The development of your baby’s teeth begins before he is even born. At birth he has a full set of 20 baby teeth (also known as primary teeth or milk teeth) hidden away in his gums.
The first teeth to appear in your baby’s mouth will most likely be the two bottom front teeth. They tend to make their appearance somewhere between six and eight months old. These teeth are then followed by the two upper front teeth. The remainder of your baby’s teeth will then appear, usually in pairs, on each side of the jaw, until your child is about two and a half years old. By this age, all 20 baby teeth will most likely have appeared.
- Even though your baby’s will eventually lose all his milk teeth, they are just as important as the permanent teeth that follow. Not only do the milk teeth hold a space for the adult teeth, but they are also needed for speech, chewing and biting food.
- You need to teach your child to eat a healthy diet for the sake of his teeth and gums.
- Your child’s routine should include brushing his teeth twice a day, every day after the first tooth erupts.
- When you first brush your baby’s teeth, you can use a toothbrush with a small soft head and use only water until he’s 18 months old. After this age, you can introduce low-fluoride toothpaste.
- After your child turns four years old, you can begin to teach him how to brush his teeth, though it will be many years before you can hand the toothbrush over permanently.
Don’t worry if your child teethes early or late – there’s nothing you can do to hurry a tooth! Every tooth is on its own timeline and will eventually make its way through the gum. It follows too that a child got his baby teeth late will also lose them late.