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Losing our baby teeth is an important milestone in any child’s development. Teeth are an integral part of our development whether we realize it or not. Our teeth are needed not only for chewing but also for speaking. They are also necessary for the growth and development of our face and jaws. They are also able to convey feelings to the outside world thru a smile.

Our teeth are so important that they start growing before we are even born into the world. They emerge quickly into your child’s mouth around the 6 month mark of life. Because of how much we need them, teeth start to grow even before we are born.

Tooth Eruption Facts

Humans have 2 sets of teeth, primary (or baby) teeth and then permanent teeth. These teeth develop in stages often overlapping timelines. The schedule is different but the development and tooth eruption of each of these sets of teeth is very much the same. Following are a few facts about the eruption of our teeth:

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Tooth eruption tends to happen in parallel. This means that the bottom premolar tooth on your left side should erupt into your mouth at about the same time as the bottom premolar tooth on the right side.

-Primary tooth development begins during the 2nd trimester of a woman’s pregnancy. Primary teeth are place holders for permanent teeth. They reserve space for our growing faces so the permanent teeth can slide right in properly when the time is right

-Loss of primary teeth due to extraction or loss of space due to breakdown of baby teeth, makes a child susceptible to malocclusion and more likely to need orthodontic treatment.

-The crown of a tooth is the first to begin forming. The roots continue to develop and lengthen even after the teeth have come through the gums.

-There are 20 primary teeth. These are usually fully erupted by age 3, and remain until around 6 years of age when they begin to fall out to make room for your permanent teeth.

-Adult teeth usually begin to erupt into the mouth between 6 and 12 years of age. Most adults have 32 permanent teeth.

-Permanent teeth are larger and take longer to erupt than primary teeth.

Types Of Teeth – Tooth Eruption

A person’s teeth will vary in size, shape, and their location. Each tooth in your mouth has a job to do and that is why it is shaped the way it is and where it is located. Tooth eruption follows a definite pattern.  There are 5 types of teeth:

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1) Incisors. Incisors are the eight teeth in the front of your mouth (four on top and four on bottom). These teeth are used to take bites of your food. Incisors are usually the first teeth to erupt. Primary incisors erupt at around 6 months of age.Permanent incisors should come in at  6 and 8 years of age.

2) Canines. We have four canines in our mouths. These are the next type of teeth to erupt. Canines are your sharpest teeth and are used for ripping and tearing food apart. Teeth eruption for primary canines usually occurs between 16 and 20 months of age, with the upper canines coming in just before  the lower canines. The order is reversed for permanent teeth. Lower canines erupt around age 9, with the uppers erupting at about 11-12 years of age.

3) Premolars. Primary molars are replaced by premolars.Premolars (also called bicuspids) are used for chewing and grinding of food. You have four premolars on each side of your mouth, two on the upper and two on the lower jaw. The first premolars appear around age 10 and the second premolars arrive about a year later. Premolars are generally the teeth that may need to be removed during orthodontic treatment to create space.

4) Molars. Primary molars (replaced by the permanent premolars) are also used for chewing and grinding food. Teeth eruption for these happens between 12 and 15 months of age. The first permanent molars erupt around 6 years of age while the second molars come in around 11-13 years old.

5) Third Molars. These are also referred to as “wisdom” teeth. These are the last teeth to erupt into the mouth and do not typically erupt until age 18-21 years of age. Some people never develop third molars at all. These molars may cause crowding and need to be removed. Other times they develop in the jaw but never erupt into the mouth. When this happens it is referred to as impacted.

Tooth Eruption Schedule

 It is important to note that every child will develop at their own pace. It is not unusual to have certain teeth erupt earlier or later than the charts below say. As long as the child is under a dentist’s care, you will be able to know any issues that might be arising based on dental examinations and dental x-rays.

Upper Primary Teeth Development

Upper TeethWhen tooth emergesWhen tooth falls out
Central incisor8 to 12 months6 to 7 years
Lateral incisor9 to 13 months7 to 8 years
Canine (cuspid)16 to 22 months10 to 12 years
First molar13 to 19 months9 to 11 years
Second molar25 to 33 months10 to 12 years

Lower Primary Teeth Development

Lower TeethWhen tooth emergesWhen tooth falls out
Second molar23 to 31 months10 to 12 years
First molar14 to 18 months9 to 11 years
Canine (cuspid)17 to 23 months9 to 12 years
Lateral incisor10 to 16 months7 to 8 years
Central incisor6 to 10 months6 to 7 years

The complete set of primary teeth is in the mouth from the age of 2 ½ to 3 years of age to 6 to 7 years of age. Dental issues which occur in development of primary teeth directly affect the development of the permanent teeth. If you do not develop a baby tooth, you consequently will not develop the replacement permanent tooth. There may also be extra teeth which may need to be removed so as not to impede eruption of the permanent counterpart. Overly small or large teeth can also cause issue. Genetics play a large role, so if you know that there are tooth issues running in your family such as missing teeth or extra teeth, have them checked out early by your dentist.

