All I want for Christmas is my two front teeth. We’ve all heard the song and probably sang it as a child.
Written by Don Gardner, a music teacher in the 1940s, when he was selecting songs for his second graders Christmas program. It is said that he was inspired by watching the children tell their teacher what they wanted for Christmas that year, and in doing so they all used the same phrase, “All I want for Christmas”, he said. The story goes, that he noticed that 16 of the 22 children in that second grade class were missing their front teeth. And from there, a song was born that has been listened to and sang by thousands of children throughout the years.
Do you remember that Christmas song as a child and wishing for your two front teeth to finally come in? The exact order and timing may vary, but general tooth eruption follows a pattern.
When a tooth or teeth come through the gum line, and become visible, it is known as tooth eruption. The first set of teeth a child has are known as the primary teeth. As a child loses the primary teeth, the second set of teeth, known as the permanent teeth, comes through the gum line. Teeth are named for their location in the mouth and the function they serve. Incisors cut the food, canines tear the food, and premolars crush the food. Your permanent molars grind the food.
The typical age for tooth eruption can vary widely from child to child. However, usually the first teeth erupt at about 6 to 8 months of age. Most babies get new teeth and lose their teeth at expected times.
The third molar, or wisdom teeth, usually erupt between mid to late adolescence. This time may also vary from person to person. Because of their tendency to promote crowding, wisdom teeth, are often removed.
Your teeth are great for chewing but you also need them to talk. Different teeth work with your tongue and lips to help you form sounds. So whether you’re a child or an adult who has lost a tooth, remember that it is important that it be replaced. If you are an adult you should discuss the various options with you dentist. If you are a child, just be patient, your permanent teeth will soon appear. You may not get them for Christmas, but they will arrive before you know it.
Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas to all.
By Drs. George Henderson, James Smerdon & Derek Johnson
In the Dentists’ Office