It can be an exciting time for both parent and child when the latter starts to lose their primary teeth, but you probably have some questions about the next stage in their development. Today, we help answer some questions and explain what every parent should know about their child’s permanent teeth.
Losing The Baby Teeth
The loss of your child’s baby teeth is a milestone, and it may provide you with some funny photo opportunities of goofy grins! Your child’s baby teeth are only in their mouth for a few years, but they play a crucial role in development. Aside from helping our young children chew their food, baby teeth help to hold space in the jaw for the large adult teeth to eventually come in. Most kids have 20 total primary teeth, with 10 on the top and 10 on the bottom, but they help to set up the alignment for the 32 permanent teeth that will develop later in life.
So when can you expect these permanent teeth to begin bursting through in your child’s mouth? In most cases, the bottom teeth develop slightly before the top teeth, and you usually begin losing teeth at the front of your mouth and work your way to the back. Although every child is different, it’s common for a child to lose their two lower central incisors (middle teeth) around the age of six or seven, followed by the two upper central incisors around the age of seven or eight. Lateral incisors, the next teeth over, usually come in around eight or nine years of age.
Canines and premolars, which make up the majority of the rest of your teeth, usually develop within the next four years. The only oddball in the development of your child’s permanent teeth is when their first molars arrive. The first molar is the sixth tooth in from the middle, and it usually begins to come in right around the same time as your child’s first central incisor develops, so around the age of six or seven. In fact, it’s not uncommon for the first molar to be the first tooth that breaks through your child’s gums.
Your child should have the majority of their permanent teeth by the age of 12 or 13, but they may still have more on the way. The third molars, oftentimes referred to as the wisdom teeth, tend to break through around the age of 17 to 21, although some kids may never have them develop. Those who do usually have them removed during wisdom teeth surgery, as their emergence can cause more problems than their presence in the mouth. Wisdom teeth surgery is a pretty common operation, as estimates suggest that about 85 percent of adults previously had their wisdom teeth removed.
Hopefully you helped to instill good brushing habits in your children when they had their baby teeth, because they are going to have their permanent teeth for the rest of their lives, so it’s imperative they keep them healthy and clean. If you weren’t the best about caring for your child’s baby teeth, consider this your second chance to get things right and likely save you a good portion of money over the years on dental bills! If you want to learn more about how you can best protect your child’s new permanent teeth, or you need to schedule their next cleaning, reach out to Dr. Brooks’ office today.