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Dental Anatomy and Tooth Eruption

Primary teeth

There are 20 primary or baby teeth. Each child’s teeth erupt at a different age. Some come in sooner and some later, so parents should not be alarmed if their child’s teeth erupt at a different age or a different sequence than listed below.

The first teeth to erupt are the lower central incisors which usually appear around six months of age. The last primary teeth to erupt are the second molars, which generally erupt at approximately 2 years of age.

Usually girls' teeth erupt somewhat earlier than boys’ teeth and lower teeth tend to erupt earlier than the corresponding upper teeth.

Primary teeth serve several purposes:

  • They are essential for nutritional intake and proper mastication (chewing)
  • They aid your child in speech development as teeth aid in forming correct sounds
  • They act as space maintainers for the permanent teeth which will not begin erupting until about the age of 6

Permanent teeth

Including wisdom teeth, the adult mouth contains 32 teeth. Permanent teeth generally erupt following the same sequence as baby teeth. Commonly, if a child’s primary teeth erupted at an early age, his permanent teeth will do likewise. The converse also appears to be true.

Permanent teeth begin their eruption patter between the ages of 6 and 8.

The permanent teeth , if well maintained and taken care of properly are meant to last a lifetime.