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All About Baby Teeth

• Did You Know in Norfolk … we have the highest rate of children under 5 having teeth removed because they have decay

• When children are born, although you cannot see them - all the teeth they will ever have are already present in their jaw!

When the first tooth appears will vary from child to child – first teeth usually appear at around six months of age.
There is a chart here that shows the order that the 20 baby teeth usually appear all the way through to the 32 adult teeth being in place.

Caring for our children’s teeth until they are able to take care of them for themselves (at around 7 years of age – with lots of reminding!) is an important responsibility of parents and carers.

  • Baby Teeth Matter;

    Baby Teeth are important. Some people may think that because we eventually have adult teeth our baby teeth are not as important but they have an important job to do;

    • They allow your child to chew and to smile
    • They are important for development of the right muscles for clear speech
    • They ‘hold’ the space open for the adult teeth to grow in to – making it less likely that they will grow crooked or be overcrowded
    • Keeping baby teeth, and our gums healthy builds good habits of oral care

    Although they are called ‘baby teeth’ most children will not have all of their adult teeth until they are about 13 years old.

    If baby teeth are not cared for there is a high risk of dental decay. This will cause painful toothache and possible infections for your child.

    In some cases children will have to go into hospital to have rotten teeth removed under anaesthetic

    To keep healthy teeth we need to;

    • see a dentist twice a year so that any problems are spotted early
    • think carefully about what our families eat and drink
    • keep teeth clean by brushing and using fluoride toothpaste

  • Children should have their first appointment by a year of age, or by six months after their first tooth appears.

    This is important because;

    • Your child will get used to seeing the dentist from an early age and it will not be a strange experience for them
    • Your Dentist can spot any problems early
    • Your Dentist can use specialist products that help prevent tooth decay
    • Your Dentist can give you specialist advice on how to keep your child’s teeth healthy

    You can find an NHS Dentist near you here


Who Can Help?

You can contact the Healthy Child Programme by calling Just One Number on 0300 300 0123 or texting Parentline on 07520631590. Our opening hours are 8am-6pm Monday-Friday (excluding bank holidays) and 9am-1pm on Saturdays.

If you are 11-19 you can text ChatHealth on 07480635060 for confidential advice from one of our team.

To speak to other Norfolk parents and carers, you can join our online community forum. CLICK HERE



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