Babies start to teethe at some point during the first year of life and have 20 baby teeth or milk teeth by the time they are 33 months of age. The age at which a baby starts to cut their first tooth is very variable and is generally determined by genetics.
Dental care for permanent teeth starts with milk teeth
Milk teeth are also known as primary or deciduous teeth and they form the basis for permanent teeth. To ensure that their child will have healthy permanent teeth, proper dental hygiene should start even before the child cuts his or her first milk teeth. Regular dental checkups starting at age 1 will ensure that tooth development and dental hygiene are as they should be.
Permanent teeth eruption
A child starts to lose their milk teeth at about age 6, though generally if the child cut their teeth early they will start losing teeth early as well. This process of milk teeth falling out and permanent teeth coming in, will last till the child is about 12 years of age. The wisdom teeth typically come in between 17 and 24 years of age, but they may take longer as well.
The teeth will be lost roughly in the same order that they were cut: the lower incisors first, followed by the upper incisors generally. There may often be a gap of years between the loss of the first few teeth and others.
When the permanent teeth first come in, the incisors may appear rather large, or may have gaps. In most cases this will correct itself as the jaw of the child grows.
Factors that may cause delay in permanent tooth eruption
Eruption of permanent teeth can be variable, however there are influencing factors:
- Genetics is possibly the most important factor that controls when the milk teeth fall out and when the new teeth come in.
- Certain races show earlier tooth loss. Also gender is an influencing factor with girls getting their permanent teeth earlier than boys.
- Factors such as premature birth can also determine when the permanent teeth come in.
- Nutritional deficiencies and inadequate physical development are also connected with later emergence of permanent teeth. Also taller and heavier children tend to get their permanent teeth earlier.
- Sometimes it could be hormonal changes that could delay permanent teeth. Chronic problems such as diabetes could actually accelerate tooth development and these cases the permanent teeth will come in earlier.