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Pediatric Dentist

About Teeth

What is so important about baby teeth

Baby teeth are needed for chewing, speaking, and appearance. They hold space in the jaw for adult teeth and help give the face its shape and form. At birth your child has 20 baby teeth that begin to erupt on average around age six months and are usually (but not always) in by the age of 2 ½. There are 10 teeth on the top and 10 on the bottom. The last baby tooth won’t be lost until around age 12. So it is important to take good care of these baby teeth!

Mom, when will I lose my baby teeth?

If your child is over the age of 5, you have probably heard this question! It is not always an easy one to answer. On average the first tooth is lost around 6 ½, but to a child whose friends have already lost a tooth this is hard to understand. While it is common to lose the first tooth between 5-7 years of age, it helps to keep in mind that much like your child, everybody’s teeth are unique! Most often the lower central teeth are the first lost. So, if your child is concerned that they haven’t lost a tooth yet, you can probably “find” a wiggly tooth in that area. And as any kid knows, wiggly teeth are a big deal!

How many teeth will my child lose?

Your child will lose all 20 of their baby teeth over the course of several years, usually by the ages of 12-13. These teeth will be replaced by up to 32 permanent teeth (28 without wisdom teeth!). As your child loses baby teeth, permanent ones will begin to erupt in their place. With the exception of wisdom teeth, all permanent teeth are usually in by the age of 13.

What about molars?

While your child is busy losing teeth, new ones are coming in including the addition of permanent molars. Your child will have up to three sets of molars. The four 1st molars, commonly called the 6 year molars, generally make an appearance around age 6. The four second molars, often known as 12 year molars, start around, you guessed it, age 12! The 3rd molars, or wisdom teeth, are a little different. If they are going to erupt, it is usually around college age, but can range from 15-25. Since there is often not enough room for these teeth to erupt, they are frequently removed. If you have any questions about wisdom teeth your dentist will be happy to answer them.