- Teeth Eruption Timetable
- Why Aren’t My Child’s Permanent Teeth Coming In?
- Schedule a free consultation at Aura Orthodontics and we’ll team up with you to bring out the best in your child’s smile.
- My child lost a baby tooth a year ago, and her permanent tooth still hasn’t shown up. Is that normal?
- Are Baby Teeth Important?
- What is the Difference Between Baby Teeth and Permanent Teeth?
- The Falling out Process
- Why Don’t Baby Teeth Fall Out?
- What Should you do When Baby Teeth Don’t Fall Out
- Will the Dentist Need to Extract the Baby Tooth?
- How do Permanent Teeth Come in Behind Baby Teeth?
- Where Shark Teeth Usually Occur
- When do Shark Teeth Occur?
- What Should you do if the Permanent Teeth Come in Behind the Baby Teeth?
- What Happens if you do Nothing?
- How long is too long: Are you worried about your child’s adult teeth being delayed?
- Your Teeth
- Related Content
- How Long Does It Take for Adult Teeth to Grow In?
- Smile | Veneers
- Which Tooth Is Next? Using a Permanent Teeth Chart to Track Your Child’s New Teeth
- Using a Permanent Teeththe Chart
- Types of Teeth
- What About the Wisdom Teeth?
- Caring for Your Child’s New Teeth
- How Long Does It Take for Permanent Teeth to Grow?
- Permanent Teeth Timeline
- Where is my new tooth? 10 Common Milk Teeth Questions Answered
- Do I need to look after milk teeth?
- Should I pull out a very loose tooth?
- What’s the normal age for losing their first milk tooth?
- In what order do milk teeth fall out?
- What’s the normal age for losing their last milk tooth?
- My child’s teeth are coming in behind their milk teeth. Should I be concerned?
- Why do we have milk teeth?
- What should I do with milk teeth once they’ve fallen out?
Teeth Eruption Timetable
Teeth eruption timetable
When do primary teeth erupt (come in) and fall out?
This chart shows when primary teeth (also called baby teeth or deciduous teeth) erupt (come in) and fall out. Remember that eruption times can vary from child to child, and this is a general guide.
|Upper Teeth||When tooth emerges||When tooth falls out|
|Central incisor||8 to 12 months||6 to 7 years|
|Lateral incisor||9 to 13 months||7 to 8 years|
|Canine (cuspid)||16 to 22 months||10 to 12 years|
|First molar||13 to 19 months||9 to 11 years|
|Second molar||25 to 33 months||10 to 12 years|
|Lower Teeth||When tooth emerges||When tooth falls out|
|Second molar||23 to 31 months||10 to 12 years|
|First molar||14 to 18 months||9 to 11 years|
|Canine (cuspid)||17 to 23 months||9 to 12 years|
|Lateral incisor||10 to 16 months||7 to 8 years|
|Central incisor||6 to 10 months||6 to 7 years|
You can see from the chart, the first teeth begin to break through the gums at about 6 months of age. Usually, the first two teeth to erupt are the two bottom central incisors (the two bottom front teeth).
Next, the top four front teeth emerge.
After that, other teeth slowly begin to fill in, usually in pairs — one each side of the upper or lower jaw — until all 20 teeth (10 in the upper jaw and 10 in the lower jaw) have come in by the time the child is 2 ½ to 3 years old.
The complete set of primary teeth is in the mouth from the age of 2 ½ to 3 years of age to 6 to 7 years of age.
Other primary tooth eruption facts:
- A general rule of thumb is that for every 6 months of life, approximately 4 teeth will erupt.
- Girls generally precede boys in tooth eruption.
- Lower teeth usually erupt before upper teeth.
- Teeth in both jaws usually erupt in pairs — one on the right and one on the left.
- Primary teeth are smaller in size and whiter in color than the permanent teeth that will follow.
- By the time a child is 2 to 3 years of age, all primary teeth should have erupted.
Shortly after age 4, the jaw and facial bones of the child begin to grow, creating spaces between the primary teeth. This is a perfectly natural growth process that provides the necessary space for the larger permanent teeth to emerge. Between the ages of 6 and 12, a mixture of both primary teeth and permanent teeth reside in the mouth.
If baby teeth fall out after a couple of years, why is caring for them important?
While it’s true that primary teeth are only in the mouth a short period of time, they play a vital role in the following ways:
- They reserve space for their permanent counterparts.
- They give the face its normal appearance.
- They aid in the development of clear speech.
- They help attain good nutrition (missing or decayed teeth make it difficult to chew causing children to reject foods).
- They help give a healthy start to the permanent teeth (decay and infection in baby teeth can cause dark spots on the permanent teeth developing beneath it).
