Importance of Baby Teeth

Baby Teeth: Where a Lifetime of Good Oral Health Starts!!

You can’t see them. But they’re there. Baby teeth… they started forming way back in the womb, but before you know it, they’ll be erupting through your baby’s gums.

The first baby teeth, known as primary teeth, usually appear as early as 3-4 months of age, but really start to erupt through the gums between the ages of 6 months to one year of age. The timing of eruption varies (and which ones come out first varies), but all 20 primary teeth (baby teeth) will usually erupt by the age of three.


And those baby teeth are important, even if you can’t see them, and even if they eventually fall out and are replaced with permanent adult teeth. Baby teeth are, in fact, extremely important.

Baby teeth are also just as prone to cavities as adult teeth. In fact, more than 50 percent of children will be affected by tooth decay before age five.* So you want to keep those cavities away to avoid an early loss of a tooth.

When a baby tooth is lost too early, the permanent teeth can drift into the empty space and make it difficult for other adult teeth to find room when it’s their turn to erupt. So, proper oral hygiene is important as soon as your baby is born. Establishing good oral habits early will go a long way, even beyond impressing the tooth fairy!


Baby teeth...

  • Help children chew food easily and properly.
  • Help children speak more quickly and clearly.
  • Hold space in the jaws for permanent teeth that are growing under the gums.
  • Set the stage for a lifetime of healthy smiles.

Baby Bottle Tooth Decay

Tooth decay in infants and toddlers is often called baby bottle tooth decay. It’s also called early childhood caries. Baby bottle tooth decay most often occurs in the upper front teeth, but other teeth may also decay.

The biggest cause of baby bottle tooth decay is when a baby naps or sleeps with a bottle full of milk or juice, or is given a bottle rather than a pacifier for comfort. As the liquid passes out of the nipple into the infant’s mouth, it just sits in the mouth as the baby relaxes, stops sucking, and falls asleep. That means the developing teeth soak in the liquid’s sugar while the baby sleeps. That’s not good for developing teeth.


How to prevent baby bottle tooth decay:

  • Don’t put your child to bed or lay them down for a nap with a bottle of juice or sugary drinks.
  • Put only formula, milk or breast milk in baby bottles; avoid filling bottles with juice or soft drinks.
  • Have your infant finish the bottle before naptime or bedtime.
  • Don’t dip pacifiers in sugar or honey.
  • After each feeding, wipe your child’s gums with a clean, damp gauze pad or washcloth.
  • When your child’s teeth come in, brush them gently with a child-size toothbrush and water.
  • Encourage your child to drink from a cup by their first birthday.
  • Encourage healthy eating habits.
  • Avoid cleaning your child’s feeding spoons or pacifiers by putting them in your mouth; run them under tap water to rinse them off.
  • Schedule your child’s first dental visit as soon as your child’s first tooth appears and no later than your child’s first birthday.


Schedule Your Appointment Now

Children & Teen Dental, provides specialized, comprehensive oral health care for infants, children, and adolescents in a fun, stress-free environment that focuses on prevention and education. Our goal is to help your child be healthy and enter adulthood free of dental diseases and dental fears – with good oral health habits that will last a lifetime.

Make Your Appointment

Visit Our Offices

Tuscaloosa Rice Mine Rd
221 Rice Mine Rd NE, Suite A
Tuscaloosa, AL 35406

Phone: 205-255-3837

Tuscaloosa Mcfarland Blvd
1825 Mcfarland Blvd N, Suite D
Tuscaloosa, AL 35406

Phone: 205-255-3940

Anniston
1701 Leighton Ave
Anniston, AL 36207

Phone: 256-238-9233


About Us

Children & Teen Dental is a group of dedicated professionals who believe in building lasting relationships in our communities and with our patients. Our priority is to make a positive impact in your child’s life by enhancing self-confidence, self-esteem and overall dental health.

A Division of Children and Teen Dental Group



Children & Teen Dental maintains this website as a service to our patients as well as our community. While Children & Teen Dental and our affiliates strive to keep the information contained in this site current, no warranty or guarantee concerning accuracy of content is made. Some of the information contained in this site relates to medical topics and issues; however, no information in the site should be construed as medical advice. All questions regarding your health or possible health problems should be directed to your provider. In addition, this site includes links to other websites; however, Children & Teen Dental does not endorse the linked sites, and takes no responsibility for the content or information contained in the linked sites. All rights reserved. No part of this website may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without the prior written permission of Children & Teen Dental.

Schedule an Appointment for Your Child

Fill out the form below and we will be in touch shortly!

We are providing this Contact Us form as a convenience but your message to us should not imply the creation of a doctor-patient relationship (which only happens when you come to our office for a visit). We therefore ask that you not include personal health information in your message. Please call us if you’d like to send us personal information so that we can make sure it’s handled securely.