Permanent Tooth Eruption In Children
Viewed widely as a milestone for development and growth in children, the process of tooth emergence is extremely important to overall health and wellbeing. Permanent tooth eruption and proper oral care during this span of time, specifically, is crucial in the establishment and preservation of a healthy smile that lasts a lifetime. Our dental topics page provides other information on oral hygiene during pediatric dentistry.
Baby Teeth Vs. Permanent Tooth Eruption In Children
Children first grow a set of primary or “baby” teeth, beginning with the eruption of the first tooth around six months of age. The baby teeth help kids chew, develop proper speech and nutritional habits, and maintain space for the permanent teeth, which start erupting through the gums as the primary teeth naturally fall out. Typically, about every six months, around four primary teeth will “come in.” Generally, the lower teeth start emerging before the upper teeth, and the process of tooth eruption tends to begin earlier for girls than boys. Usually, teeth surface in pairs in both jaws, meaning one comes in on the right side and an analogous tooth also some in on the left side. Between the ages of 2 and 3 years old, however, a child should have a full set of 20 baby teeth, 10 upper teeth and 10 lower teeth.
A set of 32 permanent teeth eventually replaces the primary teeth, 16 in the upper jaw and 16 in the lower jaw. Permanent teeth are much larger and are usually less white in color naturally than the baby teeth. The permanent teeth comprise the smile that a person has for a lifetime, and spacing in the mouth is pivotal. Some permanent teeth directly replace primary teeth, and some erupt in places a baby tooth did not previously exist. For proper spacing to be maintained for the eventual emergence of the permanent set of teeth, optimal oral care must be practiced with the primary smile. If baby teeth fall out too soon due to disease or accidents or must be removed by a dentist for any reason, the space that tooth held for a primary tooth may be compromised, causing problems with permanent tooth eruption.
When Does Permanent Tooth Eruption In Children Occur?
The first permanent teeth usually erupt around 6 or 7 years of age. These teeth are often termed the “six-year molars,” and are amid the teeth that do not take the place of a preceding primary tooth. These teeth surface in the back of the jaw and are often confused with baby teeth, but it is crucial they be well cared for to last a lifetime. These first permanent molars also help form the shape of the lower face as well as impact the placement and health of other permanent teeth.
By 13 years of age, most kids have 28 of their 32 permanent teeth. The exact age and order children shed their primary teeth may vary depending on multiple affecting factors suck as hereditary influences. The schedule provided below for permanent tooth eruption is strictly approximate.
In What Order Do Permanent Teeth Erupt?
As mentioned, permanent teeth begin emerging through the surface of the gums around 6 or 7 years old, and by 21 the majority of people have a full set of permanent teeth. The final teeth to erupt in a person’s life are the “third molars” or “wisdom teeth,” which come in between 17 and 21 years of age. These teeth often crowd other teeth and are difficult to keep clean. Dentists usually recommend the removal of wisdom teeth before they erupt. Overall, permanent teeth typically erupt over the span of about fifteen years according to the following approximate schedule: