Baby teeth, primary teeth and deciduous teeth are all the same thing. They are the teeth that first beginning erupting at 6 to 10 months of age and then begin to fall-out at approximately five years of age.
Primary teeth aid the child in chewing and speaking. They also act as placeholders for the permanent teeth that are growing beneath the surface. The best time for a child to begin seeing the dentist is within six months of the appearance of the first tooth. During this initial visit the dentist will check for decay and ensuring that the child’s teeth are erupting correctly. The dentist will also review home-care techniques and examine the effects of any bad habits, such as thumb sucking.
Tender sore gums are common when the first teeth are erupting. To soothe the child’s discomfort rub the gum tissue with a clean finger, a small cool spoon or a wet gauze pad. A clean, cool teething ring could also be comforting. If the child is still cranky, consult the pediatrician. Typically, children will have 20 teeth by the time they reach years of age.
Before the first teeth make their appearance, it is important to keep baby’s mouth clear of plaque by wiping her gums with a clean gauze pad. Doing this ensures that plaque and residual food do not decay erupting teeth.
Tooth decay can occur on any tooth surface that is visible. As soon as teeth begin to erupt, brush them with a child’s size toothbrush and water. Children over the age of two should use a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste. The child should spit out the toothpaste and rinse with water. Swallowing fluoride toothpaste can be harmful.
Never put a child to bed with a bottle. Doing so causes tooth decay. The child should only be given water to drink before bed. Never dip a pacifier in sugar or honey before giving it to a baby.