Purpose Of Primary Teeth

Primary teeth are a necessary part of a child’s development. While only in the mouth for a short period of time they are essential for the following reasons:

-They hold space for the permanent teeth.

-They give the face its normal appearance.

-Aid in speech development.

-Aid in obtaining good nutrition for growth and development.

-Teach Good Oral Hygiene. They help give a healthy start to the permanent teeth.

Primary Teeth Conclusion

The development of a child’s teeth can be confusing because all kids schedules will be quite different. The tooth eruption pattern will give clues to a child’s development and make sure things are on track. It is important to start dental care early for your child to ensure they maintain dental hygiene and keep a healthy smile for life. Losing these primary teeth before their job is done can be challenging for your child and an expensive endeavor. Remember to visit your dentist regularly for dental examinations and professional cleanings.




Primary tooth development is a process which begins before birth. There are rare cases where babies are even born with teeth. Many of us have questions as to when the teeth are developing and when they should be expected to appear in the mouth. Below, you will find a schedule approximating when your child’s teeth should erupt into the mouth. The schedule is based upon averages, so  every child will be different.  It is important for your child to receive regular dental exams and xrays to ensure that the proper number of teeth are developing.

Tooth Eruption Schedule

It is important to note that every child will develop at their own pace. It is not unusual to have certain teeth erupt earlier or later than the charts below say. As long as the child is under a dentist’s care, you will be able to know any issues that might be arising based on dental examinations and dental radiographs.

Upper Primary Teeth Development

Upper Teeth When tooth emerges When tooth falls out
Central incisor 8 to 12 months 6 to 7 years
Lateral incisor 9 to 13 months 7 to 8 years
Canine (cuspid) 16 to 22 months 10 to 12 years
First molar 13 to 19 months 9 to 11 years
Second molar 25 to 33 months 10 to 12 years

Lower Primary Teeth Development

Lower Teeth When tooth emerges When tooth falls out
Second molar 23 to 31 months 10 to 12 years
First molar 14 to 18 months 9 to 11 years
Canine (cuspid) 17 to 23 months 9 to 12 years
Lateral incisor 10 to 16 months 7 to 8 years
Central incisor 6 to 10 months 6 to 7 years

The complete set of primary teeth is in the mouth from the age of 2 ½ to 3 years of age to 6 to 7 years of age. Dental issues which occur in development of primary teeth directly affect the development of the permanent teeth. If you do not develop a baby tooth, you consequently will not develop the replacement permanent tooth. There may also be extra teeth which may need to be removed so as not to impede eruption of the permanent counterpart. Overly small or large teeth can also cause issue. Genetics play a large role, so if you know that there are tooth issues running in your family such as missing teeth or extra teeth, have them checked out early.

Primary Teeth Eruption Facts

-A general guide is that for every 6 months of life, about 4 teeth will erupt into the mouth.

-Girls usually get their teeth before boys.

-Usually teeth in both jaws erupt in pairs, one on the right and one on the left.

-Lower teeth usually erupt before upper teeth

-Primary teeth are smaller in size and whiter in color than the permanent teeth that will follow them.

Around the age of 4 years old, the jaw and the bones of the face begin to grow. This will create space between the primary teeth. This added space is needed for the much larger permanent teeth to erupt into the mouth. From 6 years old  to about 12 years old, children will have a mixture of baby teeth and adult teeth, referred to as the mixed dentition.

Purpose Of Primary Teeth

Primary teeth are a necessary part of a child’s development. While only in the mouth for a short period they are vital for the following reasons:

-They hold space for the permanent teeth.

-They give the face its normal appearance.

-Aid in speech development.

-Aid in obtaining good nutrition for growth and development.

-Teach Good Oral Hygiene. They help give a healthy start to the permanent teeth.

