What you need to know about dental development in children

Milk teeth

The twenty milk teeth (or primary teeth) arrive at the age of two or three years. If teething is causing pain in your child, you can rub the gums with a clean finger or the back of a cold teaspoon. If your child continues to have it, your dentist, pharmacist, or doctor may suggest an over-the-counter medicine to relieve the pain.
Here's what not to do:
- Do not use the kind of pain reliever that can be rubbed on your child's gums. Your child might swallow it
- Do not give teething cookies to your child. They can contain added or hidden sugar.
- Don't ignore a fever. Having new teeth doesn't make babies sick or give them a fever. If your child has a fever, see your doctor.

Permanent teeth

At the age of six or seven, the first adult (or permanent) teeth appear. They are known as “first molars” or “six-year-old molars.” They enter through the back of the mouth, behind the last baby teeth (or primary teeth). They do not replace primary teeth.
Also around the age of six, children begin to lose their primary teeth. The roots slowly weaken and the tooth falls out. Children lose their primary teeth until they are about 12 years old.
The child can wiggle their primary teeth if they are okay if they are loose. But it’s not good to use force to pull out a tooth that isn’t ready to come out. When a tooth comes out at the right time, there will be very little bleeding.

Why do new permanent teeth look yellow?

Permanent teeth often appear more yellow than primary teeth. This is completely normal. But it can also be caused by medications your child is taking, an accident that injured a primary tooth, or too much fluoride. Ask your dentist about this when you have a dental exam.

How to have healthy gums?

Cavities are the main problem children have with their teeth. But children can also get gum disease, just like adults. It happens when the gums that hold our teeth in place become infected.
Daily brushing and flossing can help stop gum disease. If your child's gums are bleeding, don't stop brushing your teeth. If the gums are still swollen, sore, or bleeding, there may be a serious problem. You should take your child to the dentist.
Here are some ways to protect your child's teeth:
- Always use infant car seats and seat belts when driving.
- Babies chew almost anything. Keep them away from hard objects that could break their teeth.
- Children fall a lot when learning to walk. Teeth can break, crack, break, pull out or come loose. See your dentist if this happens.
If you have any questions about your child's teeth, speak to your dentist.