Adult Teeth vs. Baby Teeth. How to Care for Both

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Almost everyone starts life with a set of baby teeth, which will eventually begin to fall out and be slowly replaced with permanent (adult) teeth. The teeth vary in size when comparing baby teeth vs. adult teeth. However, you’ll care for both sets of teeth the same way. With regular brushing and flossing, you can help maintain both adult and baby teeth.

Grove Dental Group and Orthodontics in Wyomissing, PA specializes in family and pediatric dentistry. We can answer any questions or concerns you might have about caring for adult teeth vs. baby teeth.

Differences between baby teeth and permanent teeth

Most people start with 20 baby teeth, which emerge when individuals are around six months old. Babies have four central incisors, four canine teeth, and four lateral incisors with eight molars. As an adult, people have 32 permanent teeth. The baby teeth appear smaller than permanent teeth and are usually much whiter in color. They also have a much flatter bite area. Adult teeth also have very noticeable grooves, unlike baby teeth, which are smoother.

Permanent teeth are much stronger and more durable because they have a thicker enamel layer, so they can stand up to cavities and decay better than baby teeth. Baby teeth are much softer, so they will break down faster from bacterial exposure.

The thin layer of enamel on baby teeth means that they are more prone to tooth decay compared to adult teeth. You’ll need to maintain regular dental exams twice a year and semi-annual cleaning to help prevent dental decay in baby teeth.

Baby teeth serve as effective placeholders for adult teeth. While helping your child chew effectively and speak clearly, the baby teeth also ensure the proper spacing and position of the permanent adult teeth when they emerge. The baby teeth help your little one’s jaws properly form. As the permanent teeth push upward, the roots of the baby teeth start to disintegrate to make room for the permanent teeth. Eventually, the baby tooth loosens and falls out as the adult tooth erupts.

Caring for baby teeth

Baby teeth and adult teeth require regular brushing and flossing. When brushing baby teeth, use less toothpaste and a smaller toothbrush to effectively reach all around the smaller teeth. It is recommended that you do not use toothpaste that contains fluoride until your child is at least three years old.

Setting a foundation for early dental care will help establish a lifetime of positive and healthy oral habits. You should start brushing your baby’s teeth as soon as the first one emerges from the gum, and you should begin to floss the teeth once the baby has two teeth touching.

The care of baby teeth vs adult teeth is not that much different. You want your child to have a radiant smile no matter their age. Caring for both sets of teeth helps to ensure healthy teeth for a lifetime.

Schedule a dental care consultation in Wyomissing, PA

Schedule a consultation at Grove Dental Group and Orthodontics in Wyomissing, PA to discuss how to care for baby teeth vs. adult teeth. We will examine your child’s teeth and outline an effective treatment plan to meet your child’s ongoing dental needs.

* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.