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Tooth Eruption


Primary Teeth Eruption

A child's teeth actually start forming before birth. As early as 4 months of age, the primary or "baby" teeth push through the gums—the lower central incisors are first, then the upper central incisors. The remainder of the 20 primary teeth typically erupt by age 3, but the place and order varies. Dr. Lugo, Dr. Kramar, and Dr. Farmer your baby dentists, recommend the first dental visit take place between 12 and 16 months of age.

At Puget Sound Pediatric Dentistry your child’s oral health is our number one priority. A large part of good oral health is education. Your child will reap the rewards of your effort to better understand their mouth, gums, and teeth. The following information is designed to help you better understand the tooth eruption process.

Eruption of Primary Teeth


Most people are born with two sets of teeth, their primary teeth, and permanent teeth. The teeth start to form before birth. However, the first stage of tooth development is the eruption of primary teeth. Primary, or baby teeth, typically erupt at about six months of age. Most children have a full set of 20 primary teeth by the time they are three years old.

When the teeth first come in, your child may be a bit fussy due to sore or tender gums. You can soothe their discomfort by gently rubbing their gums with a clean finger, wet gauze, or small, cool spoon. You may also want to consider a teething ring for them to chew on. If your infant is still cranky or in pain, consult with Dr. Chris Lugo and Associates.

Despite popular misconceptions, primary teeth are extremely important to your child’s oral health. They help your child properly speak, chew, and smile. They also act as placeholders for their permanent teeth. If a primary tooth is lost prematurely, the remaining teeth may shift out of alignment. This can make it more difficult for the permanent teeth to find their proper position as they erupt.

Eruption of Permanent Teeth


The permanent teeth begin to erupt around the age of six. The process continues until around the age of 21. Most adults should have 28 permanent teeth, 32 if you include the third molars (wisdom teeth). The first permanent teeth to erupt are the molars and lower central incisors. Permanent teeth that do not erupt above the gumline are known as impacted teeth. Impacted teeth can be quite painful and lead to the development of cysts, abscesses, and other complications.

Wisdom teeth typically erupt between the ages of 16 and 21, making them the last teeth to come in. Because of this delay, there is usually not enough room in the jaw to accommodate four new teeth. Many people opt to have their wisdom teeth removed before they cause major issues for their oral health.

Care and Management of Teeth


Once your child’s primary teeth erupt, you should be cleaning them with an ADA approved toothpaste and an appropriately-sized brush. Toothbrushes for younger children have smaller heads and bristles, which allows you to clean their teeth more efficiently.

The early years of tooth development can set the foundation for your child’s oral health. As your child grows older, be sure to educate them on proper brushing and flossing techniques. While they are still young, monitor their oral hygiene habits. During their appointments, Dr. Chris Lugo and Associates or our dental hygienist will review the proper techniques in a fun, simplified way.

Group of kids playing together, Puget Sound pediatric Denistry.

Schedule an Appointment


We can help you learn even more about your child’s oral health. Call 360-659-8100, 360-863-8700, 425-367-4149, 360-339-8000 to schedule an appointment today!






We Look Forward To Meeting You



Our front office staff is happy to discuss our services with you. Our dentists are here to serve your children and teens. For more information, contact one of our multiple Seattle area offices.



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