Posted on Jan 21, 2016
Most children are very proud to show off the gaps in their smile! Losing baby teeth can be an exciting sign of transitioning to a big kid, not to mention a visit from the beloved Tooth Fairy. While children usually love this period, we’ve found that many parents have questions about what they should expect. Like everything else, no two children are the same and your child will lose his or her teeth on their own schedule. But we’ve been able to provide a few general guidelines to help you know what to expect.
Children will receive 20 baby teeth (also called primary teeth) and will usually have received all 20 teeth by age 3. Many parents figure that since the teeth are temporary, this means they can be lax with the dental hygiene, but that’s definitely not the case. You should be helping your child to brush at least twice a day, floss once a day, and bring them in for regular cleanings and checkups. Not only will this prevent cavities, tooth decay, and gum disease, but it will also set the stage for good oral hygiene habits to already be in place once your child’s adult teeth come in.
Children will lose their teeth in roughly the order they received them. This process will begin around age 6 or 7. At this same time, the permanent molars will begin to erupt in the back of your child’s mouth. By age 8, the top and bottom 4 teeth will usually be gone and their permanent replacements will start to come in.
By age 13, the rest of your child’s baby teeth will be gone and their permanent teeth will have replaced most if not all of them. Their second set of permanent molars will also be on their way in. The very last teeth to erupt are the wisdom teeth (also called the third molars), which will begin to develop between the ages of 17-22.
Keep in mind that the timeline above isn’t an exact guide. Children are all different, so don’t be worried if your child is a little early or a little late in their tooth development. However, if you feel that there is a problem, please make an appointment with Firestone Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics, located in Firestone, CO.