Permanent teeth eruption chart
The following chart shows when permanent teeth emerge.
|Upper Teeth||When tooth emerges|
|Central incisor||7 to 8 years|
|Lateral incisor||8 to 9 years|
|Canine (cuspid)||11 to 12 years|
|First premolar (first bicuspid)||10 to 11 years|
|Second premolar (second bicuspid)||10 to 12 years|
|First molar||6 to 7 years|
|Second molar||12 to 13 years|
|Third molar (wisdom teeth)||17 to 21 years|
|Lower Teeth||When tooth emerges|
|Third molar (wisdom tooth)||17 to 21 years|
|Second molar||11 to 13 years|
|First molar||6 to 7 years|
|Second premolar (second bicuspid)||11 to 12 years|
|First premolar (first bicuspid)||10 to 12 years|
|Canine (cuspid)||9 to 10 years|
|Lateral incisor||7 to 8 years|
|Central incisor||6 to 7 years|
In some children, the first permanent molars are the first to emerge; in others, the incisors are the first to emerge. By the age of 13, most of the 28 permanent teeth will be in place. One to four wisdom teeth, or third molars, emerge between the ages of 17 and 21, bringing the total number of permanent teeth up to 32.
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Why Aren’t My Child’s Permanent Teeth Coming In?
Most kids lose their first primary tooth around six-years-old (though it can occur earlier or later) and the visits from the Tooth Fairy typically continue until they’re 12- to 13-years-old. As cute as children look with those missing teeth, the thing parents usually want to know off the bat is how long does it take for permanent teeth to come in to replace the one that was lost? Well, it varies dramatically and the permanent tooth can make an appearance in as little as a week or take as long as six months to fully erupt.
If the permanent tooth is growing in on the slower side, it’s likely nothing to worry about. However, if you’re really concerned about permanent teeth not coming in or it takes longer than six months, you should make an appointment with an orthodontist to have your kiddo’s teeth and jaws evaluated. In the meantime, we’ll be going over some of the common reasons for a delayed eruption.
Losing Primary Teeth too Early
Primary teeth are extremely important. One of their main roles is to save space for the permanent teeth to come in properly. Ideally, a child loses a primary tooth because the corresponding permanent tooth begins to erupt and pushes it out. When a baby tooth is lost early, whether from injury or tooth decay, the permanent tooth likely won’t be ready to come in. Without a replacement quickly filling the void, the rest of the teeth have a tendency to shift into the empty area.
This can cause significant misalignment. Occasionally, it’s so crowded that it blocks the permanent tooth from erupting altogether and the tooth gets stuck in the jaw bone. Or, it will only partially erupt making it appear that the permanent tooth stopped growing. When this happens, the tooth is said to be impacted. Extraction or oral surgery (similar to getting wisdom teeth removed) could be necessary to remedy the situation.
To avoid this whole scenario, prevent premature tooth loss by making sure your child practices good oral hygiene, visits the dentist regularly and wears a mouthguard when playing sports. If a baby tooth is lost early, don’t ignore it. An orthodontist can use an appliance to maintain space until the permanent tooth is prepared to make its debut.
Not Enough Space in the Jaw
The early loss of primary teeth isn’t the only reason permanent teeth may not have room to erupt. It can also occur if the jaw isn’t large enough to accommodate them. Parents sometimes panic when gaps form in between their child’s baby teeth and think their little one will experience major spacing when they’re older.
However, it can actually be a good thing! Grown-up teeth are bigger than their primary counterparts, so when baby teeth are very close together without even the tiniest gaps, it’s a signal there won’t be enough room. When kids have a jaw that’s too small or teeth that are too wide, it’s a recipe for impacted teeth or severe crowding and other forms of malocclusion. Interceptive orthodontics, while a child is still growing, can help encourage jaw development and ensure permanent teeth will have plenty of space to do their thing.
Sometimes, teeth have a mind of their own and instead of following the primary tooth’s path, they head in the wrong direction as they try to break through the gum tissue. Unfortunately, this can occur even if they have all of the room in the world. When it happens, the permanent tooth may not erupt or parents will notice permanent teeth not coming in straight.
At Aura Orthodontics, tooth extraction is always the last resort but, if it can’t be helped, a primary tooth may need to be removed to encourage permanent teeth to stay on course. Orthodontic treatment can redirect wayward teeth as well.
Concerned with the growth and development of your child’s teeth ? Contact Us!
Congenitally Missing Teeth
Congenitally (meaning present at birth) missing teeth are actually a lot more common than many people realize. While it’s most frequently the wisdom teeth, some people are missing one or both of their upper lateral incisors or second premolars. Since it’s genetic, it’s very likely someone else in the family has the same condition.
With congenitally missing teeth, the permanent teeth never develop at all. Often, the primary teeth will stay in place since there’s nothing to push them out. If they are lost because of tooth decay, gum disease or trauma, no permanent tooth exists to take its place. A bridge or partial denture can be used to replace the missing tooth – or teeth – but dental implant surgery will bring about the most natural-looking, lasting results.
Keep in mind, however, it can’t be performed until the jaw is done growing. Regardless of the route you choose to take, orthodontic treatment may be recommended to shift the rest of the teeth into place prior to getting a dental prosthesis. For an implant, an appliance will be fitted to save space until the time is right for surgery.
Supernumerary Primary Teeth
Less commonly, in a case of permanent teeth not coming down, supernumerary teeth are to blame. Supernumerary teeth are extra teeth. They can develop in association with different conditions like cleft palate, Gardner’s syndrome, or cleidocranial dysostosis, though they may just occur on their own.
These additional teeth crop up anywhere in the dental arch and have the potential to block the permanent teeth. While treatment varies, most of the time, it will involve extracting the supernumerary tooth. If it led to tooth or jaw misalignment, this can be corrected with orthodontic treatment.
