From "Baby Teeth" to Permanent Teeth

As we all know, we start out with primary teeth, also called "baby teeth", which we loose when we get older. Typically, these first teeth break through the gums, or "erupt", at 6 months of age.

Usually, the first two teeth to erupt are the two lower central incisors (the two bottom front teeth). Next, the top four front teeth emerge.

After that, other teeth slowly begin to fill in, usually in pairs - one each side of the upper or lower jaw - until all 20 teeth (10 upper teeth and 10 lower teeth) have come in by the time the child is 2 or 3 years of age.

Why is it Important to Care for Baby Teeth

Althought primary teeth are only in the mouth a short period of time, they play a vital role in the following ways:

1. They reserve space for permanent adult teeth.
2. They give the face its apprearance.
3. They aid in clear speech.
4. They create a healthy start to the permanent teeth (decay and infection in baby teeth can cause dark spots on the adult teeth developing underneath).
5. They help attain good nutrition (missing or decayed teeth make it difficult to chew causing children to reject foods).

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