When Do Kids Lose Their Baby Teeth?
Babies get their teeth at varying ages. There is no particular age by which they should have them. If you’re wondering when kids lose baby teeth — there’s a general age, but every child is different. We know the age range when each adult tooth comes through, however.
As an adult tooth pushes up, it dislodges the baby tooth and takes its place. This action causes the baby tooth to become looser until it can come out completely. This may happen naturally, or the child may wiggle their tooth out independently, leaving a space for the adult tooth to come in.
Let’s Explore the Types of Teeth
There are four main types of teeth. Each type has its own purpose in your mouth and for eating. Let’s look at the types of teeth everyone has and what they’re used for.
The eight sharp teeth that are found at the front of the mouth, four on top and four on the bottom, are your incisors. These are usually the first teeth to erupt in a baby’s mouth, and they’re the first ones to fall out.
Incisors have sharp, thin edges and are relatively flat. They are meant for biting into foods and slicing it neatly into smaller pieces for chewing. You may also hear them referred to as anterior teeth.
On each side of the incisors, there are sharp-pointed fangs called canines, also known as eye teeth or cuspids. They’re the longest teeth in the mouth and are useful for tearing tougher food into smaller pieces.
There are a total of four canines. In general, the lower canines come in before the top ones, both in infants and older children.
Human adults have a total of eight premolars. These are larger than your incisors and slightly wider but not as flat as molars. Premolars have ridges designed to grind up your food.
Interestingly, children do not have premolars. Babies don’t grow them, so it’s not until they’re older and have lost some teeth that the premolars will erupt. They are permanent teeth and will never fall out.
The teeth that make up the back half of the mouth are the molars. These flat teeth with small ridges let you grind up your food as you chew, ensuring the food is ready to digest. Adults have 12 permanent molars, but children only have eight to start with.
The final molars to come in erupt later in life, toward adulthood. The third molars are also known as wisdom teeth. Not everyone has wisdom teeth: Some people never have their molar teeth, as they stay in the bone. Others may have them come up but may not have enough space in their mouth for them, so they’re removed.
Each type of tooth has its own purpose in helping you bite into and chew your food.
How Many Teeth Do Kids Have?
The vast majority of children will have their full set of baby teeth by age three. This early set of teeth contains just 20, though the adult teeth number 32. Your child will add 12 more teeth over the years, though these don’t fully come in until they are teenagers. The final four teeth, referred to as wisdom teeth, appear on the cusp of adulthood, somewhere between the ages of 17 and 21.
When Do Kids Begin to Lose Their Baby Teeth?
Most children begin to lose their teeth around the ages of six to seven. However, every child is different, so some start younger, and others may be older. If the baby teeth stay in too long, a dentist may need to help wriggle them out to allow the adult teeth to come in.
The front teeth usually come out first, either top or bottom at around age 6 or 7. The back baby molars are not usually lost until age 10-12. The baby molars are usually the ones much more prone to cavities which means they need extra care and attention to ensure they remain healthy until it’s time for them to be naturally lost. .
Once the baby teeth are lost, it can sometimes take a little time for the adult teeth to appear. It’s entirely normal for a young child to have a gummy smile for a bit while they wait for the adult teeth to come in. Likewise, some children’s teeth fall out with their adult teeth already half in. Both variations are completely normal.
What To Do When The Tooth Falls Out
It can be frightening to lose a tooth for a small child since it may bleed somewhat, and there may be a slight pain. Usually, the loose tooth’s ligaments are already loosened, so the pain should be minimal. Calm your child by praising them for losing their tooth and give them a piece of gauze to hold against the socket to help stop the bleeding. Assure them it’s a normal part of growing up.
The bleeding should stop very quickly, even without applying pressure, and your child can rinse their mouth with water. It can be fun to wash the tooth off and look at what was in their mouth before tucking it under their pillow for the tooth fairy.
If you’re concerned about your child’s dental development, never hesitate to call a dentist. The dentist can reassure you and do X-rays if needed to check for the proper development of the child’s teeth. From there, they can usually give you a timeline for when to expect the teeth to fall out or can determine if you need to take action, such as extractions.
Most children will begin losing teeth at the age of six to seven and will lose their last tooth around their mid-teens. Every child is a little different, so don’t worry if things are taking longer than their peers or if they begin to lose those teeth a bit earlier.
Still worried that your child may need further dental help? Contact Whitehorse Dental to make an appointment. We have experience working with children and can help your little ones feel at home.