primary teeth usually begin to break through the gums (erupt) at about 6 months
of age. For more information, see the topic Teething.
Teething may be painful. Letting your child chew
on a clean, chilled teething ring can help relieve his or her
Teeth break through the gums in a certain order, typically
from the front to the back of the mouth.
Lower teeth often appear 1 to 2 months before
the corresponding upper teeth.
A change in the order in which the
teeth come in may indicate a problem, such as an infection or not enough space
for the tooth to grow.
All of a child's first 20 primary teeth should come
in between the ages of 6 months and 3 years.
Girls' teeth come in a
little earlier than do boys' teeth.
Your child's first permanent
molars emerge from the gum behind the primary teeth at
about age 6, at the same time he or she begins to lose front primary teeth.
Children lose their 20 primary teeth between the
ages of 6 and 11 years.
Sometimes a permanent tooth will begin to
come in before a child loses the primary tooth. This usually is not a problem
unless the primary tooth is not loose. In that case, a dentist will need to
remove the primary tooth.
A child's front
permanent teeth may angle away from the center and
look crooked. This is normal, and the teeth should straighten out naturally as
the other permanent teeth come in.
After the permanent teeth have
replaced the primary teeth, the child's last molars will come in (four second
molars and four wisdom teeth). This takes place sometime during ages 12 to
Sometimes wisdom teeth do not come in properly and need to be
Normally, a person should end up with 32 adult teeth.
How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.