Upper Permanent Teeth Development

Upper Teeth When tooth emerges
Central incisor 7 to 8 years
Lateral incisor 8 to 9 years
Canine (cuspid) 11 to 12 years
First premolar (first bicuspid) 10 to 11 years
Second premolar (second bicuspid) 10 to 12 years
First molar 6 to 7 years
Second molar 12 to 13 years
Third molar (wisdom teeth) 17 to 21 years

Lower Permanent Teeth Development

Lower Teeth When tooth emerges
Third molar (wisdom tooth) 17 to 21 years
Second molar 11 to 13 years
First molar 6 to 7 years
Second premolar (second bicuspid) 11 to 12 years
First premolar (first bicuspid) 10 to 12 years
Canine (cuspid) 9 to 10 years
Lateral incisor 7 to 8 years
Central incisor 6 to 7 years

The first permanent molars  begin to erupt into the mouth at around the age of 6, they do not replace any baby teeth, they come in behind the last primary molars. By age 13 most of the 28 permanent teeth will be in their respective places in the mouth. The wisdom teeth will erupt (or not if they are impacted or missing) between the ages of 17 and 22. If we count the wisdom teeth we all should have 32 permanent teeth erupting into the mouth when the process is complete.

Tooth Eruption Conclusion

Tooth eruption schedules can be confusing due to the broad age ranges. Understanding the role of primary teeth in growth and development is what is most important. Irregular timing of tooth development, missing teeth, crowded teeth, extra teeth, misshapen teeth should always be assessed by your dentist. A full examination with xrays should help fully assess your child’s dental development. The earlier issues are found, they can be addressed and treated, allowing for the best future outcomes. If you have any questions regarding the timing, amount of teeth, etc. have your dentist do a full assessment so that all of your questions can be answered.

Dental care for children is one of the most important events in a child’s development. Not only will good dental care and experiences set the tone for an entire life of dental Pediatric Dentistry Marielaina Perrone DDScare but also keep them healthy and happy. The first dental visit is an extremely important step in a child’s life.

Best Age For First Visit?

The ideal time for a child’s first dental visit is about 6 months after the first tooth eruption, or up to 2 years old. The reason for this timing is to give the dentist a chance to assess development of the child’s mouth as well as to dispense dental hygiene instructions, help with teething, thumb sucking, and pacifier sucking issues to the parents. Dental issues, and tooth decay can start early, so it is best to see the dentist sooner than later.

So What happens at the first visit?

The first dental visit is usually quite short and probably will not involve any treatment. This visit is usually designed as a meet and greet in a non threatening and very friendly way. Usually the child will sit in the parents lap, and experience a ” tell, show, do” visit. This is where the dentist talks to the child , shows the instruments, lets them touch things, and does a limited dental examination. Depending on the dentist and child, parents may or may not be asked to wait outside. Each child, and parent will be different in how they handle being at the dentist.

During the dental examination, your dentist will check all of your child’s existing teeth for tooth decay, examine your child’s bite, and look for any potential problems with the gums, jaw, and oral tissues. If necessary, the dentist will clean any teeth and check the need for fluoride application. The big component of the first dental visit at this age is dental hygiene education as well as answering any questions that parents might have.

Pediatric Dentistry Marielaina Perrone DDSThe early dental visit will help you and your child build trust in your dentist. As a parent, you will see, that every 6 months there is a huge change in your child’s development and maturity. So, be assured, that even if your child cannot handle very much the first visit, it will become markedly easier at the next 6 month visit. For a child, they will become used to the dental visits, and usually look forward to them.

Dental Education Can Include:

-How to maintain a good oral hygiene regimen for your child’s teeth and gums as well as cavity prevention.

-Assess the need for fluoride supplements.

-Oral habits and their effects. These include thumb sucking, pacifier habits, and tongue thrusting.

-Developmental issues like teething.

Nutrition instructions including foods, and beverages to avoid to decrease chance of tooth decay.

-Schedule of dental examinations. Most children are seen every 6 months just like adults. This allows the child to become more and more comfortable at the dentist as well as allow the dentist to closely monitor development and promptly treat any issues.

First Dental X-Rays for Children?

In general, dental x-rays should be taken when a child has back teeth which are in tight contact with each other, when a cavity is detected, or an anomaly is noted. Back teeth x-rays, (bite wings) and a jaw x-ray,(panoramic) should be taken by age 6 to assess developing teeth. It all depends on the children and their risk levels for dental problems like tooth decay or cleft lip/palate. If the child is deemed to be at a higher risk, then x-rays will be necessary earlier. Most children will have had their first dental x-rays by age 6. Dental X-rays play an important role in allowing your dentist to see if all permanent teeth are developing properly in your child’s jaw as well as detecting tooth decay.

