Primary Tooth Eruption Facts
A general rule of thumb is that for every six months of life, approximately four 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 it important to care for them?
While it is 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) .