Seeing a child’s first tooth erupt provokes mixed emotions in parents. That cute gummy smile will soon give way to a child’s smile. It can be frustrating when teething pain makes babies irritable, yet it is exciting to witness this human milestone. Understanding the different tooth development stages can help you set your child up for a lifetime of good oral health.
Birth to 3 Years Old
Although they eventually fall out, primary teeth, commonly called baby teeth, play an extremely important role in the different tooth development stages. They hold space in the jaws for the upcoming permanent teeth. Baby teeth begin appearing at about six months of age, almost always starting with the lower central (front) incisors. Primary teeth not only enable your child to chew solid foods; they are important for proper speaking and appearance.
3 to 6 Years Old
By the time your child is 3 years old, they will most likely have all 20 of their primary teeth. This is a critical time for oral health. You should demonstrate proper technique and help your child brush their teeth twice a day, and floss daily.
6 to 12 Years Old
Between the ages of 6 and 12 years old, your child will gradually lose all their primary teeth and their first permanent (adult) teeth will move into place. Permanent teeth affect the position and health of the other adult teeth that will grow in later.
12 to 17 Years Old
After the age of 12, your child will likely have most of their adult teeth. Oral health becomes critical because these are the teeth they will have for the rest of their life. Stress the importance of avoiding excess sugar, which can lead to tooth decay. If your kid plays sports, insist they wear a mouth guard to protect tooth trauma. If your child appears to have crooked teeth or an odd bite, visit us so we can evaluate them for braces.
17 to 21 Years Old
The last teeth to appear are wisdom teeth. Often, we recommend that these teeth be removed to prevent overcrowding which can lead to many oral health problems later in life.
Teeth are constantly changing throughout childhood. How you take care of your child’s teeth at different tooth development stages impacts their future oral health. Contact us today to schedule your child’s first appointment. Their smile is important; let us partner with you to protect it.