How Teeth Emerge

The emergence of teeth is a huge milestone in human development. It marks the transition from infancy to early childhood. For parents, it can be a bittersweet occasion. Your little ones are growing, but maybe too fast for your liking. But how do teeth emerge, and what factors influence their growth? How teeth grow and emerge is an interesting process. What is more important, however, is how to take care of these new teeth. 

How Teeth Emerge

 Primary Teeth (Baby Teeth)

The process of tooth emergence begins before birth, with the development of primary teeth. You may know these as known as baby teeth. Primary teeth start forming in the womb. They typically begin to emerge between the ages of six months and one year. By the age of three, most children have a full set of 20 primary teeth.

Permanent Teeth

As children grow, their primary teeth are gradually replaced by permanent teeth, a process known as exfoliation. Permanent teeth begin to emerge around the age of six and continue to erupt throughout childhood and adolescence. By the time a person reaches their late teens or early twenties, they typically have a full set of 32 permanent teeth, including four wisdom teeth.

Factors Influencing Tooth Emergence

Several factors can influence the timing and sequence of tooth emergence, including genetics, nutrition, oral hygiene, and overall health. While the exact timing of tooth eruption can vary from person to person, there is a general pattern of tooth emergence that most individuals follow.


Genetics play a significant role in determining when and how teeth emerge. Children tend to follow a similar pattern of tooth eruption as their parents and siblings. However, variations in genetics can lead to differences in the timing and sequence of tooth emergence among individuals.


Nutrition also plays a crucial role in tooth development and emergence. Adequate intake of essential nutrients like calcium, phosphorus, and vitamin D is necessary for healthy teeth and bones. Breastfeeding and a balanced diet during infancy and childhood can support proper tooth development and eruption.

Oral Hygiene

Good oral hygiene practices from an early age can help ensure the proper emergence and development of teeth. Parents should gently clean their baby’s gums with a soft cloth or infant toothbrush even before the first tooth emerges. As primary teeth come in, brushing with a small amount of fluoride toothpaste becomes important to prevent decay.

Taking Care of Emerging Teeth

Proper dental care is essential for maintaining healthy teeth and gums throughout life. Here are some tips for taking care of emerging teeth:

Begin practicing good oral hygiene habits as soon as your child’s first tooth emerges. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and a smear of fluoride toothpaste to brush your child’s teeth twice a day.

Schedule regular dental check-ups for your child, starting around their first birthday or when their first tooth emerges. Regular dental visits allow the dentist to monitor the growth and development of your child’s teeth and provide preventive care as needed.

Pay attention to the timing and sequence of your child’s tooth eruption. While slight variations are normal, significant delays or abnormalities may warrant a visit to the dentist for evaluation.

Encourage your child to wear a mouthguard when participating in sports or activities that could result in dental injury. Mouthguards help protect teeth from trauma and prevent costly dental emergencies.