Helpful Pediatric Dentistry Tips!

5 Facts About Baby Teeth

by Dr. Steven Whittemore | Published April 17, 2018

As we all know, baby teeth, also known as milk or deciduous teeth, are not permanent. However, they play an important role in the development of your child. Having baby teeth allows them to learn how to talk, chew, and eat before their adult teeth settle in. It’s important that children learn how to take care of their baby teeth and avoid gum diseases while still at a young age. Here is some helpful information about baby teeth and things to consider to help your little one take care of theirs!


  1. As baby teeth grow in, they act as a location guide for where the adult tooth behind them should grow in.
  2. The first baby tooth can come through as early as six months into your child’s life.
  3. Most children have all of their baby teeth grown in by the age of 2.5 years old.
  4. Every child has four types of teeth that serve a different use. They use their incisors for biting, their canines for tearing, their premolars for chewing, and their molars for grinding.
  5. A child’s first permanent adult tooth generally comes in around the age of six years old.

Keeping Baby Teeth Healthy

Improper care of baby teeth can lead to damages in adult teeth as they come in. There are some important complications to be aware of for proper care of your child’s teeth.

Baby Bottle Tooth Decay

This form of tooth decay occurs when there is frequent exposure to liquids that contain high sugars. This is commonly found in milk, breast milk, formula, sweetened drinks, and fruit juice. It is highly important that your child does not drink these right before bed without brushing their teeth. The sugar can pool around the base and in between their teeth causing enamel breakdown and eventually a cavity.rot away at them all night long. Make sure your baby or toddler has water after drinking from a bottle to help wash away the sugars and have their teeth wiped or brushed every night before going to bed.

Oral Habits

The habit of thumb and finger sucking or pacifier use can become detrimental for the proper growth of adult teeth as baby teeth are falling out. We recommend pacifier use be discontinued no later than 2 years of age. As mentioned above, the baby teeth serve as a guide for where the adult teeth behind them should grow in. When children obsessively suck on objects as their adult teeth come in, it shifts the direction of their teeth into unfavorable positions. We suggest encouragement and positive reinforcement to wean children off of pacifiers and finger/thumb sucking.

Pediatric Dentists in Ankeny and Des Moines

If you are looking for pediatric dentist in the Greater Des Moines area, bring your child into Pediatric Dentistry! We have locations in Ankeny and Des Moines with an amazing team of dental assistants and administrative staff. Drs. Barsetti and Whittemore have decades of experience serving the parents and youth in Des Moines. If your child is a first time visitor, click here read about what to have prepared and what to expect. We look forward to seeing you!

Also posted in Blog