Teeth are one of your child’s priceless possessions. How well his teeth grow out to be creates an impression of how healthy he is. When your child has healthy and strong teeth, it tells how well you look after his teeth since the time he is still a baby; such as by making sure he is protected from things that can harm his teeth, and by providing him with good nutrition that will enhance good dental development.
Beginning from birth, your child will grow two sets of teeth namely:
Deciduous Teeth (Primary or Baby Teeth). These begin to form about 6 weeks after conception so that when the baby is born, all 20 primary teeth are already in the jawbones. The time when teeth appear vary from child to child, but generally the lower teeth erupt before the upper teeth. Tooth eruption occurs in approximately a medial to lateral sequence (in pairs) starting with the medial incisors at about 6 months, lateral incisors at 10 months, 1st molar at 14 months, canine at 18 months and 2nd molar at 22 months. By about 3 years old, all 20 baby teeth have already erupted.
Permanent Teeth will replace the deciduous teeth starting with the 1st molar
when the child is at age 6. Replacement with the permanent teeth will occur at
yearly intervals. By 12 to 13 years old, the child has 28 permanent teeth,
excluding the 4 molars (‘wisdom teeth’) that usually come through between age
17 to 21.
Because your child’s teeth grow in sequence, chances are that if he does not take care of his teeth, it can get damaged; and he might lose them even before they get replaced with permanent teeth. This usually happens when he begins engaging in sports like soccer, basketball, or even roller skating wherein an accidental fall, blow to a face, or any injury that is hard enough to pluck a child’s tooth from its socket happens.
What is interesting about knocked out tooth is that it can often be saved with quick action. Here is what you can do:
• If a deciduous tooth is knocked out, do not place the tooth back to the socket. Although a deciduous tooth saves a place for a future permanent tooth to grow from, placing back the tooth often creates a problem of getting stuck in the jaw, making it difficult to be removed when it’s time for the permanent tooth to come out. What you can do is to bring your child to the dentist, who will make sure that his other teeth don’t try to take over the space where the lost deciduous tooth was, thereby saving it for the permanent tooth.
• If a permanent tooth is knocked out, pick it up by the crown (the hard white part), never touching the roots. If it is clean, put it back immediately to the socket and hold it firmly in place with your finger or place aluminum foil over the tooth and its surrounding teeth. Or better yet, ask your child to bite a clean handkerchief or gauze to hold the tooth in position. Doing so will also help stop the bleeding. Seek dental help without delay.
If the tooth is dirty, rinse it in milk. If milk is not available, wash the tooth in
water for only 1 or 2 seconds and put it back to the socket without delay, and seek dental treatment.
If the tooth can not be replaced back to the socket, immediately cover the tooth completely in milk, or wrap it in some plastic wrap to prevent it from drying out, and seek dental help.
Always remember that your child’s knocked out tooth has an excellent chance of living if it is replaced back into the socket immediately. Knowing this basic rule could spare your child from the unpleasant experience of having a lost tooth at one point of his life as a child.