Baby Teeth: Everything You Need to Know
When Will My Baby’s Teeth Appear?
You may be looking at that gummy smile and wondering when you’ll see a flash of white, but the truth is that the age when infants receive their baby teeth (also known as milk teeth) can vary.
Tooth buds form while the baby is still in the womb, so your little one already has everything they need to grow those pearly whites. In fact, the British Dental Association estimates that one in every 2,000 babies is born with teeth, but for most youngsters, you’ll start to see some movement between three months and one year of age.
How Many Milk Teeth Will My Baby Have?
It might sound unbelievable, but over the next two to three years, your baby will grow around 20 teeth – no wonder they dribble! From those incisors in the centre of the mouth to the larger canines and molars, these teeth will allow your child to get to grips with the world of food.
Of course, once they’re in, it's not long before we’re wondering when these teeth might fall out. But by the time your baby’s milk teeth start to fall out, they’re no longer babies anymore.
It all begins around the age of six, when your child starts to lose their milk teeth and slowly makes room for adult teeth. With a larger mouth, there is now extra wiggle room to accommodate a total of 32 adult teeth. And when your child gets to their late teens and early twenties, their wisdom teeth will begin to settle.
Which Baby Teeth Come in First?
It can often be a race to see whether your baby’s top teeth or bottom teeth come in first, and sometimes they’ll even meet in the middle. Usually, they come in a pair; if you can see one
flash of white, there is typically a second close by.
You may be wondering what order your baby’s teeth are likely to appear in. Teeth often start from the inside and work outwards, so those incisors (four on the bottom and four on the top) should appear between the ages of 6 and 16 months, with molars joining from around a year old. In addition, canines make an appearance at approximately 16 months and will make it much easier for your baby to enjoy solid foods. Finally, the second molars will often settle between 20 and 33 months old – depending on whether they are in the upper or lower set of teeth.
Tooth Brushing Tips for Babies
So, now you know a little more about your baby’s new milk teeth – but how do you look after them? Whether you want more information on choosing the perfect baby toothbrush, toothpaste or learning when the best time to start brushing your baby’s milk teeth is, you’ll find our top tips here.
Choose the Right Toothbrush for Your Baby
Amazing – your baby’s first teeth are here! You might find that they want to celebrate by chomping down on everything in sight, including your fingers… Which makes this a perfect time to introduce their first baby toothbrush. So, what should you look out for?
- At this age, it's important to choose a baby toothbrush with soft, multi-angled bristles that won’t irritate their sensitive gums.
- Select a baby toothbrush with a small head that can comfortably fit in your child’s mouth.
- Opt for a baby toothbrush with a chunky handle and firm grip for precise and gentle brushing.
- Be sure to monitor your baby’s toothbrush for worn bristles and replace it at least every three months.
Our Milk Teeth Toothbrush is the perfect baby toothbrush to ensure excellent dental hygiene in your child’s early years. These small-headed baby toothbrushes are ideal for cleaning milk teeth, with gentle multi-angled soft bristles to clean each and every tooth. To reduce the risk of damage to children’s sensitive gums, the flexible neck bends to help absorb extra pressure during brushing, making brush-time fuss-free.
Introduce Baby Toothpaste
The best way to achieve a good brushing routine is with a toothpaste created specifically for baby teeth, which cares for the slightly thinner enamel of your child’s milk teeth while still fighting decay.
Toothpaste for babies and children often contain less fluoride to minimise the risk associated with swallowing. In addition, many baby toothpastes come in child-friendly flavours to encourage brushing, while the specially formulated foaming action helps to surround each tooth – keeping your baby’s teeth and gums healthy as they develop.
Once they get past the age of three, they’ll need a new toothpaste that can offer more protection for their enamel, like our Little Teeth toothpaste for children between three and five years old.
You can learn more about choosing the right dental hygiene products for your kids, including the perfect baby toothpaste and toothbrushes, in our article here.
Create a Consistent Brushing Routine
You can begin brushing your baby's teeth as soon as they start to come through. So, ideally, you should start a consistent brushing routine as soon as you can. While it's likely you’ll be doing most of the brushing at first, getting your baby used to brushing will encourage them to become independent and value the importance of taking care of their teeth. Explore our tips for creating a consistent and engaging brushing routine below:
- Brush your baby’s teeth around the same time each day and night to encourage them to see dental hygiene as a part of everyday life.
- Make sure to show them all the areas you’re brushing as you go along. Then, once they’re ready to give it a go, try brushing along with them, checking they have done a proper clean until they’ve mastered it themselves.
- Brush along with our fun, free app. Join Captain Aquafresh and the Nurdles as they sing and dance on screen while your little one brushes their mouth clean. Our interactive app is the perfect gateway to lifelong oral health with a catchy song, points to collect, brushing tips, and a two-minute timer that counts down.
While a new tooth is always a cause for celebration, your child could end up suffering from tooth decay without proper care. Tooth decay is the number one reason for hospital admittance of children between the ages of five and nine. To avoid a similar fate, you should aim to brush your baby’s teeth twice a day and limit how often your child has sugary or acidic foods and drinks in their diet.ii
It’s important to remember that brushing teeth is something you can do right from your baby’s first tooth, which means they will soon get used to the sensation and taste of toothpaste. Before long, they’ll be doing it for themselves!
You can find more information about keeping your children’s teeth healthy throughout every stage of their development here.