Failure of Eruption
Primary failure of eruption (PFE) is extremely rare. It occurs when the permanent teeth are present and have a clear path but fail to erupt or only erupt partially and then stop. PFE is genetic. When multiple teeth are affected, treatment can take several years and consist of different steps. The most common approach is using oral surgery and orthodontic treatment to coax the teeth out. If extractions are needed, then a good option is braces to close the gap followed by dental implant surgery.
Mechanical failure of eruption is another type and may involve ankylosis, which is when the tooth or teeth are fused to the bone and can’t break loose. There are a number of treatments including leaving the tooth where it is and making it look better with cosmetic dentistry procedures, using a surgical procedure to loosen the tooth followed by orthodontic treatment to shift it into place or extraction and placement of a dental prosthesis.
The Bottom Line
While all of this information can be a little overwhelming, many of the causes are rare and, in most cases, the problem can be treated. Both the Canadian and American Association of Orthodontists say children should see an orthodontist by age seven so they can have their developing teeth and jaws evaluated. Well, in addition to being super friendly Surrey orthodontists, Dr. Sharma and Dr. Lin are both trained in dentofacial orthopedics, meaning they’re pros in growth and development and troubleshooting issues.
They can assess your child and make sure everything is on track. If they do spot red flags, they’ll make an accurate diagnosis and recommend the correct treatment to guide the permanent teeth into their proper places. This will help your child avoid more extensive, costly correction down the road.
Schedule a free consultation at Aura Orthodontics and we’ll team up with you to bring out the best in your child’s smile.
My child lost a baby tooth a year ago, and her permanent tooth still hasn’t shown up. Is that normal?
Yes, it’s probably normal. A yearlong gap between the tooth fairy’s arrival and the replacement tooth showing up is not unheard of, says Dennis J. McTigue, a professor of pediatric dentistry at Ohio State University and a 30-year practitioner of children’s dentistry.
Called “delayed eruption,” the slow appearance of the permanent tooth often happens when a baby tooth is knocked out or is damaged after a fall, turns dark, and then comes out a bit early. Sometimes the new tooth doesn’t show up for well over a year, McTigue says.
If your child is seeing a dentist every six months as recommended, just ask about it the next time you’re in. X-rays are seldom needed to see what’s going on.
Very rarely, a permanent tooth may have trouble erupting because the gums harden and, though the new tooth can be felt below the surface, it has trouble pushing its way through the gum. Then the dentist may make a small incision to help it along. But, McTigue says, this doesn’t happen often, and when it does, it’s in an older child of 7 or so.
Learn more about Tooth care for children.
Children will start losing their baby teeth around the age of 4 or 5, and that process can continue for several years. This process is usually a smooth transition with the baby teeth falling out, and the permanent teeth then growing into those empty spaces.
However, one of the most common problems that may occur is when the permanent teeth come in behind the baby teeth before those baby teeth fall out. This occurrence is known as “shark teeth” or “tooth behind the tooth” because there are now two rows of teeth instead of just one.
Are Baby Teeth Important?
Even though baby teeth fall out, making sure they are healthy while they are intact is vital, and here are a few reasons why:
- Baby teeth provide a healthy start for the permanent teeth coming in after they fall out.
- Permanent teeth grow into the space that the baby teeth provide.
What is the Difference Between Baby Teeth and Permanent Teeth?
There are three distinct differences between baby teeth and permanent teeth.
- Baby teeth are usually more white than permanent teeth, and the permanent teeth tend to be more yellow.
- Baby teeth are smoother than permanent teeth. The permanent teeth have a more jagged edge which helps them push through the surface of the gums.
- The number of baby teeth that your child will have totals 20, whereas the permanent teeth total 32, which includes the wisdom teeth.
The Falling out Process
When children lose their baby teeth, it usually occurs in the following order:
- The two center bottom teeth will fall out first.
- The next teeth to fall out are the two central upper incisors.
- The lateral incisors and first molars will fall out next.
- The canine teeth will then fall out and lastly the second molars.
Why Don’t Baby Teeth Fall Out?
There are three main reasons baby teeth don’t fall out.
- When the permanent tooth starts pushing against the roots of the baby tooth, the roots begin to dissolve. Once enough of the root has dissolved away from the baby tooth, it becomes loose and should fall out. However, if the permanent tooth starts to grow in behind the baby tooth, it can miss the roots of the baby tooth which won’t trigger them to dissolve.
- The second reason baby teeth don’t fall out can be due to moderate to severe crowding preventing the permanent tooth from growing correctly.
- The last reason is the most uncommon but would be because the permanent tooth never developed.
What Should you do When Baby Teeth Don’t Fall Out
If you notice that a permanent tooth is coming in behind a baby tooth, first find out if the baby tooth is loose at all.
- If the baby tooth is even slightly loose, get your child to start wiggling it over the next few days to see if it will fall out naturally, and if it doesn’t fall out on its own, then contact your dentist for assistance.
- If the baby tooth is not loose whatsoever, contact your dentist for assistance for possible x-rays and tooth extraction.
Will the Dentist Need to Extract the Baby Tooth?
- If your child has shark teeth, and the baby tooth isn’t loose, it is likely that the dentist will extract the baby tooth.
