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What Are Milk Teeth?

Milk teeth begin to form from underneath the gum line as each day passes from the day your child was born. Also known as deciduous teeth, or baby teeth, these are the first set of teeth that grow, and your child’s first tooth typically erupts through the gums within six months.

Here’s how your child’s milk teeth will form:

  • The Central Incisors – This is the first set of milk teeth that grow, which are two upper and two lower teeth formed at the very front of the mouth. These should appear at least six months after birth.
  • The Lateral Incisors – The next set of teeth that grow alongside the central incisors. This means at this time, your child will have eight functioning milk teeth.
  • The First Molars – Two molars emerge from the jaw, positioned a single space away from the incisors.
  • Canine And Cusped Teeth – Four more milk teeth appear here, two in the upper jaw and two in the lower jaw. These teeth help your child to digest textured foods better.
  • The Second Molars – The final four sets of molars appear to make up the full 20, two in the upper jaw and two in the lower jaw. 

These make up the full set of 20 fully functioning baby teeth that will all erupt when a child reaches approximately 2 ½ years of age. Some may erupt at different times. By the time your child reaches 10 years old, all milk teeth should fall out to make way for adult tooth development.

How You Should Care For Milk Teeth

Milk teeth will eventually make way for adult tooth development. However, the health of your mouth will determine how healthy adult teeth grow. As a parent, you’d want to ensure that your child’s milk teeth are kept free of tooth decay. You can do this by ensuring your child’s baby teeth stays away from sugar preservatives.

Here are some other key steps that can help care for milk teeth:

  • Ensure your child doesn’t fall asleep with a bottle containing sugar and sweet liquids
  • Support them in brushing their teeth and gums twice a day
  • Avoid “baby bottle decay” and replace it with a sippy cup
  • Avoid bad habits such as thumb sucking
  • Begin flossing between teeth once teeth grow together
  • Ensure regular check-ups at the dentist when called upon

When Will Permanent Teeth Form?

Your child’s 20 milk teeth will eventually be replaced with 32 adult teeth. Milk teeth will begin to fall out at the age of 6 years, and it’s the central incisors that you should expect to fall out first. The last milk tooth will fall out closer to 12 years of age.

If you’re seeking support with your child’s milk teeth and children’s dentistry, consult your dentist Coorparoo for an appointment to preserve the shine in your child’s smile!