How Do Teeth Grow?

As your body grows and develops, so do your teeth through a complicated process called odontogenesis. Today, we want to take a closer look at the different stages of tooth growth. Read on to learn about a tooth’s life cycle, from prenatal to permanent.

Fetal Development

To have a healthy mouth and teeth, each part of your mouth must develop appropriately prenatally. Firstly, by week 3 after conception, a baby’s primitive mouth has begun to form, which is followed by development of the tongue, palate, and jaw. Then, the buds of baby teeth start to appear around week 6. By week 8, these baby teeth buds are fully formed, with the buds of permanent teeth beginning to form during the 20th week. Thus, if these processes do not occur, teeth will not develop at all!

Baby Teeth

After birth, a child’s teeth continue to grow in their jaw. Generally, an infant’s first tooth emerges through their gums when they are around 6 months, beginning with their central incisors (front teeth). By 2 1/2 to 3 years old, a child should have all 20 baby teeth. The exact timeline for tooth eruption varies for different children, so if you have any questions about your child’s tooth development, feel free to ask our team. We also recommend checking out these eruption timelines from the American Dental Association!

Aerial view of a bald baby on a furry blanket about to get his baby teeth

Permanent Teeth

Baby teeth are critical placeholders for a child’s permanent teeth, also called their adult teeth. As their jaw continues to grow larger and longer, their permanent teeth will begin to push up, causing their baby teeth to become loose and wiggly. Encourage your child to gently wiggle their loose teeth with a tissue, clean fingers, and their tongue. After a child loses their baby teeth, their first permanent tooth (a bottom incisor or molar) will erupt around 6 to 7 years old. This process continues for several years and by age 12 to 13, most kids have a set of 28 permanent teeth. Wisdom teeth, also called third molars, emerge between 17 and 25 years of age, but many patients have them removed before they erupt to prevent potential pain, damage to surrounding teeth, and decay.

Preventive Care Is for All Patients!

No matter your age, we implore you to practice good oral hygiene at home. Research has shown that preventive care can limit and even prevent many dental ailments, like tooth decay, cavities, and gum disease. Children need to brush their teeth twice daily for two minutes each time and floss every day to ensure that their teeth grow healthy and strong, and adults need to continue these practices to maintain optimal oral health. Here at Bluedot Dental, we provide quality care to patients of all ages. To ask us any questions or to schedule your next appointment, contact us today!