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Using A Permanent Teeth Chart To Track Your Child's New Teeth

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Medically Reviewed By Colgate Global Scientific Communications

You can charter a flight. You can reach the top of the charts. And you can chart your course. But did you know you can chart your teeth as they come in? Sure, you can. Well, it's probably your child's teeth you're charting, but you get the point. Once they reach a certain age, around 6, their baby teeth start popping out and their adult teeth start coming in. And there are a lot more adult teeth than baby teeth, so a teeth chart can really help you keep track of their new pearly whites. When a child goes from their baby teeth to adult teeth can vary, but the order in which the new ones come in is typically the same. Check out how the charts work, the types of teeth that will erupt, and more below.

Using a Permanent Teeth Chart

Your dentist likes to identify and track each tooth so they can make sure your child is losing and growing teeth as they should. And so can you. The American Dental Association has created charts for baby and permanent adult teeth that you can find here. It can be educational and fun for your child to predict and color which tooth will come next. Plus, rewarding them with a little prize might give them a bit more incentive to take an interest. Do 'this' to get 'that' is something parents have been implementing since the beginning of time.

Types of Teeth

Everyone eventually goes from baby teeth to adult teeth. It's completely normal. The most significant difference is the number. Everyone should have 20 baby teeth and 32 adult or permanent teeth. And you have 4 types of permanent teeth. They consist of:

  • Incisors
    • Thin and straight
    • 4 on the top and bottom (8 total) of the front of your mouth
    • Helping in biting food, pronunciation, and lip support
  • Canines
    • 4 total, next to upper and lower incisors on both sides
    • Also referred to as cuspids, they're slightly pointy as they cut and shear food
    • Help guide teeth into place when the jaw comes together
  • Premolars
    • 4 on the top and bottom (8 total), behind the premolars
    • Also referred to as bicuspids, the flattened top allows you to chew your food
    • Keeps the height of your face
  • Molars
    • 6 on the top and bottom (12 total), the widest and flattest teeth next to your premolars
    • Grinds down your food and helps maintain the height of the face
    • Lowers have 2 roots while uppers have 3 roots

The incisors are often first to show, but sometimes the molars make their debut first. By their early teens, your child should have all 28 permanent teeth with up to 4 wisdom teeth emerging later, bringing the total to 32. There are many pearly whites to keep track of, which makes an adult teeth chart so helpful.

What About the Wisdom Teeth?

While we all have 28 permanent teeth that come in, we also have 4 more adult teeth that may or may not be permanent. We're, of course, referring to wisdom teeth. They're the last of your molars, 1 on the top and bottom on both sides, 4 total. And, according to the ADA, you'll notice them emerging in your late teens or early 20s. Everybody has them, as you're born with both sets of teeth. It's just whether they erupt and cause some overcrowding with their other teeth buddies or not. Be sure your child regularly sees your dentist so they can properly assess if your child needs them removed. If so, plan to coddle them for a few days as they'll need to be off their feet and in bed recovering.

Caring for Your Child's New Teeth

The secret for your child is really no secret at all. Just good oral care to fight off tooth decay which consists of:

  • Brushing twice a day
  • Using fluoride toothpaste when brushing
  • Flossing daily
  • Regular dental checkups

At a very young age, we all get teeth, lose them, and then get our permanent ones. And it's completely natural. But the journey to getting your adult teeth can be an extensive one. A permanent teeth chart can really help you and your child keep track of them and create a permanent memory between parent and child.

Oral Care Center articles are reviewed by an oral health medical professional. This information is for educational purposes only. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your dentist, physician or other qualified healthcare provider. 

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