Teething is the process by which a baby’s teeth erupt, or break through, the gums. Teething generally occurs between 6 to 24 months of age. Symptoms of teething include irritability, tender and swollen gums, and the infant wanting to place objects or fingers into the mouth in an attempt to reduce discomfort.

Teething usually begins in infants as young as two old, although the first tooth does not appear until about six months.

Permanent teeth usually start erupting at about six years.

A child’s baby teeth (primary teeth) usually begin to get loose and fall to make room for the permanent teeth at about six years old. However, sometimes a delay may happen by as much as a year.

Crowding: It is essential to know that the baby teeth preserve space for the adult teeth when ready for eruption. But, if baby teeth fall out too early, space can be lost in the mouth, causing crowding of the underlying adult ones.

Infant baby teeth usually fall out on their own. You must not pull the tooth out yourself earlier. They help in guiding the adult teeth in and help facial structures like the jaw develop.

Usually, permanent teeth do not erupt because they are growing in the wrong direction. Even when they have enough space to erupt, the permanent teeth can veer off the path and end up in the wrong place.

Kids usually have a set of 20 milk or baby teeth by the time he/she is three years old.

The enamel layer of the primary teeth is usually thinner than the enamel layer on the permanent teeth as well as the Baby teeth are generally whiter in color than permanent teeth. Also, baby teeth are smoother on the bottom while permanent teeth have a jagged bottom edge.

Adequate nutrition is of great importance. Even small occurrences of low malnutrition during the first year of life may result in enamel hypoplasia (underdevelopment of tooth enamel) and, consequently, an increased risk of tooth decay in the area.

Your child’s baby teeth are essential. Baby teeth hold space for adult teeth. Taking care of your child’s teeth will protect your child from tooth decay (cavities).

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