Eruption Of Your Child’s Teeth

The eruption of your child’s teeth is a joyous occasion for both you and your child. But from the first baby tooth to the last permanent tooth, proper care is necessary throughout all stages of development. Introducing your child to proper dental care early on helps them keep their teeth healthy and clean.

It’s important for parents to understand the tooth-eruption process so they can make good decisions regarding their child’s dental hygiene and prepare them for adulthood.

What is an erupted tooth?

eruption of your child's teeth

A tooth erupts by breaking the surface of the gum tissue, thus becoming visible.

Babies can be born with teeth, but they are typically born without them.

Until the first tooth is visible, no doubt justifying a celebration marking the occasion, parents should provide daily oral health care by keeping the baby’s gums clean. Use a wet cloth or infant toothbrush to gently wipe the gums.

At what age does tooth eruption begin?

The first tooth should erupt when your baby is around six months old. At this time, parents should schedule an appointment to take their baby to the dentist for the first time. The dentist will be able to check the tooth to make sure it is healthy and provide parents with tips for caring for the tooth and additional teeth that erupt.

In addition, your baby will begin teething, so expect them to feel discomfort as their teeth begin erupting, which puts pressure on the gums. Providing your baby with a cold washcloth or teething ring to chew on can give them relief.

What are the stages of tooth eruption?

There are five stages of tooth eruption that parents should try to keep track of as their child’s teeth develop.

  • Stage 1

Stage 1 occurs between birth and six months. Your baby is born with a full set of twenty baby teeth beneath the gums.

  • Stage 2

At six months, stage 2 begins with the first tooth erupting from beneath the gums. The first teeth to emerge are usually upper or lower incisors, also known as front teeth.

  • Stage 3

Stage 3 of tooth eruption unfolds when your child is 10-14 months old. At this time, primary molars or back teeth begin to erupt.

  • Stage 4

Biting gets a little sharper in this stage as the upper and lower canine teeth between the incisors and molars emerge from beneath the gums at 16 to 20 months.

  • Stage 5

Stage 5 at 25 to 33 months sees the large molars arrive on the scene. By the time your child is three years old, all of their baby teeth should be visible, ten on top and ten on the bottom.

When will my child’s permanent teeth erupt?

The answer can vary depending on the child, but permanent teeth generally begin to erupt when the child reaches the age of 6 or 7-years-old when the first permanent molars appear.

For the next several years up to when your child turns 13-years-old, all of the permanent teeth should be in except for wisdom teeth, which should come through the gums between the ages of 17 and 21 if at all.

This can be a particularly uncomfortable and awkward time for your child, so be sure to support them and continue with their daily dental care routine and dentist appointments to make sure the permanent teeth are healthy and coming in correctly.

How long does tooth eruption take?

Overall, the teething process takes about eight days, with four days before the eruption and three days after when the tooth should be fully visible. Prior to the eruption, you may notice a blue-grey bubble known as an eruption cyst on the gum where a tooth is about to erupt. This is normal and will usually go away without treatment.

What causes early tooth eruption?

When baby teeth erupt early, it is known as a premature eruption, and there are several causes. One cause could be simple genetics, but there are other causes to be mindful of since early tooth eruption can be a sign of serious problems parents should address.

  • Vitamin deficiencies
  • Metabolic disorders
  • Malformations
  • Infection
  • Trauma

Bringing your child to the dentist as soon as possible is best to determine why your child’s teeth are erupting early.

What should you do after the eruption of your child’s teeth?

Gently clean the tooth with a soft toothbrush and make an appointment to see your family dentist. The dentist will check the tooth to make sure it is healthy. This is also a great opportunity to establish regular dentist visits as part of your child’s oral care routine.

Be sure to only use a small amount of toothpaste and don’t let your child swallow it. Toothpaste that contains fluoride should not be used if your child is under the age of 2 unless directed to do so by your dentist.

Is proper care for baby teeth important?

It is important to properly care for your child’s baby teeth.

They serve as an important set of teeth to establish proper oral healthcare prior to the eruption of permanent teeth. Baby teeth can also affect the development of permanent teeth.

For example, early baby tooth loss can cause permanent teeth to grow crooked. Look at baby teeth as a practice set of teeth for your child so they can properly care for their permanent teeth as adults. Cavities, tooth decay, and gum disease can all develop if baby teeth are not taken care of properly.

Any misalignment issues can be treated with braces or Invisalign® during adolescence, but taking care of your child’s teeth early on can prevent these issues and save you money in the long run.

Contact Us

Smiles in Framingham serves Framingham, Southborough, Ashland, Wayland, Natick, Marlborough, Hopkinton, Holliston, and surrounding areas in Massachusetts.

Dr. Deborah Himelhoch has been practicing pediatric dentistry and orthodontics since 1990 and has decades of experience treating children and adults.

If your child’s first tooth has erupted, contact us today at 508-872-0555 or visit our website to schedule an appointment.

The eruption of your child’s teeth is a happy milestone. Caring for your child’s teeth, however, can be a chore. But Smiles in Framingham is here to help you care for your child’s teeth so they will last for a lifetime of smiles.