The health professional will be able
to observe only the crowns of the infant’s or
child’s teeth. Primary teeth begin to erupt
at around age 6 months, and all 20 primary teeth should
be present by age 2 or 3, unless there are developmental
delays. The primary teeth should be white and opaque
and should have smooth surfaces, except for the biting
surfaces of the posterior teeth, which will be grooved
and pitted. Eruption of the permanent teeth begins
at around age 5 or 6. The permanent teeth should appear
cream colored and translucent when observed next to
the primary teeth. In most cases, the permanent teeth
are larger than the primary teeth.
Fig 2. Tooth Eruption Chart
Reproduced with permission from the
Arizona Department of Health Services, Office of Oral
Health, courtesy of Don Altman, D.D.S., M.P.H. The
assistance of the American Dental Hygienists’
Association is gratefully acknowledged.
Available as an Acrobat PDF file
Bright Futures in Practice: Health Supervision
for Infants, Children, and Adolescents, Appendix
J, p. 317.