Losing their first tooth is a major milestone in a child’s life. To them, losing a tooth is a sign that they are no longer a baby and are ready to move on to the next stage of life. It also means they get to put that tooth under their pillow and wait for a gift from the tooth fairy! While losing a tooth can be an exciting time for both children and parents, it is important to monitor the progress of primary tooth loss and talk to your child’s dentist if you notice any issues. Read on to find out more about baby teeth, when they should start falling out, and what to do if they don’t fall out on schedule.
What are Baby Teeth?
Also known as primary teeth, baby teeth usually start to erupt around 6-12 months of age. They allow your child to start eating solid food, and they also hold a space for the permanent teeth when they are ready to start coming in. By the age of 3, your child should have a full set of 20 baby teeth. While it’s true that baby teeth will eventually fall out, it’s still important to take care of them to keep the gums and underlying bone tissue healthy so they can support the permanent teeth when they grow in.
When Do Baby Teeth Start to Fall Out?
In most cases, kids will start to lose their baby teeth around the age of 6. The incisors will generally go first, followed by the canines and molars around age 7-10. The second molars are usually the last to go. By the age of 12, your child should have shed all their baby teeth and most of their permanent teeth should have already grown in.
Why Aren’t my Child’s Baby Teeth Falling Out on Schedule?
The timeframes listed above will be correct for most kids, but there are some conditions that can change that schedule. If a child starts losing their teeth earlier than expected, it can be a sign of issues like decay or crowding. Trauma can also cause a child to lose their teeth early. In any of these cases, speaking to your child’s dentist will ensure that any problems are caught early.
If your child is lagging behind other kids in terms of tooth loss, it could mean that crowding underneath the gums is preventing the permanent teeth from pushing out the baby teeth. It could also mean that there is no permanent tooth to replace the baby tooth; in this case, that baby tooth may be retained into adulthood. Impacted teeth can cause major issues in adulthood, so it’s important that you keep your dentist appraised of the issue, and they may recommend getting an orthodontist involved as well. Various techniques – including extractions, space maintainers, and braces – can be used to correct any problems, and the earlier you start, the better.
Family Dentistry in the Chicago Area
If you need a family dentist in River West Chicago or anywhere nearby, American Dental has 8 different Chicagoland locations to serve you. Call (773) 897-3218 or click the “Make an Appointment” button to find an office near you and schedule your appointment today!