Baby teeth, also known as deciduous teeth, are the first teeth that appear in the early years of a child’s life. There are 20 deciduous teeth in all. Baby teeth eruption typically begins around 6-8 months and lasts for up to three years of age. This process completes the eruption of the first set of teeth. Later children lose the deciduous teeth when they are replaced by adult teeth.
Baby Teeth Eruption Sequence
The upper and lower equivalents of teeth generally appear around the same time, within a few months of each other. However, there are specific time frames for when each set of molars, incisors, and canines appear in the mouth. While it may seem strange, the first molars typically erupt before the canines do. By around three years of age, all 20 of the deciduous teeth should have erupted.
Losing the Deciduous Teeth
Deciduous teeth are lost, usually between the ages of 6 and 13 in a child. The deciduous teeth are generally lost in the same order in which they are gained. Children typically also have their first permanent molars come through around the age of six. These molars do not depend on the loss of deciduous teeth and are adult molars. It is very important that children are taught to keep the first molars clean by reaching back to clean their last teeth. Often, the first adult molars are protected with fissure sealants.
When to See a Dentist
While some children may experience tooth eruption earlier or later than average, there should not be any reason for concern unless the order of eruption is not in the correct sequence. If you think that there is a problem, because your child’s teeth are not erupting as they should, it may be time to see a dentist.