About Baby Teeth

babyteeth3A baby’s 20 primary teeth are already present in the jaws at birth. The first teeth to emerge are the lower central incisors—the bottom middle teeth—between 4 and 7 months. The last primary teeth—the upper second molars—emerge around 25 to 33 months. So by age 3, most kids can flash a full set of 20 baby teeth and give you a brilliant grin.

Eventually, the 20 primary teeth are replaced by 32 permanent teeth. The primary molars are replaced by permanent premolars (also called bicuspids) and the permanent molars come in behind the primary teeth.

It takes about six years, between the ages of six and 12, for children to lose their primary (deciduous) teeth and gain their permanent teeth. This is called the period of “mixed dentition,” because for much of the time, children will have both primary and permanent teeth.

The jaw lengthens as a child grows to create space for these permanent molars. Teeth form under the gum before they erupt (emerge through the gum). The crown, or visible part of the tooth, forms before the roots do. Before the roots form, the developing tooth is called a “tooth bud.”

The order in which teeth emerge can vary. Parents should be more concerned about symmetry (the same teeth coming in at the same time on both sides) than the time teeth emerge.

When a baby tooth is lost too early, the permanent teeth can drift into the empty space and make it difficult for other adult teeth to find room when they come in. This can make teeth crooked or crowded.

If you are looking for a dentist in the Troy and Birmingham area who utilizes the latest dental techniques and technology, be sure to check out Dr. Douglas Angell. Angell’s Dentistry is committed to providing each of our patients with a beautiful, healthy smile and unmatched dental care. Give our office a call at (248) 362-4330 and be sure to visit our website at: www.angellsdentistry.com.

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