“Eruption” is the technical term oral health experts like dentists, periodontists and oral surgeons use to refer to the slow ascent of teeth through the gums. (Most people just say that teeth are “coming in” or “growing in”, but we doctors like to make things complicated.) As your children grow and change during their journey from infancy to adulthood, their mouths with grow and change with them, as two phases of eruption transpire. While everyone’s oral development follows a unique schedule, most people follow a pretty similar timeline. Children’s Dental Group, your local Sunnyvale pediatric dental office, would like to tell you a little bit about what you can expect as your baby grows up.
As you know, infants don’t exit from the womb with all their teeth showing. In fact, at the very beginning of life, kids’ teeth are hidden deep within their gums, where they’re still developing and growing out of sight. But at around 8 months months of age — a little while after the onset of teething — your infant’s first tooth will erupt. This will inaugurate a phase of constant teeth growing that will last until your child’s third birthday, when the whole first set of 20 baby teeth will be all the way in. It will also (hopefully!) mark the beginning of a routine of regular visits to our Sunnyvale pediatric dental office, Children’s Dental Group. The next phase of tooth development will start at around six years of age, when that first tooth will get loose and fall out, and go until 12 years of age, when your child will have a full set of 28 adult teeth. While you may need to have some orthodontic work done, you won’t have to worry about wisdom teeth growing in until around 17 years of age.
Generally speaking, all of this progresses naturally on its own, and parents don’t really need to do much besides make sure that kids are practicing healthy habits, coming in for their 6-month checkups at Children’s Dental Group, and remembering to put their baby teeth under the pillow for the tooth fairy. However, if baby teeth happen to be lost prematurely — possibly due to trauma or decay — adult teeth can have problems coming in. This is because baby teeth actually serve as guides for the adult teeth coming in behind them. Depending on a number of factors, you may need to bring your child into our Sunnyvale pediatric dental office to have our experts install an artificial guide. If this is the case, no need to panic. We’ve had a lot of practice.