Milk Teeth vs. Adult Teeth

1 min

In order to emphasize the characteristic differences between the milk teeth and adult teeth we have compared a few like the following:

  • Eruption timings.
  • Size & Shape.
  • Color & structure.
  • The number of teeth.
  • Functions.

Milk Teeth vs. Adult Teeth:

We have compared based on the above-mentioned criteria into the following:

Eruption timings:

The eruption of primary dentition happens 6 to 10 months after the birth of the child and completes by 25 to 33 months of age. While the permanent teeth start to replace these temporary milk teeth by 6 years of age. During the eruption of permanent teeth, we also get a new set of premolar teeth in 10-12 years of age, which takes the space of primary molar teeth.

Size & Shape:

The size of milk teeth is smaller when compared to their permanent counterpart. The adult teeth have a wider surface area with a definite shape. The pointed and definite shape of the teeth is not prominent in milk teeth.

Colour and Structure:

As the name describes milk teeth are whiter in the shade while the adult teeth have a shade of mild yellow to dull white. The wider form of milk teeth have a wide pulp canal and open roots end. The pulp canal is definite and narrower in adult teeth with closed root ends.

Number of teeth:

The primary dentition has 20 teeth, which includes the following, incisors, canine and molars. While, the permanent dentition has 32 teeth i.e. incisors, canine, premolars and molars. These premolars replace the space occupied by the primary molars.


The main function of the milk teeth is to hold the space for the future of alignment of the permanent in their appropriate sites. The other functions are common to both milk teeth and adult teeth like to help in speech, to maintain the facial form, for aesthetics and for chewing foods.

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Dr Arun

Dr. Arun is a practicing dentist with more than 11 years of experience. Loves to blog and in constant search of new knowledge in dentistry and health niche.