Teeth Development is a growth phase that is constant in every human. It begins right from birth and continues till old age. The process of teeth development is described as Teething.
The development of teeth in humans occurs twice: first as Infants and secondly as we approach adulthood. Teeth development in your baby comes with some painful symptoms that can be discomforting to the child.
The first set of teeth that your baby develops is called Primary/Baby/Milk teeth. It is the first stage of teeth development, and it is made up of 20 primary teeth. These teeth erupt gradually at different times, between the ages of the first 6- 36 months of your baby’s life.
The primary teeth are temporary, so they eventually fall off to make way for the more permanent teeth: this is the second stage of teeth development. The presence of primary teeth aids your baby chew food and pronounce words properly. Hence, these initial sets of teeth need to be cared for properly. According to The Smilist Dental, how you care for your baby’s primary teeth during development can influence his permanent teeth.
An outline of how your baby’s teeth develop and how to manage the development phase of your baby’s teeth is shown below.
What is Teething?
Teething is the process of teeth development. It is sometimes mistaken for Eruption. But eruption is quite different, and it involves when the teeth break through the gum. The teething process starts at a very early stage, normally at a gestation period of 6 weeks. Your baby is born with a set of 20 milk teeth hidden within the gums. The milk teeth comprises of:
- Incisors: These are the front teeth located in the upper and lower jaws, and they are used for cutting.
- Canine: These are the pointy teeth on both sides of the incisors that are used for tearing.
- Molar: These are the long teeth with board flat surfaces used for grinding.
The Teething Process
Often wonder how your baby’s teeth develop? Although the development phase occurs at different times in babies, the teething process is very much the same for all babies. They are:
1. The first set of teeth to erupt are the central incisors (the two front teeth) for the lower jaw, and the Eruption occurs between the age of 6-10 months.
2. The second set is the central incisors for the upper jaw. The eruption occurs between the age of 8-13 months.
3. The third set is the lateral incisors. It is found on each side of the central incisors, and eruption on both the upper and lower jaws occurs between ages 8-16 months. The lower set always completes erupting before the upper set.
4. The fourth set is the molars. This set erupts on both lower and upper jaws between the ages of 13-19 months.
5. The fifth set is the canines, located on both sides of the lateral incisors. Eruption on both lower and upper jaws occurs between ages 16-23 months.
6. The last set sees another set of molars erupt on both the lower and upper jaws between ages 25-33 months.
The milk teeth comprise 8 incisors, 8 molars, and 4 canines, adding up to give a set of 20 milk teeth. An average child should have fully erupted all 20 milk teeth before or at 3 years of age.
How To Manage The Teething Process?
The teething process lasts for about 8 days in total, 4 days before and after the eruption. It can be spotted by an eruption cyst. An eruption cyst is a blue-grey bubble on the gum that shows when the tooth is about to appear. During this process, your baby experiences a lot of pain and discomfort, and here are steps on how to manage the situation:
1. With the aid of your fingers or a soft, clean, and wet cloth, gently massage your baby’s gum.
2. The use of chilled, not frozen teething rings helps to relieve your baby of the pain.
3. Using unsweetened teething risks or sugar-free teething biscuits also help your baby. Teething biscuits should only be given to babies who have already been introduced to solid foods.
4. The use of pain relief medications should be based on the pediatrician’s advice.
5. Using a soft cloth, gently wipe the drool around your baby’s mouth to avoid any irritation to the baby’s skin.
6. Avoid the use of teething gels or teething necklaces for your baby.
In general, the teething process continues in humans from conception to old age. Neglecting your baby’s teeth during the developing stages in the belief that milk teeth are not permanent can affect your baby in the future. But on the other hand, giving proper care to your babies’ teeth development process helps keep them healthy and comfortable.
It is also advisable to make time to visit the dentist for professional advice on how to care for your baby during teeth development.