Primary Teeth

Explore our Primary Teeth Chart to track baby teeth eruption and ensure proper dental care, setting a foundation for lifelong oral health.

By Emma Hainsworth on Jul 15, 2024.


Fact Checked by Ericka Pingol.

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Understanding baby teeth

Baby teeth, also known as primary teeth or deciduous teeth, play a crucial role in a child's development. These tiny teeth pave the way for proper speech, chewing, and the eventual eruption of permanent teeth. Understanding when these baby teeth fall out, shed, and are replaced by adult teeth is essential for healthcare practitioners and parents alike (Nowak & Casamassimo, 2002).

Baby teeth fall out around age 6, making way for permanent teeth. The shedding order generally follows the eruption pattern, with the lower central incisors being the first tooth to fall out, followed by the upper central incisors. Most children have a complete set of permanent teeth by age 12 or 13, except wisdom teeth, which may erupt later in adolescence or early adulthood.

A baby tooth erupts following a specific timeline, although slight variations exist among children. A tooth eruption chart typically shows the following:

  • Upper and lower central incisors: Around 6 months of age
  • Upper and lower lateral incisors: Around 9-13 months of age
  • Upper and lower first molars: Around 13-19 months of age
  • Upper and lower canines: Around 16-22 months of age
  • Upper and lower second molars: Around 23-33 months of age

When baby teeth come, children may experience various teething symptoms, including drooling, irritability, gum rubbing, decreased appetite, and a rash around the mouth area (Verma et al., 2017).

Tracking a baby's teeth growth

Tracking the growth and emergence of a baby's first teeth is important. There are several ways to monitor this process so parents and healthcare professionals can identify potential issues and provide appropriate care. These are some effective methods for tracking a baby's teeth growth:

  • Baby teeth chart: Tooth eruption and baby teething charts visually represent the typical timeline for when baby teeth should emerge. These charts outline the expected age ranges for the appearance of each primary tooth, both in the upper or lower jaw. Referencing these charts helps track the baby's progress and identify any significant deviations from the expected pattern (Havale et al., 2015).
  • Developmental milestones: Monitoring a baby's overall developmental milestones can provide insights into their dental development. For example, the ability to chew solid foods or the emergence of speech sounds may indicate the presence of certain teeth (Casamassimo et al., 2019).
  • Oral examinations: Regular oral examinations by a pediatric dentist or healthcare provider can offer a firsthand assessment of a baby's teeth growth. These professionals can visually inspect the baby's mouth, palpate the baby's gums, and identify any emerging or missing teeth. They may also use specialized tools, such as intraoral cameras, to obtain a closer look at the oral cavity.
  • Dental records: Maintaining accurate dental records is essential for tracking a baby's teeth growth over time. Healthcare providers can document each tooth's presence, absence, and condition during regular checkups, creating a comprehensive record of the child's dental development. These records can be invaluable for identifying any patterns or deviations.

Still, it is important to note that while the Primary Teeth Chart provides general guidelines, individual variations on when a little one's teeth will come or shed are common. In fact, these may be influenced by factors such as genetics, nutrition, and overall health.

What is a Primary Teeth Chart?

A Primary Teeth Chart is a visual representation that illustrates the typical sequence and timeline for the eruption and shedding of a child's primary teeth. This is a helpful reference tool for healthcare professionals and parents alike, showing the expected emergence of each baby tooth and its eventual replacement by the corresponding permanent tooth.

The Primary Teeth Chart typically depicts the arrangement of the 20 primary teeth in a child's mouth, with the upper jaw (top teeth) and lower jaw (bottom teeth) shown separately. Each tooth is labeled with its common name (e.g., upper lateral incisor, upper canine, lower central incisor first molar), and the approximate age ranges for its eruption and shedding are indicated.

Are eruption charts and Primary Teeth Charts the same?

Understanding and distinguishing between eruption charts and Primary Teeth Charts is essential in pediatric dental development. While these charts are related to the development of primary teeth, they serve different functions and are used in other contexts.

Eruption charts specifically detail the typical timeline for primary teeth to emerge (erupt) and later for permanent teeth to replace them. These charts usually outline the typical age ranges for each tooth's appearance in the mouth.

On the other hand, Primary Teeth Charts, often referred to as dental charts or tooth charts, provide a schematic representation of the layout of the teeth in the mouth. These charts are usually more comprehensive, detailing the placement and type of primary teeth and their specific characteristics and health status.

How does it work?

