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Tooth Eruption – Both Times Around

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Most adults, have experienced the mystical time when they were told about the “Tooth Mouse” who would collect their “baby tooth” from the special “tooth mouse box” during nigh time. Most of us have probably eagerly waited for that morning after to check if our treasured tooth had been replaced by a shiny coin.Naturally, as one baby tooth is whisked off, another “adult” tooth will grow. This, in a nutshell, is what we call “tooth eruption”.

The Process of Normal Human Tooth Eruption

As babies we generally will have 20 primary (baby) teeth erupting around the age of six months. If you are a parent, you are probably aware of how hard it is for children to go through the process of tooth eruption. But that’s not all. Then the temporary teeth begin to fall out throughout childhood. Normally, only at approximately the age of 21 all the permanent teeth have erupted (this number includes wisdom teeth).

Dental eruption is linked to the development and craniofacial growth. From the bones to the surrounding soft tissue, several complex processes go on as tooth eruption takes place. In normal cases, tooth eruption will occur at the same time on both sides of the jaw (dental arch).

Research has shown a correlation between timing of tooth eruption and gender. On average, girls generally experience earlier tooth eruption then boys, except the upper first molar.

Possible problems during tooth eruption

Although our bodies are pre-disposed to straightforward tooth eruptions, some issues can occur and these will need to be managed from as early as possible in order to avoid long term effects. If permanent (adult) teeth erupt in an abnormal position, then all the spacing needed for all the 32 permanent teeth will be affected. Additionally, if a temporary tooth falls out due to some kind of gum disease or even by being knocked out in an accident, the tooth eruption process can also be adversely affected.

Orthodontic conditions caused by problems during tooth eruptions

Blocked Molars

Several conditions result from problems experienced during tooth eruption. If the timing of the eruptions is not the correct one, some permanent teeth can be blocked by temporary teeth that have not yet fallen out. When this occurs and the tooth erupts nonetheless, they are at a higher risk to cavity and can cause the premature loss of other surrounding temporary teeth and affect the craniofacial structure.

Impacted Teeth

With the lack of space, some permanent teeth may not erupt as they are completely blocked or have an ectopic eruption path. When a teeth impact occurs, damage is sustained by surrounding tissues (the gum and bone) as well as to the roots.


If temporary (baby) teeth are lost prematurely due to decay or trauma, the permanent teeth may begin to shift as they erupt resulting in misalignment of teeth, commonly resulting in a crooked smile. The temporary teeth act as an anchor for the permanent teeth to be guided by as they erupt.

Download our free teeth straightening guide for kids to see our tips on teeth straightening for children.

Importance of consulting an experienced orthodontist

We have all heard of braces and orthodontic procedures and practices that promise to “straighten out” your smile. However, with every individual there comes a unique set of patient conditions and requirements in order for the correct treatment to be recommended. At Metamorphosis, our specialists focus not only on the aesthetic factors but also – and more importantly -  on the physiological factors such as correct jaw structure and alignment, comfort while eating and overall confidence. We treat a diverse range of clients, not only children and teens but adults as well. As your teeth are one of your most prominent features, it is natural that extra care and time is taken when considering treatments and long terms goals.

Book a consultation

We have two chances at great teeth in our lives, the first may be out of our control as children, when our parents are responsible for our dental care. However, the second is within our control as adults. There is no time like the present to get started on a journey to a perfect smile and optimum orthodontic health. Metamorphosis is at the forefront of technology and can advise you and your family of the best care for each one individually.

Call us on 020 3828 7116 or email smile@metamorphosisorthodontics.com

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