The eruption patterns in children can vary greatly, typically with girls being ahead of boys when it comes to new teeth coming in. Most of the time, the first adult teeth to erupt are the first set of adult molars, also called “six year molars,” which consequently, erupt around the time of 6 years of age. These molars come in just behind the child’s 2nd set of primary (baby) molars…sometimes creeping in without the child or parent even realizing!
The lower front teeth are typically the next set of teeth to come in. Gradually, the front teeth are replaced with a permanent version of the tooth, with the cuspids (eye teeth) being one of the last front teeth to be replaced, as late as 12 years of age. Primary molars can also stay in place until about 12 years of age, making the entire eruption process of the majority of the permanent dentition stretch over a span of about 6 years or so, not including wisdom teeth.
Wisdom teeth are the 3rd set of molars. These teeth typically do not erupt or begin to cause problems until the range of 17-21 years of age, although they may wait until a person’s late 20s before being fully developed. Some people have to have their wisdom teeth removed due to inadequate space in the mouth, and the risk of abscesses or tooth decay.
As adult teeth begin to erupt, be sure to ask your dentist about placing preventive sealants on the molars. These protective applications help deter tooth decay in areas that are most prone to developing cavities.
Posted on behalf of Dr. Scott Merritt, BridgeMill Dentistry
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