Tooth Eruption and Orthodontics

Tooth Eruption and Orthodontics

Actually, this is a conversation that can go both ways when parents ask us about tooth eruption in our office. Some parents are shocked that children still have teeth to lose after age 10 while some also think their children have lost too many at this point!

Parents are always proud and curious when their babies begin to cut teeth. The front first ones are easy to notice but once those come in, truth is many of us aren’t able to keep track or even see when others begin to arrive. Somewhere along the way all the baby teeth come in and nothing happens for a long while.

Then, around 6 or 7, the fireworks begin and many teeth begin to get wiggly. After this initial burst of eruption, things really quiet down again around the 9th year as the remaining bigger, side-of-the-mouth, teeth prepare for eruption. This is when many parents think eruption has completed and baby teeth are long gone. Low and behold, there may still be as many as 12 baby teeth in the mouth.

So, yes, kids still have a lot of teeth to lose at 10.

The timeline of teeth development for kids starts at eight to ten months old, when their first incisors emerge. These are commonly the lower central incisors. Those cute little twin lower front teeth!

The first to come are typically the first to go as well, so those baby teeth fall out first, at around age 6 or 7.

At around nine to thirteen months, the lateral incisors emerge for babies. Kids lose them at around 7 or 8.

Next, babies get their canines at sixteen to twenty-two months. These milk fangs go when the kids are 10 (lower) to 12 (upper) years old.

We haven’t even gotten to the molars yet! The first molar teeth emerge at thirteen to nineteen months, and they fall out when kids are around 9 to 11 years old. These teeth are replaced by 1st premolars or 1st bicuspid teeth. The second molar teeth come later when babies are 2 to 3 years old. They fall out at age 10 to 12 and are replaced by 2nd premolars or 2nd bicuspid teeth.

As you can see, it’s perfectly normal for your child to still have and still be losing baby teeth at age ten. Baby teeth guide permanent teeth into place, so there’s no rush to lose them.

However, their eruption does need to be supervised by an orthodontist that is an expert at growth, development and eruption position and timing. It can be very hard to know what you are looking at and if the eruption pattern has been symmetrical between the upper and lower jaws, left and right sides of the face. Our orthodontists are here to monitor this changing-of-the-guard in the teeth to make sure your little ones don’t create more extensive orthodontic problems when something goes awry.

This is why the American Association of Orthodontists recommends that every child is screened by an orthodontist around the age of 7 years old. Problems caught early are easier to fix as roots are shorter, bones are softer, and children are often more compliant throughout treatment.

Things like overcrowding might be an issue where some teeth are physically blocked from eruption or impossible to clean because they present in rows. Losing baby teeth too early can also be a problem, whether it was from tooth decay or from accidents like a knocked out tooth, as now the place holder baby tooth isn’t in place to hold room for the future erupting adult tooth.

No matter what is happening with the growth and development of your child’s mouth, our board certified orthodontists are experts in the diagnosis, explanation, and treatment of developing orthodontic problems related to the eruption sequence. Give us a call to meet either Dr. Ari or Dr. AJ today as they will be able to give you a clear understanding of your child’s situation.

About Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontic Specialists of Michigan, the offices of Drs. Plunkett, Ralstrom, Makowski, Thanasas, Ker, and Associates

Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontic Specialists of Michigan have specialized in pediatric dentistry and orthodontics since 1968. Our family-friendly and newly renovated office gives patients and families a more comfortable and consistent experience with dentistry from the very beginning. Our pediatric dentists treat children from newborn to 18 years of age while our orthodontists provide care for both children and adults and are proud to be Premier Providers of Invisalign and Invisalign Teen services. The ability to treat all patients with compassion and individuality, including those that may have special needs reaches beyond our facility, which has treatment rooms available for children who require additional privacy and customized care options.  We pioneered valued hospital affiliations to allow dental services to be performed at DMC Children’s Hospital and St. John Macomb Hospital, when appropriate or necessary, and our specialists are also proud to be on staff at Henry Ford and Beaumont hospitals.

39400 Garfield Rd., Suite 200
Clinton Township, MI
Phone: 586-286-0700
Fax: 586-286-5932