Your Guide to Healthy Teeth from Teething to Teen
While teaching good dental care habits is a cornerstone of parenting during the early years of your child’s life, it is more typically associated with a lesson in responsibility than in the preservation of the baby teeth. However, it is equally important to care for your child’s baby teeth as it is to teach them to care for their adult teeth. Tooth decay and gum disease can impact your child’s overall health. And, while you may get two sets of teeth, you only get one set of gums, one jawbone, and one shot at keeping them all clean and healthy for a lifetime. Use this guide to build a comprehensive dental care plan for your child’s teeth during every stage of life, and remember to visit an affordable dentist twice a year.
Below is a chart that shows the general timeline of when a child’s baby teeth (also known as primary teeth) will emerge and eventually be lost. Keep in mind that this is an average—the emergence of baby teeth varies among children.
Most children experience the eruption of their first baby tooth around six months of age. Typically, the two bottom central incisors erupt first, followed by the top four front teeth. As time moves forward, the other teeth fill in, in pairs, one each for the upper, lower, left, and right sides of the mouth. Twenty teeth in total complete the set, in most cases by the age of 2½ to 3 years of age and remain in place until 6 or 7 years old.
Primary Teeth Development Chart
|Central incisor||8 to 12 months||6 to 7 yrs|
|Lateral incisor||9 to 13 months||7 to 8 yrs|
|Canine (cuspid)||16 to 22 months||10 to 12 yrs|
|First molar||13 to 19 months||9 to 11 yrs|
|Second molar||25 to 33 months||10 to 12 yrs|
|Second molar||23 to 31 months||10 to 12 yrs|
|First molar||14 to 18 months||9 to 11 yrs|
|Canine (cuspid)||17 to 23 months||9 to 12 yrs|
|Lateral incisor||10 to 16 months||7 to 8 yrs|
|Central incisor||6 to 10 months||6 to 7 yrs|
Facts about Baby Teeth
- To estimate a timeline for eruption of your baby’s teeth, calculate the emergence of 4 teeth for every 6 months of life.
- Most girls will experience tooth eruption earlier than boys.
- Lower teeth often emerge first.
- Teeth erupt in pairs, generally: one on the left and one on the right.
- Primary teeth are whiter in color than secondary teeth.
- At around 2 to 3 years of age, all the teeth should have emerged and the growth of the jaw and facial bones begins to take place. At age 4, spaces are created between the primary teeth to make way for the larger, permanent teeth that will ultimately emerge. From age 6 until age 12, both baby teeth and adult teeth will comprise your child’s smile.
Why Care for Baby Teeth?
- The baby teeth reserve space for the adult teeth.
- The primary teeth shape the face of your child.
- The baby teeth play a vital role in the development of your child’s speech patterns.
- Missing or decayed teeth make it difficult to chew and may cause your child to reject food, impairing consumption of vital nutrients.
Decay and infection in primary teeth can lead to damage in the secondary teeth, making proper dental care and regular visits to a family dentistry expert vital to future oral health.
To get the dental care you deserve from an affordable dentist in St. Clair Shores, call Gentle Dental of St. Clair Shores today at (248) 850-1809 or make an appointment.
Gentle Dental offers affordable family dentistry and gentle, compassionate dental care in St. Clair Shores. With 8 affiliated practices throughout Michigan, our offices are conveniently located with extended hours to meet your needs. At Gentle Dental of St. Clair Shores, we provide most dental services, from basic preventative care and general dentistry to specialized procedures and complete dental reconstruction. We accept most dental insurance plans and offer affordable financial solutions for any budget. Patient satisfaction is our top priority and we strive to provide the exceptional, affordable dental care and personal touch that lead to lasting relationships. A smiling patient is our greatest reward and we look forward to keeping those smiles healthy, beautiful, and bright. Discover an affordable dentist who truly cares at Gentle Dental of St. Clair Shores.