milk tooth


: a temporary tooth of a young mammal that in human dentition includes four incisors, two canines, and four molars in each jaw : baby tooth, deciduous tooth
Whereas most mammals retain their milk teeth for months, some bat species lose these teeth soon after birth and have adult dentition even before they are weaned.Rick A. Adams and Scott C. Pedersen
… a restless, rambunctious boy, who at the beginning of the year had lost two front milk teeth that still showed no signs of being replaced by adult ones.Edwidge Danticat

Examples of milk tooth in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web As Ana Cristina Herreros explains, long ago in Spain children flung their milk teeth up onto the roofs of their houses so that a Tooth Mouse might collect them. Meghan Cox Gurdon,, 7 Apr. 2023 Your kid’s milk teeth: the cost of playing the tooth fairy (ten dollars for the first tooth, five dollars for teeth two to four and molars, two dollars for the rest). Francesca Carington, The New Yorker, 20 Feb. 2023 Finlayson said the team had also found the milk tooth of a Neanderthal around 4 years old, and hypothesized that they could have been dragged into the cave by a hyaena. Jeevan Ravindran, CNN, 30 Sep. 2021 Relatives came in and out, helping with the children and watching as Youssef grew milk teeth and Samer went to school and adjusted to life in a strange country. Greg Betza, Washington Post, 1 May 2018

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'milk tooth.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1738, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of milk tooth was in 1738

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Cite this Entry

“Milk tooth.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Jun. 2024.

Kids Definition

milk tooth

: one of the first temporary teeth of a young mammal that in human beings number 20

called also baby tooth, deciduous tooth

Medical Definition

milk tooth

: a temporary tooth of a young mammal
especially : one of the human dentition including four incisors, two canines, and four molars in each jaw which fall out during childhood and are replaced by the permanent teeth

called also baby tooth, deciduous tooth, primary tooth

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