A Parent’s Guide to Tooth Eruption
At Spokane Dental, we are committed to helping people achieve and maintain their healthiest smiles. We understand that good oral health goes beyond just having a beautiful smile—it is vital for your overall well-being. One important aspect of dental health is understanding the stages of tooth eruption in children, as well as knowing when they lose their baby teeth and any problems that may arise during this process.
As a parent, it's natural to be curious about when your child's teeth will start coming in. The process of tooth eruption begins early in life, even before your baby is born. However, the visible eruption of teeth typically occurs between the ages of 6 months and 3 years. The exact timing can vary from child to child, but the sequence of eruption generally follows a pattern. It is important to note that like all aspects of health, there are many variations of “normal”- some infants are born with teeth, while some children’s teeth erupt later than average.
These are the average times that a parent can expect to begin seeing their children’s teeth erupt:
Primary Teeth (Baby Teeth) Eruption:
- Around 6 months: The first teeth to emerge are usually the lower central incisors, followed by the upper central incisors.
- Between 8-12 months: The lateral incisors on both the upper and lower jaws usually come in.
- Around 16-20 months: The first molars, also known as the "back teeth," appear.
- Around 20-24 months: The canine teeth start to erupt.
- Around 2-3 years: The second molars, located at the back of the mouth, complete the primary teeth set.
- Losing Baby Teeth: The Arrival of Permanent Teeth
As your child grows, their primary teeth will eventually start to fall out, making way for the permanent teeth. This process typically begins around the age of 6 or 7 and continues until the early teenage years. Losing baby teeth is a natural part of dental development and allows the permanent teeth to take their place.
Permanent Teeth Eruption:
The order of tooth loss may not precisely follow the sequence of eruption, but generally, it goes as follows:
- Around 6-7 years: The lower and upper central incisors are often the first to be lost.
- Between 7-8 years: The lateral incisors are usually the next to go.
- Around 9-11 years: The first molars start to fall out.
- Between 10-12 years: The canine teeth are commonly lost.
- Around 10-13 years: The second molars make way for permanent teeth.
Potential Problems with Tooth Eruption
While tooth eruption is a natural process, it's essential to be aware of potential problems that may arise. Here are a few issues you should watch out for:
1. Delayed Eruption: If your child's teeth are significantly delayed in erupting, it's important to consult a dental professional. Delayed tooth eruption may be a sign of underlying issues that require attention. At Spokane Dental, we have 3D imaging that can show exactly what is going on underneath the gums, so we can treat any problems early on.
2. Overcrowding: Sometimes, permanent teeth may emerge before the baby teeth fall out, causing overcrowding. In such cases, we will evaluate the need for an orthodontic referral.
3. Impacted Teeth: Occasionally, a tooth may become impacted, meaning it is unable to fully erupt from the under the gums. This can cause pain and discomfort and may require extraction or orthodontic treatment.
Understanding the stages of tooth eruption and tooth loss is crucial for parents and caregivers. By knowing what to expect and being aware of potential problems, you can ensure your child's dental health remains in optimal condition. Regular dental check-ups with a professional, like our team at Spokane Dental, are essential for monitoring tooth development and addressing any concerns promptly. Remember, a healthy smile starts with a good foundation of teeth! Give us a call today to schedule for the whole family at (509)822-5614.