“Baby teeth” also known as Milk Teeth are as important as for babies and toddlers as permanent teeth to the children and adult people. They not only play an important role in speech, eating and one's appearance, they have the most important role or job guiding the permanent teeth in their respective positions in the oral cavity till permanent teeth erupts. As soon as the permanent teeth starts coming in the oral cavity, milk teeth become loose and eventually fall out. However, if milk teeth fall before their actual time, it leads to various deformities which are permanent. 

Development of Baby Teeth 

They begin to erupt when the child is 6 months old and finish erupting by the age of 2. So, all 20 primary teeth usually appear by the age of 3.

  • UPPER Central Incisor- 7-12 months 
  • Lateral Incisor- 9-13 months
  • Canine- 16-22 months
  • 1st molar- 13-19 month
  • 2nd molar- 25-33 months
  • LOWER2nd molar- 20-31 months
  • 1st molar- 12-18 months
  • Canine- 16-23 months
  • Lateral Incisor- 7-16 months
  • Central Incisor- 6-10 months 

Most Common Chronic disease in childhood is Dental Caries

Primary teeth that are more susceptible to dental caries are Central Incisor and 2nd molar in Maxilla and 1st molar in Mandible. A large number of parents are ignorant of the importance of Primary Teeth in their children, so they normally leave various primary teeth untreated until and unless their child complains of pain as they consider primary teeth to be only temporary. And this could be due to insufficient or improper knowledge about the role the primary teeth play.

EEC – Early Childhood Caries

Dental Caries in infants and young children is called Early childhood caries. Sugar and fermentable carbohydrates play a role in the initiation and progression of dental caries. If they are left untreated, underlying consequences can occur. 

Short term effects of EEC

  • Pain
  • Infection 
  • Disturbed Sleep
  • Emergency visits      
  • Loss of schooldays      
  • Reduced ability to learn and concentrate   
  • Need of Extraction  
  • Malocculusion 

Long term effects of EEC

  • Poor oral health and dental disease often continues to adulthood        
  • Increased risk of new carious lesion in primary teeth and growing further in permanent teeth        
  • General health of children is affected        
  • Treatment cost is increased and time increased for parents
  • Brain abscesses    
  • Unexplained recurrent fevers

Tips to Reduce the incidences of Caries in children      

  • Clean infants teeth twice daily (after breakfast and before bedtime)·        
  • A Child's teeth should be brushed or wiped, using a piece of gauze as soon as it erupts in the oral cavity.        
  • Reduce the frequency of your Child's sugar intake.       
  • Reduce activities that increase the risk of early transmission of streptococcus mutans (bacteria) like, sharing cups and utensils, tasting child’s food, cleaning pacifiers with their own mouth.      
  • Honey dipped, jelly or sugar coated pacifiers should be avoided.     
  • Use pea-sized amount of a low concentration fluoride paste for children.