Throughout your life, you will have two sets of teeth: primary (baby) teeth and secondary (permanent) teeth. The primary teeth begin to appear around ages 5 to 7 months and all 20 are typically in place by age 3 years.

Permanent teeth will begin to erupt around age 6. The first to appear are usually the lower incisors and the 6 year molars. Under normal circumstances, all baby teeth have been lost and all permanent teeth have erupted between ages 10 to 14 years with the exception of the 3rd molars (wisdom teeth) which may or may not erupt depending on space available and position. If 3rd molars do erupt, it is usually between ages 17 to 20 years.

It is common for people to be congenitally missing 1 or more permanent teeth. Congenitally missing teeth are usually upper lateral incisors, lower second bicuspids or the 3rd molars. Children with congenitally missing permanent teeth present special challenges to the orthodontist and restorative dentist.

Oral hygeine, diet, and genetics determines your oral health. Regardless of your inherent risk factors for cavities and gum disease, excellent oral hygiene and a proper diet will greatly reduce your risk of cavities and gum disease. Addressing these risk factors begins when the first baby tooth erupts and continues throughout life.