The process of tooth eruption is largely viewed as a benchmark for the growth and maturation of healthy children. The correct emergence of baby and permanent teeth alike is not only extremely important in relation to children’s lifelong dental health but to their overall health and well being as well. Pristine oral health practices are extremely important during the specific time span of permanent tooth eruption. Proper oral care during this time aids in the development of strong permanent teeth to last a lifetime.
Primary Teeth Vs. Permanent Teeth
Starting with the appearance of the 1st tooth around 6-8 months old, children develop a set of 20 primary or baby teeth (10 upper and 10 lower). The primary teeth serve many important developmental purposes including helping young children chew, form proper nutritional habits, establish correct speech, and hold the right amount of space in the jaw for the eventual emergence of the permanent teeth. Usually children will ‘grow in’ around 4 new baby teeth every 6 months (after the appearance of the 1st tooth). Typically the lower teeth start coming in before the upper teeth, and in general, the entire tooth eruption process tends to begin earlier for girls than boys. In both jaws, teeth most often erupt in pars, which means corresponding teeth on the left and right sides of the jaw will emerge around the same time. Most children have a complete set of primary teeth between 2 and 3 years of age.
In due course, a set of 32 permanent teeth (16 upper and 16 lower) replaces the baby teeth over a span of many years. Adult teeth are normally less white than baby teeth and much bigger. These teeth make up the smile a person must take proper care of for the rest of their life, and for which spacing in the mouth is crucial. Some permanent teeth, like the ‘six-year molars,’ emerge in a place a baby tooth did not formerly house, while others directly replace primary teeth. Optimal oral hygiene and care must be practiced with the primary teeth in order for the correct spacing to be preserved for the orderly and ideal eruption of the permanent set of teeth. The space maintained for the adult teeth may be jeopardized if baby teeth fall out or are removed to early due to dental decay, accidental dental trauma, etc. This can cause major problems with the eruption and spacing of the permanent smile.
When Do Children Start Getting Permanent Teeth?
The baby teeth begin to fall out, and the first permanent teeth customarily appear around 6 or 7 years old. The teeth are called the ‘six year molars’ and emerge in the back of the jaw, making it easy to mistake them for primary teeth. It is extremely important for parents to notice when these teeth begin to appear and make sure children take special care for them, since they must last a lifetime. Additionally, these molars have a part in the process of the formation of the lower face shape. Furthermore, the eruption and health of ‘six year molars’ significantly influences the positioning and condition of other permanent teeth.
At 13 years old, most children have at least 20 of their 32 permanent teeth, if not more. The order and specific age children lose their baby teeth may differ depending on various affecting circumstances or factors, such as hereditary components. The below discussed schedule for permanent tooth eruption is purely estimated.
In What Order Do Permanent Teeth Surface?
As referenced, the first permanent teeth erupt through the gums around 6 or 7 years old. Around the age of 21, most people have a full set of 32 permanent teeth (34 with the wisdom teeth). The ‘wisdom teeth’, also known as the ‘third molars,’ are the very last teeth to grow in and usually start surfacing between 17 and 21 years. These teeth are often difficult to care for, hard to keep clean, and tend to crowd other teeth. They are not necessary for chewing, so dentists typically recommend the extraction of these teeth before they emerge, in order to prevent complications like partial eruption or dental impaction. Altogether, the permanent teeth usually come in, fully, over the course of about 15 years. This process is depicted in following schedule, which is entirely approximate: