Primary or “baby” teeth can start to appear as early as 4 months of age, but more likely at 6 months. The first ones to break through will be the lower middle teeth. They have sharp edges to help your child take bites of his food. There are eight incisors in all, four top, and four bottom. Upper canines are next, followed by the lowers. They are the teeth that are used for tearing and breaking up pieces of food. The molars are the last to arrive, and by the time your child is 3 years old he will have a full set of 20 primary teeth.

Even primary teeth are susceptible to cavities, so you will want to start seeing a pediatric dentist soon after they start to erupt. Early dental care is important in other ways as well. The sooner you begin teaching your child how to take care of his teeth, the better. Get him used to going to the dentist’s office at an early age so that it will become a natural experience, instead of a frightening one. A pediatric dentist is focused on making the kids actually look forward to their visits.

Probably the most important function of the primary teeth is to save space for the permanent ones. If a primary tooth is lost prematurely it may cause the neighboring teeth to re-position. If this happens it can mean that the permanent teeth won’t have room to come in as they should. Your pediatric dentist may recommend a space maintainer to prevent this from happening.

Kaelin Pediatric Dentistry encourages parents to be present during exams. Call the office at 303-805-8266 to schedule an appointment at your earliest convenience.