The primary teeth of your child will start falling by the age of 6 to make way for the growth of stronger permanent teeth.
They will carry these adult teeth for the rest of their life.
Hence, parents should be well aware of how to take care of these adult teeth when the baby’s teeth fall off.
Keep reading this article if you as parents want to know how to take care of your child’s newly emerged adult teeth.
Baby Teeth to Permanent Teeth
Your child will get their first baby tooth when they are about 6 months of age.
However, it may differ and some may get theirs by their first birthday.
They will have full baby teeth by the age of 2 and a half to 3.
These are 20 milk teeth compared to 32 permanent teeth.
However, your child will naturally start to lose teeth when they are about 6 years till the age of 12.
By the age of 13, they will already have full 28 permanent dentition unless there are exceptions.
The 4 other teeth come later in life known as wisdom teeth.
They will mostly erupt when your child is about 17 to 21 years of age and if they are impacted then these can also be removed.
They do not play any vital role in the functioning of teeth such as chewing, biting, tearing, grinding and crushing.
While baby teeth help your child to chew and bite food they also prepare your jaw for adult teeth.
Since adult teeth are more in number so they hold up space for them and make the jaw used to having teeth.
Therefore when permanent teeth come in they do so very naturally without having to readjust the teeth or make up space.
The first tooth to fall off is usually the lower central incisors.
You get an equal number of teeth at the bottom and at the top.
10 primary each and 16 permanent each in the upper and lower jaw.
If your baby teeth do not fall off timely then they will hinder the growth of the adult teeth.
This happens when the adult teeth start erupting but not in the place of baby teeth.
They grow behind it since it is time for their eruption.
Hence, parents need to make sure that all baby teeth have fallen off by the age of 13.
Eruption of Permanent Teeth
When the adult teeth are ready to erupt, the baby teeth fall off.
In fact, the first tooth that your child will lose is the first baby tooth that came out.
They typically fall off in the same manner.
Hence, your child may first lose the lower central incisors and then the top front teeth and upper central incisors.
The molars will fall off later with the exception of the first molar that erupts within 6 to 7 years of age.
At 6 to 7 years of age, the lower central incisors will erupt, around 7 to 8 years the upper central incisors will erupt.
Lateral incisors follow in a year’s time.
Then either the first pre-molar or the canines erupt by the age of 10 to 11 years.
The second molars erupt the last at age of 11 to 13 years.
Not to forget that the third molars or wisdom teeth don’t erupt until later in life.
Your childs’ may erupt when they are between 17 to 21 or sometimes it may take longer.
Hence now your child will have these teeth by the age of 12 to 13:
- Two central incisors on top and bottom each (i.e. 4 front teeth altogether)
- Two lateral incisors each at the top and bottom (i.e. 4 teeth that are between the front teeth and canines)
- Four canines
- Eight molars with two on each side of the mouth (2 molars grow without replacing any baby teeth)
Keep a check if your child’s teeth are erupting properly at the given age.
If there are delays then the adult teeth may start erupting before the primary teeth fall which will overcrowd the mouth.
Hence knowing which tooth is next will help parents prepare their child beforehand about losing their teeth.
Telling your kids a famous fantasy tale of the “tooth fairy” can change their perspective of this process.
Obviously, when a tooth falls off, it hurts.
Most children are scared of their teeth falling off and sometimes parents have to put in the effort to pull it off.
Therefore if you associate something like the tooth fairy tale with tooth eruption then your child might get excited and will be well prepared for losing their teeth.
Hence, knowing beforehand about the tooth that will get weak and fall off can help parents prepare their kids for it.
Once the new adult tooth starts erupting you may notice small bumps on its edges.
These mamelons will smooth out and flatten as time goes by.
So if your child is not happy with the way their new teeth look, let them know that will get better over time.
You may also notice that the color of the new teeth is actually yellower than those of the primary tooth.
This does not indicate that you do not brush your child’s teeth properly or they aren’t doing so properly.
In fact, it will become lighter again when your brush and exfoliate them.
They are just generally less white in comparison.
When all the baby teeth fall off, then the comparison will not look as stark and the teeth will not look yellow.
Furthermore, you should know that a molar erupts around the same time as the central incisors.
Therefore, if your child feels sore gums during that time, remember that there is a tooth coming at the back as well.
The soreness will not last long.
However, once your child has adult teeth, you should start taking good care of them.
Oral Care Practices for Your Child
The onset of the permanent teeth begins a lifetime responsibility to care for your teeth.
Your child’s adult teeth should remain healthy and should be cared for properly.
Hence, as soon as your child gets their adult teeth you should prepare them to protect them for their lifetime.
The chewing surfaces of your child’s teeth are difficult to clean because of tiny bumps and deep grooves.
Hence, your dentist may recommend sealants to place over them or on any teeth that erupt.
As soon as your child gets the adult teeth, educate them about it and let them know that you only get these once and there is no permanent teeth replacement unless you go to the dentist.
While they are much stronger than baby teeth, they are prone to decay.
Hence, when children lose their teeth, the parents should brush their teeth because they have more strength.
If your child already brushes by themselves then at least keep a check if they are brushing properly.
Tell your child to not continuously touch their new teeth through their tongue.
The halfway erupted teeth may itch but they should not continuously touch it or lick it, moreover, they should not skip brushing it as well to avoid plaque.
Children are highly susceptible to plaque, cavities and tooth decay because of the food they consume.
Hence, proper teeth brushing is a very essential component of their oral care as soon as they grow adult teeth.
Other practices that you should incorporate in your child’s routine include:
- Brushing with Fluoride Toothpaste
While brushing twice a day is quintessential, you should also make sure that they brush with fluoride toothpaste.
Fluoride helps to strengthen the teeth and gets deep into them to prevent tooth decay.
Your children should use a small amount but it should be a necessary part of their routine.
They should also brush after getting medicines such as cough syrups that contain acids that erode the enamel.
- Rinse Mouth After Eating
Children consume a lot of sugary foods, sweets and chocolates.
Hence, they are at a greater risk of cavities and decay.
Therefore, you should make this a habit to at least tell them to rinse their mouth or gargle after every meal.
This will help wash away some bacteria that can later form plaque.
Ideally, children should brush their teeth after every meal but this will become irksome soon.
Moreover, whenever they will eat out they will feel unclean if they don’t brush immediately afterward.
So at least, tell them to rinse their mouth after eating something.
- Flossing Daily
Flossing is as much essential for children as it is for adults.
Start young and get them used to the habit of flossing.
Do it for them and teach them so that they floss at least once daily.
When the adult teeth are growing, food may get stuck in between them.
This will remove any stuck particles underneath the gum line as well as between the teeth.
- Use Mouthwash
Once your child is old enough (6 years or above) and has a few adult teeth then you can introduce the mouthwash to them.
A mouthwash additionally rinses off any bacteria or plaque in the mouth.
If you use a fluoride mouthwash then that can also prevent decay.
- Make Them Regular With The Dentist
If you start taking your child to the dentist soon then they will develop healthy teeth.
Parents should take their children to the dentist on their first birthday to maintain oral health.
It is equally important to get a dental checkup when their baby teeth start to fall off.
Your dentist needs to monitor if all of their teeth have fallen off and there is;t anything delaying or interrupting the eruption of their adult teeth.
Moreover, regularly visit the dentist will keep the cavities at bay.
As parents, you should be aware of the milestones of your child’s physical growth and development.
Losing teeth is not a pleasant experience for children, however, you can make it less stressful and easy for them by preparing them for it.
Once they have all of their permanent teeth, they will be able to take care of them well enough because of what you taught them.