The first baby teeth to come into the mouth are the two bottom front teeth. You will notice this when your baby is about six to eight months old. Next to follow will be the four upper front teeth and then the remainder of your baby’s teeth will appear periodically. They generally will appear in pairs along the sides of the jaw until the child is about 2 1/2 – 3 years old. Don’t worry if some teeth are a few months early or late as all children are different. By 3 years old, your child should have all 20 primary teeth.
Baby teeth are important as they not only hold space for permanent teeth, but they are important to chewing, biting, speech, and appearance.
For this reason it is important to maintain a healthy diet and daily hygiene. Swabbing an infant’s mouth should begin before the first teeth erupt. Brushing should happen routinely after feeding.
Around 6 years old, the first permanent teeth will begin to erupt. Some of the permanent teeth replace baby teeth and some don’t. Generally by 12 years old most baby teeth have been replaced, although in some children with an early eruption pattern this can occur as early at 9 years old. The age of referral for orthodontic care varies due to this range in tooth eruption.