Nothing is as cute as the missing front teeth of a child. The huge gap between the teeth is indicative of a major milestone that every child must pass through as they grow. This change in a child’s dental formula shows that he or she is ready to develop permanent teeth that will last for their lives.


So what should you expect with the next teething phase? Well, let’s find out more!


How many teeth do we have?


Primary teeth or milk teeth refer to the first teeth that erupt through the gums when a baby is about 6 months to 3 years old. The teeth begin to develop inside the gums even before the baby is born, but they erupt a few months or years after birth.


Primary teeth are divided into two parts; 10 teeth on top, and 10 at the bottom. As soon as your child reaches 5 years or 6 years old, the milk teeth will start to fall off as permanent teeth begin to form. Your child will then end up with 16 teeth on top and 16 on the bottom to form thirty two teeth in total.


When do permanent teeth come in?


Permanent teeth typically erupt in the same manner as primary teeth, but at different ages. The first to erupt are the lower central incisors (front bottom teeth), followed by the front top teeth before the back molars begin to pop out.


In most cases, the first teeth to come out are usually replacements of the first primary teeth to fall out. However, dental damage caused by poor oral hygiene, medical conditions or accidents to the face, jaw or mouth may rearrange the order in which the permanent teeth will start to erupt.


You should expect your child to lose teeth when they reach school-going age (5 – 6 years). These include the four front bottom and top teeth, commonly known as the central incisors. The child will also lose four canines and eight molars. Interestingly two of the molars that come in as permanent teeth, arrive without replacing the primary teeth.


Majority of the permanent teeth arrive when a child is about 12 to 13 years old. The last to arrive is normally the wisdom teeth or the third molars. In some cases, the wisdom teeth may never form, but if they do, they usually arrive when your child is a teenager turning into a young adult (between 17 – 21 years). You should consult your dentist on the proper ways to clean the wisdom teeth. In some cases, the wisdom teeth may have to be removed if they erupt inappropriately.


Bottom line:


Good oral care is vital to maintaining the health and appearance of permanent teeth. If your teeth are in good shape, you can always afford a happy, confident smile for years to come. For more information on how to take care of your teeth, please don’t hesitate to contact an experienced family dentist.

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