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Baby Teeth FAQs

It’s natural for parents to have lots of questions about their baby’s teeth.  Parents want to know what to expect, what’s normal, what’s a warning sign.  Many of our parents are just plain curious!  So here’s answers to many of the most common questions about baby teeth.  Have another question we don’t cover here?  Let us know in the comments below and we’ll be sure to provide the answer.

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Are baby teeth important?

Yes! Baby teeth have three main purposes: 1. Function, 2. Aesthetics, and 3. Save room for permanent teeth.

Are baby teeth hollow?

Yes, all teeth are hollow— permanent and baby. A blood supply and the nerve (or pulp) fill this hallow chamber.

Are baby teeth always straight?

Not always. Baby teeth can grow in rotated or crowded if there is not ample spacing between the teeth.

Are baby teeth easy to extract?

Not necessarily. Some teeth are simpler to extract than others, but extractions should only be performed by dental professionals.

Are baby teeth more prone to cavities?

Baby teeth can be more prone to cavities than adult teeth. Young children often have diets high in carbohydrates to help them grow, and oral hygiene practices may not be established, which can make baby teeth more vulnerable to decay.

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Are baby teeth supposed to have gaps?

It is ideal to see gaps between baby teeth, as the spacing will allow more room for the bigger permanent teeth and will lessen the chance of crowding.

Are baby teeth supposed to be jagged?

Baby teeth are not usually jagged, but permanent teeth usually are when they first erupt into the mouth.

Are baby teeth supposed to be sharp?

Baby teeth are often sharp due to the thin shell of smooth enamel that encases the tooth.

Are baby teeth weaker than adult teeth?

Baby teeth are usually weaker than adult teeth due to the fact that the enamel shell is thinner.

Are baby teeth numbered or lettered?

Baby teeth are identified with letters (A-T), and permanent teeth are identified with numbers (1-32).

Are baby teeth permanent?

No. Baby teeth are meant to exfoliate or fall out, whereas permanent teeth are not meant to fall out.

Are baby teeth rich in stem cells?

There are stem cells deep within the nerve chamber of the tooth. Lots of research is being done regarding the usefulness and benefit of these stem cells.

Are baby teeth usually straight?

Most infants and toddlers have straight teeth when they first grow in, but it is not uncommon to see slight rotations or crowding.

Baby Dental Health Resources

Can baby teeth at grow in at 6 weeks?

It is possible, but exceptionally rare.

  • Can baby teeth grow in at 2 months? It is possible, but rare.
  • Can baby teeth grow in at 9 weeks? It is possible, but rare.
  • Can baby teeth grow in at 11 weeks? It is possible, but rare.
  • Can baby teeth grow in at 3 months? It is possible, but rare

Can baby teeth grow in at 5 months?

Yes. 5 months is just slightly early, but within the range of normal. Baby teeth begin growing in on average at age 6 months.

Can baby teeth come in crooked?

It is possible, but not common, for baby teeth to come in crooked. Baby teeth are more prone to grow in with spacing or perfectly aligned.

Can baby teeth stay forever?

In rare instances, baby teeth can stay forever if the permanent replacement tooth is congenitally missing.

Can baby teeth hurt?

Some infants can experience discomfort during the teething process, but usually there is no pain once they have grown in. Baby teeth can also hurt if they have cavities.

Can baby teeth be used for stem cells?

There is potential for baby teeth to be used for stem cells. There is lots of research being conducted regarding the usefulness of stem cells from baby teeth.

Can baby teeth retract?

Baby teeth cannot retract, with the exception of ankylosis, a condition when the tooth root becomes fused with the bone.

Can baby teeth be filled?

Yes. Baby teeth are generally filled with white fillings called composite. However, large cavities on baby teeth may need to have a crown placed instead.

Can baby teeth have cavities?

Yes. Unfortunately, cavities on baby teeth can start faster and grow faster due to the thin shell of enamel compared to permanent teeth. The enamel shell is the most resistant to cavities, and once cavities spread below to the inner dentin layer, treatment with fillings is generally indicated.

Learn More About Dental Fillings

Can baby teeth get infected?

Yes. If a cavity spreads to the depth of the nerve of the tooth, there is a high risk of the tooth becoming infected or abscessed.

Can baby teeth come out rotten?

Baby teeth cannot grow in rotten, but there are instances of baby teeth growing in with weakened or immature enamel, which can affect the overall health and strength of the tooth.

What baby teeth come in first?

The bottom front or center teeth usually grow in first (the central incisors).

What baby teeth come out?

All baby teeth that have a permanent replacement will come out.

What baby teeth do you lose?

Most people will lose all 20 baby teeth by age 12 or 13.

What baby teeth fall out first?

The same teeth which grow in first, usually fall out first (the bottom central incisors).

What baby teeth are permanent?

Baby teeth are considered primary teeth. Permanent teeth are the set of set that replace the baby teeth.

What do baby teeth look like when coming in?

Baby teeth are generally brighter white compared to permanent teeth. When they grow in through the gums, usually you will notice the white edge or cusp tip (in molars).

Does teething cause fever in babies?

Not usually, but some babies can experience a low-grade fever while teething.

Do baby teeth have roots?

Yes. All baby teeth have roots, usually ranging from 1 root to 3 roots, depending on the tooth.

Schedule An Appointment with Our Pediatric Dentist in Portland

Does your child need an appointment with a pediatric dentist in Portland? Call us at 503-223-5039 to schedule your visit to our downtown Portland location!

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This blog serves to provide general information about dentistry topics to help answer your questions. The above content is for informational purposes but is not intended to be a replacement for medical advice from a licensed pediatrician or pediatric dentist. If you have a dental concern for yourself, your child or another adult, please schedule a consultation with us so you can speak with a dentist.

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