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TEETHING BASICS

The all encompassing drama of teeth “erupting” or coming into the mouth is teething.

It’s a couple of years before you’ll find some relief from it, so better get familiar with it.

All human children go through it twice. The small face of an infant or toddler cannot accommodate the big or permanent teeth that fit into the face of the teenager or adult. Teeth never grow like bones do. They remain approximately the same size and shape since the day they come into the mouth. But a child’s face and jaws grow. So, we need two sets of teeth.

· The first set of teeth/ milk teeth are important so that a child can learn to eat and speak, so that a child looks good smiling.

· The second set of teeth is what we keep for our entire life.

Teething starts anytime from the age of 4 months and ends maximum by 3 years. So, parents usually have to be prepared to deal with two and a half years of low grade irritability and teething drama. Then there is a break for 3 years. The second teething process starts at 6 years and completes by 13 years. It is a long process of 7 years, the second time around.

It is important to note that during your child’s entire childhood, there is a lot happening in your child’s mouth. Early care and prevention is always the best policy where teeth are concerned.

A lot of parents come into the dental office worrying about the teeth not coming into the mouth by an age that is considered average. But usually there is nothing to worry about unless the child has some other genetic diseases. In fact, if the child’s skin, nails and hair are fine, the teeth are normally fine too.Very rarely do healthy children have missing or abnormal teeth.

Your child can be an “early teether” or a “late teether”. Some children will start teething by 4 months of age and some will start teething after 1 year of age. Children who get their milk teeth early, also get their permanent teeth early- these are the “early teethers”. They might lose all their milk teeth and get the succeeding permanent by 9 years itself. And children who get their milk teeth late , also get their permanent teeth late- these are the “late teethers”. They might only lose all their milk teeth by 13 or 14 years.

At this point, it should also be brought to your notice that children have 20 teeth, but adults have 32. So, there are 12 permanent teeth for which there are no previous milk teeth. These are molars which come in at 6 years, next at 12 years and the wisdom teeth which come after the age of 18 years.

Though teething has a lot of woes attached to it, it does eventually end! Hang in there – mama’s and papa’s! It’s just a phase- at the end of which you’ll get to enjoy your child’s pretty smiles .

It is recommended by the ISPPD that parents should consult a pediatric dentist for a well-baby visit when the first tooth erupts or by the child’s first birthday, whatever comes first.

2020-04-06T16:23:45+00:00By |0 Comments

About the Author:

Dr Apeksha Anand completed her BDS in 2007 and went ahead to complete her Masters in Pediatric and Preventive Dentistry. She has 6 consultation practices in Powai, Ghatkopar and Juhu. Her love for children has pushed her to diversify from pure clinical practice into educating parents about preventing dental diseases through Dentist Auntie.

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