The Easy Way to Remembering Tooth Eruption Dates

Is it that time again when you have to remember your tooth eruption dates for your dental exams? Or are you a curious parent wondering whether your child’s tooth is delayed?

Fear not as there will be information for both of you. Tooth eruption dates can make your head spin if you do not have a proper system to remembering them. Fortunately there is an easy way for both deciduous teeth (Baby teeth) and permanent teeth (Adult teeth). For deciduous teeth it is called the “4 plus rule” and the “lower before upper rule”. The “4 plus rule” is shown below:

Deciduous Teeth Eruption Dates

First Incisor (a) 7 months
Second Incisor (b) 11 months
First Molar (d) 15 months
Canine (c) 19 months
Second Molar 23 months
As you can see it is pretty simple. You start from 7 months and add 4 to get the next eruption date and you keep adding 4. There is a slight twist that the first deciduous molar comes before the deciduous canine but no biggie. The “lower before upper rule” is exactly that the lower teeth erupt usually 1-2 months before the upper teeth. Simple.

For permanent teeth it is slightly more complex. This time it is the “3 plus rule” and again the “lower before upper rule”. The 3 plus rule is shown below:

Permanent Teeth Eruption Dates

First Molar (6), First Incisor (1) and Second Incisor (2) 6-9 Years old
Canine (3), First Premolar (4), Second Premolar (5) 9-12 Years old
Second Molar (7) 12 Years old
Wisdom Tooth (8) 18 Years old
So the order of eruption goes – First Molar (6), Central Incisor (1), Lateral Incisor (2) between 6-9 years old erupting in that order. Now here is the complex bit, the upper teeth do a different order to the lower teeth. The upper teeth go: First Premolar (4), Second Premolar (5), Canine (3) and the lower teeth go: Canine (3), First Premolar (4) and Second Premolar (5) from the ages between 9-12 years old. Then the really simple second molar at 12 years old, a gap at 15 years old and the wisdom tooth at 18 years old. Then done! Phew!

Tooth eruption dates do vary from child to child so give each of these dates a leeway of 6 months before raising the alarm with your dentist. The other warning sign is if your child’s teeth are asymmetrical and are developing over to one side. Always seek a clinician’s advice if you are worried.


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