Baby teeth, or primary teeth, are very important to a child’s growth and development. Even though baby teeth are temporary and will eventually fall out, they are just as vital as the permanent ones that will replace them. There is more to baby teeth, actually. Do you ever wonder why they fall out in the first place? Why do kids have ‘black teeth’ sometimes? Allow us to give you some fascinating facts about baby teeth. You might just be surprised to learn a thing or two about them in this article. So read on.
Fact No. 1
Actually, babies are born with teeth. In fact, they are born with 20 baby teeth. They just have not erupted or surfaced in the gums yet. The first baby tooth generally shows up through the gums when a baby turns 6 to 12 months.
Fact No. 2
At birth, an infant has 20 baby teeth that are yet to show up. All of these baby teeth, however, should be erupted between the ages of 2 and 3 years old. And usually, the bottom front teeth are the first ones to emerge.
Fact No. 3
Surprisingly, some babies are born with an actual baby tooth showing up already. Experts say about 1 in every 3,000 babies will already have a neonatal tooth at birth.
Fact No. 4
Tooth enamel, the strong layer that protects your teeth, is thinner in baby teeth versus the permanent teeth. That is why kids are more prone to cavities. In fact, studies show that around 40% of children have cavities in their baby teeth. That is why proper dental hygiene and cleaning are highly encouraged, especially after every feeding or meal.
Fact No. 5
Baby teeth are whiter than permanent or adult teeth. Since the tooth enamel in baby teeth is thinner, it has more opaque hydroxyapatite crystals – the building blocks of enamel. That is why sometimes, children’s smiles seem to be brighter.
Fact No. 6
Spacing between baby teeth is normal and allows space for adult teeth to erupt. Baby teeth serve as the guide for where the permanent teeth will grow. Baby teeth are eventually pushed out by the emerging permanent ones by the age of 5 to 6 years old. And by the age of 12 or even earlier, all permanent teeth should have been exposed already.
Fact No. 7
Baby teeth vary in size, shape, and location in a child’s jaws. These differences enable teeth to work together to help our kids chew, speak and smile. They also help give the face its shape and form. So thanks to baby teeth, our little ones are eating well, smiling and talking a lot!
Fact No. 8
If a baby tooth needs to be removed due to tooth decay or damage, the replacement permanent tooth may never come out of its place. Intervention from a dentist may be required to aid the permanent teeth to erupt. That is why it is important to take care of baby teeth even though they’re just short-lived.