Permanent Teeth – What every parent should know

Permanent Teeth – What every parent should know

We’ll all agree that there’s nothing cuter when a child is missing its two front teeth. Those are milestones that every parent is looking forward. But what follows when your child loses its baby teeth? Well goofy grins, the next round of teething and bigger permanent teeth.

Since many parents aren’t dental experts, they don’t know what to expect from this round of teething. So let’s dive into this topic a bit.

Number of teeth

Around the 6th month your child will start getting his/her baby teeth and this process will continue until he/she turns 2-3. Once children reach the age of 5 (for some a bit later) those baby teeth will be replaced by permanent teeth.

Teething of permanent teeth takes a bit longer, all the way to adulthood when we get our wisdom teeth. We are born with a set of 20 primary teeth, which will eventually be replaced by 32 adult teeth.

Even though your child’s baby teeth are only around for a few years, their role should not be underestimated. Not only do they help your kids chew their food, but they also occupy the space in their jaws, making room for permanent teeth.

When it comes to baby (or primary) teeth, kids have 10 on top and 10 on the bottom. And when they finally start getting permanent teeth, which are slightly bigger and darker, they will have 16 on top and 16 on the bottom.

When do permanent teeth first start to show

It’s no surprise that permanent teeth start to erupt in the same way and order as primary teeth too. So your kid will first get its front bottom teeth, then front top and then back teeth all the way towards the molars.

Usually, the first primary tooth to erupt, will be the first one to fall out and create room for the permanent tooth. Of course, there are exceptions to this ‘rule’, for example in case of poor dental hygiene that causes the tooth to fall out or maybe some trauma and the tooth gets damaged.

The majority of children starts to lose their primary teeth when the start going to school – so at the age of 5 or 6. And they should have their ‘full set’ of permanent teeth by the time they turn 12 or 13. These teeth include

  • Four at the front top and front bottom – central incisors
  • Four teeth between the front teeth and canines – lateral incisors
  • Four canine teeth and
  • Eight molars

Teeth that erupt the latest are wisdom teeth and your kid will most likely get those between the age of 17 and 21. Sometimes they don’t even erupt so don’t be alarmed.

Quite often, wisdom teeth erupt in a strange way, causing problems and they might need to be removed. It’s best to consult with a dentist on whether or not that would be necessary and how to take proper care of your wisdom teeth.

Since your child will have its permanent teeth for the rest of his/her life, dental care is more important than ever, to ensure a healthy and beautiful smile.

If you have further question about your child’s oral health or about permanent teeth, make sure to contact us and schedule an appointment.


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Dr. Nguyen
Dr. Nguyen

Dr. Nguyen is committed to providing high-quality dentistry using state-of-the-art equipment to help you achieve improved oral health and the beautiful smile you deserve.

Dr. Nguyen has served on the Virginia Board of Dentistry and has many achievements such as: Invisalign Premier and Teen Provider, Pre-Fellow with Academy of General Dentistry, Graduate of Aesthetic Continuum, Engel Institute for Dental Implant Training, WaveOne Endodontic Training, HD President’s Club.

Dr. Nguyen enjoys spending time with his wife and three daughters, staying active in the gym, and trying out new restaurants.  When he isn’t at work, you can find him playing basketball, tennis, football, or hiking.

“I want to make you feel right at home, exceed your expectations, and provide an amazing experience!”