Friday, October 9, 2009

Baby Teeth and Permanent Teeth

When will your baby get her first tooth? According to charts provided by the American Dental Association, she'll probably be between 6 and 10 months old when she "cuts" her first tiny tooth. It will be sharp and shiny, in the middle of the gum line on the bottom of her mouth. Her top teeth won't appear for another two months. By the time she is 3 years old, you can expect her to have all 20 of her primary teeth.

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry emphasizes that the primary teeth are very important to your child's overall health. Most children's primary teeth will start to loosen, and children will likely "lose" their first teeth when they are 6 or 7 years old as the bigger, stronger permanent teeth break through the gums and push the primary teeth out of the way.

The dental associations urge you to take good care of the primary teeth, as they enable your child to chew her food properly. They are also important in speech development, and they save space for the larger permanent teeth.

Visit the Youth Services "On the Path to Good Health" exhibit for October, with books and literature about the importance of caring for your children's teeth. We also have charts that explain the average ages when children can be expected to "cut" their primary and permanent teeth. October is National Dental Hygiene Month. Our "On the Path to Good Health" exhibits are supported by Kaiser Permanente and the Santa Clara City Library Foundation and Friends.
posted by jtb