It’s not how many baby teeth your child loses that matters, because eventually they will lose them all. What matters is that baby teeth are there for a reason, and kids as old as 12 still have baby teeth. So, it’s important to keep those teeth healthy, even though kids will lose them one day.
Losing Baby Teeth Q&A
Q. How long does a child have baby teeth? A: Your child will likely begin getting baby teeth around eight months and begin losing them around age six. There are 20 baby teeth that will eventually be replaced by 28 permanent teeth (not including wisdom teeth).
Q. If they’re just going to fall out, why does brushing them matter? A: Teaching kids to care for their baby teeth is good practice for them to take good care of their permanent teeth when they grow older. Other reasons include:
Your child relies on his or her baby teeth to eat and chew properly, which leads to healthy nutrition
Permanent teeth develop beneath baby teeth, and decay of the baby teeth can affect the growth of permanent teeth
Well-formed baby teeth help your child learn to speak properly
Cavities and gum disease—even in baby teeth—can cause your child pain
Q. When should brushing start? A: You can brush infant teeth with water and a tiny dab of toothpaste on your finger or a baby toothbrush. When your child is old enough to spit (usually around age two), they can start learning to brush on their own. A free app from Kool Smiles tells children exactly how long to brush while making it fun.
Q. When should my child go to the dentist? A: Ideally, you should take your child to the dentist no later than the child’s first birthday, or when the first tooth comes in, according to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentists.
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