BRIEF COMMUNICATION Eruption of Deciduous Teeth among Bengalee Children ’ PAPIA BANERJEE AND SUNETRA MUKHERJEE Department of Anthropology, University of Calcutta. India ABSTRACT The eruption time of deciduous teeth of the Bengalee children was noted and compared with the published material from other countries. It has been seen that the onset of eruption in the Bengalee children is appreciably late compared with the others (Japanese, Korean, American and Whites). The time of eruption of deciduous and permanent teeth is regarded as one of the best criteria for the estimation of age during childhood and the adolescent period. But few attempts have been made to find out with precision the age of eruption of teeth among the populations of any region of India. Shourie (’46) made a study of the age of eruption of the permanent dentition, but until now, no one has examined the question of the age of eruption of the deciduous teeth. With this end in view the deciduous teeth of 588 Bengalee children (male320, female - 268) were examined. The children were of normal health showing no acute or chronic disease and no medical or artificial help was used by their parents to promote the early eruption of teeth. The date of birth in each case was taken from the parents with much care and the ages given by them appeared to be quite reliable. When the present sample is compared with samples drawn from among children of other countries such as Japan (Kitamura, cit. Yun, ’57), Korea (Yun: ’57), America (Sander, cit. Meredith, ’58) and “Whites” (Hrdlicka, ’57) it is seen that the marked difference occurs in the first occurrence of eruption. Bengalee children show the average eruption time for the first tooth as late as 10-13 months compared with 6-8 months of the “Whites” and 7-9 months of the other three groups (table 1). Among 102 Bengalee babies observed at the age group 6-9 months only 15% show the eruption of the first tooth. Thus the Bengalee children are late in the onset of eruption of lower mesial incisors compared with other samples, but the differences in the eruption times of other 1 The present investigation was supported financially partly by University Grants Commission and partly by Anthropological Survey of India. Government of India. TABLE 1 Comparative table showing the time of eruption of deciduous teeth accroding to age in months Bengale e Med. incisor Lat. incisor Canine First molar Second molar Med. incisor Lat. incisor Canine First molar Second molar AM. J. PHYs. Japanese Korean American Whites 10-13 12-15 19-24 16-19 29-32 Upper 7-9 8-1 1 17-20 15-20 23-36 9-1 1 11-14 1519 13-19 19-29 !+11 12-15 16-18 9-12 12-14 20-24 16-18 ? 30-32 10-13 15-20 20-24 16-18 29-32 Lower 7-9 8-1 1 16-19 15-20 22-26 7-9 11-14 1s-I9 13-19 1%ZI 7-9 11-15 6 8 14-15 20-24 15-16 30-32 Male Female 10-12 11-14 19-24 16-18 29-32 10-12 14-18 20-24 16-18 29-32 ANTEBOP., 26: 357-358. ? 1 16-18 ? 357 358 PAPIA BANERJEE AND SUNETRA MUKHERJEE teeth appear to be much less. The eruption time of upper lateral incisors in the present sample is compatible with the other samples excepting the Japanese, while in lower lateral incisor, the present sample shows more similarity with the ‘Whites.” The eruption times of canine teeth among the Bengalee children (1924 months) and of the second molars (2932 months) also agree well with those of the ‘Whites,” but among the Korean and the Japanese children these teeth erupt a good deal earlier. In the case of first molar also the Bengalee children show more similarity with the ‘Whites’’ and the American than the two Mongoloid groups. Further work on the basis of economic and other variables is in progress. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS Authors take this opportunity to express their sincere gratitude to Mr. Ganguli and Amar Bhai of Kalanabagram Junior Basic Training School and the authorities of Ramkrishna Mission Seba Pratisthan Hospital, Calcutta for their kind help and cooperation in the collection of data. LITERATURE CITED Hrdlicka, A. 1957 HrdliEka’s Practical Anthropometry (Edited by Stewart) Philadelphia. Meredith, H. V. 1958 Eruption of deciduous teeth in Korean and American infants. (Comments and Communication) Am. J. Phy. Anthrop., 16: 141-143. Shourie, K. L. 1946 Eruption age of teeth in India. Ind. J. Med. Res., 34: 105-118. Yun, 0.J. 1957 Eruption of primary teeth in Korean rural children. Am. J. Phy. Anthrop., 15: 261-268.