The following chart shows when your child’s primary teeth (also called baby teeth) should erupt and fall out. It is important to note that eruption times can vary from child to child.
Primary Teeth Development Chart
Upper Teeth When tooth emerges When tooth falls out
Central Incisor 8 to 12 months 6 to 7 years
Lateral Incisor 9 to 13 months 7 to 8 years
Canine 16 to 22 months 10 to 12 years
First Molar 13 to 19 months 9 to 11 years
Second Molar 25 to 33 months 10 to 12 years
Central Incisor 6 to 10 months 6 to 7 years
Lateral Incisor 10 to 16 months 7 to 8 years
Canine 17 to 23 months 9 to 12 years
First Molar 14 to 18 months 9 to 11 years
Second Molar 23 to 31 months 10 to 12 years
As seen from the chart, the first teeth begin to break through the gums at about 6 months of age. Usually, the first two teeth to erupt are the two bottom front teeth (central incisors). Next, the top four front teeth emerge. After that, other teeth slowly begin to fill in, usually in pairs – one each side of the upper or lower jaw until all 20 teeth (10 in the upper jaw and 10 in the lower jaw) have come in by the time the child is 2 and a half to 3 years old. The complete set of baby teeth is in the mouth from the age of 2 and a half to 3 years of age to 6 to 7 years of age.
A general rule of thumb is that for every 6 months of life, approximately 4 teeth will erupt. Girls generally precede boys in tooth eruption. Lower teeth usually erupt before upper teeth. Baby teeth are smaller in size and whiter in colour than the permanent teeth that will follow.
Shortly after age 4, the jaw and facial bones of the child begin to grow, creating spaces between 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.
While it’s true that primary teeth are only in the mouth for a short period of time, they play a vital role in the following ways:
- They reserve space for the permanent teeth
- 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 if difficult to chew causing children to reject foods)
- They help to give a healthy start to the permanent teeth (decay and infection in the baby teeth can cause dark spots on the permanent teeth developing beneath it)
Permanent Teeth Eruption Chart
Upper Teeth When tooth emerges
Central Incisor 7 to 8 years
Lateral Incisor 8 to 9 years
Canine 11 to 12 years
First Premolar 10 to 11 years
Second Premolar 10 to 12 years
First Molar 12 to 13 years
Wisdom Teeth 17 to 21 years
Lower Teeth When tooth emerges
Central Incisor 6 to 7 years
Lateral Incisor 7 to 8 years
Canine 9 to 10 years
First Premolar 10 to 12 years
Second Premolar 11 to 12 years
First Molar 6 to 7 years
Second Molar 11 to 13 years
Wisdom Teeth 17 to 21 years
Very often the central incisors will come into the mouth inside the baby teeth. This is not unusual and they will be pushed forward by the tongue as they come into the mouth. Permanent teeth begin to come in around the age of 6. In some children, the first permanent molars are the first to emerge, in others the incisors are the first to emerge. By the age of 13, most of the 28 permanent teeth will be in place. One to four wisdom teeth emerge between the ages of 17 and 21, bringing the total number of permanent teeth up to 32.