Primary Teeth Eruption – A Primer for Parents

Contrary to what some parents may believe, a child’s teeth actually start developing while inside the womb, beginning around the fourth month of pregnancy.

Primary teeth eruption usually occurs between the ages of six months and one year. Among the first teeth to emerge are the front teeth or the central incisors. These will be followed by the lateral incisors. The molars emerge at around 13 to 19 months while the cuspids or canine teeth emerge at around 16 to 23 months. The last to emerge are the second molars.

Once the child reaches the age of three, he will have around 20 primary teeth.

The timeline of primary teeth eruption will differ from one child to another. But broadly speaking, the eruption of primary teeth will happen earlier in girls.

Aside from that, the emergence of primary teeth happens in pairs. You might not notice new teeth emerging in your toddler for weeks or months, only to find two or more teeth emerging at the same time or after another, usually with the lower teeth emerging before the upper teeth.

Although primary teeth will eventually fall off to be replaced by permanent teeth, parents should take great care of their babies’ first set of teeth due to the important roles these play.

Baby teeth are crucial for the proper development of the jaws, chewing habits, and speech production. If a child loses his teeth early, this can cause dental problems later in life.

What can you do to take good care of your toddler’s baby teeth?

Start early

Do not wait until your kid’s first tooth emerges. Make it a habit to clean your child’s mouth after each feeding, using a wet gauze or washcloth. You can also invest in a specially designed mouth cleaner for babies.

Keep cavities at bay

Cavities can occur even at an early age. As such, parents should avoid a few habits which can damage baby teeth. These include putting baby to bed with a bottle of milk or juice and leaving baby with a bottle for an extended period of time.

Use a toothpaste at age 2

Once your baby reaches the age of two years old, you can now begin using toothpaste to brush his teeth. A small amount of toothpaste with fluoride will do.

Schedule a visit to the dentist

Ideally, your baby should visit the dentist for the first time at around his first birthday or after the eruption of his first tooth.

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