Most babies are born with teeth that have yet to emerge from the gum tissue. Over the course of the first two to three years, 20 primary teeth erupt from the gums. The primary teeth (often referred to as “baby teeth”) are lost over time as the child’s mouth grows and transitions into adolescence. By age 18, most people will have all their primary teeth replaced by 32 permanent teeth.
The Value of Baby Teeth
It’s important to take good care of those 32 permanent teeth, because they are all we get! When your natural adult teeth are gone, they’re gone. But did you know that it’s equally as important to take care of baby teeth? The Tooth Fairy pays good money for those for a reason!
Unfortunately, some people believe that caring for baby teeth is not as important, because they’re going to be replaced by the permanent teeth, anyway. Right? Wrong. This is a seriously erroneous misconception.
As your caring family dentist, Dr. Silberman wants parents to teach their children that keeping their baby teeth healthy and free of decay is truly the path to a lifetime of great dental health. The truth of the matter is, baby teeth with decay can actually infect the emerging permanent teeth, which could lead to tooth loss or the need for fillings.
Children need to learn good lifestyle habits that promote excellent oral hygiene: Children should brush their teeth at least twice a day for about two minutes for each brushing session. And as soon as a child has two teeth that touch, daily flossing should begin (preferably at night before bedtime). Naturally, these activities can be difficult for young children, so parents should supervise and assist during these routines whenever necessary.
Losing Baby Teeth
Losing baby teeth can sometimes be an emotional or even traumatic experience for a child. This is especially true if a particular tooth is loose but isn’t easily removed. Most children have a natural tendency to want to wiggle a loose tooth. This process is actually an important step in helping the tooth release freely from the gums.
It’s important for parents to be patient: Sometimes the tooth may need a few days — or even a couple of weeks — before it’s ready to come out. Be sure to explain what’s happening to your child, and encourage him or her to keep wiggling.
Every now and then, a primary tooth can get stubbornly stuck, and it seems that no amount of wiggling will get it free. Knowing when and how to remove a stubborn baby tooth is important. If a baby tooth refuses to come out, or if your child is experiencing pain, you should give us a call at (301) 885-2505.
And if you’re new to The Silberman Dental Group, rest assured that Dr. Silberman is a beloved family dentist with a gentle nature that helps children feel calm and at ease. In fact, a large number of the patients that Dr. Silberman treated as children now bring their own children to see him! We provide a very warm, family-friendly atmosphere that’s gives our patients of all ages upbeat and positive experiences while receiving their dental care.