• 21 JUN 17
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    Tracking Your Child’s Dental Development

    Tracking Your Child’s Dental DevelopmentIf you’re a new parent, nothing is more important to you than your young child’s health. As you track various milestones that occur at different ages, be aware of the changes happening inside your child’s mouth. Primary and permanent teeth erupt at different times for each baby, but the information here will help you know whether your child’s dental development is on track.

    When Baby Teeth Emerge

    • 6 to 10 months: The first two teeth to appear are the lower central incisors at the front of the mouth.
    • 8 to 12 months: The upper incisors follow shortly after.
    • 9 to 13 months: Next to appear are the upper lateral incisors.
    • 10 to 16 months: The lower lateral incisors erupt next.
    • 13 to 19 months: The upper first molars appear next, leaving a gap between themselves and the lateral incisors.
    • 14 to 18 months: The lower first molars follow suit.
    • 16 to 22 months: The upper canine or cuspid teeth erupt next, filling in the gap between the lateral incisors and first molars.
    • 17 to 23 months: The lower canines appear shortly after, filling in the gap in the lower jaw.
    • 23 to 31 months: The lower second molars are next to erupt right behind the first molars.
    • 25 to 33 months: The upper second molars are the last of the baby teeth to appear.

    When Permanent Teeth Come In

    When a baby tooth falls out, it’s almost immediately replaced by a permanent tooth. Here are the ages to expect visits from the tooth fairy:

    • 6 to 7 years: The central incisors, which are the first baby teeth to appear, are also the first to be replaced by permanent teeth.
    • 7 to 8 years: The lateral incisors are the next permanent teeth to come in.
    • 9 to 12 years: Within this age range, you can expect the primary first molars, canine teeth, and second molars to be replaced by their permanent counterparts.
    • 17 to 30 years: The final set of molars, often called wisdom teeth, don’t replace baby teeth. Instead, they erupt at the back of both jaws much later than any other teeth. Many people have their wisdom teeth extracted because there’s no room for them.

    Other Child Dental Development Facts

    • As a general rule of thumb, about four baby teeth erupt for every six months of life.
    • Girls tend to get their baby teeth before boys do.
    • The right and left pairs of teeth usually erupt together.
    • Primary teeth are smaller and whiter than their permanent counterparts.
    • All primary teeth should have erupted by the time your child turns 3 years old.
    • Between ages 4 and 5 years, the facial bones start to grow, creating gaps between the baby teeth. This natural process makes room for larger permanent teeth to emerge.
    • Between ages 6 and 12 years, a combination of primary and permanent teeth reside in your child’s mouth.

    Why Take Care of Baby Teeth?

    After learning all this, you might be wondering – why are baby teeth important if they only stick around for a few years? Doesn’t that mean dental care can be put off until permanent teeth start to erupt?

    Unfortunately, this is the mindset many new parents have. But caring for baby teeth is critical for the following reasons:

    • Baby teeth reserve a spot for their permanent counterparts. If your child loses a baby tooth prematurely, you should consider space maintainers to prevent the baby teeth from drifting into the wrong position and taking up space meant for the permanent tooth.
    • Healthy baby teeth are needed for speech development. Speech impediments are likely to develop if your child’s baby teeth decay and fall out.
    • Healthy teeth promote proper nutrition. If your child has missing teeth or cavities that make chewing difficult, he or she may reject healthy foods like apple slices and carrot sticks.
    • Decayed or infected baby teeth can damage permanent teeth developing below the gum line.
    • Instill good habits when your child is young, and you increase the chance of a healthy mouth into adulthood.

    Keep Your Child’s Dental Development on Track with Regular Dentist Visits

    At Evanson DDS, we offer family dentistry services to facilitate the needs of your entire family, from infants to retirees. Dentist visits should begin as soon as your child turns 1. Visit our office for answers to your questions and receive personalized advice to ensure your child’s dental development continues on a healthy track into adulthood.

    To schedule an appointment for your child, please contact us online or call our Parker office at (720) 409-0008 today.

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