Patient Education

Throughout your life, you will have two sets of teeth: primary (baby) teeth and secondary (permanent) teeth. At age 6-8 months, the primary teeth usually begin to appear; all 20 are in place by age 3.

Permanent teeth will begin to erupt around age 6, and except for wisdom teeth, should be present between ages 12 and 14. Wisdom teeth (third molars) typically begin breaking through around age 17. The total number of permanent teeth is 32, though few people actually have enough room for all 32 teeth. This is one reason why third molars are often removed.

Your front teeth are called incisors. The sharp “fang-like” teeth are canines. The next side teeth are referred to as pre-molars or bicuspids, and the back teeth are molars. Your permanent teeth are the ones you keep for life, so it is vital that they are brushed and flossed regularly and that periodic check-ups by a dentist are followed.