March 8, 2021
As a concerned new parent, you monitor your little one’s development closely to make sure that they are healthy and reaching milestones as they should. While other babies have grown most of their primary teeth, your toddler is still missing some, and you begin to wonder if you should be worried.
At what point should all baby teeth be grown in, and when should you start expecting your child to lose them? Each kid is different and may be an early or late bloomer when it comes to getting and losing their teeth. As long as you continue to bring your child in for checkups as they grow, your children’s dentist can keep an eye out for any abnormalities or developmental issues. However, here is information that can give you some peace of mind moving forward.
Erupting Baby Teeth
The first teeth to come in are the central incisors, usually on the lower arch prior to the top, when your child is between 6 and 12 months old. The lateral incisors, or the teeth just outside the teeth in the middle, emerge at 9 to 16 months. During the 13 to 19 months stretch, they should receive their first molars. By the time your child turns 2 years old, they should have all four of their canines, or cuspids. After 23 months, their second molars may erupt. Basically by the time, they reach their third birthday, they should have all of their baby teeth.
Why It’s Important to Take Care of Baby Teeth
With squirmy, active toddlers, it can be tempting to postpone brushing their teeth daily until later in life. After all, their baby teeth are going to come out eventually anyway, right? True, but before they do, they perform essential functions for your child’s oral development as well as to their facial aesthetic.
Primary teeth have thinner enamel, which means that your child can more easily experience pain as a result of a cavity or tooth injury. As a result, decay or damage to baby teeth can make eating and speaking more challenging for your little one. In addition, these smaller teeth serve as placeholders for the permanent teeth; if a baby tooth is lost too early, the permanent teeth may drift and erupt significantly out of alignment.
Losing Baby Teeth
At some point, starting around age 6 or 7, your child will start to lose their baby teeth, and their permanent teeth will begin to grow in. For several years, they will have a mixture of both until around 10 to 12 years when they lose their primary second molars.
Ultimately, while it’s good to be concerned about their growth, your child can develop at their own pace. When you work with a pediatric dentist and know the expected range of primary tooth eruption, you can relax and enjoy watching their smile in the coming months and years!
About the Practice
At Coastal Pediatric Dentistry, both of our board-certified pediatric dentists are dedicated to giving infants, toddlers, children, and teens, as well as their parents, a pleasant dental experience every time they come in. Dr. Forester has been practicing since 2007 and has reached diplomate status with the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry and is a fellow of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry. Dr. Fu completed the Advanced Education in Pediatric Dentistry program with NYU Langone Dental Medicine at Rady Children’s Hospital, where she served as chief resident. If you have questions about your child’s oral development, you can contact Coastal Pediatric Dentistry and schedule an appointment.
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