A Comprehensive Guide to Your Child’s Teeth
The emergence of the baby teeth can be a trying time for parents and even teaching your child the importance of routine dental care can be a chore. It is generally the first lesson in responsibility. While teaching routine dental care serves multiple functions, the primary goal should be your child’s oral health. The baby teeth may not be here to stay, but the gums, jawbone, and surrounding tissue must last a lifetime. Teach your child about the importance good dental care and routine visits to your family dentistry office to ensure that your child enjoys a beautiful smile from the first tooth and beyond.
The first baby tooth usually erupts around six months of age. The two bottom central incisors typically emerge first, followed by the top four front teeth. In time, the other teeth fill in, in pairs, one each for the upper, lower, left, and right sides of the mouth. A total of twenty teeth complete the set, in most cases by 2½ to 3 years of age and remain in place until the child is 6 or 7 years old.
Primary Teeth Facts
- 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 typically erupt in pairs—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.
The following chart shows when a child’s baby teeth—also known as primary teeth—will typically emerge and eventually be lost. Remember, this is an average—the emergence of baby teeth varies among children
Baby Teeth Development
|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|
Why Baby Teeth Need Dental Care
- Baby teeth reserve space for the adult teeth.
- Baby teeth play a vital role in the development of your child’s speech patterns.
- The primary teeth shape your child’s face.
- Missing or decayed teeth make it difficult to chew, which may cause your child to reject food.
Primary teeth that are decayed or infected can lead to damaged secondary teeth, making proper dental care and regular visits to an affordable dentist crucial to your child’s future oral health.
To get the dental care you deserve from an affordable dentist in Center City Philadelphia, call Gentle Dental of Center City today at (215) 941-5634 or make an appointment.
Gentle Dental offers affordable family dentistry and gentle, compassionate dental care in Center City Philadelphia. With 14 affiliated practices in the Greater Philadelphia area, our offices are conveniently located with extended hours to meet your needs. At Gentle Dental of Center City, 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 Center City.