There is a reason why a popular Christmas song declares, “All I want for Christmas is my two front teeth.” While every child’s experience differs, baby teeth often fall out in the same order they came in — typically starting with the two front teeth. This process can begin around age 6 and continue until they are about 12 years old.
Tooth loss will usually happen in pairs. For this reason, the order can look like this:
- Upper and lower central incisors: 6 to 7 years old
- Upper and lower lateral incisors: 7 to 8 years old
- Upper and lower first molars: 9 to 11 years old
- Upper and lower canine teeth: 9 to 12 years old
- Upper and lower second molars: 10 to 12 years old
What Causes Baby Teeth to Become Loose?
Baby teeth can become loose as the developing permanent teeth start moving in. Specifically, this happens as the permanent tooth buds grow and put pressure on the baby teeth, shortening the root and making them loose. When a tooth falls out, the gums reabsorb the roots, which is why we never see remaining root fragments.
Do Loose Baby Teeth Hurt?
Losing a baby tooth can be uncomfortable for some kids, especially when it is their first one. The loose sensation may also feel strange, so it is helpful to assure your child that this process is completely normal.
If your child’s tooth is hanging on by a thread for longer than intended, bacteria and food can get trapped in the gums and inflame them. To prevent this from happening, turning and wiggling a child’s tooth regularly can loosen the root faster and make the Tooth Fairy visit quicker.
What if Baby Teeth Are Knocked Out?
If a child gets their baby teeth knocked out from falling or playing sports, there isn’t much to worry about. Usually, it just means their tooth came out earlier than expected, and the permanent tooth will take longer to fill in the space. However, if the tooth fractures, this may be more urgent and will require a dentist’s opinion.
Consult the Dentists at Sprout Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics
Approaching this significant milestone in a child’s life is exciting, but it can also be nerve-wracking for some parents. Our team at Sprout Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics is prepared for any questions you have regarding your child’s loose teeth. Contact us for more information or schedule an appointment with our pediatric dentist today!
Dr. Dana grew up in Portland and went to Temple University in Philadelphia, PA for dental school. She then moved to Anchorage, AK for her residency in Pediatric Dentistry. Dr. Dana takes a holistic approach to pediatric dentistry & is able to use her own parenting experience to sympathize and understand each family’s unique dynamic.