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

Thumb Sucking and Pacifiers

Sucking is natural for babies. Whether it’s their thumbs, fingers, pacifiers or other objects, sucking helps babies feel secure and happy. Young children may also suck to soothe themselves. Since thumb sucking is relaxing, it may help them fall asleep.

When Should It Stop?

Usually kids stop thumb sucking between 2 - 4 years old, or by the time the adult front teeth are ready to break through their gums.

After your kid’s permanent adult teeth come in, sucking may cause problems with the proper growth of their mouth and teeth alignment. Vigorous thumb sucking may also cause problems with baby teeth. If you notice changes in your kid’s baby teeth, please talk to your dentist.

Using pacifiers at a later age can be as much of a problem as sucking fingers and thumbs, but it’s usually an easier habit to break.

Kids will spend 11
minutes dressing Spike
up like a princess.

How about two
minutes to brush
their teeth?

Prevent tooth decay

Tips to Stop Thumb Sucking

  • Praise your kids for not sucking their thumbs. Don’t scold them for sucking them.
  • Children often suck their thumbs when they feel insecure or need comfort. Focus on why your child is anxious and comfort your child.
  • For older kids, involve them in choosing how to stop. Your dentist can offer encouragement to your kids and explain what might happen to their teeth if they don’t stop sucking their thumbs.
  • If these tips don’t work, remind your child of their habit by bandaging the thumb or putting a sock on the hand at night.
  • Your dentist or doctor may prescribe a bitter medication to coat the thumb or the use of a mouth appliance.
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