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How Many Teeth?

When your baby is born, he or she already has all his or her teeth in his or her head. That is twenty baby teeth and thirty-two permanent teeth. But they do not come into the mouth until they have finished hardening, or calcifying, appropriately. Your baby’s first tooth usually erupts into the mouth at approximately six months old. The first permanent tooth to rise is a molar in the way back corners, closer to age six years old. Closer to age seven, you will likely see the first baby tooth fall out in the front, which the Tooth Fairy will want to come and see.  The last baby tooth will fall out closer to age twelve. The third molars, or wisdom teeth, come in between ages 15-25 years old. Please do not fret if your baby’s teeth do not come precisely according to this schedule. Girls tend to get teeth faster than boys. We like to say that not all teeth read the books to know when they should enter! 

Teething Troubles

Each child experiences teething in a unique manner. Some feel no discomfort, whereas some drool, whimper, cry, or even bite. Please do NOT give your baby Orajel or Anbesol as those can ultimately create ulcers in the mouth and more trouble for baby. Moreover it is difficult to know how much they are truly ingesting, and this could easily become an overdose. Most babies prefer cooler, softer foods while teething. Babies may prefer different shapes and styles of teethers and teething rings. Try wetting a washcloth, thoroughly wringing it out, and keeping it in the refrigerator; some children will enjoy gnawing on that to soothe their mouths. Ibuprofen tends to help provide more comfort than acetaminophen, which lacks the anti-inflammatory component imperative in soothing the teething process, and lasts longer to help your child sleep more comfortably through the night.

How to Make a Cavity

To make a cavity, you need a tooth, bacteria, and carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are sugars, which can be simple or complex.  We can easily think of them in gummy, sticky, chewy treats or candies, but often forget about them in crackers, chips, breads, juices, and fruits. With this in mind, be sure to wipe inside the mouth after every bottle or breast feeding with a burp cloth, even before teeth emerge in the mouth, to get your child and you in the habit of things entering and cleansing the mouth. As soon as the first tooth erupts, you will need to begin brushing.  The goal is to brush twice each day and floss once each day, but it takes time to build up to that healthy hygiene routine. We recommend that a parent takes the lead in the hygiene maintenance until the child is about ten years old, at which point he or she should have developed the dexterity to adequately clean all surfaces and the maturity to do so. 

First Dental Visit

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends the first dental visit at either one year old or after the first tooth erupts, whichever comes first.  The goal is to help you establish a dental home to know where to turn for questions that might arise or any emergency that may surprise you.  Please do not be surprised if your baby cries during the first visit.  It is her or his first time meeting the new office staff and understandable to experience some apprehension. Please help your daughter or son have a great experience by keeping a smile on your face and reassuring your child that we are all working together as a team to ensure her or his good health. A pediatric dentist completes two to three years of additional training to know how best to care for children and their unique needs.  
Moreover, visiting board certified pediatric dentists ensures that peers at the top of the profession have vetted your dental specialist to practice under the best guidelines and maintain their educational standards at their peak. You can visit our office, Pinnacle Pediatric Dentistry, to meet our three board certified pediatric dentists, who are all moms and bring that additional experience to the practice.