About Baby Teeth

Infancy

At birth, a baby's 20 primary teeth are present in the baby's jawbones and the crowns of these primary teeth are almost complete. Usually, the front four teeth will begin to "erupt" between age 6 months and one year.

 

One to Five Years

By age three, most children have a full set of 20 primary teeth. The primary teeth play an important role in the child's ability to chew and speak and in the child's appearance. Also, the primary teeth are useful in holding space in the jaws for the permanent teeth.

 

Six to Twelve Years

As a child approaches age six, the jaw is growing to make room for the permanent teeth. As this happens, the roots of the permanent teeth are beginning to be absorbed by the surrounding tissue and the permanent teeth prepare to erupt.

 

Between ages five and six, the first permanent molars usually erupt. These molars are also called, "six-year" molars. These molars do not replace any primary teeth and are especially important because they help determine the lower part of a child's face and affect the position of the other permanent teeth. By age 21, all 32 permanent teeth usually will have erupted.

 

Courtesy of the American Dental Association ©1992

 

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About Baby Teeth

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