It's important to note
that eruption times vary form child to child just as the individual
growth rates between children vary. Normally, no teeth are visible
in the mouth at birth. Occasionally, however, some babies are
born with an erupted incisor (neonatal tooth), but these are
not true teeth and are lost soon after birth.
The first baby teeth
to erupt are usually the lower two front incisors (mandibular
central incisors) at about 6 months of age. They are followed
by the 4 upper front teeth. The remainder of your child's teeth
will appear periodically, usually in pairs on each side of the
jaw, until all 20 baby teeth have come in at about 2 1/2 years
of age. The last teeth to emerge are the top two molars (maxillary
second molars at 30 months). The complete set of baby teeth
are in the mouth from 2 years to 5 3/4 or 6 years of age (when
no permanent teeth are present). Shortly after your child's
4th birthday, their jaw and facial bones will begin to grow
creating spaces between their teeth. This is frequently a concern
to parents, but it’s a perfectly natural process of providing
the necessary space for the larger permanent teeth to emerge.
A good rule of thumb
concerning baby teeth is that for every 6 months, approximately
4 teeth will erupt. So, if your child is 12 months, you should
expect 8 teeth.
Though baby teeth are
only in the mouth for a short time, they play a vital role in
reserving space for their permanent counterparts. The primary
teeth are crucial to your child's normal facial appearance and
the formulation of clear speech. Missing or decayed baby teeth
often cause children to reject foods that are difficult to chew.
Decay and infection in baby teeth can cause dark spots on the
permanent tooth developing beneath it.
The following diagram
shows approximately when each baby tooth should erupt. Many
variations occur, but the usual order of appearance is as follows
- Teeth tend
to erupt in pairs.
- Lower teeth usually erupt before the upper teeth
- Girls generally preceded boys in tooth eruption
The teeth in
both jaws usually erupt in pairs - one on the right and one
on the left.
By the time
the child reaches the age of two to three years, all the deciduous
(baby) teeth should have erupted.
Dates for Baby Teeth
At about 6 years
of age, the first permanent molars (upper and lower) and lower
permanent incisors begin to erupt. Between the age of approximately
6 and 12 years, children have a mixture of permanent and deciduous
teeth. This is known as the mixed dentition stage. By the age
of 12 most children have all their permanent teeth, except for
their wisdom teeth.
Dates for Permanent Teeth
of Baby Teeth
during the fourth month of fetal life. By the end of the sixth
month, all of the deciduous teeth have begun to calcify. By
the time the deciduous teeth have fully erupted (2 to 2 1/2
years of age), calcification of the permanent crowns has begun.
on the Importance of Baby Teeth...
As a rule, baby
teeth that become decayed should be restored and preserved until
their normal time of exfoliation.
Though the issue of cost is relevant (baby teeth are temporary),
they’re all your child has to chew with, speak with, and smile
with for a number of years. They play an important role in their
second molars are particularly important. It is imperative that
the deciduous second molars be preserved until their normal
time of exfoliation. This prevents the mesial migration of the
first permanent molars.