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A Tooth Eruption Guide For Your Child

Baby with toothbrushThe arrival of new teeth is a big deal for most parents! It means new foods can be introduced and baby is hitting all of his or her milestones. As your child gets older, and these baby teeth begin to fall out, there will be eagerly awaited visits from the tooth fairy and excitement over getting adult teeth! 

As parents, we want you to be as informed as possible about your child’s primary teeth (more commonly known as baby teeth), when and how they’ll erupt, and when and how they’ll fall out.

Tooth Eruption Facts

  • There are 20 primary teeth. Your child should receive all of their primary teeth by the time they’re 3 years old and these teeth will remain until your child is around 6 years old. At this point, they’ll begin to fall out and make room for the permanent teeth.
  • There are 32 permanent teeth. These teeth are larger and will take longer to grow in than the baby teeth did. Permanent teeth will begin to erupt between 6-12 years of age.
  • It’s incredibly important to take good care of your child’s baby teeth. If the teeth become decayed and need to be extracted, this will cause the other teeth to shift around, causing the permanent tooth underneath to lose its place. This will make your child more likely to need orthodontic treatment in the future.
  • Tooth eruption will happen in parallel. This means that the top molar on the right side will erupt around the same time as the top molar on the left side, etc. 

Types Of Teeth

Each tooth in the mouth has a different job. The placement and shape of your teeth are no accident! Below are the 5 different types of teeth in our mouths:

  1. Incisors:  These are the 8 teeth in the front of your mouth. 4 on top and 4 on bottom. These are the teeth you use to take bites of food. Primary incisors will erupt around 6 months of age and permanent ones will come in between 6-8 years.
  2. Canine Teeth: We have 4 canine teeth in our mouths. Canines are the sharpest, pointiest teeth and are used to tear and rip food apart. Eruption for canine teeth will usually occur between 16-20 months and permanent canines will come in between 11-12 years of age.
  3. Premolars: Primary molars will eventually be replaced by premolars, also called bicuspids. These teeth are used for the grinding and chewing of food. We each have 4 premolars on each side of our mouths, 2 on top and 2 on bottom. The first premolars will erupt around age 10 and the second set will come in around a year later.
  4. Molars (2nd Molars): Baby molars (which will eventually be replaced by the premolars), are the teeth used for chewing and grinding in children. Your child should receive their molars between 12-25 months and the first permanent molars will erupt around age 6 while the second molars come in between 11-13 years of age.
  5. Third Molars: These are the teeth also known as wisdom teeth. These will be the last teeth to erupt in the mouth, usually between 18-21 years old.  

Please keep in mind that this is just a guideline. Every child is different! However, if you feel that there is a problem with the eruption of your child’s teeth, please don’t hesitate to call our office.

To make an appointment for your child with Dr. Preston Polson, please contact Meadow Family Dental, located in Castle Rock, CO!

Posted on Jun 21, 2016
Image Credit: © Dreamstime.com

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