Dental eruption times vary considerably between children and particularly between boys and girls. There are 20 “baby teeth” in a child’s mouth and they are first start coming in around 8 to 10 months of age. The front teeth (incisors) will erupt first. The last baby teeth (molars) will present by 27 to 29 months of age.

The first permanent molar generally presents around 6 years of age. The front teeth (central and lateral incisors) show between 6 and 8 years of age. At this point, children will have 12 permanent teeth and 12 baby teeth. In most cases, no addition baby teeth are lost until 10 to 11 years of age when children will sequentially start to lose their remaining baby teeth until there are ultimately 28 permanent teeth present. The last teeth to present, the wisdom teeth (3rd molars), usually appear between 16 and 20 years of age.

You may see two or more years difference in the timing of dental development between girls and boys of the same age, with girls developing earlier. Many children have delayed eruption of their teeth. This can be normal or problematic but delayed eruption does not make their teeth stronger. Earlier eruption of teeth may require earlier orthodontic treatment while later eruption may postpone the need for treatment until more adult teeth have erupted. It is best that children see the dentist and the orthodontist regularly to ensure that their dentition can be the best it can be.

Orthodontic treatment can be an important step towards optimizing your child’s dental health. If you have questions concerning the development of your child’s dentition, consult with a certified CAO orthodontic specialist.