When Do Kids Lose Teeth?January 05, 2018
If your child has heard about the Tooth Fairy, he or she may be looking forward to losing teeth - and getting a treasure in return. No need to rush them, though! It's a natural process, and will happen when it happens. Here's a look at what you can expect.
- Let’s Start at the Beginning
While every child is different, pretty much all of them get baby teeth that they eventually lose. Also known as primary teeth, these are present in a baby's mouth from birth. And they can start appearing - or erupting, as dentists say - around month 6 through 10.
For most babies, the first teeth to come in are the two bottom front teeth. These tend to be followed by the top four front teeth when babies are about a year old. Then the rest of the teeth take turns erupting … often in pairs, with one on each side of the upper or lower jaw.
How many teeth do kids have? Usually it's 20, specifically 10 in the upper jaw and 10 in the lower jaw. For a lot of kids, all these baby teeth come in by the time they're 2 ½ to 3 years old.*
- So at What Age Do Kids Lose Teeth?
It varies, of course. The average age for losing the first tooth is 6 or 7 years old. And the first ones to fall out are usually the first ones that came in, the bottom front teeth. Another fun fact: girls usually shed their teeth a little younger than boys.
But don't be alarmed if your child is different! It's considered normal if kids start feeling a loose tooth as early as age 4 - or haven't lost any as late as age 8. Even if your kid has an accident and loses a tooth younger than age 6, you probably don't need to worry. Just be sure to check in with your dentist, who can address any concerns.
- There’s Kind of a Predictable Pattern, Similar to the Order in Which the Teeth Came In
- All four center teeth, known as bottom and top incisors, usually fall out in the 6-8 year range.
- The sharp teeth beside them (called canines or cuspids) as well as the first molars leave a little later, around 9-12 years old.
- The second molars are often the last to go … typically in the 10-12 year range.
By the way, it's OK if your kids gently wiggle their wobbly teeth a bit to help loosen them. Just don't let them give a real yank! Let nature take its course, and in the meantime, keep your kid brushing, flossing, and visiting the dentist routinely. It's not uncommon for baby teeth to come out during regular brushing.
Remember, even though baby teeth are supposed to fall out and get replaced by permanent teeth, you should help your child take care of them and develop good dental habits.
You can also sign up for a health plan or family dental insurance plan that includes dental benefits for your kids. Clean, healthy teeth make for happier mouths at any age.