How teeth develop

The development of your child’s teeth

A child’s teeth begin to develop before they are born. Normally the first teeth do not appear above the gumline for about six months to a year after birth, although some children are born with one or more teeth already ‘erupted’ (above the gum).

Grinning little boyTeething

For many babies, the appearance of these first teeth can be painful, and is often accompanied by dribbling, chewing, red cheeks, and irritability. Teething gels or sugar-free paracetamol may relieve these symptoms. A teething ring, which can be cooled in the fridge, may also help to comfort your child. All twenty of your child’s first set of teeth, or ‘milk teeth’ will usually have appeared around the time of their second birthday.

Young girl with bracesAdult teeth

The second set of permanent teeth, or ‘adult teeth’, normally begin to appear around the age of six. As these teeth push up, they put pressure on the roots of the milk teeth above. The roots of the milk teeth dissolve until the tooth becomes wobbly and falls out, leaving space for the adult tooth to grow.

Occasionally, there may not be enough room in the mouth for all the adult teeth to grow straight, and the mouth may be ‘crowded’. If this is the case, your child’s dentist may recommend¬†orthodontic treatment. The full set of thirty-two adult teeth have normally appeared by the time your child is thirteen or fourteen year old.

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