Primary Teeth

Baby teeth or primary teeth are the teeth that are lost when you are a child. The roots of these teeth work to keep an opening in place so that the permanent teeth can erupt in the mouth. Primary teeth are temporary and will not last a lifetime, but this does not mean that you can forgo the care of them either. A child needs to have healthy primary teeth to be able to develop healthy permanent teeth and chew their food properly. Premature loss of primary teeth can have negative effects.

Your child’s primary teeth will start to erupt through the gum line sometime between the first two and a half years of their life. Some children’s teeth will grow in much more quickly or they may take longer to grow in. Both situations are considered normal and there is no cause for concern. The faster the teeth grow in, the younger the child may be when the tooth is lost.

Typically, your child will receive their front four teeth first with two on the bottom and two on the top. These teeth may start to show up as early as 6 months old and most children have a full set of teeth by the age of 3.

The first set of teeth that arrive are the mandibular centrals and the last ones to grow in are the maxillary second molars. Primary teeth will start to fall out and be replaced with permanent teeth when the child is around the age of six. The roots of the primary teeth dissolve and the tooth detaches from the mouth.

While the primary teeth do start to fall out at about 6 years old, it would not be uncommon to see teeth fall out around the age of 4 or up to as much as 7 years old. The entire process will continue until your child is about 12 years old. By this time, all of the permanent teeth should be in place.

The teeth that take the longest to fall out are the deciduous teeth and this is because they are rooted firmly within the mouth. Baby teeth have difficult root complex, but once the permanent tooth is below, the root is weakened and dissolves, which causes the baby tooth to fall out.

It is vital that your child brush and floss his or her baby teeth every day, so that they do not develop gum disease or cavities. Yes, children can develop gum disease. Oral pain is not fun for adults, so it is definitely not fun for a child. You do not want your child’s teeth to fall out before they are ready, as this may lead to trouble in the future.

If the primary teeth are damaged, then the permanent teeth underneath may become decayed or damaged as well. If this occurs, the new teeth will need dental work once they come in. Often, parents do not realize that the baby teeth need to be taken care of because they are susceptible to decay, and it can happen rather quickly when the teeth are not cared for.

Tooth decay that occurs in infants is often time caused from drinking a bottle or nursing. In these situations, the teeth are exposed to the liquid, which has a lot of sugar in it, which can lead to decay.

You should remove all bodies and sippy cups from your toddler or infant once they fall asleep. Our dentists want to warn you that you should avoid letting your child go to bed with milk, fruit juices, or any sweetened liquids. You also do not want to dip the pacifier into honey or any other sugary liquid.

Once your child has finished using their sippy cup or bottle, you should wipe their gums or, if they have teeth, brush them. This will help remove the additional sugar present on the surface of the tooth. You can use toothpaste in your child’s mouth, but you should teach them to spit it out instead of swallowing it, as toothpaste is not meant to be ingested.

Brushing and Fluoride for Primary Teeth

You should brush your child’s teeth before they have teeth. You need to brush the gums and wipe them down after meals. You want to use an appropriate-sized amount of toothpaste and the correct style toothbrush for your little one. You should never use a children’s or adult’s toothbrush or toothpaste on a young infant.

When it is time for you to brush your child’s teeth, brush ALL of them and make sure that you use circular motions to do so. You should spend a minimum of two minutes brushing their teeth. Since some children like to be independent, you want to make sure if you allow them to brush their own teeth that you follow up and brush them yourself.

Fluoride is important for your child’s teeth too as it will help keep them healthy and prevent decay. You should use toothpaste that has fluoride built into it or ask for fluoride treatments at your dentist’s office. If you are unsure of what toothpaste or toothbrush to use, talk to your child’s Thornton dentist.

Toothaches and Injuries in Your Child’s Mouth

Toothaches can happen to anyone and this includes children. They do cause a lot of pain and if your child has a toothache, you should call our office immediately. Dental decay or injury could be the reason for the toothache, but it is best to have it checked by a certified dental professional.

Injuries to the teeth and mouth are common in kids and they occur more than you may think. It is important that you encourage your little one to use a mouthguard when they play sports. If your child does experience an injury in his or her mouth, it is important that you seek out immediate dental treatment for them.

Schedule a Dental Appointment for Your Child Today

It is vital to your child’s health that he or she receive quick and timely dental care for his primary and permanent teeth. If you think that your child’s primary teeth are decayed or that there may be a problem with them, call Thornton Town Center Family Dental right away.


We Appreciate All of Our Thornton Patients!

Thornton Town Center Family Dental would not be as successful without the support from all of our patients. We are proud to be able to serve the local area and thank you for all of the referrals you have sent our way! Below, you will find some of our recent reviews from Thornton patients!

Zoey Wright

I had a million questions that I wanted to ask and they did an awesome job and answering every single one. And the staff do an awesome job at making me feel comfortable while they work on my teeth!

1 month ago

Michael L.

ALL the Doctors and staff are extremely nice and very professional. The office is very clean and modern. They have all the latest technology and every one seems very skilled at what they do. I recommend this place for anyone who needs good and honest Dentist!

3 months ago

Joshua M.

The doctors here are professional and super friendly. They have a willingness to help and cater to thier patients needs. Visits are very quick, so scheduling is hassle-free aswell. Would we not be moving out of state, my wife and I would love to make Thornton our forever dentist

6 months ago
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