- If your child’s permanent tooth failed to develop, the baby tooth might be used as the permanent tooth as long as it can remain healthy.
How do Permanent Teeth Come in Behind Baby Teeth?
When a permanent tooth grows directly underneath the baby tooth, it then reabsorbs the roots of the baby tooth, which then cause it to become loose and ultimately fall out. The permanent tooth then takes the place of the baby tooth.
If the permanent tooth does not grow in directly underneath the baby tooth, the root of the baby tooth will remain intact and not get pushed out as it usually would. This occurrence causes the permanent tooth to grow in behind the baby tooth giving it that shark tooth appearance. Shark teeth look concerning, but they are actually quite common and rarely cause problems.
Where Shark Teeth Usually Occur
The most common place for this process to occur is at the lower incisors, but it could happen anywhere, including the upper incisors or even the primary molars.
If the “tooth behind the tooth” does involve the lower and upper front teeth, there is a good chance it will happen to the other tooth next to that one.
When do Shark Teeth Occur?
Although shark teeth can happen at any time, they are more common during two phases of childhood development.
- The first phase is when the lower front teeth grow in around age six.
- The second phase is when the upper back molars appear around age 11.
What Should you do if the Permanent Teeth Come in Behind the Baby Teeth?
First of all, don’t panic, as this is a regular occurrence. There is no actual treatment for shark teeth because if the permanent tooth has not grown in all the way while at the same time, the baby tooth is getting looser, the situation will most likely resolve on its own.
However, if the permanent tooth continues to grow in and the baby tooth does not loosen, then you should contact us to set up an appointment, as your child may need to have the baby tooth extracted.
What Happens if you do Nothing?
If your child has permanent teeth growing behind baby teeth, the teeth will start to deflect and move out of position causing potential future orthodontic problems. To find out more and get much-needed answers, contact Children’s Dentistry of Las Vegas at any one of our many locations.
How long is too long: Are you worried about your child’s adult teeth being delayed?
From the time that your child first starts to lose their baby teeth you get used to their gappy grin, however it can be the case that a gaps stays a lot longer than expected.
Once the baby tooth has fallen out it can take as long as six months for the permanent adult tooth to appear in its place.
Sometimes the gap can remain unfilled for a lot longer, causing concern in parents about the development of their child’s teeth.
Why do some adult teeth fail to appear?
While the delay can sometimes just be down to the teeth taking longer to appear there may be other reasons, which will be diagnosed by a dentist.
Lack of space – If the baby teeth are very close together when they fall out the gap left may not be large enough for the adult teeth to grow into.
Impacted tooth – Sometimes teeth become lodged in the bone, this is most common when the baby tooth has been knocked out or in wisdom teeth.
Hypodontia – Occasionally the tooth fails to develop entirely in which case the baby tooth usually remains in place as there is no pressure behind it.
Incorrect growth – Children’s teeth are often noted for their non-uniform appearance. Some teeth are so incorrectly placed when they grow that they fail to appear in the mouth properly.
Failure to erupt – The tooth may have, for no clear reason, failed to erupt from the gum.
While general guidance will give you an idea of what to expect when your child’s teeth start to appear, not every child will conform to that. Longer delays can be just that and as the surrounding teeth fall out teeth may appear.
However, it is important to always seek the advice of a dentist if you have a concern about the development of your child’s teeth.
Surgery may be needed to correct a problem with your child’s adult teeth failing to appear and the earlier the problem is identified the better.
If you are worried about the development of your child’s teeth contact Bhandal Dental Surgery to book an appointment.
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You bite into an apple and then try to start talking to your friend about yesterday’s math homework. Suddenly something feels funny — one of your baby teeth has fallen out! It’s been loose forever, and now there it is, right in your hand. And you have an empty space in your mouth big enough to poke a drinking straw through.
Before you put that tooth under your pillow, did you know that there is much more to that tooth than meets the eye? A single tooth has many different parts that make it work. And teeth play an important role in your daily life. They not only let you eat stuff like apples, they also help you talk. So let’s talk teeth!
Unlike your heart or brain, your teeth weren’t ready to work from the day you were born. Although babies have the beginnings of their first teeth even before they are born, teeth don’t become visible until babies are about 6 to 12 months old.
After that first tooth breaks through, more and more teeth begin to appear. Most kids have their first set of teeth by the time they are 3 years old. These are called the primary teeth, baby teeth, or milk teeth and there are 20 in all. When a child gets to age 5 or 6, these teeth start falling out, one by one.
A primary tooth falls out because it is being pushed out of the way by the permanent tooth that is behind it. Slowly, the permanent teeth grow in and take the place of the primary teeth. By about age 12 or 13, most kids have lost all of their baby teeth and have a full set of permanent teeth.
There are 32 permanent teeth in all — 12 more than the original set of baby teeth. Most people have four teeth (called wisdom teeth) grow in at the back of the mouth when they’re between 17 and 25 years old. These complete the adult set of 32 teeth.
Let’s take a tour of your teeth. Look in the mirror at your own teeth or check out a friend’s smile. The part of the tooth you can see, which is not covered by the gum (your gums are the pink, fleshy part), is called the crown. The crown of each tooth is covered with enamel (say: ih-NAM-ul), which is very hard and often shiny. Enamel is a very tough substance and it acts as a tooth’s personal bodyguard. Enamel works as a barrier, protecting the inside parts of the tooth.
