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Permanent Teeth

Be sure to care properly for your permanent teeth - after all, they're the only set you have!

Most people come equipped with two sets of teeth during their life: baby teeth and permanent teeth. You can protect permanent teeth by continuing the good oral hygiene habits recommended for baby teeth. Brush twice a day, floss once a day and see a dentist regularly. Dental sealants may be recommended as a way to protect vulnerable areas of the teeth by sealing out debris and bacteria.

Since decayed and missing permanent teeth will not regrow, it's worth learning more about permanent teeth eruption and what to do if your teeth are loose or missing.

Permanent Teeth Eruption

The general timing of permanent teeth eruption is somewhat predictable. The first permanent molars come in right behind the last baby teeth molars, usually some time between 6 and 7 years old. For the next several years, the mouth is in a transition period, with baby teeth falling out and being replaced by permanent ones.

It takes a while for all of the permanent teeth to make their appearance, but by the time they do, there are 32 in total. This includes 12 molars, eight premolars, four cuspids (or canines), and eight incisors. The majority of these teeth will erupt by the early teen years, but the four third molars (or wisdom teeth) will not appear until the late teens or early twenties. Here are the approximate ages of permanent teeth eruption:

Upper TeethLower Teeth
Central Incisors 7-8 years6-7 years
Lateral Incisors 8-9 years7-8 years
Cuspids (Canines)11-12 years9-10 years
First premolar (first bicuspid)10-11 years10-12 years
Second premolar (second bicuspid) 10-12 years 11-12 years
First molar6-7 years6-7 years
Second molar12-13 years11-13 years
Third molar (wisdom tooth)17-21 years17-21 years

Got Loose or Missing Permanent Teeth?

If you've got loose permanent teeth, it's time to talk to a dentist. When permanent teeth first make their appearance, they may be temporarily loose; other causes of loose permanent teeth include gum disease, improperly fitted dental work and mouth trauma. Since you don't get another set of permanent teeth, it's vital to discover the source of the problem before the tooth is lost. The good news is that dentists have tools available to help ensure your loose permanent teeth remain in place.

If you have one or more missing permanent teeth, a great dentist can help get your smile back on track. Permanent false teeth come in many forms. A dental bridge, partial dentures and dental implants are options when just a few teeth are missing; dentures and implant-supported dentures are used to replace a full set of missing permanent teeth. The permanent false teeth choice that's best for you will depend on many factors, including which teeth are missing, your overall dental health, aesthetics and cost.

If you have any questions about permanent teeth eruption, loose permanent teeth or what to do if you are missing permanent teeth, talk to your dentist. If you don't have one, we can help you find a dentist you'll love in minutes!