Parents of new babies have a lot to keep track of to make sure their child is healthy and happy. Oral health is part of this process. Primary or baby teeth start forming shortly after a child has been born and will first appear typically between 6 months and 10 months of age. These primary teeth will eventually fall out and will be replaced by permanent teeth. This is a perfectly natural growth process and the eruption of each tooth may vary depending on the child but there is a normal range for each tooth, both to erupt and to fall out.
Normal Ranges of Eruption
Unless a tooth is genetically missing, children will eventually have 20 primary teeth. This includes, starting from the front of their face working back, 4 central incisors, 4 lateral incisors, 4 canines, 4 first molars, and 4 second molars. These teeth will come in at different times, even for the upper and lower arches. Normal ranges are listed below.
- Central Incisors- 6-10 months
- Lateral Incisors- 10-16 months
- Canines- 17-23 months
- First Molars- 14-18 months
- Second Molars- 23-31 months
- Central Incisors- 8-12 months
- Lateral Incisors- 9-13 months
- Canines- 16-22 months
- First Molars- 13-19 months
- Second Molars- 25-33 months
As you can see, all of the 20 primary teeth are typically erupted by the time the child is 3 years old, though the order of each eruption and precise timing is individual for each child. Girls tend to see teeth erupt sooner than boys as well. After age 4, the child’s jaw and facial bones will grow, creating spaces in between primary teeth where larger permanent teeth will soon erupt. Permanent teeth will start to erupt around age 6 and a child will have mixed dentition until around age 12.
What if my child is late?
It is possible for a child to have a delayed scheduled. Things like gender, height and weight, genetic predisposition, and nutrition all play a role in when you will see primary teeth erupt. If you are concerned, speak with your pediatric dentist who can help assess if your child is growing normally and just delayed, or if there is another reason their teeth have yet to erupt, like the teeth growing in sideways or if there is not enough room in your child’s mouth.