Tooth development

Tooth Eruption

Before Birth

A baby’s teeth begin to develop in the womb around the fifth or sixth week of pregnancy. During this time the nutrients that the baby needs come from the food that the mother eats. It is important that the mother has a well-balanced diet with an adequate intake of calcium (dairy products such as low fat milk & low fat cheese), phosphorus (lean turkey and low fat natural yoghurt) and other minerals and vitamins (fresh fruit and vegetables). By week eight, the tooth buds of all the primary (baby) teeth can be seen in an ultrasound. By week twenty the tooth buds of the permanent teeth start to develop.

After Birth

At birth, the twenty primary (baby) teeth continue to develop in the jawbones. Normally, the first primary teeth start to appear in the mouth around six months of age. By age two and a half years, most children have their full set of 20 primary teeth - 10 teeth in the upper (top) jaw and 10 teeth in the lower (bottom) jaw. As the child grows, the jaws also grow and spaces may begin to appear between the primary teeth. This growth makes spaces for the larger permanent teeth.

Tooth Types

There are four different tooth types found in the mouth.