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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.





Starting off right is true for many things in life but it is especially true in dental care. Building a good dental health foundation early in life will pay big dividends as our children get older. These habits will allow your children to maintain a healthy smile as a child and as an adult. Not only will their teeth be healthier but so will their overall general health. Self care is one of the most important lessons a parent can teach a child.

Pediatric Dental Care Tips

Start Early. Many parents falsely believe that since primary teeth will fall out anyway that they are not important. This is totally false. A child’s dental care begins when that first tooth erupts into the mouth. These teeth will be small but can be brushed with a soft infant toothbrush or a wet washcloth. The general rule of thumb is the first dental visit should by at or around age 1. These visits will be educational for the parents but also allow the child to feel comfortable in the dental office. Early treatment will also save you money over time as you will catch any issues early and also learn proper prevention techniques.

Include Your Child. As your child matures they can handle more of the responsibility of dental hygiene. They will feel good about themselves and feel like a big kid if they can accomplish these simple tasks. Some good tips to get them to brush properly include playing their favorite song while they brush or even give them a small reward when they do a good job. Many parents simply allow their children to brush on their own. This can be a big mistake. You need to check that they did a good job especially early on.

Nutrition Is A Factor. Eating right will not only help your childs growth and development but it will also help with their dental health. Eating a balanced diet will help your child’s teeth to develop properly becoming strong. Limit the sugars that they eat but know it is impossible to avoid sugars totally. If your child does snack on a sugary treat make sure they brush and rinse after finishing. This will minimize the chances of tooth decay developing.

Beware Of Medications. Many children’s medications have a lot of sugar in their ingredients. This gives childrens medicine their better taste and make them easier to drink. So beware of this and make sure your child rinses with water following taking their medications or even better brush following. Another tip is for children with asthma. Asthma inhalers will develop bacteria over time and need to be cleaned daily. These inhalers will also dry out your child’s mouth which can lead to tooth decay as well. Our saliva is our natural defense against tooth decay.

Stop Pacifier Use By Age 2. Pacifiers are very dangerous to your child’s teeth as they get older. Continuing pacifier use past age 2 could lead to malocclusions (crooked teeth with an open bite).

Rethink Your Child’s Drink Choice. Many children enjoy juice and use a sippy cup until they are old enough to use a regular glass. You should never let them fall asleep in their crib with a juice cup. It will lead to what is called baby bottle tooth decay. Giving juice to your child is totally ok but do not allow them to sip slowly on the juice cup. It is best to finish it all at once and then rinse with water or brush. Milk is actually the better choice if the child will drink it.

Beware Of Teeth Grinding. Teeth grinding is quite common in children under the age of 7 years old. It usually stops on its own with no damage to the teeth. If it persists, call your dentist to evaluate the cause of the issue. Many times it can be a change in routine, or a problem at school that they are unable to communicate properly. Children who are hyperactive or have certain medical conditions, such as cerebral palsy, may also grind.

Pediatric Dentistry Conclusion

Maintaining good dental health for our children can be challenging for many parents. The results are worthwhile as your children will be happier and healthier. As always visit your dentist regularly for regular dental examinations and professional cleaning.



Many people assume that a baby’s teeth  are not important to care for because they will fall out eventually. This is simply not so. Not only can breakdown of these primary teeth cause severe discomfort and infection to your child, they can also have far reaching consequences into adulthood. As a matter of fact, in many ways, the primary teeth are just as important as the permanent teeth. Below are the top reasons why!

Caring For Your Child’s Teeth

Function. The primary function for any tooth whether it be primary or permanent is to chew and break down food for nutrition. Without teeth, it becomes extremely difficult to eat most hard, crunchy, healthy foods. No one wants their child to suffer the pain or embarrassment of tooth loss due to decay or infection. It may take years for the next tooth to emerge and allow him or her to eat properly again.

