We all start out in life with a perfect set of milk teeth but these small pearly white gems are soon replaced by monolithic adult teeth.

Milk teeth or baby teeth as they are called are the first teeth we get and tend to be quite fragile compared to durable adult (permanent) teeth. But they are just as important as they help your baby to chew food and aid with their speech development as well.

Milk teeth also help your baby to form words and talk in general.

The first milk tooth usually appears at the age of 6 months although some babies get their first tooth before then. This is then followed by the rest of the teeth which appear at intervals. A baby gets its full complement of teeth by the age of 2.5 to 3 years old.

These teeth fall out to be replaced by adult teeth. This process starts at the age of 6 and continues up until the child’s twelfth birthday.

A problem with milk teeth is that of a lack of proper care. It is easy to be neglectful of these teeth as they do fall out naturally over time. So what happens is that parents do not give these the care and attention they need as they assume (wrongly) that they don’t require this.

But milk teeth need to be cleaned and cared for in the same way as permanent teeth. So it is a good idea to encourage your toddler to look after his or her teeth as soon as they are able to do so. The sooner the learn about the importance of dental hygiene the better this is in the long term as it will mean fewer visits to the dentist.

What is a good idea is to reduce the amount of sugar in your baby’s diet. Avoid sugary drinks and foods which contain a high level of sugar as these will damage the outer layer (enamel) of the teeth which increases the risk of tooth decay and other similar problems.