What Are Baby Teeth & When Should They Show Up?

For parents getting your baby teeth and losing them might feel like it happened a lifetime ago. But for your kids this is a process they will begin quite soon after being born. In the first year of their life kids often have a few of their front teeth come through the gum line. In this article we will cover the timeline for baby & permanent teeth and some common questions. If you live in the Southern Maine area and need dental care for your family, please give us a call.

When Do Baby Teeth Come-in & When Do Teeth Fall Out?

Before we explain the timeline we would like to discuss the names of different teeth. Your incisors are the front teeth you use to bite food. These are eight front teeth (four on top & four on the bottom). Your canines are a group of four teeth that are pointed and are next to your incisors. For adults we have a set of premolars or bicuspids which are between the adult molars and the canines. However, children do not have bicuspids at first. At first they will have regular molars that will fall out and be replaced by premolars. 

In terms of timeline the front incisors usually arrive in the first year for a child. Around your child’s first birthday they should have some or all of these first eight teeth. By age two your child will have all of their baby teeth including their incisors, canines, and molars. A full set of baby teeth includes 20 teeth; 8 incisors, 4 canines, and 8 molars. 

Of course, later in life, your child will begin to notice teeth wiggling and falling out. This happens as we age to make room for our permanent teeth. This process will usually start around age 6 or 7 with the front teeth. And for the most part around the age of 13, all the main teeth will have come in with the exception of wisdom teeth. Wisdom teeth, also known as third molars will usually begin to erupt around age 18 and are often remove due to crowding. 

When Should My Child First Go To The Dentist?

Your child should go to their first dental appointment when they have their first tooth come in or when they are six months old. One mistake some new parents make is not setting up dental appointments until their child has more teeth. A child’s first dental appointment is a great time for a family dentist to make sure your child’s teeth are coming in healthy. Additionally, your dentist can be a great resource for dental information. 

Why Are My Child's Teeth Not Coming In?

If your child’s baby teeth or permanent teeth are not coming in “on schedule” it could be for a variety of reasons. Generally speaking, the chart on when teeth come in is not one size fits all. Many kids have teeth erupt in a different order or on a different timeline. However, if you are worried that a tooth or multiple teeth are not erupting, you can always make a dental appointment at a family dentist. Using dental X-ray technology, your family dentist can identify if there is an issue. 

Why Are My Child's Teeth Coming In Behind Their Baby Teeth?

One common dental issue is what some parents refer to as “shark teeth” or the phenomenon where permanent teeth erupt and grow-in behind the baby teeth. This will happen because the baby teeth did not fall out so there is no room for the new teeth to come in. Generally our baby teeth are supposed to provide the route for the new set of teeth to come in. But in some cases that doesn’t happen. First, you should never force a baby tooth to fall out, as it can be both very painful and also potentially damage to your child’s oral health. You should make a dental appointment with your dentist for them to take a look and decide if a tooth needs to be extracted. 

Cosmetic Dentist in Lewiston Maine

Our dentists provide family dental services for Southern Maine. If you have questions about any of the above information or would like to schedule a dental appointment for your child, please give us a call or use the button below to get in contact with our team