By Gayle Lightfoot Ball RDH, MA Assistant Professor, Department of Dental Hygiene
This is Part One of a series. At the end of this series parents should have a better understanding of how to care for their child’s teeth.
Did you know babies are born with all their teeth?
If you took a radiograph (picture of the teeth) of a baby’s mouth, you would see developing teeth under the gum; therefore, it is extremely important to wipe your baby’s gums with a clean damp cloth or gauze after each feeding. This procedure will remove any plaque from the gums that will ensure as the baby’s teeth erupt (grow through the gums) the teeth will enter a clean environment.
How many teeth should children have?
Humans have two sets of natural teeth. Baby teeth are referred to as primary teeth. The primary dentition consists of 20 teeth, 10 on the maxillary (top teeth) and 10 on the mandible (bottom teeth).
When should the first tooth erupt?
Mandibular teeth ( bottom teeth) usually erupt first in the sequence. The two mandibular central (front teeth) erupt first at 6-10 months and then the maxillary (top teeth) central incisors (front teeth) erupt at 8-12 months.
Darby M.L. And Walsh M.M., (2010) Dental Hygiene Theory and Practice, 3rd ed. Saunders, St. Louis.
Gayle Ball is a 1976 graduate of the Community College of Baltimore Dental Hygiene Program.
She received her BA degree in 1977 (Planning and Administration) and a MA 1978 (Health Service Administration) from Antioch College and Antioch University. Her current academic rank is Assistant Professor in the Department of Periodontics, Dental Hygiene Program. Mrs. Ball presently chairs the Dental Hygiene Curriculum Committee. She was a recipient of the Provost Fellowship for Diversity in 2006 and was recognized as one of 50 Women of Excellence in 2010 by the New Pittsburgh Courier. She has worked in private practice, military facilities, health clinics, and has taken part in the UPMC Black Family Project. Her research interest includes access of care for marginalized groups and minority recruitment and retention in health fields.