Baby Teeth vs Adult Teeth Pecan Grove

Difference Between Baby Teeth and Adult Teeth

Young girl in dental chair pointing to her smile

Baby teeth can differ from permanent teeth in many ways. As mentioned before, baby teeth can be lighter in color. Adult teeth tend to be darker with a yellow or grey tint. Baby teeth also have a thinner outer enamel shell, as well as a thinner inner dentin layer. The pulp tissue of baby teeth are also larger than adult teeth. Research has shown that even the molecular composition of baby teeth differ from adult teeth!

How many teeth do children have vs. adults?

Children have 20 baby teeth, and will get a total of 32 when they become adults. The 12 additional adult teeth come from the adult molars and wisdom teeth, with the first of these coming in at 6 years of age. Children DO have “baby molars,” but they’re actually replaced by premolars later on. Baby teeth are also known as “milk teeth” or “primary teeth.” They mimic the appearance of adult teeth, but are smaller sized and often lighter in color.

Are baby teeth as important as adult teeth?

Parents tend to dismiss the role of baby teeth, since they’ll “fall out anyways.” However, baby teeth serve an important role: maintaining space. When a child loses his or her baby tooth too early, there is a risk the adult tooth in that area will not have enough space to grow in. This can cause the adult tooth to erupt in an abnormal angle, area, or not come in at all!

When do baby teeth fall out?

Baby teeth start to fall out, or “exfoliate,” at the age of 6. This is around the time when your child may start to notice their front teeth becoming “wiggly.” Don’t worry if your child’s tooth is moving before then: it’s very common for children to get their adult teeth a little earlier than the average.

I have more questions about baby teeth!

If you have more questions about your children’s teeth or want a consultation, feel free to call our office at (832) 220-9324 or email us at Our dental office is conveniently located near Pecan Grove, Waterside Estates, Aliana, and Long Meadow Farms.