An incredible amount of oral development takes place when children are growing, and it even begins before they’re born. To help parents better understand what to expect and what to watch for, as your dentist office, we explain the stages of dental development from baby teeth until children have all their adult teeth in.
Stage One: From Infancy to Age Three
This stage of a child’s oral development takes up the majority of this post, and for good reason! The teeth begin to develop before a child is even born! The first tooth develops when the mother is just six weeks into her pregnancy. Of course, these teeth do not break through the gums at this early stage, but they are developing.
For most babies, the teeth erupt between four and six months of age. The first teeth to appear are the bottom two front teeth, followed by the matching pair of teeth on the upper jaw. Then the rest of the baby (primary) teeth erupt slowly until all 20 of the baby teeth are in with ten on the top and ten on the bottom, which typically occurs by the age of three.
During the first stage of tooth development, our dentists recommend that parents bring their children in for their first dental visit by the age of one to check the development of the mouth and teeth and to discuss any concerns or questions with their child’s pediatric dentist.
This first stage of tooth development is also when teething begins. This is when children will try to put things in their mouths to ease the discomfort they feel from the teeth that are pushing through the gums.
Stage Two: Age Three to Six
The stages of tooth development become less eventful from this point on, but there is still plenty going on! For example, the first adult molars erupt during stage two. Instead of displacing the baby teeth, the first adult molars will erupt behind the primary molars in the back of the mouth. By the age of five or six, two molars will erupt on the top and two on the bottom. This is when we recommend having sealants placed on these teeth to help prevent cavities.
During this stage is also when children’s baby teeth start to loosen and fall out. The first two teeth to loosen and fall out are the bottom central incisors. Some kids become upset when losing their teeth but fortunately, the tooth fairy is available to save the day!
Stage Three: Age Six to Nine
The tooth fairy will be busier during stage three as the lower central and lateral incisors will fall out with the permanent incisors erupting in their place.
Stage Four: Age Nine to 12
By this stage, children will have a relatively even mix of baby and adult teeth. During stage four, the second permanent molars will come in behind the permanent first molars, so once again, we recommend sealants to protect these teeth from decay.
Stage Five: Age 12 to 18
Most children lose all the baby teeth by the time they turn 12 or 13. During this stage, the baby molars are all replaced by the adult premolars. During this stage, some teenagers begin getting their third molars in which are commonly known as wisdom teeth. Once these teeth are in, there will be a total of 32 teeth, 16 on the top and 16 on the bottom.
Keeping Your Child’s Teeth Healthy
To ensure that your child can enjoy all the benefits of having a happy and healthy smile, it’s important that he or she practices goodoral hygiene and visits us regularly for routine checkups and professional cleanings. If your child is afraid to see a dentist, don’t despair! We offersedation dentistry for our patients who have dental fear and anxiety.
Contact Your Us!
If you have any questions about your children’s teeth or how they develop, please feel free tocontact us as we’re always happy to speak with you! If it’s time for your child to see the dentist, pleaserequest an appointment today! We look forward to seeing you and your child soon!