Between the ages of about six months and three years, you watched as your child got all of his primary teeth. Starting around the age of five or six, those teeth fall out and the permanent set erupts. Although it only took a few years for your child to get his primary teeth, it can take a decade or more until the final permanent tooth comes in. To help, you can use a permanent teeth chart to keep track of which adult teeth come in and when. When a child’s teeth start growing can vary, but they generally erupt in the same order for everyone.
Types of Teeth
One big difference between the permanent and the primary set of dentition is the quantity. While the primary dentition has 20 teeth in total, a person with a permanent dentition can have up to 32 teeth. They are made up of 8 incisors, 4 canines, 8 premolars and 12 molars (including the 4 wisdom teeth that may or may not erupt). Another obvious difference is the presence of a new type of tooth, the premolar, in the permanent dentition.
The eruption sequence for permanent teeth usually begins with the incisors, nicknamed the front teeth, for obvious reasons. At around 6 years old, the lower central incisors begin to appear inside the mouth, along with the first permanent molars (bicuspids). They are then followed by the upper central incisors, lower lateral incisors, upper lateral incisors, lower canines, premolars (cuspids), second molars and the wisdom teeth.
Early Prevention Against Tooth Decay
As the chewing surfaces of the molars and premolars are irregular, they are more prone to be attacked by tooth decay as the toothbrush may be unable to clean the smaller and deeper areas. Dentists usually recommend the application of dental sealants on these surfaces, both as prevention and protection against possible tooth decay in the future.
The Wisdom Teeth
The 3rd molars, more popularly known as the wisdom teeth, usually erupts from the age of 18-25 years. That being said, not everyone has all four erupt in their mouth, some may not have them at all! This is due to the product of evolution, as food we eat are getting more and more refined throughout the centuries, even more so in the modern days, hence we do not need as many teeth as our ancestors used to. A more detailed post on the wisdom teeth will be up next in our blog.