Monday, 15 November 2010

Your Baby's First Molar Tooth

At about the thirtieth month of a child's life, it has its full quota of twenty temporary teeth. The first, or six year molars, the initial teeth of the permanent set, make their appearance when the child is approximately years old. There are four of these, one for each side, above and below. In front and behind these four teeth the remaining twenty-eight permanent teeth will take their positions. Therefore, it is most important that these teeth, known the keystones of the dental arch, preserved.

The first molar is larger than any tooth in the temporary set and chewing surface has five cusps which grind the food. These cusps are separated from each other by grooves wherein small, sticky particles of food may be caught and held if sufficient care is not taken free the teeth of such particles after meals. The bits of food offer favorable environment for bacteria causing dental decay. The bacteria enter the grooves, multiply, and penetrate the enamel or covering of the tooth to begin destruction.

Their destructive action is evidenced by a small cavity. The size increases, and the child complains of toothache. If at this time the tooth is still neglected and a dentist's services are not employed, the extent of the destruction will reach proportions beyond the possibility of repair and the only remedy will be removal.

Its loss is most serious, for not only is the molar tooth essential for complete mastication of food, but if it is removed from the jaw before all the remaining permanent teeth have appeared, these other teeth may take improper positions in the gums and thus develop unsightly irregularities of the mouth.

The parent must watch for the appearance of the first molars in the child's mouth; must see that these teeth are kept scrupulously clean; and as a final check the careful parent should permit a dentist to examine these teeth and the temporary teeth, as well, at regular intervals.
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