When Do Kids Lose Their Teeth: An Informative Guide

If you are a parent or someone who has a child in their family, then one of the first and foremost things for you to know is about the child’s teeth development 1– when the first tooth cuts through the gums, when do kids lose their teeth, and what are the concerns and complications on this journey of the eruption of the baby tooth to the eruption of the adult tooth.2

The Appearance Of Baby Teeth And Their Fall Out

Every child has a unique timeline of teeth eruption, so parents should not worry about why their child is erupting a little early or late.

The Appearance Of Baby Teeth

The first set of baby teeth appears when the baby is around 6 to 12 months of age. Baby teeth erupt from the age of 6 months, but in some babies, the process of teeth eruption might start a little early, say as soon as they are 3 months old. The growth continues, and children develop all their 20 primary teeth, usually by around 3.

When Do Kids Lose Their Teeth?

Beginning at age 6, the child’s baby teeth start to get loose from the gums as the new and permanent teeth make room and the jaws start to adjust themselves. This process continues until the child is 12 to 13 years old, and by the time the child becomes a teenager, they have a set of 28 permanent teeth. The remaining 4 permanent teeth, which are the wisdom teeth, erupt between 17 to 25 years of age.

Baby Teeth Fall Out Pattern

Children lose their baby teeth in the same pattern of teeth eruption. Outlined below is the baby teeth fall out pattern which one must know:

1. Central Incisors

The two bottom front teeth, the lower central incisors, are the first teeth that erupt when a baby is around 6 months of age, so they are the first to fall out. The two top front teeth, the upper central incisors, come out loose when the child is around 6 or 7 years old.

2. Lateral Incisors

Next in line are the lateral incisors, which fall out when children are between 7 to 8. The upper lateral incisors loosen first, followed by the lower ones.

3. Primary First Molars

After losing 8 teeth, the primary molars or the first molars get ready to fall out from the mouth when a child ages 9 to 11 years old.

4. Canines

They are usually the second last pair of teeth to shed off in the baby teeth loss journey is the canines, which shed between 9 and 12.

5. Primary Second Molars

The final pair of baby teeth that the children start losing is the primary second molars, which sheds when a child ages 10 to 12.

Kids lose their teeth usually in this pattern but as a parent, if you are worrying that your kid is not following this pattern, let me tell you that you don’t have to worry at all.

Some kids might lose their teeth a little slowly from the precise age, and some might lose them quickly before the precise age. This is quite normal as the tooth fall depends on how early the baby tooth had erupted. But the sequence of falling of the child’s teeth is more important than the precise age at which they fall and as a parent or someone who has children in their family you should mainly focus on in which order your children’s teeth are lost.

Now, if you have questions in your mind about the growth of wisdom teeth, well wisdom teeth also have their space made (in most cases) to grow.

Wisdom teeth are the third set of molars that may erupt when children reach their late teenage years, or sometimes much after that. Not everyone grows a pair of wisdom teeth, so you should not worry about wisdom teeth removal.

When babies get their primary molars, the experience can be a little painful, so in that case, you may or may not visit the dentist.

Losing their primary teeth might be exciting for some kids as they are experiencing something new, but it might be upsetting and sometimes frightening for some. Parents should introduce their kids to the tooth fairy concept to make their journey of losing teeth a fun and thrilling one. Parents should also ensure that their child does not develop fear when they start losing their teeth.

When your child loses a tooth, you must tell them about the tooth fairy, so they are not afraid to lose their tooth the next time, and if you want to go realistic, then you should make them understand the concept of losing teeth that it is a part of growing up. You can also celebrate your child’s tooth fall to encourage them for the next time. When your child loses their incisors, they must be familiar with the concept and should be less frightened.

It is important to let the loose teeth fall out naturally despite that your child may feel bothered with the loose tooth. Generally, it takes a little time for the loose tooth to get detached from the gum completely, but you must warn your child not to pull at it. Pulling the tooth before it is completely ready to fall out can injure the gums and cause pain and other serious complications.

When Do Kids Lose Their Teeth
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Issues That May Arise With Child’s Teeth Loss

Naturally, adult teeth push the baby teeth out of the gums to make room, but sometimes there are complications.

  • If a baby tooth falls out much early because of tooth decay or other causes than the precise age, there can be a loss of space for the adult tooth.
  • If a baby tooth sheds off much later than the precise age, the following adult tooth may drift and come in crooked as the adult tooth needed to push the baby tooth and make space for itself.
  • Orthodontic treatment might also be needed if children’s mouth gets crowded with adult teeth and baby teeth. Crowding happens when an adult tooth cannot push out the baby tooth, thus drifting and coming in just like that and making two rows of teeth.
  • In some cases, at around 7 or 8 years old, children still do not lose their baby teeth. In such situations, consulting a dentist is better.
  • There might be a missing permanent tooth in the gum. In such cases, the baby tooth might not loosen and come out as the adult tooth is not there to push it out. A visit to the dentist is a must if such cases arise.
  • The growth of extra teeth can also block the process of eruption of the usual permanent adult teeth.

Whatever the complications are, it is suggested that you must give a visit to the dentist to avoid any major future complications.

When Do Kids Lose Their Teeth
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Oral And Dental Care

Keeping a child’s mouth healthy and clean is very important to have better dental health for life.

Teach your child to brush their teeth twice a day before they get to bed and after they wake up, and regularly floss them.

Before they are old enough to brush their teeth properly, parents must supervise their child’s oral cleaning process and help them clean. Until they have reached the age of 8, help your child brushing their teeth at every corner properly, so the pieces of food are not stuck in there. Whenever there is a tooth fall, remember not to brush harshly over the space left by the tooth.

A healthy diet also helps in having good dental health. Teach your child to eat healthy food such as fruits and vegetables and not eat lots of sweets and sugary snacks to save themself from tooth decay. Encourage your child to wash and rinse their mouth after each food break.

Age does not matter to start your child’s good oral health. As early as you start taking care of your child’s oral health and teach them good dental habits, it will be helpful for them in the future. Schedule an appointment with your dentist, preferably after your child’s first tooth comes in.

Dentists educate parents about oral health care for children and other teeth development issues, so an appointment is beneficial for both the parents and the kids.

Visiting the dentist every 6 months, as per the dentist’s recommendation, is also a good practice. A frequent dental check-up is necessary as the dentist will keep you updated about the child’s present mouth condition.

When Do Kids Lose Their Teeth
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Baby teeth are not set in the gums for a lifetime, but it is imperative to take good care of them as they are the counterparts of the permanent teeth and reserve the gum space. They also help the children chew food, and a decay-free baby tooth will help grow a better permanent tooth. A child’s teeth begin to come out strong only with a proper dental care routine.

As parents, people must know how to take care of their children’s oral health3. From the day when their first tooth appears till the day they learn to take good care of their teeth and preferably also after that, parents must check on their children’s dental hygiene to give them a future with a perfect set of natural and permanent teeth.

7 Ways To Take Care of Your Baby's Oral Health
Icy Health

  1. Nolla, Carmen Maria. The development of permanent teeth. Diss. University of Michigan, 1952. ↩︎
  2. Proffit, W. R., and S. A. Frazier‐Bowers. “Mechanism and control of tooth eruption: overview and clinical implications.” Orthodontics & craniofacial research 12.2 (2009): 59-66. ↩︎
  3. Fisher-Owens, Susan A., et al. “Influences on children’s oral health: a conceptual model.” Pediatrics 120.3 (2007): e510-e520. ↩︎

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Pratyusha Biswas

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