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When should my child’s teeth come in? When should we consider getting braces? To answer some of these questions, here is a tooth timeline that provides a rough estimate of when to expect what in your child’s mouth! There’s no need to panic if your child’s teeth don’t follow this timeline perfectly. Every mouth is different, and if you have further questions about the oral development and health of your child, talk to your dentist!

0 – 12 months

Developmental Events: First tooth erupts

Interaction with Dentist: First visit to dentist by first birthday

Home Oral Hygiene Routine: After feedings, use wet washcloth to clean gums until first tooth erupts; begin using toothbrush once first tooth has grown in; avoid giving a bottle at bedtime which can cause baby bottle tooth decay

1 – 3 years

Developmental Events: More baby (primary) teeth erupt

Interaction with Dentist: Finding a dental home for child and visits to dentist every six months for checkups

Home Oral Hygiene Routine: Parent brushes child’s teeth; use only water in sippy cups; to ease teething pain, rub gums with finger, or use a frozen teething ring or pain relief gels

3 – 7 years

Developmental Events: Begin losing baby teeth; first permanent molars start to erupt; thumb sucking may continue after age four, which may cause bite problems and crooked, crowded teeth

Interaction with Dentist: Visits to dentist every six months for professional cleanings and checkups; dentist may take first dental radiographs; dentist may place dental sealants on teeth

Home Oral Hygiene Routine: Parent should supervise a child’s brushing; use a soft-bristled toothbrush and a pea-sized dab of fluoride toothpaste; use dental products that contain fluoride

7 – 13 years

Developmental Events: Child loses all baby teeth; may get cavities in permanent teeth

Interaction with Dentist: Visits to dentist every six months for professional cleanings and exams; dentist may place braces or may suggest visit to orthodontist

Home Oral Hygiene Routine: Brush on own twice a day with fluoride toothpaste; floss on own once a day; limit sugary or starchy foods

13 – 19 years

3589996-a-cute-teenage-girl-smiling-in-the-park-on-the-grassDevelopmental Events: May need braces; may get cavities in permanent teeth

Interaction with Dentist: Visits to dentist every six months for professional cleanings and checkups

Home Oral Hygiene Routine: Brush twice a day with fluoride toothpaste; floss once a day; limit sugary or starchy foods; abstain from starting to smoke; limit soda and energy drink consumption; avoid oral piercings; wear mouth guards when playing sports; keep travel toothbrushes in backpacks; treat and prevent eating disorders, which can contribute to erosion of tooth enamel