Baby is teething
At birth, baby or milk teeth are almost completely formed and are hidden under the gums. Although very rare, a baby may be born with a few teeth. Our first teeth typically appear around 6 months. By two or three years of age, children will have all their baby teeth, 20 in all.
Signs of teething are a slight rise in temperature (< 38°C), soft feces, diaper rash, loss of appetite and excess salivation. The baby may also be more irritable than usual. To relieve the discomfort that accompanies teething, you can massage the baby's gums with your finger or use a cold damp facecloth. You can also purchase teething rings that can be chilled (not frozen), but some children reject them outright. Another option is to give the baby acetaminophen (ex. Tempra™) or ibuprofen (ex. Advil™) administered as a function of the baby's weight. For more information, speak to your pharmacist. You should avoid giving your child teething biscuits as they are high in sugar and may cause cavities. Raw vegetables should also be avoided as they may cause your child to choke.
Dental health and going to the dentist for the first time
Although baby teeth are not permanent, it is still important to take care of them and to practice good oral hygiene. It is recommended that children visit the dentist for the first time as soon as their teeth begin to appear or around the age of one year. The objective of this visit is to familiarize the child with the dentist's office and to make sure that the teeth are coming in normally. It is also important to brush the child's teeth daily, with a soft bristle toothbrush, and a very small quantity of fluoride toothpaste (the size of a grain of rice).
Baby teeth fall out and are replaced...
The tooth fairy visits children between the ages of 6 and 12 years old. It is during this period that the roots of the milk teeth gradually loosen and teeth fall out, making room for the permanent teeth. This is why teeth become "loose". It is important not to force the tooth out or try to hasten the process because if the roots are still strong, the gum will bleed needlessly. It is advisable to wait for the teeth to fall out on their own. We have 32 permanent teeth, including four "wisdom teeth" which come in later on in life, usually between the ages of 18 and 25 years. Interestingly, some people do not have any wisdom teeth, while others only have two.