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Tooth Eruption

Alternate Names

  • teeth eruption
  • eruption of teeth
  • teething

Definition

Tooth eruption is when a tooth or teeth come through the gum line. This is a normal process of the body. The first teeth a child has are called the primary or deciduous teeth. As a child loses the primary teeth, the second set of teeth, known as the permanent or secondary teeth, comes through the gum line.

What is the information for this topic?

The typical age for tooth eruption can vary widely from child to child. Usually, the first teeth erupt at about 6 to 8 months of age but can be as late as 18 months. The baby, or primary, teeth generally erupt in the following pattern:
Upper teeth:
  • Central incisors, or the front teeth, appear between 8 and 13 months old.
  • Lateral incisors, the ones on each side of the front teeth, appear between 8 and 13 months old.
  • Canines, also known as cuspids, appear between 16 and 23 months old.
  • First molars appear between 13 and 19 months old.
  • Second molars appear between 25 and 33 months old.
Lower teeth:
  • Central incisors appear between 6 and 10 months old.
  • Lateral incisors appear between 10 and 16 months old.
  • Canines, or cuspids, appear between 16 and 23 months old.
  • First molars appear between 13 and 19 months old.
  • Second molars appear between 23 and 31 months old.
All 20 primary teeth have usually erupted by the age of 30 months (2 1/2 years). Even while the primary teeth are erupting, the permanent teeth develop beneath the primary teeth. When a child is around the age of 6 years old, the primary teeth begin to fall out, and the permanent teeth appear through the gum line. The permanent teeth usually appear in the following pattern:

Upper teeth:

  • Lateral incisors appear between 8 and 9 years old.
  • Canine teeth appear between 11 and 12 years old.
  • First premolar appears between 10 and 11 years old.
  • Second premolar appears between 10 and 12 years old.
  • First permanent molar appears between 6 and 7 years old.
  • Second permanent molar appears between 12 and 13 years old.
  • Third permanent molar, also known as a wisdom tooth, appears between 17 and 21 years old.

Lower teeth:

  • Central incisors appear between the ages of 6 and 7 years old.
  • Lateral incisors appear between 7 and 8 years old.
  • Canine teeth appear between 9 and 10 years old.
  • First premolar appears between 10 and 12 years old.
  • Second premolar appears between 11 and 12 years old.
  • First permanent molar appears between ages of 6 and 7 years old.
  • Second permanent molar appears between 11 and 13 years old.
  • Third permanent molar, or wisdom tooth, appears between 17 and 21 years old.

It is important to remember that the ages given above are simply averages, and vary widely from person to person. When the wisdom teeth have appeared, the full complement of 32 permanent teeth are generally present.

However, some individuals are missing one or more permanent teeth as a genetic trait. Wisdom teeth, in particular, are sometimes missing, and when present, sometimes come in out of proper alignment and need to be removed surgically.

Sources

Nursing Care of Infants and Children, Whaley and Wong, 1983. [hyperLink url="http://www.ada.org/newsrel/9802/" linkTitle="www.ada.org/newsrel/9802/"]www.ada.org/newsrel/9802/[/hyperLink]

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