Baby teeth are those born in childhood of the human being. They are also called temporary teeth, because over time they are replaced by definitive teeth . Its name is due to its appearance coincides with the stage of breastfeeding.
Humans have, in total, 20 baby teeth. There are 10 at the top and 10 at the bottom . They include, in each arch, four incisive teeth, two canines or fangs and four molars or molars. The ages at which they leave or fall are not the same in all children.
The birth of baby teeth is a very important milestone in human development. They allow chewing and, therefore, expand the variety of the diet . Likewise, they constitute a support for the child to speak. They also keep the space for permanent teeth to come out.
The birth of baby teeth
The most common is that the first teeth begin to come out between the fifth and eighth month of life . The first to appear are the lower incisors. The process is uncomfortable and painful for the child, who is usually very irritable and without appetite almost all the time.
It is very common that, during this process, babies eagerly look for objects to bite and thus relieve pain. The most advisable thing is to offer them teethers to calm that craving without injuring the gums . It is also usual to show some fever and redness in the area.
The most critical moment is when the first teeth are about to sprout. At this time, the pain increases, the gums become more inflamed and redden more sharply. When the teeth are about to leave, a whitish coloration appears.
In most cases, baby teeth finish coming out around 3 years. This can vary from one child to another, without meaning something abnormal. Some children complete the dentition at 2 years and others do it at 4 years.
The importance of the first dental pieces
As we pointed out in the introduction, baby teeth are essential for chewing and talking. Likewise, they keep the space so that the definitive teeth are born without any problem . The latter are already growing under the gums and need a suitable place to sprout in due course.
When a milk tooth is lost too quickly, the final teeth in formation can move into the space left by it. This leads to other teeth not having the necessary space to leave and results in a denture with several crooked pieces.
Hygiene and care measures for baby teeth
The child should visit the dentist as soon as his first milk teeth appear . This will ensure that you have adequate oral health and will prevent any subsequent problems. The visit to the specialist should be done at least once a year, if there is no news.
The baby should wash his mouth from his first days of life. This is done with a clean, damp gauze or wipe. Immediately after your first teeth come out, it is necessary to start brushing . Caries may even appear shortly after the first milk teeth appear.
The right thing is to brush your teeth in the morning and at night, with a small amount of fluoridated toothpaste . That amount should increase in children aged 3 to 6 years, but it will never be larger than the size of a pea. The habit will be fixed in this way.
The loss of the pieces
The most common is that these teeth begin to get lost around 6 years of age . The first to loosen are the front incisors. This is because the definitive teeth cause the root of the milk teeth to be absorbed and held by only a small portion of tissue.
Little by little, the other milk teeth fall off. The last to fall are the posterior molars, towards 10 or 12 years. By the time the boy is 13, he will probably already have the most definitive teeth.
If the milk teeth do not loosen naturally, the dentist may recommend an extraction . Premature loss of baby teeth is the cause of 30% of orthodontic problems.