Tag Archives: primary teeth

Understanding the Difference between Primary and Permanent Teeth

You can expect your first grader to come back home and tell you about his/her first loose tooth. At this post, you need to tell you kid about the loss of primary teeth and the erupting of permanent teeth. Although your kid may ask a lot of questions, you may find yourself in a position needing answers of a few questions regarding teething, falling out of the primary teeth and erupting of the permanent teeth.

The difference between primary teeth and permanent teeth

Primary teeth are essentially the placeholders for permanent teeth. These primary or baby teeth fall out to allow permanent teeth to grow. And what you may not know here is that primary teeth are pretty different from permanent teeth in terms of composition, size, structure and number.

Primary teeth have thinner enamel which makes them look quite whiter as compared to permanent teeth. Moreover, the total number of primary teeth is 20. On the other hand, the number of permanent teeth is 32 which also include four third molars.

When do permanent teeth come?

The first permanent teeth erupt at the age of 6. And since permanent teeth have to replace the primary teeth, primary teeth have to fall out to make space for the permanent teeth. By the age of 13, children get 28 permanent teeth. The four third molars start erupting at the age of 17 and grow fully by the age of 21.

What permanent teeth come first?

Babies get primary teeth first. Front teeth are the ones which appear before any of the other teeth. The first permanent teeth are the molars which appear at the age of 6. These molars are usually called extras because they do not replace any primary teeth. However, many parents mistake those molars to be primary teeth. They are, in fact, the permanent teeth and need to be taken care of in such manner.

Caring for the primary and permanent teeth

While people understand the importance of taking care of the permanent teeth, they usually overlook the importance of primary teeth. Although primary teeth have to fall out eventually, they are meant to support eating and speaking. Moreover, they are the placeholders for the permanent teeth. It means that their absence can result in reasonable reduction in the room for permanent teeth.

Hence, it is very important to take care of the dental health and hygiene. Make sure that you brush your teeth on daily basis and encourage your children to do the same. Moreover, it is important to visit the dentist after every 6 months.