TOOTH DEVELOPMENT 

The following chart shows when your child's primary teeth (also called baby teeth or deciduous teeth) should erupt and shed. Please note that eruption times can vary from child to child.

As seen from the chart, the first teeth begin to break through the gums at about 6 months of age. Usually, the first two teeth to erupt are the two bottom central incisors (the two bottom front teeth). Next, the top four front teeth emerge. After that, other teeth slowly begin to fill in, usually in pairs - one each side of the upper or lower jaw - until all 20 teeth (10 in the upper jaw and 10 in the lower jaw) have come in by the time the child is 2 ½ to 3 years old. The complete set of primary teeth is in the mouth from the age of 2 ½ to 3 years of age to 6 to 7 years of age. 

Primary Teeth Development Chart

                 Upper Teeth                        When tooth emerges                     When tooth falls out 
                 Central incisor                                  8 to 12 months                                     6 to 7 years
                 Lateral incisor                                  9 to 13 months                                     7 to 8 years
                 Canine (cuspid)                               16 to 22 months                                  10 to 12 years
                 First molar                                       13 to 19 months                                   9 to 11 years   
                 Second molar                                  25 to 33 months                                  10 to 12 years      
                Lower Teeth
                 Second molar                                  23 to 31 months                                  10 to 12 years         
                 First molar                                       14 to 18 months                                    9 to 11 years 
                 Canine (cuspid)                               17 to 23 months                                    9 to 12 years  
                 Lateral incisor                                  10 to 16 months                                   7 to 8 years
                Central incisor                                    6 to 10 months                                    6 to 7 years  
 

Other primary tooth eruption facts:

A general rule of thumb is that for every 6 months of life, approximately 4 teeth will erupt.

 

Girls generally precede boys in tooth eruption

 

Lower teeth usually erupt before upper teeth

 

Teeth in both jaws usually erupt in pairs - one on the right and one on the left

 

Primary teeth are smaller in size and whiter in color than the permanent teeth that will follow

 

By the time a child is 2 to 3 years of age, all primary teeth should have erupted.


Shortly after age 4, the jaw and facial bones of the child begin to grow, creating spaces between the primary teeth. This is a perfectly natural growth process that provides the necessary space for the larger permanent teeth to emerge. Between the ages of 6 and 12, a mixture of both primary teeth and permanent teeth reside in the mouth.

Why Is it Important to Care for Baby Teeth?


While it's true that baby teeth are only in the mouth a short period of time, they play a vital role.

 

  •  They reserve space for their permanent counterparts.

 

  •  They give the face its normal appearance.

 

  •  They aid in the development of clear speech.

 

  •  They help attain good nutrition (missing or decayed teeth make it difficult to chew causing children to reject foods).

 

  • They help give a healthy start to the permanent teeth (decay and infection in baby teeth can cause damage to the permanent teeth developing beneath them).