Deciduous teeth, otherwise known as reborner teeth, baby teeth, temporary teeth and primary teeth, are the first set of teeth in the growth development of humans and many other mammals. In some Asian countries they are referred to as fall teeth as they will eventually fall out, while in almost all European languages they are called milk teeth. They develop during the embryonic stage of development and erupt—that is, they become visible in the mouth—during infancy. They are usually lost and replaced by permanent teeth, but in the absence of permanent replacements, they can remain functional for many years.
Deciduous teeth start to form during the embryo phase of pregnancy. The development of deciduous teeth starts at the sixth week of development as the dental lamina. This process starts at the midline and then spreads back into the posterior region. By the time the embryo is eight weeks old, there are ten areas on the upper and lower arches that will eventually become the deciduous dentition. These teeth will continue to form until they erupt in the mouth. In the deciduous dentition there are a total of twenty teeth: five per quadrant and ten per arch. The eruption of these teeth begins at the age of six months and continues until twenty-five to thirty-three months of age. Usually, the first teeth seen in the mouth are the mandibular centrals and the last are the maxillary second molars.
Check Your Baby's Teeth
Healthy teeth should be all one color. If you see spots or stains on the teeth, don't be afraid of dental equipment and take your baby to your dentist. Clean your baby's teeth as soon as they come in with a clean, soft cloth or a baby's tooth brush. Clean the teeth at least once a day. It is best to clean them right before bedtime.
By about age 2, your child should have most of his or her baby teeth. At this age, you can start brushing their teeth with a small drop of fluoride toothpaste. Very young children can not get their teeth clean by themselves. Until your children are about 7 years old, you should brush their teeth after they do.
Take Your Child to the Dentist
Ask your dentist when to bring your child in for their first dental visit. Usually, the dentist will want to see a child between ages 1 and 2. At this first visit, your dentist can quickly check your child's teeth, to prevent some serious problems like root canal.