Is My Baby's Mouth Developing On Schedule?
The first few years of life are full of many exciting changes! A baby discovers the world, bonds with mom and dad, and experiences growth and development one milestone at a time. The dentition is not left out of this process, and its growth and development is closely monitored by a pediatric dentist. Many parents are also curious about what their baby's mouth should be going through at every age. We are here to provide a timeline for expectations. However, please keep in mind that not every child follows this schedule precisely, and that is not a problem. In fact, it's not the exact timeline that is most important, but rather the sequence. To clarify, a simple delay in tooth eruption isn't as worrisome as teeth erupting out of order. There are many reasons for this to happen, and a pediatric dentist will advise further investigation if indicated.
Birth - age 2.5 years
This is normally when all the child's baby teeth grow out through the gums and into the mouth! A baby usually goes from having no erupted teeth to all 20 baby teeth erupted by age 2.5. Again, every child is different with timing, and a slight delay is not necessarily a reason to worry.
Age 2.5 years - 6 years
Normally, no changes in the number of teeth a child has happen during this time. However, growth and development are still occurring! The bones of the jaw and face are remodeling, the tooth buds of the adult teeth continue to mature, and the primary teeth's roots are resorbed. A pediatric dentist monitors these changes at every check-up.
Age 6 years-12 years
This is the time during which the baby teeth are replaced with adult teeth. Normally, it is the molars in the back 4 corners of the mouth or the two central teeth on the bottom that erupt first. The tooth fairy's last visit to a household for a specific child normally happens when he/she around 12 years old.
Age 12 years -17 years
Normally no changes in the number of teeth a child has happen during this time. Children reach the end of their growth spurts, girls reaching theirs sooner than boys.
Age 17 years-21 years
Not all wisdom teeth erupt into the mouth, but if they do it normally happens during this time. Wisdom teeth are also called third molars.