“Aren’t They Just Baby Teeth?”
Pediatric Dentistry opened a whole new world to me when I discovered the specialty in 2000! I have since been practicing for 10 years.
One thing I’ve experienced outside of training is that parents are the most viable factor in determining the health of their children. Including, yes, you guessed it, the “Baby Teeth”!
How long do baby teeth take to grow in?
Just as the teeth arrive at different times, some baby teeth stay longer than others. Typically the 1st to arrive are the 1st to go, and the last to appear remain the longest. This growth phase occurs from birth to 12 years of age.*
How are teeth related to school?
Studies show that poor oral health is related to having poor experiences in elementary school. Unhealthy or missing teeth, results in an unhealthy mouth, leading to a poor transition or even failure to graduate into healthy permanent dentition (adult teeth). Just as constantly being sick and missing school prevents or greatly decreases the success of graduating to higher levels of education.
We all want our children to enjoy learning, socializing, being present, and succeeding at school. Just like we all want our children to have healthy mouths to eat, grow, and smile, and be pain and infection-free!
Similarly learning, growing, laughing, and playing, all contribute to proper oral health. Especially in the early developmental years! A healthy mouth and teeth correlate with successful education in ways we may not often consider. Take for example physical, emotional, psychological, and speech development!
Perhaps seeing permanent teeth replace baby teeth at 7-8 years of age* makes us think that the baby teeth phase is complete. The reality is that only 8/20 baby teeth have evolved to maturing adult teeth while 12 baby teeth remain!
Listed below are the 3 stages of baby teeth that represent typical development:
- Stage 1: Birth-3 years old; 20 baby teeth erupt to completion
- Stage 2: 6-8 years old; 8/20 baby teeth fall out (top & bottom front teeth), replaced by 8/32 permanent teeth.
- Stage 3: 10-12 years old; remaining 12/20 baby teeth fall out (top & bottom back teeth), 28/32 permanent teeth are now present.
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