When do kids start losing teeth?
Baby teeth start falling out when the permanent teeth begin to erupt – it’s a veritable changing of the guards!
Typically, the first baby teeth to go are the two bottom front teeth, which are called the lower central incisors. However, this is just a rule of thumb. Kids can loose teeth in a great variety of different patterns, as well as at different stages of their overall growth and development.
Losing the first baby tooth is always an important milestone for children, but as a parent you might wonder – is it possible for kids to start loosing their baby teeth too soon, and if this is the case, what can be done about it?
Our aim with this article is to shed light on what to expect as as parent of a child who is beginning to loose his or her baby teeth.
Baby teeth fall out when the permanent teeth come in
Baby teeth already appear when the baby is between six months to one year old, and for the most part they tend to stay in place until they are pushed out by eruption of the permanent teeth.
This is how it works: Erupting permanent teeth cause the roots of baby teeth to become reabsorbed. In effect, the baby teeth become more and more loose until there is nothing holding them in place anymore, besides a small amount of tissue.
At this point, the child will notice that one of his or her teeth is loose and rocks back and forth when any amount of pressure is applied to it.
The normal age range for losing baby teeth
The ‘normal’ age range for children loosing their baby teeth is quiet huge. In other words, if your child appears to be running a bit early or late compared to either classmates or siblings, this needn’t be a concern at all.
Generally speaking, kinds tend to lose their first baby tooth somewhere between the ages of 4 and 7. The two front and bottom teeth are usually the first to go, but this is just a general tendency. In practicce, all children lose teeth in different patterns and at various stages of their development.
After shedding their incisors, kids usually loose all of their middle teeth next, and finally the molars, which may cling on for dear life until somewhere between the ages 10 and 12. All of a child’s teeth have usually been replaced by permanent teeth by about age 13, but again, if it takes longer for your child’s permanent teeth to come in, there is no immediate cause for concern.
As you can tell, a child losing his or her baby teeth and having them replaced by permanent ones is a gradual process, unfolding over the course of several years. All in all, it tends to take approximately eight years for all of the baby teeth to fall and be replaced.
What happens if a child looses their baby teeth too early
If a child loses a baby tooth early, whether as a result of tooth decay or an accident, there is a high likelihood of a permanent tooth drifting into the empty space left behind. As the other baby teeth begin to fall, and as other permanent teeth erupt, this can result in crowded and crooked teeth. This is particularly true if you child looses several teeth early.
If your child losses any baby teeth prematurely, the best thing you can do is to take then to a pediatric dentist. Your child’s dentist will usually handle the situation by placing a small device where the missing tooth was in order to keep the gap open and prepared for the permanent tooth that will later come in.
How to care for your child’s oral health while they’re teething
In terms of supporting your child’s oral health while they are losing their baby teeth and their permanent teeth are erupting, the most important thing you can do as a parent is to assist your child in maintaining their oral hygiene.
This means brushing teeth twice a day for at least two minutes each time, and it also means helping your child to floss. Your little one may not like brushing and flossing when their teeth and gums are sore as a result of the tooth eruptions. Nevertheless, it is extremely important not to skimp on toothbrushing, even if it feels uncomfortable. Pro tip: Promise your child a visit from the tooth fairy if they are well behaved.
In terms of assisting your child’s baby teeth in coming loose, you should never try to force them out as you could easily hurt and even damage the child’s gums. Having said that, it is perfectly fine for your little ones to wiggle their own loose teeth. And yes, they can use their fingers, as long as you make sure that they wash their fingers first.
When to take your child to see a dentist
At every stage of your child’s development it is always a good idea to make sure that their teeth are developing as they should.
We recommend that you look around for a reputable paediatric dentist in your area long before you think your child is ever going to need one. Regular visits to your child’s dentist is key when your children’s oral health is a priority.
Frequently asked questions about when kids start losing teeth
Is age 5 too early to lose teeth?
No, in fact it is perfectly normal for children to start losing their primary teeth at only five years old.
The normal age range for losing baby teeth is surprisingly wide, starting anywhere between the ages of four and six. Most children start losing their teeth at six, and are sporting all of their permanent teeth by age 12.
Can a 3 year old start losing teeth?
If your three year old toddler starts losing their baby teeth, this may be a cause for concern.
After all, three is a little early to start losing baby teeth, so it could be a sign of an underlying dental or general health issue.
Children typically lose their first baby tooth at around the age 6, but it may happen a few years earlier or later than that.
For the child, discovering that first loose tooth is a magical experience. And for the parents, it’s a sign that the child’s teeth are developing as they should.
It is only really if your child loses a baby tooth way too early, whether due to dental decay or an unforeseen accident, that you have caused to be concerned about your child’s dental health. When baby teeth fall out too soon, it can cause crowding or misalignment issues once the permeant teeth start coming in.