Even though baby teeth aren’t permanent fixtures in your child’s mouth, they serve many functions. Baby teeth give her face structure and enable the jaws to process food, helping her take in adequate nutrition and learn how to pronounce words. Baby teeth appear in a specific order in your child’s mouth, usually before the tenth month of life.
Before a tooth ever erupts in your baby’s mouth, he’ll exhibit signs of teething — typically around the age of 6 months, according to MayoClinic.Com. A teething baby drools excessively and is prone to tearful outbursts, irascibility and chewing on hard textures. Drooling lasts around two months until your child’s first baby tooth emerges.
The first baby teeth to appear are the lower central incisors, between 6 and 10 months of age. Girls usually get baby teeth slightly earlier than boys. As soon as these tiny teeth pop through the gums, your child is at risk for tooth decay, according to the American Dental Association, or ADA. Brush the new baby teeth gently using a child’s toothbrush and water.
The upper central incisors erupt shortly after the two lower teeth, between 8 to 12 months of age. The upper and lower lateral incisors appear between 9 to 13 and 10 to 16 months, respectively. The upper canines, or cuspids, erupt between months 16 and 22; the lower canines come in between months 17 and 23.The upper first molars appear at 13 to 19 months. The lower first molars emerge at 14 to 18 months of age.
The last four baby teeth to appear in your child’s mouth are the lower second molars, which come in between 23 and 31 months of age; and the upper second molars, which emerge between 25 and 33 months. The ADA states that once your child reaches the age of 2 — or an age at which he can follow instructions to spit rather than swallow — you can add a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste to his toothbrush before he starts to brush.
According to the Cleveland Clinic website, when baby teeth come in, they grow in pairs. For example, the two upper canines grow in concomitantly. Generally speaking, your child should get four new baby teeth every six months. Interestingly, your child loses his baby teeth in the same order in which they grew in, with the first tooth loosening between 6 and 7 years of age.