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Primary and Secondary Teeth

Kate, Dental Technology | Originally Published: 1/24/2018

Throughout a person’s life, they grow two sets of teeth. Here, I’ll talk about the differences between primary and secondary anatomy!

When you’re born, you have no teeth. And it stays that way for the first few months of life. But somewhere between six months and one year, the first set of teeth start growing in! These teeth erupt in pairs and in phases starting at the midline (front center) of the mouth.

Fun Fact #1: these are sometimes nicknamed “milk teeth”.

The first set of teeth that erupt are called primary, or deciduous teeth. There are 20 teeth in this set. They erupt starting with the central incisors, followed by the lateral incisors, first molars, cuspids, and then second molars.

Fun Fact #2: Teeth erupt and shed earlier in slender children than the stockier types.

Primary teeth start shedding between the age of six and seven years old with the last being lost around 11 years old. They are replaced the secondary, or permanent, teeth. There are 32 teeth in this set. They erupt starting with the central incisors, followed by the lateral incisors, cuspids, first bicuspids, second bicuspids, first molars, second molars, and finally the third molars.

Fun Fact #3: Lower teeth erupt before the corresponding upper teeth, and teeth usually erupt earlier in girls than boys!

About The Author

Kate is a Senior Dental Prosthodontics Technology student. She is currently working towards earning her A.A. degree. Kate discovered this field while working for a dentist in Beverly Hills. In her free time, she likes to cook, bake, travel, be outdoors, draw, knit, and things of the sort.

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