Development. Our teeth are essential in the development of a growing child. The growth of the jaws are triggered by the teeth. The teeth give the body a guide with which to grow from. Without this guide, there could be significant growth issues of the face, jaw, and bite. Also, without the primary teeth as space holders, the permanent teeth will have no room to enter into the mouth and cause crowding issues which can lead to periodontal disease, tooth decay, and occlusion issues. Some of these problems may be correctable with orthodontics (braces) and possibly a retainer, but some require further tooth loss, and possibly surgery. Most of these corrective measures are quite expensive. Taking the time to care for the baby teeth to prevent these problems is a far less costly and helps keep your child healthy.

Preventing Pain and Discomfort. Tooth decay is quite prevalent in today’s American child. This can be easily prevented with proper dental hygiene maintenance and a healthy diet. When tooth decay does occur, it is best to get it fixed right away,when it is small, and before the child even notices it. Tooth decay can progress quite quickly if left untreated, especially in primary(baby) teeth. If left untreated, tooth decay will cause pain, infection, and discomfort to your child as well as a more expensive option to repair (like tooth extraction, baby root canal or a stainless steel crown).

Infections in the baby teeth can lead to long term problems in the gums.  Infections can also  cause problems with the development of the permanent teeth.

Learning Tool. Baby teeth are the ultimate training ground for your children. It gives them a chance to learn good oral hygiene that will carry over into adulthood. Teaching them proper techniques and habits will be a lesson that will serve them well as they grow older into adulthood and beyond. These habits should include brushing, flossing, rinsing with an anti bacterial mouthwash, choosing healthy snack and meal options, and visiting the dentist at least twice a year.

Conclusion

Baby teeth are often misunderstood in their role of development. They are very important in a child’s development and should be treated with the utmost care. With proper care, a child will be proud of their smile, and have easy, fun, informative dental visits. If issues do arise, they should be treated early. The dentist and parents should be partners in a child’s dental care.



Cosmetic dentistry is often perceived as an adult only option in dentistry. While that may be the case most of the time, cosmetic dentistry options for kids do exist. Most of these cosmetic dentistry options for younger patients tend to be minimally invasive.  Cosmetic dentistry for children is a delicate balance between changing a smile and the growth of the child. Adult procedures generally do not translate well to children. Children are still growing, so that must be kept in mind at all times. Usually at this stage, you want something that is only semi-permanent.

Minimally Invasive Dentistry

These procedures are the best option for most younger, still developing patients. Removing tooth structure is permanent so it is wise to consider the long term implications. Minimally invasive cosmetic dentistry strives to conserve healthy tooth structure by allowing the dentist to perform the least amount of dentistry possible. This entails never removing more tooth structure than is required to restore teeth to their optimal condition.

What are the best options for minimally invasive cosmetic dentistry for children?

Dental Flipper. This procedure is used  if a child loses a tooth do to trauma or tooth decay, because a dental implant is not an option before age 17 or 18.   The traditional option has been to create this removable appliance (called a flipper) with a fake tooth on it. This appliance may help with self confidence, and speech if more than one tooth is missing.

Dental Bonding. Bonding is generally used to repair decayed teeth, while restoring their natural color and shape.

No Prep Veneers. This type of cosmetic dentistry veneer is placed over the existing teeth with bonding. No tooth structure is removed and the veneers can be removed at any time.

White crowns. In the past, stainless steel crowns have been used to restore broken down primary teeth. There are new, highly cosmetic, white crowns which can be utilized in the same manner.

Teeth Whitening. This is not recommended in younger patients. If the patient and parent are to request this, it is usually recommended to wait until the teenage years. In some instances this is a viable option to correct a tooth that has discolored due to trauma.

Limited Orthodontics. Early intervention orthodontics can be considered minimally invasive in some cases. Bringing teeth in line not only improves ones cosmetic smile but it also makes it easier to maintain dental health. Teeth that are crowded will be much more difficult to keep clean.

Cosmetic Dentistry Conclusion

Cosmetic dentistry can be a great option for children if tailored to their current and future needs. As our younger patients age, they become hyper aware of their bodies and may request changes that may or may not be possible. This awareness will affect a child’s self esteem and self confidence, so if a cosmetic dentist can make minimally invasive changes then, large positive results may be incurred. Cosmetic dentistry procedures can give a tremendous boost to the young patients as they mature into young adults.