The pediatric dentist has an extra two to three years of specialized training after dental school and is dedicated to children’s oral health from infancy through the teenage years. The very young, pre-teens, and teenagers all need different approaches in dealing with their behavior, guiding their dental growth and development, and helping them avoid future dental problems. The pediatric dentist is best qualified to meet these needs.
Why Are The Primary Teeth Important?
It is very important to maintain the health of the primary teeth. Neglected cavities can lead to problems that affect the development of permanent teeth. Primary teeth or baby teeth are important for:
- Proper chewing and eating.
- Providing space for the permanent teeth and guiding them into the correct position.
- Permitting normal development of the jaw bones and muscles.
Primary teeth also affect speech development and add to an attractive appearance. While the front four teeth last until 6-7 years of age, the back teeth (cuspids and molars) aren’t replaced until age 10-13.
Eruption Of Your Child’s Teeth
Children’s teeth begin forming before birth. As early as four months, the first primary (or baby) teeth to erupt through the gums are the lower central incisors, followed closely by the upper central incisors. Although all 20 primary teeth usually appear by age 3, the pace and order of their eruption vary.
Permanent teeth appear around age 6, starting with the first molars and lower central incisors. At the age of 8, you can generally expect the bottom four primary teeth (lower central and lateral incisors) and the top 4 primary teeth (upper central and lateral incisors) to be gone and permanent teeth to have taken their place. There is about a one to two-year break from ages 8-10, and the rest of the permanent teeth will start. This process continues until approximately age 21.
Adults have 28 permanent teeth or 32, including the third molars (wisdom teeth).