You should expect to see your baby’s first tooth around 6-10 months old. Generally, the first teeth to erupt are the lower front teeth. The eruption pattern for the baby teeth more or less goes from the front teeth to the back teeth except for the canine teeth, which erupt a little later on. The bottom teeth erupt slightly before the top teeth in succession. You should expect to see a full set of 20 baby teeth by 25-33 months old. Around the age of 5-6, the lower front teeth will become loose and fall out while new adult molars will erupt in the back. For the new adult molars, called the first molars, no baby teeth need to fall out so sometimes they go unnoticed. By the age of 12-14, all of the baby teeth should have exfoliated, and the adult teeth will have erupted, apart from the 3rd molars, called the wisdom teeth. Wisdom teeth typically erupt around 16-20 years old, if at all.
How to Keep Baby Teeth Healthy
It is essential to keep baby teeth as healthy as possible as they aid in biting, chewing, talking and smiling. Baby teeth are also the precursors for the position of the adult teeth. Adult teeth erupt by resorbing the root of the baby tooth above it, so without the healthy baby tooth, the adult tooth may erupt out of position, leading to crowding and misalignment. Make sure to help your child brush their teeth at least twice a day and floss at least once a day, use a toothpaste containing fluoride beginning at the age of 3 (with a size of a grain of rice) and even have them use a mouthwash containing fluoride if they are cavity prone. It is vital to bring your child in for check-ups and cleanings at least every six months.