How Many Teeth Should a 1-Year-Old Have?
The eruption of baby teeth, like most developmental milestones, happens on its own unique timeline. Some infants begin to have teeth erupt at only three months of age, and some don’t have a single tooth present in their mouth at their first birthday party. On average, most infants start to have teeth erupt around 6 months of age and slowly experience the eruption of the rest of their teeth over the course of the next two to two and half years. By their first birthday, most one-year-olds have two teeth, usually their lower central incisors.
Pattern of Baby Tooth Eruption
It is no coincidence that the first teeth that most babies develop are their lower central incisors (the two teeth front and center in the bottom part of their mouth). In fact, there is a clear pattern to the eruption of baby teeth; while some infants might stray slightly from this order, it is generally a pattern that can be counted on.
After the lower central incisors erupt at 6 or 7 months of age (on average), the upper central incisors are next to erupt in the coming months. The lateral incisors (the front teeth directly flanking the central incisors) follow on both top and bottom, and then the cuspids.
After all of the above teeth have erupted, which usually happens shortly before age two, the first and second molars begin to erupt, usually being in place by the age of three. This completes the set of 20 baby teeth, which then remain in place until they begin to fall out around the age of six.
Loss of Baby Teeth
Baby teeth are part of your child’s mouth for quite some time. Perhaps not surprisingly, the first teeth to erupt are also the first teeth to be shed. Just as they came in, from front and center to the back sides, they will also disappear, with the first teeth lost around 6 or 7 years of age and the second molars gone by the age of 12 or 13.
Preventing Cavities in Baby Teeth
Although baby teeth are not permanent, they deserve to be cared for and maintained even so. Not only will the care of baby teeth prevent cavities in these teeth, the practices that are established in doing so will also help make your child aware of how to take good care of their permanent teeth, as well. Steer your child away from sugar-laden foods and beverages, as these can contribute substantially to cavity formation.
Regular brushing is necessary as soon as the first teeth erupt. At this point, you will have to brush your child’s tooth or teeth twice a day, using a very small amount of fluoride toothpaste. Fluoride treatments may also be recommended by your child’s dentist.
As your child grows, they will be able to brush their own teeth. Be sure to apply a pea sized amount of toothpaste for them until they are around 7 years of age and be sure to teach them to spit it out rather than swallowing it. Supervise their brushing to be sure that they are getting good coverage and applying the appropriate amount of pressure.