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Permanent Teeth

Most children will have lost all baby teeth by the age of 14.

The last teeth to erupt are the “wisdom teeth” (third permanent molars), anywhere between the ages of 16 and 20.

Most adults have a total of 32 permanent teeth, though some have extra teeth (called supernumerary teeth) and some have less. Many people do not have all four wisdom teeth and some do not have any. Other teeth may be missing due to hereditary factors.

It is not uncommon for children to have permanent teeth erupting behind of or in front of baby teeth that are still present. If you notice this in your child’s mouth, do not be alarmed. It is still necessary to bring your child in for an appointment so we can determine if the baby tooth will be able to come out on its own, usually by taking an x-ray.

Sometimes severe crowding in baby teeth can make it difficult for permanent teeth to come in correctly. At regular checkup appointments, your child’s pediatric dentist will watch development carefully to make sure there are no concerns. If baby teeth are standing in the way of permanent teeth, they may need to be extracted to allow the permanent teeth to come in correctly.

Permanent teeth do not always come in perfectly straight or in the correct position. They may be crowded, too far back, too far forward, or even rotated to the side. This is not a cause for alarm, but may be an indication that Orthodontic treatment will be needed. Sometimes the teeth shift into a more normal position on their own, but we will not know if your child will need braces until all of the front permanent teeth have come in.

These teeth are the ones your child will keep for the rest of his or her life – so make sure you help them take extra good care of them!

Remember that it is very important to bring your child in every six months for cleaning appointments, so we can monitor development and watch for enamel defects or cavities in permanent teeth.

Read More About Oral Health for Pre-Teens and Teens

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