Understanding the process of primary teeth eruption and shedding is crucial for monitoring a child's dental development. Here's a guide on how our Primary Teeth Chart PDF can help in this process.

Step 1: Identify the primary teeth

Our Primary Teeth Chart clearly labels and identifies the 20 primary teeth in a child's mouth. It shows the arrangement of these teeth in the upper and lower jaws, along with their names.

Step 2: Understand the eruption timeline

The chart provides approximate age ranges for when each primary tooth is expected to erupt or emerge through the gums. These age ranges are typically represented numerically or visually.

Step 3: Monitor eruption progress

By regularly referring to the Primary Teeth Chart, healthcare professionals and parents can track the emergence of each primary tooth and compare it to the expected timeline. This allows for identifying any significant deviations or delays in the eruption process.

Step 4: Note the shedding timeline

In addition to the eruption timeline, our chart indicates the approximate ages at which each primary tooth is expected to be shed or lost, allowing permanent teeth to erupt.

Step 5: Assess dental development

Combine the information from the eruption, shedding timelines, and document notes as you assess a child's dental development. This evaluation can help identify irregularities, facilitate necessary early intervention, and ensure proper guidance for maintaining good oral health.

Primary teeth care

Proper care of primary teeth is crucial for a child's overall health and development. These temporary teeth play a vital role in chewing, speech development, and guiding the permanent teeth into the correct position. Here are some essential guidelines for maintaining healthy primary teeth:

  • Teething and soothing techniques: During the teething phase, babies may experience discomfort, irritability, and the urge to chew on objects. While teething necklaces or other objects may seem appealing, exercise caution, as they can pose a choking hazard. Instead, consider offering a clean, firm teething ring or a cool, damp cloth for the baby to chew on gently.
  • Oral hygiene and facial development: Proper oral hygiene promotes healthy teeth and supports the development of facial bones, muscles, and a healthy set of teeth. As soon as the first tooth erupts, gently clean it with a soft, clean finger or a damp cloth. Once more teeth appear, introduce a small, soft-bristled toothbrush and a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste.
  • Diet and tooth-friendly food: A balanced diet rich in essential nutrients is crucial for healthy teeth and gum development. Encourage your child to eat tooth-friendly foods like fruits, vegetables, and dairy products. Avoid sticky or hard foods that could potentially damage or dislodge the primary teeth or those that can lead to tooth decay. Consider helping them tear or grind food into smaller pieces for younger children to prevent choking hazards.


Havale, R., Sheetal, B. S., Patil, R., Hemant Kumar, R., Anegundi, R. T., & Inushekar, K. R. (2015). Dental notation for primary teeth: a review and suggestion of a novel system. European Journal of Paediatric Dentistry, 16(2), 163–166.

Nowak, A. J., & Casamassimo, P. S. (2002). The dental home: a primary care oral health concept. Journal of the American Dental Association (1939), 133(1), 93–98.

Verma, N., Bansal, A., Tyagi, P., Jain, A., Tiwari, U., & Gupta, R. (2017). Eruption Chronology in Children: A Cross-sectional Study. International Journal of Clinical Pediatric Dentistry, 10(3), 278–282.

How many teeth should a 1-year-old have?
How many teeth should a 1-year-old have?

Commonly asked questions

How many teeth should a 1-year-old have?

By age 1, most children have developed between 6 to 10 primary teeth, with the lower central incisors and upper central incisors typically being the first to erupt around 6-10 months of age. However, the exact number of teeth present at one year old can vary, as some children may have fewer or more teeth depending on their individual development.

What should you do when a tooth falls?

When a baby's tooth falls out, it is a normal part of the child's dental development. Parents should gently clean the area with a clean, damp washcloth and monitor for any signs of bleeding or infection. If the bleeding persists or the child experiences significant discomfort, consulting with a pediatric dentist is recommended. In most cases, the gap left by the fallen tooth will close as the permanent tooth erupts in its place.

What is the normal order of baby teeth?

The normal order of baby teeth eruption follows: first, lower central incisors, upper central incisors, upper lateral incisors, lower lateral incisors, first molars, canines, and second molars. This sequence may vary slightly from child to child, but the general pattern remains consistent. By age 3, most children have developed a complete set of 20 primary teeth.

How Do You Read a Primary Teeth Chart?

To read a Primary Teeth Chart, one should note the expected age range for the appearance of each type of primary tooth. The chart typically arranges the teeth in the order they emerge, covering both the upper and lower jaws. Understanding the chart involves recognizing various primary teeth types, incisors, canines, and molars, and their anticipated eruption timeline.

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