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A toothy timeline: What to expect as you age

As our bodies develop over the course of life, our teeth also go through several significant changes.

From early childhood to senior age, here are some of the oral milestones that are likely to happen during a person's life.

Early childhood

A child will start developing their first teeth at around six months. These are called deciduous teeth – but you might know them better as baby teeth. Once they begin to erupt, it's time to begin regular dental visits. 

The flat, front teeth used for biting (otherwise known as the central incisors) are usually the first teeth to develop – four on the top and bottom. From here, the four canines follow suit. These are the sharper teeth used for ripping that also bookend the upper and lower incisors. The premolars complete the first set of 20 teeth, which are the larger teeth used for chewing, and should all be developed by the age of two.

Find out what happens to the teeth  during the years. It's important to encourage your child to practise a good level of oral care at such a developmental time.

Childhood to adolescent

The deciduous teeth are only temporary and fall out to make way for a full set of 28 adult teeth (excluding wisdom teeth) that become fully developed by the time a child enters their teenage years. During adolescence, youngsters are at an increased risk for gum disease due to the high consumption of sugary food so synonymous with this age group. Therefore, it's important to maintain a strong oral care regime and keep up regular visits to the dentist to stay on top of underlying issues. 

During this developmental stage, the wisdom teeth also start to come through. These are the last four teeth to develop and can become a problem for some adolescents if they become impacted. If this occurs they must be removed to avoid further complications.  


In the full stages of adulthood, wear and tear of the 32 (or 28) teeth is common, and many adults will start to receive dental treatments for fillings and crowns as a result. Increased sensitivity is also common for adults due to gum disease, worn tooth enamel or cavities.

Your dentist will recommend a de-sensitising toothpaste or another treatment if you are dealing with this common oral issue. 


In the senior stages of life, some adults may begin losing their teeth as a result of untreated gum disease, tooth decay or injury. Following tooth loss, they may choose to get dental implants for both oral health and aesthetic reasons. These are painless and easy ways to restore a healthy smile. 

It's important to maintain a strong level of oral care and regular dental visits, no matter how young or old you are. Book your next routine check-up with the team at City Dentists, by calling us on 04 978 4964 today. 

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