Important Pediatric Orthodontist Information About Your Baby’s First Teeth

Posted on: October 6, 2021

Pediatric Orthodontist St Peters, MO

As a new parent, you may not have considered the need for a pediatric orthodontist. On average, babies start getting their first teeth at about six months old, although it can happen much sooner or later. Understanding your baby's teeth helps you to teach good oral hygiene habits as well as know when it may be time to consult an orthodontist.

Understanding a baby's teeth

Baby teeth vary in size and shape as well as where they are located in the jaw. Most people have 20 baby, or primary, teeth and 32 permanent teeth. These teeth not only help people to chew, speak, and smile but shape the form of the face. 

The primary teeth typically begin to erupt in the mouth at around 6 months old. Although each child is different, most get central incisors on the top and bottom jaw first, followed by lateral incisors, first molars, canines, and second molars. These teeth are then shed, making way for their permanent counterparts between the ages of 6 and 12 years old.

Adults have more teeth than babies but sometimes do not have room in the mouth to accommodate them. As a child grows, a visit to a pediatric orthodontist may be needed to get braces. This treatment helps the teeth to grow straighter and ensures there is no overcrowding. In the mid to late teen years, an orthodontist may recommend a child have the wisdom teeth removed to prevent crowding and misalignment.

Getting an orthodontist's advice

A pediatric orthodontist can provide parents with information about how to keep children's teeth straighter and healthier by focusing on several common situations.

Finger-sucking and pacifier habits

According to the American Dental Association, finger-sucking may first begin in the womb and is a completely natural habit for babies who need to self-soothe. However, as babies begin to teethe, the time comes to break the habit. After teething begins, sucking on fingers or pacifiers can cause the teeth to grown misaligned and could even cause changes to the roof of the mouth.


Teething is often an uncomfortable and painful situation for babies and toddlers. An orthodontist helps parents learn more about the process of new teeth erupting, how to help children through it, and when to seek professional care. 

Teeth straightening

As a baby's primary teeth fall out to make way for the eruption of permanent teeth, they may cause misalignment of the permanent teeth. Eventually, misaligned adult teeth can lead to overcrowding that causes problems with dental hygiene, overbites or underbites, pain, or a lack of confidence in smiling. As a child enters the pre-teen years, an orthodontist may recommend braces to keep teeth aligned and create a healthier set of permanent teeth into adulthood. 


Parents naturally want their children's health to thrive, and oral health is a key component of this. Whether an infant is just beginning the teething process or a preschooler has a full mouth of teeth, a pediatric orthodontist can advise on any alignment issues and recommend treatments, if any are needed.

Request an appointment here: or call Kling Orthodontics at (636) 928-1153 for an appointment in our St Peters office.

Check out what others are saying about our dental services on Yelp: Orthodontics for Children in St Peters, MO.

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