About Kids’ Teeth

We have two sets of teeth during life: 20 temporary baby teeth and 32 permanent adult teeth.

Birth – 3 Years Old 3 – 6 Years Old 6 – 12 Years Old 12 – 17 Years Old 17 – 21 Years Old

Birth – 3 Years Old

The 20 baby teeth that will appear in the first 3 years of your baby’s life are already there at birth, in your baby’s jawbones. Baby teeth are key for chewing, speaking and appearance. They also hold space in the jaws for upcoming adult teeth. Even though they fall out, your child’s baby teeth are important, and you need to take good care of them.

Learn about Baby Tooth Decay

3 – 6 Years Old

From around ages 3 - 6, most children have all 20 baby teeth come in.

Protect your kids’ teeth by brushing for 2 minutes, 2 times a day with a fluoride toothpaste for kids 2 and older.

Learn about Thumb Sucking and Pacifiers

6 – 12 Years Old

From around ages 6 - 12, children gradually lose their baby teeth and their adult teeth start to appear.

The first adult teeth to come in are molars. These first molars are important because they help shape your child’s face and affect the position and health of the other adult teeth that are about to arrive.

Learn about Preventing Kids' Tooth Decay

12 – 17 Years Old

Cavities aren’t just for little kids—you can get them at any age. When you eat sugary foods and drink sugary sodas, juice or energy drinks, you put yourself at risk for tooth decay and gum disease. Good oral hygiene is especially important for people wearing braces.  And it’s always important to wear a mouthguard when playing sports like basketball, soccer, football and hockey.

17 – 21 Years Old

The last teeth to appear are wisdom teeth at around ages 17 – 21. By age 21, all 32 of the adult teeth have usually appeared.

Learn about Nutrition

Prevent Kids’ Tooth Decay

You can prevent tooth decay for your kids by lowering the risk of your baby getting the bacteria that cause tooth decay. Make sure you take good care of your baby’s teeth – this reduces the number of bacteria in your baby’s mouth.

Decay Prevention Tips

  • Don’t share saliva with your baby through sharing spoons, licking their pacifiers or pre-chewing their food.
  • After each feeding, wipe your baby’s gums with a clean, damp gauze pad or washcloth. This will remove plaque. When your child’s teeth begin to break through the gums, brush them gently with a child-sized toothbrush and water.
  • Do not use fluoride toothpaste for children under 2 unless advised to do so by your dentist or other health professional.
  • When your child is able to spit out and not swallow toothpaste (usually not before age 2), begin brushing the teeth with a pea-sized amount of toothpaste.
  • Brush your children’s teeth until they are able to do so themselves, usually around age 8. Then, supervise their brushing to make sure they brush thoroughly 2min2x (2 minutes, 2 times a day) and spit out the toothpaste afterward.
  • Place only formula, milk, breast milk, or water in baby bottles. Infants should not be put to bed with a bottle.
  • If your child uses a pacifier, give them one that is clean — don’t dip it in sugar, honey, a sweetened liquid or put it in your mouth first.
  • Encourage your children to drink from a cup by their first birthday and don’t let your child sip all day from a training (sippy) cup with sweetened beverages.
  • Encourage healthy eating habits that include a diet with plenty of vegetables, fruit and whole grains. Serve nutritious snacks to your kids and limit sweets to mealtimes.
  • Make sure that your kids get the fluoride they need. Discuss your kids’ specific fluoride needs with your dentist or pediatrician.