Life Cycle of Teeth

Our dentists are here to support the growth and development of your child's teeth. From tooth eruption to permanent teeth, learn what you need to know about the developmental cycle of your kid's smile.


Tooth Eruption (Breaking through the Skin)

Even though they aren’t visible, a child’s primary (baby) teeth begin forming before they are even born. At around the four month mark, the primary teeth begin pushing through the gums. By the age of 3, all 20 primary teeth have erupted.


Why are Primary (Baby) Teeth Important?

Many parents ask why baby teeth are so important to their child’s oral health when they fall out on their own eventually.

Primary teeth stay in place until a permanent tooth underneath erupts, pushing it out and taking its place.

These teeth are important to the natural development and growth of what will become your child’s permanent smile. Emphasizing healthy oral habits at an early age also promotes good nutrition and encourages a positive self-image.

Growth of Permanent (Adult) Teeth

Permanent teeth begin appearing around age 6, starting with the first molars and lower central incisors. This process continues until around age 21. Adults have 28 permanent teeth or up to 32 including wisdom teeth.

Even before your baby’s first tooth erupts, you can use a warm clean washcloth to gently swab the gums clean after every meal. When the first tooth erupts, you can gently brush with a soft toothbrush to get them used to having something in their mouths. Do not use toothpaste until your child is at least 2 years old.

At around age two, you can begin applying a pea-sized amount. Emphasizing healthy dental habits at an early age contributes to better oral health in the future.


Contact our Toronto dental team to book your child's next dentist appointment.


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We offer kid-friendly dental services provided by general dentists and pediatric specialists.