Baby Teeth: When They Erupt and When They Are Shed

A human being usually has two sets of teeth throughout their life. Baby teeth also known as deciduous or milk teeth which are shed giving way to permanent teeth which last throughout the rest of your life.

Baby teeth are usually 20 in number that is 10 on the upper jaw, 10 on the lower jaw. Each set consists of 2 central incisors, 2 lateral incisors, 2 canines, 4 primary molars as shown in the diagram below.

Functions of teeth

  • The incisors are used for biting

  • The canines are used for tearing

  • The molars are used to grind and crushing food

Facts about teeth eruption.

  • By 3 years all baby teeth should have erupted

  • Girl’s teeth erupt earlier than boys

  • Lower teeth erupt earlier than the upper

  • Teeth erupt at the same time as their pair i.e., both upper lateral incisors; the right and the left will erupt at the same time.

  • Baby teeth are smaller and whiter than their permanent counterparts.

Baby teeth eruption and shedding patterns

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