- Deciduous teeth, commonly known as Primary teeth, milk teeth, baby teeth and temporary teeth, are the first set of teeth in the growth development of humans and other diphyodont mammals. They develop during the embryonic stage of development and erupt—that is, they become visible in the mouth during infancy. They are usually lost and replaced by permanent teeth,but in the absence of permanent replacements, they can remain functional for many years.
- Primary teeth start to form during the sixth week of the embryo phase of human life.
- In the primary dentition there are a total of twenty teeth: five per quadrant and ten per arch. The eruption of these teeth (“teething”) begins at the age of six months and continues until twenty-five to thirty-three months of age during the primary dentition period.
Teething age of primary teeth:
- Central incisors : 6–12 months
- Lateral incisors: 9–16 months
- First molars : 13–19 months
- Canine teeth : 16–23 months
- Second molars : 22–33 months
Milk teeth help in:
- Primary teeth are essential in the development of the mouth.
- The primary teeth maintain the arch length within the jaw.
- The primary teeth provide guides for the eruption pathway of the permanent teeth.
- The primary teeth help to maintain proper spacing for permanent teeth.
- The roots of primary teeth provide an opening for the permanent teeth to erupt. The primary teeth are important for the development of the child’s speech, for the child’s smile and play a role in chewing of food.