Development of milk teeth
Temporary teeth can be divided into three groups, depending on what function they perform and what shape their roots and crowns have. Hence, we have four incisors, two canines, and four molars in both the maxilla and mandible.
Milk teeth start to fall out at about 6 years of age and the process finishes at the age of around 13. Among the milk teeth there are no premolars.
Three phases of teething
Theoretically, the very process of teething begins when the child is about 6 months old and proceeds in three phases:
- Pre-eruptive phase: during its course the tooth crown is formed. This process takes place under the gum and is invisible to the naked eye.
- Pre-functional phase: a period which lasts from the moment when a visible tooth appears until the tooth is connected to a tooth from the second jaw. During this time also tooth roots and dental pockets are formed.
- Functional phase: it is when the formation of the tooth roots and gingival pockets is completed.
It is possible to observe some significant differences between milk teeth and permanent teeth, although both types of teeth have a similar shape. Temporary teeth have the so-called tooth rim, i.e. an additional enamel roller at the neck. In addition, permanent and milk teeth vary in size of their roots. The roots of milk teeth are not as thick and strong as those of permanent teeth. The root curvatures of milk teeth are very slight. In addition, during the period before milk teeth fall out, they are mobile and unstable. This is a completely normal phenomenon. However, the instability of permanent teeth is always a sign of a disease and requires immediate consultation with a dentist.
Why should you care for milk teeth?
A lot of mums ask themselves why it is so necessary to care for milk teeth, since they will fall out anyway and will be replaced by new ones. There are several reasons, and each of them is of a significant importance. First of all, it is about developing good hygienic habits. If your child is not accustomed to brushing milk teeth (or having them brushed by parents), when the permanent teeth appear, he will also forget about this necessity, which does not bode well for the oral health.
Moreover, milk teeth will serve your child for several years to grind and chew food, so they must be healthy and complete to fulfil their role. Decayed teeth are a source of pain, so this is another important reason why you should make sure that they are cared for also due to the fact that in the period when there are both permanent teeth and diseased milk teeth in the mouth, but also at an earlier stage, the decay bacteria may be transferred to the permanent teeth.
In addition, there is a visual aspect. Decayed teeth look bad as well as cause complexes and sometimes also bullying and teasing on the part of the schoolmates. You should realize how much you can do for your child, caring for his teeth from the very beginning.