Primary to Permanent Teeth Progression Process

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Primary and permanent teeth are inter-reliant units. They both interact with each other and depend upon each other. But, the relationship between the two can be changed by things like tooth decay lesions and mechanical trauma. In simpler words, if a child experiences dental trauma now, it could disturb the development of permanent teeth in about twelve to sixty-nine percent of cases. So, it is up to the parents to help their kids protect their primary teeth to have healthier permanent teeth later on.


By the sixth to seventh weeks of an embryo being in its mother’s womb, primary teeth development process has begun. That is, the initiation stage and dental lamina stage. By eighth to tenth weeks, the embryo’s teeth development is in the proliferation stage. This entails the bud stage at eight weeks and the cap stage at 9th to 10th weeks. The histodifferentiation process begins at the 11th week, bell stage or enamel organ formation, going up to the 12th week—dental germ formation. Calcification then happens and is also called maturation and entails a complete development of enamel and dentin. Finally, the tooth will enter its eruption stage where the root will grow.


It is not several mothers who realize that their newborn infants have teeth. At birth, babies often have up to 20 primary teeth, also baby teeth, hidden in the gums. At this point they are almost totally formed and just invisible. However, as the baby grows, their teeth continue to mature so that by the time they are two and half years old, their baby teeth start to erupt. The process of eruption goes like this:

Upper jaw

  • Central Incisor teeth – They erupt at 8 to 12 months and shed by six to seven years
  • Lateral Incisor teeth – Erupt at 9 to 13 months and shed by 7 to 8 years
  • Canine or cuspid – Erupt at 16-22 years and shed by 10 to 12 years
  • First molar – Erupts at 13 to 19 months and shed by 9 to 11 years
  • Second molar – Erupts at 25 to 33 months and sheds by 10 to 12 years

Lower jaw

  • Second molar – Erupts at 13 to 31 months and sheds by 10 to 12 year
  • First molar – Erupts at 14 to 18 months and sheds by 9 to 11 years
  • Canine – Erupts at 17 to 23 months and sheds by 9 to 12 years
  • Lateral incisor – Erupts 10 to 16 months and sheds by 7 to 8 years
  • Central incisors – Erupts 6 to 10 months and sheds by 6 to 7 years


Upper teeth

  • Central incisor – Erupts at the age of seven to eight years
  • Lateral Incisor – Erupts at the age of 8 to 9 years
  • Canine- Erupts at the age of 11 to 12 years
  • First premolar or first biscupid – Develops between ages 10 and 11 years
  • Second premolar or second biscupid – Develops between ages of 10 and 12 years
  • First molar – Develops between six and years
  • Second molar – Erupts from ages 12 to 13 years
  • Third molar or wisdom tooth – Grows from ages 17 to 21 years

Lower Jaw

  • Wisdom tooth or third molar – Develops between ages 17 to 21 years
  • Second molar – Erupts from 11 to 13 years
  • First Molar erupts from 6 to 7 years
  • Second premolar – Erupts from ages 11 to 12 years
  • First premolar – Erupts from ages 10 to 12 years
  • Canine – Erupts from ages 9 to 10 years
  • Lateral incisor – Erupts from ages 7 to 8 years
  • Central incisor – Erupts from ages 6 to 7 years

As you can see, babies’ primary teeth develop at different levels and by the time they are 3 years old, all their 20 primary teeth are out. Additionally, a child’s jaws continue to develop so as to create room for their future permanent teeth (adult teeth). These adult teeth will start to develop when a child is about six years of age or when their primary teeth will start to shed — usually at the age of six or seven years. The process will go on until a child is twelve years old.


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Primary teeth demand good care even if they will shed at a given point. A child needs to be taught how to brush and floss their baby teeth to avoid dental caries (tooth decay). Once your child learns how to take good care of its oral health while still young, it will continue to do so once the permanent teeth erupt. Excellent oral health doesn’t only protect a child from tooth decay, but also from speech impairment. The first set of teeth holds a position in the jaw for the permanent teeth to move into later on. That’s why that special position should be well protected now to ensure that there will be no problem when a permanent tooth erupts in future. It should be kept from things that cause cavities and dental pain.

If there is an infection from a decaying primary tooth, action should be taken quickly to protect the adult tooth that will erupt from the same place. Note that permanent teeth are developing under the child’s primary teeth and as a parent, you should realize that your baby’s first teeth are prone to decay. Early childhood caries (also baby bottle tooth decay or nursing mouth syndrome) in infants and toddlers can damage teeth. When a child’s teeth are exposed to excessive sugary stuff for a long time, dental caries can occur.

You can reduce your baby’s odds of developing nursing mouth syndrome by making sure that it does not fall asleep while still sucking milk or another sugary liquid from its feeding bottle. Additionally, make sure that you don’t encourage your baby to use a pacifier by first dipping it in a sugary stuff like honey or table sugar. If the child requires a comforter in between many regular feeding sessions or when going to bed, offer it a sterilized pacifier that is provided by a child doctor (pediatrician) or a professional dentist. Moreover, wipe your kid’s gums with a wet washcloth or clean gauze after eating or drinking.

As soon as the primary teeth start to erupt, brush them with a little amount of water and a soft-bristled brush. It is also important to teach a toddler how to brush its teeth while supervising it to ensure that the job is well done. Only a pea-size amount of fluoride toothpaste is needed to clean a toddler’s teeth and since kids always experiment, they can swallow the toothpaste. So, be there to guide the baby and ensure that it does not swallow the toothpaste. Tell the kid to spit it out and then rinse their mouth with water.

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