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ERUPTION DATES: when teeth appear.
Baby teeth or deciduous teeth erupt usually from six months to two and a half years. There are nearly always 20 of them in total.
They divide into incisors (8), canines (4) and molars (8). Ten teeth in the lower jaw, ten in the upper, of which 5 are on the left, 5 on the right. (See diagram below)
Dentists chart these five teeth from the midline tooth at the front to the fifth tooth at the back using the letters a,b,c,d,e.
So we describe upper right...a,b,c,d,e URHS or lower left....a,b,c,d,e LLHS depending on which baby tooth we are looking at and whether it is the upper or lower or the left or right quadrant.
TEETHING. Most parents never notice this but for some parents it is a serious problem with their youngsters. All children go through teething and usually a child based analgesic is all that is required. Calpol works if there are no medical contraindications.
Something that is often confused by parents with teething is a condition called Herpetic Gingivostomatitis which is common in the under fives. It causes a fever and the mouth is very sore and reddened for up to ten days. every effort should be made to prevent eye contagion and a visit to the doctor or dentist for advice can be useful. Fluid balance is important.
Interestingly this common childhood problem is the precursor to the "cold sore" seen in adults as a latent virus. In adults cold sores can be limited by the use of anti-viral creams if used early enough. Virus= Herpes Simplex virus 1
It is incredibly rare for baby teeth not to appear and in those rare cases when it happens,there are other aspects of the youngsters development that will usually forewarn us of the problem.
The first teeth to appear are the lower "a" s, followed by the upper "a"s, then the "b" s slightly later and so on until the "e" s appear at two and a half. The order is not totally sequential and the timings are slightly subject to growth variables.
Dentists can usually give you more exact dates as your youngster develops if you are interested.
ADULT TOOTH CHARTING Dentists map your mouth mainly by tooth position. As with baby teeth, we divide the mouth into 4 quadrants...upper left, lower left, upper right etc. Instead of using abcde, we use 12345678. So from the midline to your last molar on the lower right (LR) is......... starting with the middle incisor on the right, LR1,...2,3,4 etc to your wisdom tooth ,LR8.
Those occlusals MODs and buccals are the various surfaces of each tooth. A bit of thought will reveal that some teeth at least have 5 surfaces, a bit like a cardboard box on the floor. In fact dentists delineate 5 surfaces on all teeth. So when your teeth are checked we try to examine all five surfaces of all 32 teeth if that is what you have.
Beyond that we chart your gum health, how well you brush and the general health of all the soft tissues such as your palate, under your tongue etc.
International charting replaces URHS with 1, ULHS with 2 and so on clockwise. The numbers remain the same for the teeth