Baby Teeth, When and Why?

Baby teeth, why? And when?

The development of primary teeth starts before birth, in the second trimester of pregnancy. Sometimes a newborn can have a tooth as early as birth. The time frame for tooth eruption is an average, there will always be some discrepancy. This fact underscores the importance of regular check ups and x-rays to make sure teeth are erupting in a favourable order.

Time schedule for baby teeth:

Upper teethemerge through gumstooth falls off
Central incisor8 – 12 months old6 -7 years old
Lateral Incisors9 – 13 months old 7 -8 years old
Canines16 – 22 months old10 -12 years old
First molar13 – 19 months old9 – 11 years old
Second Molar25 – 33 months old10 -12 -years
Lower toothemerge though the gumstooth falls off
Central incisor6 – 10 months old6 – 7 years old
Lateral Incisors10 – 16 months old7 – 8 years old
Canines17 – 23 months old9 -12 years old
First Molar14 – 18 months old9 – 11 years old
Second Molar23 -31 months old10 -12 years old

The full set of primary teeth should be in place by the age of 2.5 years to 7 years old. Development of primary teeth affects the development of adult teeth underneath. A missing baby tooth most probably will end up with a missing adult tooth.

– every 6 months, 4 teeth will erupt.

– girls usually get their teeth before boys.

– Lower teeth usually precede upper ones.

– teeth erupt in pairs, left and right.

– Primary teeth are smaller than the adult ones.

So why do we have primary teeth since we will lose them?

The bone-tooth relation is an active one. Teeth are not just setting there and to give us something to chew with. Teeth induce the bone growth and direct it in the right direction. When someone loses a tooth, bone resorbs, so imagine if there were no teeth at all. And their importance is as follows:

– preserve space for adult teeth

– help form the skeletal features of the face.

– help develop speech in the child, with proper phonetics.

– healthy teeth, means baby can chew better, getting better nutrition.

Adult teeth eruption:

Upper teeth

Central incisors:                      6 – 8 years old

Lateral Incisors:                      8 – 10 years old

Canines                                   11 – 13 years old

First premolars                       10 – 11 years old

Second premolars                    10 – 12 years old

Firs molar                                6 – 7 years old

Second molar                          12 – 13 years old

Third molar (wisdom tooth)    17 – 21 years old

Adult teeth eruption

Lower teeth

Central incisors:                      6 – 7 years old

Lateral Incisors:                      7 – 8 years old

Canines                                   9 – 10 years old

First premolars                        10 – 12 years old

Second premolars                    11 – 12 years old

Firs molar                                6 – 7 years old

Second molar                          11 – 13 years old

Third molar (wisdom tooth)    17 – 21 years old

Something needs paying attention to, it the time of eruption of the first adult molar, which is around the age of 6. This molar has no baby tooth predecessor, and just erupts. This makes it parents think it is just another baby tooth, and if gets decayed, they say, why not just take it out.


Eruption schedule can vary. You must appreciate the role of baby teeth. Make sure you consult us regarding the development of your children dentition to make sure everything is ok. Developmental abnormalities can be diagnosed early and treated early.

What is your experience with your kids? when did they show their first tooth?

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