If you were able to peel away the enamel, you would find dentin (say: DEN-tin). Dentin makes up the largest part of the tooth. Although it is not as tough as enamel, it is also very hard.
Dentin protects the innermost part of the tooth, called the pulp. The pulp is where each tooth’s nerve endings and blood supply are found. When you eat hot soup, bite into a super-cold scoop of ice cream, fall and hurt a tooth, or get a cavity, it’s your pulp that hurts. The nerve endings inside the pulp send messages to the brain about what’s going on (“That ice cream is too cold!”). The pulp also contains the tooth’s blood vessels, which feed the tooth and keep it alive and healthy.
The pulp goes all the way down into the root of the tooth, which is under the gum. Cementum (say: sih-MEN-tum) makes up the root of the tooth, which is anchored to the jawbone.
You’ve probably noticed that you have different types of permanent teeth in your mouth. Each one has its own function.
Your two front teeth and the teeth on either side of them are incisors (say: in-SY-zurs). There are four on the top and four on bottom.
Incisors are shaped like tiny chisels, with flat ends that are somewhat sharp. These teeth are used for cutting and chopping food. Think back to that apple you ate: You used your incisors to crunch into the skin of the apple.
The pointy teeth beside your incisors are called canine (say: KAY-nine) teeth. There are four of them, two on top and two on bottom. Because these teeth are pointy and also sharp, they help tear food.
Next to your canine teeth are your premolars (say: PREE-mo-lurs), which are also called bicuspid teeth. You have eight premolars in all, four on top and four on the bottom. You’ll need to open a bit wider to see these teeth, but when you do, you’ll notice that their shape is completely different from both incisors and canines. Premolars are bigger, stronger, and have ridges, which make them perfect for crushing and grinding food.
If you open your mouth really wide, you’ll see your molars (say: MO-lurs). You have eight of these, four on the top and four on the bottom. Sometimes these are called your 6-year molars and your 12-year molars because that is around the time when they come in.
Molars are the toughest of the bunch. They are even wider and stronger than premolars, and they have more ridges. Molars work closely with your tongue to help you swallow food. How? The tongue sweeps chewed-up food to the back of your mouth, where the molars grind it until it’s mashed up and ready to be swallowed.
As we mentioned earlier, the last teeth a person gets are wisdom teeth. These are also called third molars. They are all the way in the back of the mouth, one in each corner.
Wisdom teeth may have to be removed because they can cause problems in a person’s mouth. Some people believe that wisdom teeth may have been used by people millions of years ago when humans had larger jaws and ate food that needed a lot of chewing. It’s believed that they’re called wisdom teeth because they come in later in life, when a young person is becoming older and wiser.
Your teeth are great for chewing, but you also need them to talk. Different teeth work with your tongue and lips to help you form sounds. Try saying the word “tooth” slowly and notice how your tongue first hits the inside of your incisors to produce the hard “t” sound and then goes in between your upper and lower teeth to make the “th” sound.
And if you love to sing “la la la la la,” you can thank those teeth every time you sing a song. Pay attention to what happens to your teeth and tongue every time you make the “l” sound.
Treating Teeth Kindly
Brushing your teeth with fluoride toothpaste is your best bet when it comes to keeping your teeth in tip-top shape. Try to brush after eating or at least twice a day. It’s especially important to brush before bedtime.
The best way to brush your teeth is in little circles — go around and around until you have covered every surface of every tooth. Brush up and down, rather than side to side. You’ll also want to clean between your teeth with dental floss (a special string for cleaning your teeth) at least once a day. That removes food and plaque (sticky stuff that can cause cavities or gum disease) that get stuck in between your teeth. You can also brush your tongue to help keep your breath fresh! Your dentist may suggest that you use an alcohol-free mouth rinse.
It’s also important to visit your favorite tooth experts — your dentist and dental hygienist. During your appointment, they’ll look out for any problems and clean and polish your teeth. Sometimes the dentist will take X-rays to get a better picture of what is going on in your mouth. You also might get a fluoride treatment while you’re there.
In between dentist visits, you can prevent problems by eating fewer sugary snacks and sugary drinks, such as soda. Sugar can hurt your teeth and cause tooth decay, or cavities. But if you take care of your teeth now, you’ll be chewing like a champ for the rest of your life!
Reviewed by: KidsHealth Medical Experts
1. EXPOSE YOURSELF
In an ideal smile, 100 percent of your central and lateral upper incisors and your canines should be visible, Hilton says. Usually your upper premolars and part of your first molar should be on display. Men tend to show less of their upper teeth (hence the expression “stiff upper lip”). Veneers—essentially custom-made slipcovers bonded to your teeth that can be cut to any shape and size—can elongate teeth so more of them show in your smile.
2. SYMMETRY S’IL VOUS PLAIT
Not only should your central incisors meet in a straight line, but the teeth also should be mirror images of each other. Ditto for the lateral incisors and canines.
3. THE GOLDEN RULE
Most central incisors (your two front teeth) are between about 10.5 and 12.5 mm long and are roughly 20 percent longer than wide. Another interesting tidbit: rounded teeth shapes are considered more feminine, square teeth more masculine. If you’re not happy with yours, veneers are one way to alter the shape of your teeth.
