Dental care is an essential part of every adult’s life, but learning how to keep our teeth healthy and looking good is a routine we learn from childhood.
The transition from milk to permanent teeth is always a meaningful event for families, and also the time when children start asking a lot of questions about what comes next. That’s why this is the best time to teach your kids all there is to know about this important change.
What should you know about milk teeth?
Milk or baby teeth are small and cute “placeholders” little children chew food with from when they’re about six months old until they reach the age of five or six. At this point in life, a child’s jaw has usually grown sufficiently to shed milk teeth and transition to their permanent replacements.
Although it’s not a strict rule, it’s usually the bottom teeth on the front that go first, followed by their “mates” in the upper jaw, after which the rest of the milk teeth will follow.
Due to the sizes of their jaws and teeth, a small child is able to grow 20 baby teeth before losing them to permanent ones, the full number of which is going to be 32 (if none of them are removed).
Permanent teeth: Onset, types, and care
When baby teeth start to fall out
Children begin to lose their milk teeth a bit before they start preparing for their first days at school, so this change is often psychologically perceived as one of the first signs of a child’s “maturing”, which makes entire families excited.
Essaygeeks and assignment help experts contributing to the topics considering general health emphasize that this transition can be a bit traumatic for some children, so parents should be patient and supportive during the process. Christina Moore, professional writing services editor, even resorted to a few useful tricks to get her kids to stop fearing losing milk teeth.
Although permanent teeth are notably bigger than baby ones, children usually have no problem getting used to them.
Five types of permanent teeth
It’s usually by the time they are twelve or thirteen that children lose their last milk teeth. Most of their permanent teeth are in place by this time:
1. Central incisors are used for cutting and chopping food and are located in front and center of the upper and lower jaw. There are four of them in total.
2. Lateral incisors are the four teeth adjacent to the central incisors, followed by canine teeth. Each of the central and lateral incisors has a single root.
3. Canine teeth (cuspids) are sharper and more pointy than other teeth, with the longest single root of them all. They’re adjacent to lateral incisors and followed by premolars. There are four of them in total.
4. Premolars are large teeth meant for crushing and chewing food. There are eight premolars in the oral cavity and each has two cusps (hence the name bicuspids).
5. Molars are the largest teeth in the oral cavity used for grinding food. If none are removed during a lifetime, there are twelve of them, including the so-called wisdom teeth (or third molars). The latter are the most specific teeth on many accounts, and they need special care during a lifetime.
Dental care for permanent teeth
Although it’s crucial to start teaching your children to maintain dental hygiene properly from their first milk teeth, taking care of permanent teeth is even more important. Set a good example and show your children how to brush and floss every day to make sure their teeth are as healthy and clean as can be.
Frequent visits to the family dentist are also a natural part of good dental hygiene. Help your children learn the importance of these visits, and you’ll raise a health-conscious individual attentive and smart when it comes to the needs of their body.