Did you know that your child was born with their first set of teeth waiting to come in? This is why it is so important to care for your child’s smile right away and understand the roles that their baby teeth and permanent teeth play in their dental health. Our dentist and team are always ready to answer any questions that you may have and to help ensure the proper development of your child’s smile.

Primary Teeth

 Primary Teeth diagram
When your child’s primary or baby teeth start to come in, it can be an exciting and exhausting time in the lives of everyone in your home! Normally, baby teeth start to come in or erupt when your child is 6 to 8 months old. Usually the bottom teeth erupt first, starting with the front teeth. It is normal for your child to feel some discomfort or even develop a low-grade fever. By the time your child is 2 1/2 years old, they should have all 20 teeth.


Permanent Teeth

 Permanent Teeth diagram
At 5 or 6 years old, your child’s permanent or adult teeth begin to come in. Their baby teeth start to loosen and fall out as the adult teeth begin erupt. In most cases, this process is completed by the age of 12.

Baby teeth are placeholders that help guide the permanent teeth into place and contribute to physical appearance, functional chewing and proper speech. Your child may lose a tooth due to an accident like a fall, or a baby tooth may simply fall out before the permanent tooth is ready to come in. When that happens we may suggest using a space maintainer to ensure proper tooth eruption.

In other cases, the baby teeth may not fall out even as the permanent teeth come in. This is most common in the front teeth, and your child may end up with two rows of teeth. Often, this situation resolves itself, but if it does not, we will help you create a treatment plan for your child.


Your child’s body is constantly growing and changing. This is the same for their teeth. It is important to have regular six-month visits so that our dentist can monitor for decay and maligned teeth, and to help encourage good oral habits at a young age.

If you have questions or concerns about your child’s general or oral health, please contact our office in Spokane, Washington, at 509-327-8681 and schedule an appointment with our knowledgeable dentist, Dr. Nicolas Gallegos.