4. LESS IS MORE
In an ideal smile, no more than 2 mm of gums should show above the teeth. More than that creates a “gummy” smile a la Jon Heder in Napoleon Dynamite. Gummy smiles are sometimes caused by overactive levator labii muscles, Ball explains, which raise the curtain on your grin just a little too high. One solution: a shot of Botox ($50 a pop) can tame your burly lip lifter.
5. A LITTLE NEGATIVITY IS A GOOD THING
You want a little bit of negative space between the corner of your lips and your upper back teeth. Anatomists gave this the sexy name “buccal corridor.” Balance is everything when it comes to buccal corridors: too little and you’ve got a toothy grin, too much and your smile could end up looking narrow. (Broader smiles are considered more attractive.)
6. SHADE OF SUCCESS
White is right. Or at least right now. Today’s aesthetics call for lighter-colored teeth, although to be realistic, says da Costa, the shade should transition from slightly darker along the gum line to lighter toward the edge of the tooth. Among the most popular whitening products are custom-crafted whitening trays, fabricated to fit you perfectly. How white? Da Costa offers this advice: “Teeth ought not be whiter than the sclera (white part) of the eyes.”
7. EMBRACE SPACE
Another term to add to your Architecture of the Smile glossary: “incisal embrasure,” the notch where the edge of one tooth meets the edge of the next tooth. It is usually small where the central incisors meet, Hilton explains, then wider where the central incisors meet the lateral incisors and even wider where the lateral incisors meet the canines. This gives a (highly desirable) rounded shape to your teeth. Teeth with uniform or little incisal embrasure form more of a straight line and don’t look natural.
8. BE CURVY
Specifically, the curve of your upper front teeth should be roughly parallel to the curve of your bottom lip. This is called your smile arc.
How Long Does It Take for Adult Teeth to Grow In?
Q3. After having a tooth pulled, I developed a dry socket. During one of the follow-ups, the dentist noticed that a piece of bone had died due to no blood flow. Should I be concerned about more bone death?
Sometimes when a tooth is removed, a dry socket can occur. This is when the blood clot that forms after an extraction (or a blood clot combined with some bone filler) doesn’t properly fill the socket where the tooth used to be. Ideally, a tooth should be removed as gently and slowly as possible so that loss of the blood clot or any bone is prevented. A bone-filling material can help keep the blood clot inside the socket, so that more bone fills back in.
Unfortunately, in your case, a dry socket occurred and that can be very painful. This is because the bony walls of the socket have nerve endings that can cause a lot of pain when not covered. Over time, pieces of bone can start to die off from the lack of blood supply, causing them to slowly come out of your socket or jaw bone. This is nothing to be alarmed about, especially if you know what it is. Usually only a few very small pieces of bone will come out, though there is no way of saying exactly how many potentially could. There is not much you can do about it except to let nature take its course and rinse the area with warm salt water.
If you have any kind of swelling or fever, consult your doctor for an antibiotic.
Learn more in the Everyday Health Dental Health Center.
Maybe you’ve never thought about the length of your teeth before, but in truth, if they are too long or too short, they can interfere with the overall balance of your face and even make you look older. To determine the right proportion for teeth, we turned to Beverly Hills, CA, cosmetic dentist Laurence R. Rifkin, DDS, for some guidance.
“Every tooth has its own natural proportion,” Dr. Rifkin says. “Central incisors usually have an 82 percent to 85 percent height-to-width ratio, but other teeth have their own specific proportions.”
Over time, your teeth can actually appear longer or shorter due to things like gum recession or grinding, so having their length evaluated can be an important step in creating or maintaining a more balanced look.
“Teeth that are too long look horsey, and teeth that are too short age you,” Dr. Rifkin says. “There’s usually a pleasing range of tooth exposure when you’re not smiling that’s usually between 1 to 3 millimeters. Unworn and youthful teeth are displayed when you’re not smiling. However, older people have had more time to wear their teeth shorter, and they don’t show teeth when they’re not smiling at all.”
Teeth that are too long are typically caused by receding gums, inflammation or bone loss, Dr. Rifkin explains. “Gums that recede after bone loss can indicate periodontal or gum disease. Bone loss can also come from grinding or clenching your teeth, which will wear the teeth down as well as make them shorter,” he says.
Your dentist will first need to determine why your teeth are too long. If it’s due to gum recession, you may need to have gum tissue grafted and placed over the tooth where your gum is missing. If your gums are not an issue, longer teeth can also be reshaped with tooth contouring (having them sanded down), or your dentist can use orthodontics to push them up a little higher into the bone.
Sometimes you may notice that your teeth look too long after dental work, such as bonding or veneers, and you may need to see a dentist to reshape them, Dr. Rifkin explains.
If teeth are too short because they did not grow enough out of the gums, your dentist may be able surgically remove the excess gum tissue. However, if the teeth are shorter because of grinding or wearing them down, then you can add length by direct bonding or porcelain veneers, Dr. Rifkin says. “This should all be selectively done with respect to harmony with the gums, lip, and face.”
With bonding or veneers, Dr. Rifkin advises that you keep up with proper brushing, flossing and occasional tooth whitening to keep your teeth looking great.
