Baby Teeth (Deciduous teeth)
Baby teeth start to form during the embryo phase of pregnancy. These teeth will continue to form until they erupt in the mouth in a process called ‘Teething’.
Eruption of Baby Teeth
They begin to appear as early as 6 months at the front of the mouth (incisors) on both upper and lower arches an continue to erupt as follows:
Baby Teeth by Age
- Central : 6–12 months
- Lateral : 9–16 months
- First molars : 13–19 months
- Second molars : 22–33 months
- Canines: 16–23 months
Exfoliation of Baby Teeth
Once all teeth have erupted, there are a total of twenty teeth: ten per arch. They are teeth that eventually become lose and fall out naturally around 6 – 8 years of age.
The replacement of primary teeth begins around age six, when the permanent teeth start to appear in the mouth, resulting in both permanent and primary teeth (mixed dentition). The erupting permanent teeth push on the roots of the primary teeth, causing the roots to be dissolved. This process may be from ages 6 to 12. Usually all permanent teeth have erupted at the age of 12 or pre-adolescents.
Very Important Baby Teeth
The following are reasons why baby teeth are some importance to the child’s development:
- Eating solid foods and proper chewing (mastication) that enables easy digestion.
- Space holders for the permanent teeth
- Speech development derives from hearing the sounds and the ability to produce certain phonetics with the teeth, tongue and lips.
- Appearance, Self-esteem
The permanent teeth replacements develop from the same baby tooth germs as the primary teeth. This acts a guide for the permanent teeth eruptions. Muscular and jaw development are dependent upon the primary teeth to maintain proper motion.