When Do Children Lose Their Baby Teeth and Get Permanent Teeth?

Pediatric Dentistry for Avon, Connecticut

Children Who Got Their Primary Teeth Earlier Will Start to Lose Them Earlier

Children usually begin to lose their baby teeth around the age of 6, but the process can start as early as 4 or as late as 7. Generally speaking, children who got their primary teeth earlier will start to lose them earlier. The process of losing all of the baby teeth can take as long as six years.

Baby teeth usually fall out in the same order in which they erupted. The first baby teeth to be lost are usually the lower central incisors (bottom front), followed by the upper central incisors (top front), and then the lateral incisors, first molars, canines, and second molars. The sequence of tooth loss is more important than the exact age at which it occurs.

If baby teeth do not fall out in the correct order, or if they are not replaced by permanent teeth soon after they are lost, it can lead to problems. These issues may need to be treated with orthodontic work.

Baby teeth hold spaces for permanent teeth until they are ready to erupt. If a baby tooth falls out too soon, the underlying permanent teeth can become crowded. Removing baby teeth will not correct problems with crowding.

A baby tooth can fall out before the permanent tooth is ready to erupt because of trauma or decay. If that happens, a space maintainer is often used to hold the space open for the permanent tooth. If your child loses a baby tooth before the age of 4, consult an orthodontist to find out if there is an underlying dental problem.

If baby teeth fall out too late, the permanent teeth can erupt crooked. Orthodontic treatment will be necessary.

Sometimes adult teeth erupt before baby teeth are lost, which can lead to two rows of teeth and crowding. This situation is usually temporary, but if it continues your child should get an orthodontic evaluation.

Some children do not lose any baby teeth by the age of 8. That does not necessarily mean that there is anything wrong, but you should take your child to an orthodontist for an evaluation.

A baby tooth usually does not become loose until the permanent tooth below it pushes it up. This will not occur if a child is missing some underlying permanent teeth.

Some children have extra teeth. This can prevent regular permanent teeth from erupting in the correct positions.

Permanent teeth are usually bigger and less white than baby teeth. They often have prominent ridges because they have not been used yet for chewing.

It can often take a few months for a loose baby tooth to fall out. Your child may gently wiggle any loose baby teeth if he or she is interested in speeding up Mother Nature’s natural process.

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David Epstein
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David Epstein
A.B., D.D.S., M.S.D.

22 Jan 2022 11:26 PM