When a child reaches their formative years, a lot of things change about their physical appearance and health. Their hair grows faster, they grow taller, they lose or gain weight, and their baby teeth are replaced by permanent teeth.
We know that children naturally lose their teeth and that it’s nothing to worry about because new and permanent teeth will grow back. However, this can be a new and worrisome experience for some parents. To help you ensure that your children develop their permanent teeth properly, it’s worth it to learn as much as you can about how it works.
Babies grow their first few baby teeth six months after their birth. At this point, you’ll notice one or two popping up, with the two bottom front teeth or central incisors showing up first. Your child will then develop their other primary teeth until they reach the age of two to three years.
By the time all their baby or primary teeth have erupted, they will have a set of 20 teeth — 10 on top and 10 below. These will all be replaced by permanent teeth at the age of five.
When a child reaches five years of age, their primary teeth will begin falling out one by one and after some time are each replaced with bigger, darker, and stronger permanent teeth. By the age of 12 or 13, all of your child’s permanent teeth will have erupted, giving them a total of 30 adult teeth — 15 on top and 15 below.
Primary teeth start being replaced by permanent teeth when your child reaches five to six years of age and can go on until they reach their teen years (12 to 13 years old). Typically, the first baby teeth that fall out are also the ones that erupted first. The order is usually as follows:
However, not all children replace their permanent teeth in the same order. It can differ depending on factors like medical conditions, trauma, tooth damage (learn how a mouthguard can help to prevent damages), or poor dental hygiene.
Lost baby teeth are replaced by permanent teeth after a short period of time. They also typically grow in the same order as when baby teeth fall out, plus two molars that come in without replacing any primary teeth.
The bottom central incisors or the two lower teeth come out first at age five to seven. This is followed by the top central incisors that can erupt at seven to eight years of age. After a year, the lateral incisors, or permanent teeth beside the two front and bottom teeth erupt. This growth of permanent teeth goes on towards the molars until the age of 12 to 13.
However, not all adult teeth become fully complete at this age. The last set of teeth called the third premolar, or more popularly known as “wisdom teeth” come out only at the age of 17 to 21. This is why wisdom tooth extractions (including preparation) are done from adolescence to young adulthood. It’s also worth noting that for some people, these third premolars never erupt.
Whether primary or permanent teeth, it’s important that proper oral hygiene and dental care are observed to ensure that they erupt optimally. Dental visits should also be conducted at least twice a year so your dentist can spot issues with permanent teeth before they arise.