Amazing Fact of the Day: A baby is born with all of its teeth. That’s right. All 20 baby teeth are right there. You just can’t see them, because it takes four to six months for them to start poking through the gums.
This is just one of the fascinating facts about baby teeth and baby mouths that may surprise new parents. There are many more. Let’s take a look.
Primary Teeth Eruption Timeline
Undoubtedly, these are two of the most common questions new parents have: When can we finally see our baby’s beautiful teeth? And when will our child lose those teeth and get grown-up teeth?
Every child is different, but generally here’s how it works.
First, babies are born with 20 teeth:
- Four second molars
- Four first molars
- Four canine teeth
- Four lateral incisors
- Four central incisors
The teeth in the center of the bottom jaw most often come through first, but here’s a general timeline:
- Central Incisor: Erupts between 8 and 12 months / sheds between 6 and 7 years
- Lateral Incisor: Erupts between 9 and 13 months / sheds between 7 and 8 years
- Canine (Cuspid): Erupts between 16 and 22 month / sheds between 10 and 12 years
- First molar: Erupts between 13 and 19 months / sheds between 9 and 11 years
- Second molar: Erupts between 25 and 33 months / sheds between 10 and 12 years
- Second Molar: Erupts between 23 and 31 months / sheds between 10 and 12 years
- First Molar: Erupts between 14 and 18 months/ sheds between 9 and 11 years
- Canine (Cuspid): Erupts between 17 and 23 months / sheds between 9 and 12 years
- Lateral Incisor: Erupts between 10 and 16 months / sheds between 7 and 8 years
- Central Incisor: Erupts between 6 and 10 months / sheds between 6 and 7 years
Tips for Caring for your Baby’s Mouth
Most children have a full set of primary teeth by the time they are 3 years old, but it’s never too early to start caring for your baby’s mouth and teeth. The most common cause of tooth decay in young children is frequent, prolonged exposure to sugary drinks, and that includes drinks from a baby bottle.
Following are several tips to keep in mind to keep your baby’s mouth healthy today and in the future:
- Put only plain water, formula, milk, or breast milk in bottles. Avoid filling them with sweetened water, fruit juice, or soft drinks. Never put your baby to bed with a bottle, as the prolonged exposure to the liquid can decay teeth.
- Use clean pacifiers. Don’t dip them in sugar or similar products.
- Avoid sharing your own saliva with the baby, such as by using the same spoon. Bacteria from your mouth can transfer to theirs.
- Gently use a clean, moist gauze pad to keep your infant’s gums and teeth clean, especially after each feeding.
- When the child is about 18 months old, start brushing the teeth with a soft toothbrush and a very small amount of fluoride toothpaste – about the size of a grain of rice.
- As for children ages 3 to 6, brush their teeth twice a day with a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste. Make sure they spit it out during rinsing.
- You can begin flossing your child’s teeth once the teeth begin to touch. Children can begin flossing their own teeth at the age of 10.
One final reminder: A child should see the dentist by the age of 1, so if you haven’t yet made that first appointment, don’t wait. Call us today. It’s never too early to teach a child the importance of proper dental care and regular visits to the dentist.