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As your child’s smile grows, their primary (baby) teeth will eventually fall out, replaced with their secondary teeth, also known as permanent adult teeth. Although a child’s primary teeth are only temporary, these teeth are essential to the overall health and development of their smile. Taking special care of their baby teeth early on can help ensure their smile is growing properly and help their adult teeth erupt in the proper place.

Why Primary Teeth Are Important

We place a special emphasis on providing care for primary teeth. When a child’s teeth are neglected, cavities can grow and lead to severe dental problems that affect the development of their permanent teeth. Primary teeth are essential for your child in helping them to eat and speak properly. Additionally, these teeth provide space for their adult teeth and will help guide them into the correct position as they emerge. This process allows for the correct development of jaw bones and muscles to further improve the appearance of their smile and aid their ability to speak.

Eruption of Primary and Adult Teeth

Even before they are born, a child will start to develop their primary teeth. At 4 to 12 months old, their baby teeth will erupt, starting first with the lower central incisors and followed by their upper central incisors. This timing of this teething process will commonly occur at a different rate for each child. Though the order of tooth appearance will typically vary, most children develop all 20 of their primary teeth around 3 years of age.

Their permanent teeth emerge usually around 5-6 years of age, starting with the first molars and lower central incisors. The size and shape of their teeth will differ according to the development of their smile and will function together to help your child with eating and speaking. Including wisdom teeth, an adult will develop up to 32 permanent teeth.

Arrival of Adult Teeth Behind Baby Teeth

Sometimes a child has an adult tooth emerging behind their primary (baby) teeth. Typically, this occurs in the lower and upper front teeth and is a result of the primary tooth failing to fall out as the adult tooth starts to emerge. To help correct this, you can encourage your child to gently wiggle the primary tooth out. In most cases, the child’s tooth will naturally fall out over time. In the event that their primary tooth has not fallen out, our dentist can remove the tooth to help the adult tooth move into its correct position.

To learn more about primary and adult teeth, we invite you to contact Dr. Lisa Pediatric Dentistry today and schedule an appointment for your child with our dentist in Boynton Beach, Florida. You can reach our team at 561-737-3633 and ask for Dr. Lisa Feldman!