Primary teeth are the first teeth that appear in a baby. These
teeth start appearing in your child at around six months of
age and often, all primary teeth appear by the time your child
is three years old.Whenever ages are mentioned in this article,
remember that these are guidelines only and if your child’s
teeth are not following this schedule that does not neces-
sarily indicate a problem with their development. If you have
any specific questions about their development always ask your

That said, your baby’s teeth start forming in the six-week old
fetus. Hard substance in the region where the teeth will appear
starts forming at around three to four months of gestation.
Among the primary teeth, the first to appear are the central
incisors. These are the front middle teeth. Next, teeth on
either side of these central incisors appear. Thereafter, the
second molars appear.

Normally, four primary teeth appear every six months. Those in
the lower jaw appear ahead of those in the upper jaw. Primary
teeth appear in pairs, one on the left side and the other on
the right side. Girl babies generally get their primary teeth
ahead of baby boys.
Primary teeth are bright white in color and much smaller than
the permanent teeth that appear later. There are only twenty
primary teeth in all. Primary teeth form the foundation for
the permanent teeth that appear in their place after they fall

Your child starts the growth and development of the facial
and jawbones from the age of four. This could create some
spaces in between primary teeth. Spaces help to accommodate
the larger permanent teeth, as they appear later.

Although all primary teeth will eventually fall out paving way
for permanent teeth, you still want to make sure that you care
for these teeth. Healthy teeth are part of your child’s overall
physical health. They also guide the shape and appearance of
facial muscles and structure. These muscles help in efficient
chewing and crushing of food. Missing or irregular teeth can
disrupt normal chewing of food and lead to food settling between
teeth. This could cause tooth decay and gum problems.

Healthy primary teeth make way for healthy permanent teeth.
Tooth infections and decay in primary teeth, although not
directly related to problems in the underlying permanent teeth,
is a sign of hygiene habits that need to be changed before the
arrival of the permanent teeth.

Development of Permanent Teeth
There are 32 permanent teeth in all. These consist of six max-
illary and six mandibular molars, four maxillary and four
mandibular premolars, two maxillary and two mandibular canines,
and four maxillary and four mandibular incisors.

Permanent teeth come in place of primary teeth except the
permanent molars, which come in behind the primary molars.
Normally, primary teeth start falling out from the age of six
and continue until the age of twelve. Permanent teeth push
the primary teeth from underneath. However, in between the ages
of six and twelve your child will have both primary and perm-
anent teeth. In most cases, all permanent teeth appear by the
eighteenth year. In some cases, they may appear until the age of

The first primary teeth that start falling are the central
incisors. The first molar could appear by the sixth year.
Lateral incisors appear by the eighth year, premolars and
second molars appear by the ninth and tenth years, while canines
appear by the eleventh or twelfth year. The second molar appears
by the twelfth or thirteenth year while the third molar appears
in between seventeenth and twenty-fifth years.

When primary teeth push out permanent teeth, the jaws and mouth
undergo various transformations. These change the shape of your
child’s face into that of a growing adult. Permanent teeth grow
to a certain size and thereafter, the root closes, and teeth
stop growing.

Author's Bio: 

Dr. Steven J. Brazis attended dental school at the University of the Pacific School of Dentistry in San Francisco and graduated in 1973. He has been practicing general dentistry for 34 years. He bought this practice in 1995 and has had a very successful and fulfilling 12 years with mostly the same staff. His web site is:

Dr. Brazis is a member of the American Dental Association, the California Dental Association and the Sacramento District Dental Society. He is a past member of the San Francisco Dental Society where he also served a term on the Curriculum committee, responsible for the continuing education programs for the society.

Dr. Brazis practices all phases of general dentistry and has had extensive experience in some aspects of oral surgery, but enjoys most the sense of fulfillment of helping someone achieve their best smile employing the latest technology available to the dental field.

He is married with five grown children and one grandson. His interests are mostly outdoor sports. He loves backpacking and getting up into the high country of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. He has climbed almost all of the peaks in the Sierra Nevada range between Mt. Whitney and Yosemite at one time. He is an amateur photographer and computer nerd.

His internet marketing web site is: