Development of Your Child’s Teeth

At Petaluma Kids Dental Care we provide both exceptional dental care in our office and the dental information you need to give your child the best care at home.

Eruption  – Primary Teeth

Primary teeth: Your child has twenty baby teeth that start forming before they are born. Usually a baby’s front four teeth erupt first, generally at about 6-8 months of age. However, some children do not get their first tooth before their first year which is not a cause for concern. The remaining teeth typically come in pairs up until the age of three. This is generally the case, but varies with each individual child.


Permanent Teeth

Permanent teeth usually start to erupt between the ages of five to six, the molars behind the back baby teeth. Your child will continue losing and replacing teeth until they are about fourteen.


What you need to do when you lose a tooth

A child’s tooth beginning to loosen can bring on a lot of excitement. When your child’s tooth first becomes loose, they will wiggle it constantly, excited for getting yet another visit from the tooth fairy. While the tooth will naturally loosen over time, parents should not put extra strain on the tooth. Please avoid the “String and Slamming Door” method for tooth pulling. It’s important to keep in mind the baby teeth serve an important function in the mouth. Not only do they help chew food, they also act as placeholders in the mouth before the adult teeth emerge. When the baby teeth are removed too early, the alignment of the permanent teeth to follow can have problems.

Most baby teeth are lost in the same order they come in. You have the greatest chance of losing your front teeth first. There are instances where the assistance of a dentist is needed to remove the baby teeth, but this is rare. Keep an eye on the tooth, it should be very loose before additional action should be taken. A tooth that is ready to be removed will come out with a gentle tug. Using a dry paper towel to hold onto the loose tooth works well. A tooth that is ready to come out won’t bleed very much. Have a glass of cool salt water ready to rinse out the mouth.

What should you do if the tooth is accidentally swallowed? Don’t be alarmed, inform the child that this is not the first time this has occurred and that they should relax. Leave a short note to explain to the Tooth Fairy that a tooth has indeed been lost. Just don’t expect a “full” payment for the tooth.