when do kids lose their teeth

When Do Kids Begin to Lose Their Teeth?

When Do Kids Lose Their Primary Teeth?

The first time your child loses their baby teeth is a bittersweet moment. It is a milestone to be celebrated, and it is the first sign that they are growing up. At Timberwood Park Pediatric Dentistry, one of the most common questions we hear is when do kids lose their teeth. First-time parents are especially worried that they might miss the moment and want to do whatever they can to prepare. 

If you’re curious about when your child will start to lose their baby teeth, we’re here to help. We’ve put together a guide for a typical developmental timeline, how to prepare, and what to do if your child hasn’t lost their teeth yet. 

Normal Tooth Development for Babies

A common misconception about baby teeth is when they actually develop in your child. Some think that the first tooth is the first sign of development, but there is much more going on. The first stage of primary tooth development starts within the first 6 weeks of pregnancy. During this time, the basic substances necessary to form their primary teeth start to form. 

The basic layers of any tooth include the enamel, which is the outer layer, dentin, which is right below the enamel and is the main part of the tooth. Next, is the pulp, which is where most of the nerves are, and the root, which connects the tooth to the jaw. The root and pulp are first to form in this stage. The hard tissue, including the dentin and enamel start to form 3-4 months into the pregnancy. 

Once your child is born, it takes about 4 months before the first tooth will start to break through. Usually, by 12 months, your child’s entire set of baby teeth have grown in. After that, you’ll maintain their baby teeth until they start to fall out, between the ages of 5 and 12. 

How Do Primary Teeth Normally Come In?

Although the timeline for when a child’s primary teeth arrive varies based on that child, the order that they arrive is usually the same for all kids. 

The first primary teeth, the central incisors, usually erupt when your child reaches 5 months old. In some cases, your child might not sprout their first tooth until they are 8 months old, but most commonly, you’ll see the first tooth before 6 months. 

The central incisors are the middle front teeth. Typically, you’ll see the bottom central incisors show first, followed by the central incisors on the upper jaw. Next, you’ll start to see the lateral incisors in your child’s mouth. These are the teeth directly beside the middle teeth on both the top and bottom jaw. Like the central incisors, the lateral incisors usually appear on the bottom first, followed by the top pair. 

Next, the first set of molars start to erupt for your child. Usually, these will appear before their first birthday, but can take as many as 18 months to erupt. They are usually followed by the canines, which sit between the first molars and the lateral incisors. Finally, the second molars come in, completing your child’s set of primary teeth. The second molars can take more than 2 years to appear, so don’t be alarmed if they are slow to show up. Simply continue to practice your dental hygiene habits and celebrate your child’s healthy routines. 

What To Do If Baby Teeth Don’t Fall Out

For some parents, it’s not the waiting for baby teeth to come in that is concerning. Instead, many parents want to know what to do if their kid’s primary teeth don’t fall out by the time their permanent teeth come in. If you’re worried about overcrowding in your child’s mouth, follow these steps. 

First, check to see if the baby tooth is loose. If it is, that’s a good sign that it will fall out naturally. Encourage your child to wiggle the tooth throughout the day for a week or so. With enough movement, you should be able to get the tooth to fall out naturally after 1-2 weeks. If it isn’t loose at all, it is a good idea to visit your pediatric dentist. 

At the appointment, your dentist will likely take an x-ray to assess the situation. They are looking for whether the permanent tooth is waiting to come up, or if there is a developmental issue. Neither is a risk to your child, but it will help your pediatric dentist decide the best course of action to make sure your child’s teeth are as healthy as possible. If you’re worried about radiation from an x-ray on your child, just consult the experts. According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, the amount of radiation in dental x-rays is negligible and your child is completely safe. Of course, at Timberwood Park Pediatric Dentistry, we take extra precautions to minimize the amount of exposure, and will only take x-rays when absolutely necessary. The sooner you schedule an appointment, the more options your child will have, so make sure to keep a regular schedule of dentist appointments. 

The most important thing to remember is not to worry. It is very common for children to experience an overlap of primary and permanent teeth. With a team of expert pediatric dentists on your side, your children are in great hands. 

Schedule An Appointment

To get more information about the development of your child’s primary or permanent teeth, schedule an appointment today. Our pediatric dentists provide expert care that will make your child love the dentist, plus we’ll answer all your important questions. Contact us today to schedule a visit.