Conclusion

The main takeaway is that children need proper dental care and instruction to maintain their dental health. The earlier you get started with your kids the better off they will be  as children and as adults.

 

Teething – The eruption and cutting of teeth especially the primary teeth.

Teething can be a very difficult time for parents and child. The child will experience some level of discomfort and most parents cannot bear to see their children hurting at all. Not to mention the possible loss of sleep for baby and parents.

Signs and Symptoms of Teething

By age 2 and 1/2 most children have all 20 of their primary teeth. During the process of teeth erupting into the mouth, your child may experience some signs and symptoms. These can include the following:

-Excessive Drooling. Many babies drool so much during the teething process that it is hard to even begin to keep them dry. Teething stimulates drooling and it begins for most babies at about 10 weeks of age.

 –Rash on cheeks or chin. The rash development is linked to excessive drooling. If your baby is drooling excessively, they may develop a dry skin rash around the mouth, and on their chin due to contact with the excessive saliva. Drying the skin around the mouth frequently will help prevent the rash. Use of a gentle skin cream will help moisturize the rash, helping it to heal faster.

 –Coughing. Sometimes the drool will make babies cough for no apparent reason. The baby is actually gagging a little on the excessive drool. The baby should be monitored if this persists and also check to ensure there are no other signs or symptoms of cold, allergies, or flu present.

-Chewing or Biting. As the teeth begin to push through the gums it can cause some discomfort for the baby. Babies learn very quickly that counter pressure will sooth that discomfort. That is why they enjoy chewing on things, especially cold, around this time. This can also be a tough time for mom if she is breast feeding.

-Discomfort or Pain. Every baby will be affected differently. Some experience terrible pain and others barely anything. The first teeth to erupt usually cause the most pain or discomfort. Most babies eventually get used to the pain or discomfort and it is not as severe after the initial tooth eruptions.

 –Irritability. Babies will become irritable during this time as their sleep is affected by chronic discomforts. The same could be said for some parents!

 –Refusing to Feed or Eat. The suction of feeding can cause babies discomfort during this time. Teething babies sometimes become fussy about feedings and become even angrier when they get hungrier and hungrier. Talk to your pediatrician about possibly offering solid foods to baby during this time if they are not already on them. The chewing will relieve some of the discomfort.

 -Development of Diarrhea. This has caused some division among pediatricians but some parents report the development of diarrhea during the teething process. Either way it is important to keep your baby hydrated during the teething process. Speak to your pediatrician if the diarrhea persists.

-Development of a Low grade fever. The fever is believed to be due to the inflammatory process in the body. As the teeth erupt, the babies gum tissue becomes inflamed and this inflammation can sometimes produce a low grade fever (less than 101 degrees F). Treat as you would any other low grade fever but if it persists call your doctor.

-Poor Sleeping Habits. The teething process does not only happen during the day, it can spill over into the evenings. The teething discomfort can disrupt nap time as well as night time sleeping.

-Gum Hematoma. Teething can cause bleeding under the gum tissue, which looks like a bluish lump. It is not anything to be worried about and can heal faster with the help of a cold compress.

-Ear pulling; cheek rubbing. Teething babies may tug on their ears or rub their cheeks or chin. The reason for this is that these areas all share the same nerve pathways. Discomfort in the mouth can travel to other areas in and around the face. Be on the lookout for an ear infection as well. Babies who have ear infections have similar symptoms.

Relief From Teething

There are some things parents can do to make their babies feel better. They include:

-Chewing. As mentioned earlier, chewing soothes teething babies. Some good choices might be rubber teething rings and rattles for them to chew on. Another good option is a frozen, wet washcloth to let them chew on. Our babies liked cold, peeled carrots, they are large,  impossible to swallow or chew, but taste good and are not too hard. The cold will relieve the discomfort.

-Rubbing. Your finger rubbed firmly on baby’s gums, or a wet washcloth, can provide the same soothing counter pressure. Your baby may not like it at first because it might initially hurt, but the counter pressure will bring relief.

Pain relief. If all of the above do not work to relieve the teething discomfort you may want to turn to some sort of pain relief. Acetominophen (Tylenol) is an excellent choice, but as always, check with your pediatrician before using any medications. Some people like to use topical numbing agents, like Anbesol, but babies tend to get very upset with the feeling it gives.

Conclusion on Teething

Teething can be a difficult time for both parents and baby, but armed with good educational information, you can get through it as easily as possible. Follow the tips above to keep you and your baby happy and comfortable.