INFANTS AND CHILDREN
MILK TEETH

Milk (deciduous) teeth start coming through when babies are between 5 and 8 months old. They are smaller than adults' teeth because children's jaws are smaller. As the jaws grow, more teeth come through. There are 20 deciduous teeth altogether, and they finish coming through by about age 2 to 2½ years.

Look at the model. It shows all the milk (deciduous) teeth. Explore the model with your mouse to find out the names of the teeth. A description of the teeth is below.

Deciduous incisors: These are the front teeth, and there are 8 of them altogether (four at the top and four at the bottom). They are usually the first teeth to come through between age 5 and 8 months, and are good for cutting into food (for example biting into an apple). You can tell the which are the incisors by the flat biting edge and because they only have one root.

Deciduous canines: These front teeth are also known as 'eye teeth', and are more pointed in shape than the incisors. There are four altogether and they come through at around age 16 to 23 months, and like the incisors they each have a single root. In animals, such as dogs, the canines are much longer, and are used for tearing off chunks of food. In humans they are smaller in size, and are good for cutting into food similar to incisors.

Deciduous molars: These are the larger back teeth, which are good for crushing food into smaller pieces before being swallowed. This is known as chewing. It is easy to tell which are the molars because they look bigger than the front teeth, and have 'bumpy' or irregular surfaces for chewing with. They also have more than one root, and the roots are quite splayed. There are 8 molars altogether which come through between the ages of 1 to 2½. Later on, these teeth are replaced by premolars in adults.

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