“Direct bonding will eventually discolor and will need to be replaced in five to 10 years,” he says. “Porcelain veneers are considered a more permanent choice because they don’t discolor, and would only need to be replaced in the event of fracture or sometimes gum recession, which you can prevent with proper hygiene and wearing a night guard to avoid the trauma of grinding and clenching.”
Which Tooth Is Next? Using a Permanent Teeth Chart to Track Your Child’s New Teeth
Between the ages of about six months and three years, you watched as your child got all of his primary teeth. Starting around the age of five or six, you get to enjoy the process all over again, as those teeth fall out and the permanent set erupts. Although it only took a few years for your child to get his primary teeth, it can take a decade or more until the final permanent tooth comes in. To help, you can use a permanent teeth chart to keep track of which adult teeth come in and when. When a child’s teeth start growing can vary, but they generally erupt in the same order for everyone.
Using a Permanent Teeththe Chart
A permanent teeth chart can help you and your child keep track of his progress while having a bit of fun. Print out copies of the chart, published in detail by the American Dental Association (ADA) Mouth Healthy site, and fill in each tooth in a different color as it comes in. Make a game out of the chart by printing several copies and letting your child number each tooth in the order he predicts it’ll appear. If your child guesses correctly, reward him with a meal out or a trip to the movies!
Types of Teeth
One of the biggest differences between primary and permanent teeth is quantity. People tend to have only 20 baby teeth, but can have up to 32 permanent teeth. The latter set consists of four types: incisors, canines, premolars and molars. The incisors – located in the front of the mouth, nicknamed the “front teeth” – typically come in first. The permanent central incisor in the lower jaw is the first to appear, around age six or seven.
The next teeth to appear are usually the first molars. These typically appear by age six or seven as well, and are fittingly called the “six-year molars,” according to the Center for Pediatric Dentistry. Two are on the bottom row of teeth and two are on the top. They may be considered “extra” teeth because they aren’t replacing a primary tooth.
After the first set of permanent molars appear, your child will most likely lose the front, central incisor in the upper jaw, and eventually see a new tooth come in at that spot. Next to erupt are the incisors right next to the central teeth, called the lateral incisors, usually by age nine.
Many children then get their pointy canine teeth, next to the lateral incisors, on the bottom row. This is followed by their first premolar – or bicuspid – two spaces in front of their six-year molars on both the top and bottom. After the premolars, the canine teeth on the top row erupt, as do the second premolars. By age 13, the 12-year molars have usually erupted on the top and bottom rows on both sides, at the back of the mouth.
What About the Wisdom Teeth?
Not everyone keeps all 32 permanent teeth. The last four teeth, also called the wisdom teeth, according to the ADA, usually don’t appear until people are in their late teens or early 20s. Some people never get them, and many have to have them removed before they erupt if there isn’t enough space in the mouth. Your child’s dentist will keep a close eye on the progression of this last set of molars, and let you know whether or not it’s a good idea to have them removed.
Caring for Your Child’s New Teeth
With proper dental care, your kids’ permanent teeth will last for the rest of their lives. Encouraging great dental habits, such as brushing twice a day, using a toothpaste such as Colgate® Fresh ‘N Protect, and flossing daily, reduces their risk of tooth decay. Similarly, dental treatments such as sealants and fluoride gels can further strengthen the teeth and protect against decay.
Having the permanent teeth come in a is major milestone in your child’s life. Monitoring them with a teeth chart gives you something to remember it by.
How Long Does It Take for Permanent Teeth to Grow?
While there are only 20 primary teeth, most people have 32 permanent teeth in their mouth by the time they reach adulthood. While these teeth are referred to as permanent, they must be taken care of properly if they are to last. The timeline for permanent teeth emergence usually occurs during the years between the age of six and the early twenties.
Permanent Teeth Timeline
Ages 6 to 9
When looking at the timeline for permanent teeth, it’s important to note that the earliest ones replace primary teeth that fall out to make room for them. The first molars emerge between the ages of 6 and 7 on both the upper and lower jaws. Next in the timeline for permanent teeth are the lower central incisors that come in between ages 6 and 7, while the upper ones emerge between ages 7 and 8. The lateral incisors appear next (lower ones between the ages of 7 and 8 and upper ones between the ages of 8 and 9).
Ages 10 to 13
According to the timeline for permanent teeth emergence, the years between 10 and 12 will see the eruption of a number of teeth. Between the ages of 10 and 11, the first premolars (first bicuspids) of the upper jaw emerge. Between the ages of 10 and 12, the first premolars (first bicuspids) on the lower jaw emerge, and the second premolars (second bicuspids) break through the gums. Between the ages of 11 and 12, the upper canine teeth (cuspids) erupt along with the second premolars (second bicuspids) on the lower jaw. Between the ages of 11 and 13, the second molars on the lower jaw erupt through the gums. Between the ages of 12 and 13, the second molars on the upper jaw emerge. However, this isn’t the end of the timeline for permanent teeth.
The Third Molars
Also known as the wisdom teeth, the third molars are the last teeth to erupt. When they appear during the normal timeline for permanent teeth, the wisdom teeth emerge between the ages of 17 and 21.
Where is my new tooth? 10 Common Milk Teeth Questions Answered
You may remember when your child was about six months of age, and their first milk tooth began to break through.
