Every parent has this question, ‘are my child’s teeth developing properly?’ Every child is different, and genetics affects the health and structure of your teeth and overall mouth. There are things that you can do to help your child’s smile develop safely. Read below to learn how your child’s teeth should develop correctly.
DEVELOPMENT OF TEETH
According to Stanford Children’s Health, there are four stages of tooth development:
- The first stage begins with an unborn baby at about six weeks of pregnancy (gestation). This is when the fundamental substance of the tooth forms.
- The second stage is where the hard tissue that surrounds the teeth forms around three to four months of gestation.
- The third stage occurs after the child is born. This stage happens when the tooth sticks out (protrudes) through the gum. Primary teeth start coming in between the ages of six and 12 months.
- The fourth stage happens when the child loses its primary (baby) teeth. The primary teeth come in by 33 months.
Teeth are structured with the crown, covered with enamel, and the root, embedded in the jaw.
Teeth are made of the following:
- Enamel – hard shell layer on the crown and also the hardest substance on the body
- Dentine – substance makes up the majority of a tooth
- Pulp – extends between the crown and the tip of the root
- Cementum – a layer of bone-like tissue that covers the root
Surrounding the teeth includes the following structures:
- Gums – soft tissue that surrounds the teeth and bone
- Periodontal ligament – thousands of fibers that fasten the cementum to the socket
- Bone – provides support to the roots of the teeth
HOW TO KEEP YOUR CHILD’S TEETH DEVELOPING CORRECTLY
Healthy teeth give your child a healthy smile for life. These are our top tips to help your child’s teeth develop correctly:
- Make a dental appointment with us by the time your child turns one, or when they get their first tooth. Don’t forget to schedule regular checkups!
- Help to keep your child’s gums clean. Use a wet cloth after eating or drinking and rub it against their gums; this also helps to keep away harmful bacteria.
- Begin brushing your child’s teeth when the first tooth erupts. Use an infant toothbrush, water and toothpaste that’s the size of a grain of rice. We recommend your child to use fluoride-free toothpaste until they can spit well. Using fluoride-free toothpaste prevents your child from ingesting toxic levels of fluoride if they can’t spit out all the extra toothpaste quite yet.
- Introduce your child to flossing when two of your child’s teeth touch.
- Continue supervising your child while they’re younger than the age of eight.
- Practice good oral habits together.
- Choose healthy food options for your child. In sum, we recommend limiting sugar, drinking plenty of water and eating foods like dairy, fish or mint.
Corrective behavior intervention is also an option to help make it easier for you and your child to develop their teeth healthily. This includes choosing the use of pacifiers, thumb sucking and lots of positive reinforcement.
VISIT YOUR DENTIST | THE LANDING DENTAL SPA
The Landing Dental Spa will remain closed until May 4, 2020. If you need to schedule an appointment to discuss your child’s dental health, please give us a call and we’ll schedule you for an appointment as soon as possible.
Call today: 304-594-2200