Let’s continuing on with our discussion about children’s teeth. Today we will discuss 1st molars. By the time these teeth start to appear your lovely little one has a mouth full of chompers; and yet you are seeing more signs of teething. This can only mean one thing; your child’s first molars are coming in.
Baby’s First Molars
First molars usually come in around year one. They are accompanied by a return of signs of teething, such as increased drooling and fussiness. The eruption of the molars may be more difficult than the eruption of the anterior teeth (teeth numbers C-H and M-R). As molars are larger and have a flat surface, sometimes they are more painful. For some children who have problems with teething, they may begin waking up in the middle of the night again due to discomfort. The second set of molars usually arrives around your child’s 2nd year. By three years old, your toddler should have a full set of 20 teeth – 12 anterior (front) and 4 posterior (back).
Our first set of teeth are called primary teeth. There are 20 in all and, unlike permanent teeth, they are labeled with letters. Starting on the upper right with A, they are labeled alphabetically across the top teeth, and then continue by dropping down to the lowers and then wrapping around:
As your child begins to have their primary teeth replaced by permanent teeth, their mouth will be a mixture of letters and numbers. As well as being a mixture of large and small teeth.
Time for Brushing
As your child’s teeth begin erupting, use a fluoride free toothpaste to brush their teeth. Encourage them to spit the toothpaste out in preparation of fluoridated toothpaste. Move them to the fluoride toothpaste when they are ready, usually between 2-5. At age 6, you can continue to encourage good oral habits in your children by introducing a fluoride rinse (such as A.C.T.) into your child’s oral hygiene routine. The fluoride will help strengthen your child’s teeth, making them more resistant to decay. Introduce your child to floss and the idea of flossing by flossing in front of them. They may just surprise you and ask you to floss their new teeth!
The best way to get your child to practice good oral hygiene is to practice it yourself. Make sure your child sees you taking care of your teeth, and they’ll want to copy you. Give positive encouragement and you’ll end up with children with beautiful, healthy smiles!