When Do Kids Start Losing Teeth

June 14, 2024  •  

Picture this: you’re sitting at the kitchen table, sipping your morning coffee. Suddenly, your little one rushes in, a mix of excitement and nervousness written all over their face. In their tiny palm, they proudly display a tiny tooth, barely hanging on by a thread. As they wiggle it with their tongue, their eyes sparkle with anticipation. “Mom! Dad! Look! My tooth is about to come out!” they exclaim proudly.

With a gentle tug, the tooth finally comes out, and a mixture of joy and a hint of apprehension fills the air. They excitedly place their tooth under their pillow and eagerly wait for a visit from the tooth fairy. You can’t help but feel grateful for these precious moments. And among the excitement, you recall the question suddenly: when do kids start losing teeth?

Below, we cover when kids start losing their teeth, how it happens, and what comes next with their adult teeth. And will give you some tips to help take care of their new teeth, too.

Childhood dental development is a fascinating journey. The journey begins with the eruption of primary teeth. It falls between the ages of 4 and 7 months. Then, the process of gradually replacing baby teeth with permanent ones starts. So, to make this dental journey easier and better, proper dental care is important. Taking care thoroughly helps your child have healthy gums and teeth. So, let’s discuss further:

Understanding Baby Teeth

Baby teeth are also known as primary teeth and play an important role in a child’s oral development. They help in speech development and guide permanent teeth into their proper positions. They also facilitate proper chewing and digestion. Generally, children have a total of 20 primary teeth. It begins to emerge during infancy. The eruption of baby teeth takes place between 4 to 7 months. And then, the process continues until the child is about three years old.

How Many Baby Teeth Do Kids Lose?

After falling out of a child’s baby teeth, their bodies will grow stronger and bigger. This also allows us to have new and more permanent teeth. Your child will lose 20 baby teeth but grow 32 adult teeth called succedaneous or replacement teeth. This process begins around age 6 and continues into the early teenage years.

After falling out of a child’s baby teeth, their bodies will grow stronger and bigger. This also allows us to have new and more permanent teeth. Your child will lose 20 baby teeth but grow 32 adult teeth called succedaneous or replacement teeth. This process begins around age 6 and continues into the early teenage years

The succession of baby tooth shedding

The process of losing baby teeth is also known as exfoliation. Exfoliation normally starts around the age of six or seven. But it can vary from child to child. 

Common signs that a child is about to lose a tooth include 

  • Increased wiggling or looseness of the tooth, 
  • Gum soreness or swelling, and sometimes, 
  • The appearance of a permanent tooth behind the baby tooth, but sometimes. 

Order and Pattern of Tooth Loss

Usually, the bottom front teeth go first, then the top front teeth, when kids lose their baby teeth. It falls between the ages of six and eight years. The process then continues with the loss of the lateral incisors, first molars, canines, and second molars, respectively. The order of tooth loss generally follows the same pattern as the order in which the teeth erupted during infancy. However, variations can occur, and it’s not uncommon for children to lose teeth in a different sequence. To sum up, explore the following:

  • Central incisors: 6-7 years old
  • Lateral incisors: 7-8 years old
  • Canines: 9-12 years old
  • First molars: 9-11 years old
  • Second molars: 10-12 years old

Factors That Affect When Children Lose Their Teeth

Several factors influence the timing of tooth loss in children. Firstly, genetic factors play a significant role in tooth loss. Additionally, nutritional factors and a balanced diet also contribute to the time of exfoliation. Furthermore, dental care and hygiene practices also affect the timely loss of primary teeth. 

What to Do When a Child Loses a Tooth

Losing a tooth is a noteworthy milestone in a child’s life. This journey marks the transition from babyhood to growing up. So, there are several ways you can support your child through this process. Check out what you can do:

  • Assure Comfort: Assure your child that it’s okay to feel a little anxious or excited about it. Tell him/her that losing teeth is a natural part of growing up. 
  • Pain Management: Losing a tooth is painful for children. Some child experiences minor discomfort or bleeding. Encourage your child to rinse their mouth with lukewarm water. Also, a cold compress to reduce any swelling.
  • Consulting a Dentist: Consult with pediatric dentists and schedule dental checkups regularly. If your child experiences excessive bleeding or severe pain, or if the tooth was knocked out consult a dentist promptly.
  • Celebrating Traditions: Many families celebrate with the Tooth Fairy, who exchanges lost teeth for small gifts or money. Encourage your child to place their lost tooth under their pillow before bedtime, and watch their excitement as they discover what the Tooth Fairy has left for them in the morning.

