How many teeth should I have at my age? When will I get my permanent teeth? How do I avoid cavities? We are sure all of you want to find out. So, Children First spoke to Dr. Karan Rai, Paediatric Dentist, Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, New Delhi to get the answers to all the above questions and many more…
1. Can you explain the whole process of teeth formation in kids? When do I get my permanent teeth? How many teeth should I have in different ages?
Baby Teeth: Baby teeth or milk teeth start to form even before you are born, but they start to come in your mouth when you are 7-8 months old. By the time it is your first birthday, you might have 2 teeth in your lower jaw. Some of your friends might not have any teeth until their first birthday, but that is also normal. All your milk teeth would be in your mouth by your 4th birthday. They will be 20 milk teeth in total. 8 incisors, 4 canines, and 8 molars. There are no premolars in milk teeth.
Permanent Teeth: A permanent or an adult tooth starts to come when you would be around 6 years. They will be first permanent molar and will erupt behind your last baby molar on all four sides.
- By 8 years, your upper and lower baby incisors would be replaced by permanent incisors and 10 years, 4 baby molars would be replaced by your first premolars.
- By 13 years, all your baby teeth would finally be replaced by permanent teeth. By this time, you shall have 8 incisors, 4 canines, 8 premolars, 4 molars, and another molar would begin to erupt.
- Around 21 years, you will have your wisdom teeth also erupted, which are your third molars, making a total of 32 permanent teeth.
2. How can I take good care of my teeth?
Brushing and flossing your teeth twice daily for 2 minutes each time first thing after you wake up and the last thing before you go to sleep is essential. Nighttime brushing is more important. Sweets, chocolates, sweetened milk, and cereals can result in cavities which can cause further decay. Instead of the above, fruits are naturally a better and nutritious snack. If you do eat something sweet, always rinse your mouth afterward and take a brush to school if possible. It can turn into a wonderful habit.
Some additional tips which you could use:
- Use a small-sized toothbrush with soft bristles.
- Change your toothbrush every 2-3 months and never share a toothbrush.
- Avoid cross-infection with other toothbrushes by keeping your toothbrush upright.
- Use non-fluoridated toothpaste below the age of 3 years and after that fluoridated toothpaste of 1000ppm.
- Take rice grain-sized toothpaste when your first tooth appears graduating to half a pea-size at about 6 to 9 years of age.
- Learn proper brushing technique from your parent or you can go download a brushing video and see and brush for 2 minutes. After brushing, scrape the tongue twice with the bristles of the brush or use a tongue scraper, gently. Also, flossing should commence when at least two teeth have erupted that touch each other.
4. Should I take Calcium supplements for stronger teeth? How can I make my teeth strong and white?
Calcium supplements are not necessary to make teeth strong at all and these should only be taken if calcium levels are already low in the body. You can instead take milk which is an excellent source of calcium. Milk teeth are
usually white but permanent teeth appear yellowish-white which is considered normal.
5. What could cause uneven teeth? How can I make sure that I don’t get braces?
If you visit your paediatric dentist every 6 months from when you are a year old, dental pain and conditions can be avoided. The dentist can understand how your teeth are growing. If there are habits like thumb-sucking, mouth-breathing for a longer time in life, they can alter the shape of jaws and teeth alignment.