Why Are The Primary Teeth Important?
It is very important to maintain primary teeth health. Neglected cavities frequently lead to problems that affect developing permanent teeth. Primary teeth – or baby teeth – are important for (1) proper chewing and eating, (2) providing space for permanent teeth and guiding them into the correct position, and (3) permitting normal development of jaw bones and muscles. Primary teeth also affect the development of speech and add to an attractive appearance. While the front 4 teeth last until 6-7 years of age, the back cuspids and molars aren?t replaced with permanent teeth until age 10-13.
Eruption Of Your Child's Teeth
Children’s teeth begin forming before birth. As early as 4 months, the first baby teeth to erupt are the lower central incisors, followed closely by the upper central incisors. Although all 20 primary teeth usually appear by age 3, the pace and order of their eruption vary.
Permanent teeth begin appearing around age 6, starting with the first molars and lower central incisors. At age 8, you can generally expect the bottom 4 primary teeth (the lower central and lateral incisors) and the top 4 primary teeth (the upper central and lateral incisors) to be gone and permanent teeth to have taken their place. There is a one to two-year break from ages 8-10, and then the rest of the permanent teeth will start to come in. This process continues until approximately age 21.
Adults have 28 permanent teeth or up to 32 including the third molars (called wisdom teeth).
Adult Teeth Coming in Behind Baby Teeth
This is a very common occurrence with children and is usually the result of a lower baby tooth not falling out when the permanent tooth is erupting. In most cases, it will usually fall out on its own within two months. If it doesn’t, then contact your pediatric dentist because they can easily remove the tooth. The permanent tooth should then slide into its proper place.
Does Your Child Grind His Teeth At Night? (Bruxism)
Parents are often concerned about their children grinding their teeth while they sleep (bruxism). Often, the first indication of bruxism is the noise created by the grinding, or, the parent may notice teeth wearing down. One theory is that psychology affects bruxism. Stress due to a new environment, divorce, changes at school, etc. can influence a child to grind their teeth. Another theory links pressure in the inner ear. If there are pressure changes (like in an airplane during take-off and landing, when people are chewing gum, etc.) the child will grind by moving their jaw to relieve this pressure.
The majority of cases of pediatric bruxism do not require any treatment. If excessive wear of the teeth – attrition – is present, then a nightly mouth guard may be prescribed. The good news is that most children outgrow bruxism. The grinding typically decreases between the ages of 6-9 and children tend to stop grinding altogether between ages 9-12. If you suspect bruxism, discuss this with your pediatrician or pediatric dentist.