established a dental home base prior to the misfortunate event of a dental emergency.
We are pleased to offer orthodontic care at both our Middleton and Marblehead locations! Providing orthodontic treatment for adults and children, focusing on providing healthy and beautiful smiles. Our patients range from young children (intercepting early dental development problems) to grandparents (realigning and correcting tooth positions for cosmetic or restorative purposes) and everyone in between.
The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that every child have an orthodontic evaluation by an orthodontist as they approach the age of 7. Early detection of a potential or existing dento-facial developmental problem is always beneficial for a child. Call us today for your complimentary consultation!