Common Concerns and Complications

Losing teeth is a natural part of childhood development. However, there are still some common concerns and complications to be aware of.

  • Delayed Tooth Loss: In some cases, children may experience delayed tooth loss, which can be a cause for concern. If your child hasn’t started losing teeth by around age six or seven, it’s a good idea to consult a dentist.
  • Premature Tooth Loss: Accidents or injuries can sometimes cause a tooth to be lost prematurely. If your child loses a tooth due to trauma, it’s essential to handle the situation calmly and quickly. 
  • Fear and Anxiety: Some children feel anxious or fearful about losing teeth. So, educate them if they’re unsure of what to expect. Encourage open communication with your child and address any concerns or questions they may have. 

Caring for New Permanent Teeth

Once permanent teeth start appearing, it’s essential to establish good dental habits to ensure long-term oral health.

  • Dental Care Tips: Teach your child about the importance of proper dental care. Set the practice of brushing teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste. Also, encourage your children to floss daily. Schedule visits to the dentist regularly for checkups and cleanings.
  • Continuing Good Habits: Highlight the importance of continuing good dental habits for children as they grow older. Encourage children to stick with healthy eating habits. Also, remind your child to wear a mouthguard during sports or activities.

Final Thoughts

Understanding when kids start losing their teeth is not only a matter of curiosity and timing. But also essential for ensuring proper dental care and hygiene. So if you are still stressed, then we provide kids orthodontics services. You can contact us if you have any concerns.  

FAQs

When Do Kids Lose Their First Tooth?
When do kids lose their first tooth? Normally, kids lose their first baby teeth around the age of 6 or 7. But, it can vary from child to child and the process continues until around the age of 12 or 13.
Which Teeth Fall Out at Age 10?

Around age 10, children often lose their primary molars. These are the bigger teeth located at the back of the mouth, both in the upper and lower jaw. The primary molars start to become loose as the permanent premolars below them begin to push up. The sequence and timing can vary somewhat from child to child, but losing molars around this age is typical.

When Do Kids Get Adult Teeth?

Kids usually start getting their adult teeth around the age of 6-7. This process begins with the emergence of the first permanent molars. As children grow, they will gradually lose their baby teeth, and adult teeth will take their place. Generally, by the age of 12 to 14, most children have lost all of their baby teeth and have nearly all of their adult teeth, except for the wisdom teeth. It appears later from the late teens to early twenties.

Can Kids Lose Their Teeth Too Early?
Yes, But, when a child loses a tooth before the age of 4, there is the chance that the adult tooth may not grow in proper alignment. So, keep in mind that baby teeth maintain space for permanent teeth until they’re ready to emerge. If a tooth is lost prematurely, it should be replaced within three months otherwise, neighboring teeth may start to shift. It can lead to overcrowding and may cause permanent teeth to emerge misaligned.
Is It Normal for a Child to Lose Their First Tooth After 7 Years Old?
It’s not uncommon for it to happen later. Some children lose their first tooth as early as 4 or 5, while others may not lose it until they are 8 or even older. If you’re concerned about it, consult with a pediatric dentist. They will take an X-ray and confirm whether the permanent teeth are still under the gums or not.

Caring for New Permanent Teeth

Dr. Nathan Mellion Author

Written by Dr. Mellion

Dr Nathan Mellion, DDS, is a seasoned practitioner specializing in orthodontics and dentofacial orthopedics based in Uniontown, OH. With 15 years of professional experience, Dr. Mellion graduated from the College of Dentistry at Ohio State University in 2008. After their education, he completed a residency program at Saint Louis University’s Center for Advanced Dental Education. Dr. Nathan Mellion operates from Mellion Orthodontics, where he has garnered a remarkable average patient rating of 5.0/5 based on 8 reviews. His practice warmly welcomes new patients.

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