Babies have certain developmental milestones, and perhaps you'll feel rather satisfied if your baby happens to hit these milestones early. There's an exception to every rule, though, and while the growth of your baby's first tooth is undoubtedly a milestone, it can be unsettling when your baby seems to be in a rush to grow their first set of teeth. Why are some babies born with teeth, and does it have any significance to their dental health?
Teeth that have grown while your baby is in the womb are known as neonatal teeth, and while this is an abnormality, its greatest impact is probably the surprise you feel when you become aware of the condition. In most instances, it's simply an accelerated growth of the teeth that would ordinarily have begun to erupt approximately four to seven months after your child's birth. In this instance, no intervention is necessary.
The First Dental Appointment
It can't be assumed that neonatal teeth are simply the premature arrival of your child's deciduous teeth. Your baby's first dental appointment should be scheduled when their first tooth appears, but in your child's case, this appointment should take place as soon as possible to ensure that their neonatal teeth are not problematic.
Your baby will require some minor diagnostic tests, such as a radiograph or x-ray. While these are common dental services, your child's age will be taken into consideration. These diagnostic tests utilise radiation, and this will be the lowest possible dose so that the objective of the test can still be fulfilled without posing a risk to your child. What can these tests discover?
While it's likely that your baby's neonatal teeth will be left as they are, a developmental irregularity known as supernumerary teeth must be ruled out. Supernumerary teeth are simply extra teeth, and despite their presence, your child's baby teeth may still attempt to develop beneath these extra teeth, although the presence of supernumerary can block the eruption of baby teeth. In this case, extraction might be necessary to encourage the normal eruption of your child's baby teeth. It should be noted that supernumerary teeth are fairly rare, and so it's more likely that you'll just have to familiarise yourself with caring for your baby's teeth a few months ahead of schedule.
Remember that neonatal teeth are generally just the early arrival of their baby teeth, but this must be confirmed with your child's dentist.
To learn more, contact a clinic that offers dental services.