Throughout your life, you will have two sets of teeth: primary (baby) teeth and secondary (permanent) teeth. At age 6-8 months, the primary teeth start to appear; all 20 are typically in place by age 3.
Permanent teeth will begin to come in around age 6. At this time the 6-year molars grow in behind the last baby molars. Except for wisdom teeth, all of the permanent teeth are typically all present between ages 12 and 14. Wisdom teeth typically begin breaking through from age 17 and on. The total number of permanent teeth is 32, though few people have room for all 32 teeth. This is why wisdom teeth are usually recommended to be removed. Sometimes permanent teeth are developmentally missing, meaning they never form in the typical location. We will be able to tell you how many permanent teeth you have by interpreting an x-ray called a pantomograph.
Your upper and lower front four teeth are called incisors. The pointed teeth beside the incisors are canines. The next side teeth are referred to as premolars or bicuspids, and the back teeth are molars.
Baby teeth are very important. They help children eat effectively, produce important sounds when learning to speak, create a beautiful smile, and they importantly save/maintain space for their permanent tooth successors.
Your permanent teeth are also very important. They are the ones you keep for life, so it is vital that they are brushed and flossed regularly and that periodic check-ups by a dentist are followed. If you have questions about your teeth between your regular visits, please let us know and we will be happy to speak to you over the phone, or have you in for an evaluation.