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What Are Baby Teeth?

Baby teeth are also called deciduous, milk or primary teeth. They serve as spacers for adult teeth which develop under the gums, whilst the baby teeth help a child to eat and talk.

From three months, the first tooth begins to emerge from the gums. The lower two front teeth are the first followed by the two top teeth. Gradually, every four or five months, the teeth appear in groups of four (bottom and top) from the front to the back of the mouth. By two and a half years, all baby teeth should be in place.

Baby teeth are made of dentin which is also contained in adult teeth, it is a calcified bodily tissue.

Baby teeth also require daily and consistent care. A child should be introduced to good teeth care habits, such as brushing and flossing. Avoid toothpaste containing fluoride. Also avoid feeding a child with too many sweet foods. Baby bottle tooth decay is caused by the consumption of sweet liquids before going to bed. Some liquid stays on the teeth and causes them to rot. Do not allow a child to fall asleep with a bottle in the mouth, only give water to drink before bed. A child’s first dental visit should occur at the age of three when all baby teeth are present. Visits should continue once a year.

From the age of five or six, baby teeth begin to loosen and fall out in the order that they arrived. They are replaced by adult teeth by age twelve.

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