Being a new parent can be nerve-wracking, even if you had experience with siblings or nephews and nieces. Like any good parent, you want to make sure they grow up strong and healthy. Often, you might find yourself spiraling down a vortex of medical and parenting sites to see if your child is developing the right way. And in terms of their dental health, it’s no surprise that one of the most common parenting questions is, “How long does it take for teeth to grow?”
And it’s no small inquiry, either. Knowing how long it takes for teeth to grow in has a more significant impact on childcare than you’d think. It’s one way to signal what your baby can and can’t eat and when they need to see a pediatric dentist.
More importantly, knowing how long does it take for teeth to grow also clues you in on the state of their oral health. While every child is different, having teeth that grow in too late or are lost too early can signal an emergency trip to the dentist.
That said, let’s look at how long does it take for a tooth to grow.
Baby Teeth Come in Around 4 to 8 Months
To know how long it takes for teeth to grow, understanding how teeth develop in the womb might make things a little easier. The Dental Health Foundation of Ireland outlines the development as follows:
- Three weeks after conception, the mouth begins to form, along with everything else associated with it. The following weeks refine oral features, such as the palate and jaw.
- Six weeks after conception, the tooth buds begin to form. These buds will eventually develop into your child’s baby teeth.
- Eight weeks after conception, all the buds of the primary teeth have formed.
- Twenty weeks after conception, the tooth buds of the adult teeth begin to form.
Your child’s teeth continue developing after birth, which is why it takes a while for them to erupt. Some kids, however, might already be born with teeth (called natal teeth), particularly those with medical issues. Children with natal teeth may not necessarily be at risk for something; it might be best to consult your pediatric dentist in case of a choking hazard.
How long does it take for teeth to grow in this stage, then? Usually, around 4 to 8 months, depending on the child. By 2 years of age, your child should have their full set of baby teeth in, ready for shedding.
Permanent teeth eruption usually starts at 6 years of age
Some years after your child gets their full set of primary teeth, you’d think they’d begin to shed right away. Not really, as it turns out. Permanent tooth eruption, after all, usually occurs at the same rate as mouth development.
Your child’s baby teeth usually suffice until they’re 6 years old. At that age, then, their bodies begin to undergo significant physical changes as they inch closer to puberty. It’s also at that age that they start to shed their baby teeth as permanent tooth eruption begins to occur. And this cycle of shedding and emergence then continues until your child is around 13-14 years of age.
4 Tips To Ensure Your Kid’s Proper Teeth Growth
#1 Before your child’s first tooth, start rubbing their gums with a wet washrag. Once they develop their first tooth, start brushing.
Rubbing your baby’s gums before their very first tooth erupts helps wash away harmful oral bacteria. This simple act can ensure the first tooth is introduced to the healthiest environment as possible.
Even if your baby has no signs of tooth development yet, it all starts with the health of the gums. This is the foundation and support system for their pearly whites. Once their first tooth comes through, start brushing that tooth with a baby toothbrush and toothpaste.
#2 Take your child to the dentist when their first tooth erupts or by the time of their first birthday.
A lot of parents disagree with this advice. But as advised by the American Academy of Pediatrics and the AAPD, getting a quick checkup with the dentist by the age of one is important.
In turn, this ensures your baby’s teeth are coming in as they should and that you as a parent are doing your job at upkeeping your their oral health. Early oral conditions or jaw problems may also be detected sooner. Thus, you can get your child the best possible dental treatment sooner.
#3 As your child reaches an age where they can start brushing and flossing on their own, you’re still responsible to make sure they remember this twice-a-day oral task.
For younger elementary aged children, reminding them to brush and floss their teeth is important. Advising their brushing and flossing skills is also vital to ensure they’re effectively doing the job. Otherwise, your child may have a higher risk of cavities and other oral-related problems in the near future.
Young children won’t remember to partake in an oral health routine unless an adult teaches them. Free dental songs and short videos on the Internet can show your children how to care for their teeth.
#4 Educate your children on the importance of healthy teeth and what could happen if they don’t brush their teeth twice a day.
Young children don’t always understand the importance of brushing their teeth. Right off the bat, many wouldn’t assume how the teeth should be brushed and for how long. It isn’t common sense as some might think. Children also don’t think of the long-term effects like we do. Educating them on the effects of un-cared for teeth will help them develop a strict oral hygiene routine over time.
Of course, it will take time to get children used to properly brushing their teeth twice a day. However, teaching them while they’re young will make this adaptation much easier for them as they get older. The sooner you instruct your children, the better. It all starts with you as the parent.
Everyone deserves to know what happens to healthy teeth and what happens when teeth aren’t so healthy to ensure they can avoid unwanted oral-related problems in the future. Knowledge is key.