Teeth through life stages

Baby teeth

Your child’s first teeth (also called baby teeth) will help them to eat, and speak well. Looking after your child’s baby teeth can help ensure their adult teeth come out healthy and strong.

Your baby will start getting their first teeth at around six months. See more about teething.

By the time they are 2 years old they will have their first set of teeth – 20 ‘baby’ teeth. Your child will have most of their baby teeth by the time they are two. Brushing baby teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste needs to happen when they first appear.

Appearance of adult teeth

When your child is about 6 years old, the second set of teeth starts to appear. This change continues until all the adult teeth (except the wisdom teeth) have come through at around 14 years old.

As teeth develop, children need to keep up the routine of brushing twice a day and regular flossing..

The teenage years

Teenagers go through lots of changes – starting high school, starting work, leaving home and growing up. Oral health and looking after teeth is even more important during these years.

Remember to encourage your teenager to continue with regular dental check-ups, which are free up to their 18th birthday. They should carry on brushing twice a day; the most important time to brush is at night.

Sport and mouth guards

Your child should wear a mouth guard when playing sport to protect their teeth and gums. If a tooth is damaged or lost see a dental professional straight away.

If an adult tooth is knocked out, put it back into the socket if you can. If you can’t, keep the tooth moist by putting it into your child’s mouth next to their cheek, or in a cup of milk. Take the tooth and your child to your dentist as quickly as possible – the dentist may be able to save your child’s tooth.

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