What Parents Need to Know About the Transition From Milk Teeth to Permanent Teeth

Children’s milk teeth begin to develop even before they are born and most kids have their full set of 20 teeth by the time they turn three years old. These milk teeth start to fall out by the age of six or seven, making way for permanent teeth.

What are milk teeth?

Milk teeth are also commonly known as primary, deciduous or baby teeth. Humans have two sets of teeth in their lifetime. The milk teeth set starts to erupt from the age of 6 months and completely exfoliates between the age of 10 to 12 years. Since the tenure of milk teeth is extended until the mentioned age range, it’s quite important to keep these teeth healthy and cavity free. This lays a healthy foundation for the permanent teeth to erupt properly.

What should parents do when their child’s milk teeth haven’t fallen out as yet, but the child’s permanent teeth have started to erupt?

When a child’s set of milk teeth have not exfoliated but their permanent teeth have started to erupt, the milk teeth should either be wiggled out or professionally extracted. However, these usually fall out naturally when permanent teeth are right underneath them. Sometimes due to space concerns between the child’s teeth or other factors, permanent teeth begin to erupt in wrong direction. Hence, there is no active force left on the milk teeth to help it fall out naturally. This force should then be applied from outside by either biting on hard fruits, wiggling or professionally extracting the tooth.

When do permanent teeth start to erupt?

  • Upper and lower front teeth: age 6 to 8 years
  • Canines: age 9 to 10 years
  • Molars: age 10 to 12 years
    *Plus or minus 6 months to 12 months

Do you have any tips for parents during this process?

Tips on exfoliating primary teeth:

  • Provide your child with soft food as wobbly teeth can potentially lead to the sensation of soreness within their mouth.
  • Wiggle the primary teeth as and when possible.
  • Gentle brushing is fine but skipping brushing completely in the area of concern is not recommended.
  • In case of severe pain or discomfort during the stages of exfoliation, professional extraction can be considered. Usually, it’s a natural phenomenon of growth and does not require any treatment.

If you have any queries, don’t hesitate to get in touch with one of our Specialist Pediatric Dentists at Dentcare Dental Clinic in Dubai.

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