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The majority of today’s parents know that a baby’s first tooth appears around six months of age and his last “baby”(deciduous) tooth comes in around age two, making a grand total of 20 teeth.
What parents do not know is that children retain the “baby” molars until about age twelve!
Knowing this fact helps parents and children understand the need for preventing decay and filling “baby” teeth.
Many parents ask me, “Do we really need to fill a baby tooth because it’s going to fall out anyway?” In the majority of the cases, the answer is, yes.
One reason being is that the child will have the teeth for many more years and that many of the permanent teeth follow in the place of the “baby” tooth after it is lost(succedaneous).
If a tooth is lost prematurely, the space where the unformed permanent tooth is supposed to come in may close, thus creating orthodontic problems.
Also, decayed teeth left in the mouth can lead to abscesses, infection and bad breath.
I cannot stress enough the importance of daily brushing and regular dental visits for your child.
One important note is that the permanent six-year molars and twelve-year molars come in behind the “baby” teeth-they do not follow the exfoliation (falling out) of a “baby” tooth(nonsuccedaneous).
Tooth exfoliation (loss): deciduous (baby) teeth:
Central incisors: 6-7 years
Lateral incisors: 7-8 years
Cuspid (canine): 9-12 years
First molar: 9-11 years
Second molar: 10-12 years