How Long Does It Take For A Tooth To Grow
Once the baby tooth has fallen out it can take as long as six months for the permanent adult tooth to appear in its place. Sometimes the gap can remain unfilled for a lot longer, causing concern in parents about the development of their child’s teeth.
When your child is born, you’re probably excited about all the new things that are going to happen over the next few years – first smiles, walks and talks. But what happens when those big milestones come along? How do they get there? And how long does it really take for them to arrive?
It’s not an easy question to answer because children develop at different rates depending on many factors including genetics, nutritional status, health conditions and even environmental influences like exposure to sunlight or fluoride. So how long should we expect our kids’ teeth to grow?
Tooth Development 101
The average tooth takes between four and five years to fully form from the beginning of tooth formation (also called primary dentition) through adulthood. The process starts with the formation of the embryonic tooth buds during pregnancy, which eventually develops into a tooth under the gums. Once these tooth germs have formed, the roots begin sprouting inside the jawbone until they break free in the mouth. As the tooth grows, it moves up toward the surface of the gum line where it will erupt once it comes loose from the root.
During this time, several events occur simultaneously as the tooth begins forming. First, cells within the dental papilla divide rapidly. This stimulates growth of the enamel covering, while the outer layer of the tooth becomes hardier. Second, nerve fibers sprout from the pulp cavity, which contains the innermost part of each tooth. Third, bone tissue forms around the tooth, giving it strength and supporting structure. Finally, blood vessels develop to deliver oxygen and nutrients to keep the growing tooth strong and healthy. The entire process occurs beneath the gum line, making it difficult to view without cutting open the mouth.
This means that although the tooth may be visible above the gumline, it’s still technically developing underneath. That’s why the actual appearance of your child’s teeth changes dramatically throughout childhood.
New Teeth Arrive
By age 2, the two front teeth have emerged from the gums above the gum line but haven’t yet erupted completely from the jaws. By age 7, both sets of permanent teeth — including 32 upper and 33 lower teeth — have appeared, but some people still won’t see their full complement by age 12. In fact, the final set of permanent teeth usually appears before the end of high school.
One reason why some adults don’t have complete sets of permanent teeth is due to the way teeth grow. Unlike other animals, humans have developed molars instead of premolars. Premolars erupt later than molars, so most people who lose one or more of their back molars never replace them. Since the remaining teeth need room to move forward, missing premolar spaces allow space for the eruption of permanent teeth. However, if someone loses only one back tooth, he or she might find themselves with no room left for the second permanent tooth to emerge.
Another factor affecting tooth development is crowding. When too many teeth appear together, they compete for space and food. Crowded teeth also increase the risk of infection and decay since less chewing surface area is available per bite.
There are numerous reasons why some babies are born with extra teeth. Some rare genetic disorders cause multiple teeth to develop early. Other times, extra teeth are caused by trauma, such as a blow to the face. Still others result from an accident involving a bottle cap, retainer wire or other foreign object accidentally inserted into the mouth.
So when should your child start wearing braces? Read on to find out.
Extra Teeth Problems
While many children enter puberty with a normal number of teeth, sometimes problems arise. Braces are often worn to treat malocclusions, or misaligned bites, resulting in crowded teeth and crooked chompers. Children may also require treatment to straighten their arches or align their bite to prevent future orthodontic issues.
Children aren’t the only ones whose teeth are affected by crowding. Adults can experience similar problems, especially after losing back teeth. Although back teeth tend to grow back naturally, they rarely fill the gaps left behind by lost wisdom teeth. If you’ve got too much space in your mouth, try brushing lightly and flossing carefully to avoid damage to surrounding teeth. Don’t forget to ask your dentist whether you should use a soft-bristled brush to make cleaning easier.
If you or your child have any unusual tooth problems, consult a pediatric dentist immediately. Early detection helps ensure good oral health.
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