The first teeth in children are called milk teeth. They are smaller and whiter than the second teeth, hence their name. Here you will learn what the primary teeth are, how the first milk teeth should be cared for, when they come, and when they fall out.
The function of the milk teeth
The milk teeth have different functions. Foremost, children’s teeth are important for breaking up food.
They are a natural barrier for the tongue when speaking. They are important for the formation of S-sounds. If their front teeth are missing, children tend to lisp. Speech therapy is often necessary.
It is important to keep children’s milk teeth healthy and intact. Especially in small kids, it can often happen that the little ones are still wobbly on their feet. A wrong landing can have fatal consequences for the milk teeth. There are additional dental insurances that cover 100% of your children’s insurance in the event of an accident.
The milk teeth are placeholders for the new teeth that come between the ages of 6 and 12.
If a milk tooth is lost because of tooth decay or trauma before the natural tooth change, the permanent set of teeth can shift. The second teeth cannot then erupt in their correct place in the jaw. We can only correct this problem with orthodontic treatment.
Also, teeth are essential for the growth of the jaw. Deciduous teeth that are lost before the tooth change leads to a regression of the jawbone. It disturbs the growth process of the teeth.
At what age does which milk tooth come?
There is no exact time when the milk teeth come. There are only times when they should come. By the age of 2, the primary dentition is usually complete.
In the first year of life, the incisors usually appear in the upper and lower jaw.
As soon as the first teeth come through the gums, the dental care must start.
At around 2 years of age, children have complete deciduous teeth of 20 teeth.
When do the milk teeth fall out?
The change of teeth is individual for each child. However, there are guidelines which tooth will fall out and the permanent teeth will appear in which year of life.
In most cases, the change of teeth begins around the age of six. The central lower incisors become loose and the permanent incisors come through the gums.
Besides, the first molar is pushed into the oral cavity. The first permanent molar comes at around 6 years of age and is therefore called the six-year molar.
The deciduous teeth fall out in two so-called mixed dentition phases:
- Phase I of the mixed dentition: Between the ages of 6 and 9, the new incisors and the first large molars appear.
- Phase II of the mixed dentition: the small and second molars appear between the ages of 9 and 12.
As soon as permanent teeth are in your child’s dentition, use an adult toothpaste. This contains more fluoride, which strengthens the enamel of the new teeth.
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Why doesn’t a milk tooth fall out?
If your child’s milk tooth does not fall out at the usual time, there is nothing to worry about initially. There can be several reasons for this:
- If the teeth came late in infancy, the permanent teeth are often too late.
- In children with a small jaw, the jaw must grow first. Then the teeth of the permanent dentition have enough space to breakthrough.
- If a baby tooth was removed from the child’s mouth before it naturally fell out, the permanent tooth will come later.
If you are concerned about your child’s teeth change, ask your dentist. In justified cases, he can determine with an X-ray whether it fully applies the permanent set of teeth.
How do you properly care for milk teeth?
Healthy children’s teeth are important for their health. Therefore, start with proper care when the first tooth erupts. Cleaning is not always easy for children. They must get used to dental care.
Tip: A common ritual or a tooth-brushing song can help your child get used to brushing their teeth.
There are different aids for the care of milk teeth. You can brush your teeth with small toothbrushes for children or finger cots. We should change the toothbrushes at least every 3 months.
Which toothpaste is suitable for children?
Fluoride is a good ingredient in preventing tooth decay from developing. Since children cannot spit out well and swallow a large part of the toothpaste, it reduces fluoride in children’s toothpaste. It is safe to swallow small amounts of toothpaste.
You can clean your teeth in the evening with a pea-sized amount of toothpaste. At the latest, when all milk teeth are there, they must be brushed twice a day so that it makes no holes.
Until the age of two, they should brush the teeth with a toothpaste that has a fluoride content of around 500 ppm.
Since this year, specialist dental associations have been recommending the use of kinds of toothpaste with a fluoride content of 1000 ppm in milk teeth from the age of 2 to 6 years. Then an adult toothpaste can be used.
When can children brush their teeth themselves?
Children can only brush their teeth completely independently when they are 8 years old. You can only slowly stop brushing your child’s teeth from the age of 6. However, check their dental care to avoid the development of tooth decay.