Updated: Dec 7, 2022
One big moment is for your child is their first visit from the tooth fairy. It is a big milestone and parents often worry as their child begins to lose their baby teeth if the adult teeth are erupting normally.
Each child has 20 baby teeth (deciduous teeth) that will fall (exfoliate) at a different age. What's important to keep in mind, that the eruption sequence of the adult teeth is more important than the time of eruption. However, from age 6, your child will eventually lose all of their baby teeth up until they’re 12 years old. Here is a general timeline:
Lower central incisors 6 to 7 years old
Upper central incisors 6 to 7 years old
Upper & Lower first molars 6 to 7 years old
Upper lateral incisors 7 to 8 years old
Lower lateral incisors 7 to 8 years old
Lower canines 8 to 9 years old
Primary upper & lower first molars 9 and 11 years old
Primary upper & lower second molars 10 and 12 years old
Upper canines 10 to 13 years old
Upper and Lower second molars10 to 12 years old
Why do baby teeth fall out? It turns out that baby teeth act as placeholders, creating space in the jaw for future, permanent teeth. When a permanent tooth is ready to erupt, the root of a baby tooth begins to dissolve until it’s completely gone and then the baby tooth gets "loose" and falls. For most kids, this process begins at around age 6 and is completed by age 13 with the baby upper canines exfoliating. It’s not uncommon for children to experience a little pain or discomfort when they lose a tooth. After the tooth is removed:
Have your child rinse their mouth with warm saltwater solution to help clean their gums.
Use a bit of gauze to apply pressure and stop the bleeding
Encourage them not to spit, as this can cause bleeding.
Give tylenol to control the pain or discomfort.
If your child’s baby teeth are slow to erupt, you should expect that losing their baby teeth might take a little longer, too. It is important to see your dentist every 6 months to make sure that the adult teeth are erupting in the right sequence and direction. If teeth are erupting crooked, your dentist may recommend to see an orthodontist early on to correct a malocclusion and prevent more extensive orthodontic treatment.