That pivotal moment marked the start of a long and ear-numbing few years during which they developed all twenty of their milk teeth.
But finally their milk teeth have finished their work, chomping and chewing and helping your child make new sounds, and the time has come for them to depart, ready for a new set of permanent teeth to take over.
Over a period of about five years, they’ll lose all their milk teeth and grow a set of thirty-two adult teeth: eight incisors, four canines, eight premolars, and 12 molars (including four wisdom teeth).
Fortunately, this process is not as painful as the first time (for the child or parent), but there are certain things you need to know to make sure it goes smoothly and without any undue mishaps.
Here we’ve gathered some of the most common questions concerning losing baby teeth and adult teeth coming through. Keep this page in your bookmarks so you can refer to it and be best prepared to look after their goofy but glorious toothless grins.
Do I need to look after milk teeth?
You may be thinking “Why do I need to take care of milk teeth? After all, they’re destined to fall out anyway.”
But you can think of baby teeth as little placeholders, there to create an ideal environment for healthy adult teeth to come through. For instance, if a baby tooth has a cavity and gets infected, that infection could spread into the jaw and affect the development and spacing of permanent teeth.
But not only that, milk teeth also play important roles on a daily basis, helping your child chew food, speak clearly, and show off their brilliant smiles. Getting into the habit of good oral hygiene early on therefore has lots of benefits and can also help build habits that carry on right through into adulthood.
Should I pull out a very loose tooth?
Although it’s a fun family activity to tie a piece of string from the tooth onto some contraption or other and yank it out, loose milk teeth should be left to fall out naturally.
This will avoid the tooth breaking off in the mouth and leading to infection. You can encourage your child to wiggle the tooth around with her finger or tongue – twisting it if it’s already mostly detached at the root and gently pushing it back and forward.
When it feels ready to come out, your child can pull it herself. If the tooth comes out unexpectedly, your child may swallow it – this will cause no harm and is generally nothing to worry about, although if you are planning to bank the stem cells from their milk teeth you will want to avoid this scenario.
What’s the normal age for losing their first milk tooth?
Usually the first of your child’s baby teeth are lost when they are around six years of age. However, some kids may lose their first as early as five or as late as seven, which is still considered normal.
A milk tooth becomes loose when the adult tooth below pushes it up and starts to take its place. But it is possible for your child to lose a milk tooth before the adult tooth is ready to come through, for instance, due to an accident or dental disease. In this case, you should take your child to see a paediatric dentist and have a plastic placeholder inserted until the adult tooth is ready to erupt.
In what order do milk teeth fall out?
In most cases, a child’s twenty milk teeth fall out in the same order in which they came in.
But before they begin falling out, your child can expect a set of molars, often known as the “six-year molars”, to come through at the back of the mouth behind all their milk teeth.
Normally the first actual milk teeth to go are the two bottom front teeth (lower central incisors), followed by the upper central incisors. Next it’s the lateral incisors, first/front molars, canines and second/back molars.
What’s the normal age for losing their last milk tooth?
On average, children will lose all their milk teeth before the age of thirteen, with girls often losing theirs faster than boys and even as early as eleven.
Below is an average timeline of when kids can expect to lose certain teeth. Don’t worry if your child doesn’t match these exact ages; it’s common to see 14-year-olds still hanging on to a few milk teeth. The actual year in which they lose them is not as important as the pattern:
Age 6: Lower and upper central incisors
Age 7: Lower and upper lateral incisors
Age 10: Lower canines and upper first molars
Age 11: Lower first molars
Age 12: Upper and lower second molars and upper canines
My child’s teeth are coming in behind their milk teeth. Should I be concerned?
It can be alarming to see your child grow a few adult teeth before their baby teeth have fallen out. However, it’s typical for permanent teeth to come in behind baby teeth, especially the ones on the bottom.
Most of the time, the baby teeth will simply fall out on their own, with the tongue pushing the adult teeth forward into their proper position. But if the milk tooth hasn’t fallen out within two or three months, you should take your child to see their dentist.
Why do we have milk teeth?
Unlike a lot of animals, humans grow two sets of teeth in their lifetime: permanent adult teeth and deciduous or milk teeth. This is largely thought to be because a child’s jaw is too small to fit in a full set of 32 adult teeth.
Like our adult teeth, milk teeth tend to erupt in pairs. So, when two incisors come through from the lower jaw, you can expect two to come in from the upper jaw soon after. This is to allow us to bite down and chew evenly and also ensure our teeth grow and wear down evenly too.
Milk teeth are also pivotal in helping children reach speech milestones, as the tongue and teeth are key to forming sounds and making words. Find out more in this short video.
What should I do with milk teeth once they’ve fallen out?
Many parents, after ‘sending them to the Tooth Fairy’, traditionally do one of two things with their child’s milk teeth: save them as mementoes or throw them away. But today there’s a third option that’s becoming increasingly popular among parents: sending them to a tooth stem cell bank.
Much like the time in which cord blood stem cells were thrown away as medical waste, we’re still clocking on to the fact that our milk teeth are one of the body’s greatest sources of stem cells. There are a number of reasons for this including the particularly functional type of stem cells that are found there, the ease and low cost of extracting them, and the young and healthy state they are found in.