Milestones are important guidelines for every parent to evaluate the development of their children. One of those milestones is when the first baby teeth appear, but those cute baby teeth will need to make space for a child’s permanent teeth.
The Tooth Fairy comes, and you’ll begin with the missing teeth gaped smiles pictures for your kid’s photo albums.
When your child’s baby teeth begin to fall out will depend on many things, including their dental health. So let’s explore a little bit of the world of children’s dental care.
Which baby teeth fall out first: baby teeth timeline
The exact time children begin to sprout baby teeth, and then they fall out can’t be easily determined, but teeth fall out in the same order they appear.
Baby teeth, also known as milk teeth or primary teeth, will appear around the 6-10 month mark and up until they’re three years old. There are 20 teeth in a child’s mouth named: incisors, molars, and canines.
When they turn six years old and until they’re about 12 years old, the child loses all their baby teeth. They’ll have 32 larger permanent teeth when they reach their teenage years.
Incisors (lower central, upper central, upper lateral, and lower lateral) are the first to go.
- Central incisors: lower central incisors are usually the first teeth to appear around the six-month mark, and those are the first your kids lose between 6 and 7 years old. After the lower central incisors, the upper central incisors arrive. When those fall out, they make space for the bigger front teeth we expect to find in adults.
- Lateral incisors: upper and lower lateral incisors appear when the child is 9-16 months old. When it’s time to loosen, the upper lateral incisors usually go first, sometime between 7 and 8 years old.
Then the molars and canines fall out.
- First molars: upper and lower first molars come into play between 13 and 19 months of age and might be painful for babies and toddlers when they arrive. But when they fall out, they’re not as traumatic, which is usually between 9 and 11.
- Second molars and canines are the last set of baby teeth to appear and fall out. Usually, they begin to arrive between the ages of 16 to 33 months and should be shed by 9 to 12 years old.
By the time your child is 13, they should be done with baby teeth falling out and have a complete set of adult teeth.
Wisdom teeth, or third molars, won’t be present until their late teen years, and some people may never get them at all or only a few of them. Also, if they’re not causing issues, there might be no need to have them removed.
When do toddlers get molars?
Upper first molars may appear between the baby’s 13 and 19th month, and they will be followed by the lower first molars around the 14-18th month.
Don’t expect the second molars until your child is between 23 and 31 months, and wisdom teeth will not arrive until they’re a teenager.
Why do teeth fall out?
When we’re born, we have all of our baby and adult teeth in two rows, and if you do an x-ray of the jaws, you’ll see this.
The primary purpose of baby teeth is to create space in the jaw for every permanent tooth. So, when the permanent tooth is ready to come into play, it loosens the root of the baby tooth by dissolving it until it’s gone and the teeth fall out.
When this happens, the child’s teeth are being held only by the gum tissue, which may take months to complete.
However, keep in mind that the timing may vary, and for some reason, girls tend to lose their baby teeth sooner than boys. But if you’re worried your child’s teeth are not meeting the milestones, consult a pediatric dentist to check everything’s in order.
Kid’s dental health
The most important thing to keep in mind is that as soon as baby teeth start to appear, you need to take the necessary measures to keep them clean and have healthy oral hygiene to prevent decay and premature tooth loss.
Besides that, by your child’s first birthday, they should have their first visit for a pediatric dentist’s dental check-up and then establish regular visits every six months.
Many parents ask why they need to keep up with oral health if baby teeth fall out regardless. Still, besides baby teeth supporting spacing and alignment for when permanent teeth come, tooth decay can cause complications that require treatment, such as ear and sinus infection, obesity, diabetes, and heart disease.
How to establish a healthy oral routine
As soon as your baby gets that first tooth, you need to start brushing your child’s teeth daily with a small, soft toothbrush aimed for babies or with a washcloth twice a day. Also, use fluoride-free toothpaste until your child is three years of age (there’s some debate on whether six-month-old children can use fluoride toothpaste or not). There’s toothpaste on the market that clearly states the ages it targets, so make sure you choose the correct one according to your child’s age.
You only need to use a smidge of toothpaste or an amount the size of a pea to clean your kids’ teeth during this period. Once enough teeth have erupted, if they’re touching, you need to begin flossing to remove any particles that were missed by brushing.
When baby teeth fall, and permanent teeth appear, the importance of good oral health practices increases because you won’t get a new natural set if you lose those. Until your kid can be made responsible for their own dental care, make sure they brush twice a day and floss at least once a day; otherwise, teeth begin to decay.
Regular visits to the dentist are also recommended, and a balanced diet with limited sugar is advised to prevent cavities. Regular visits to the dentist can help identify any issues before they become a problem. For example, after baby teeth fall, the order that the permanent teeth appear is essential, and a change in said order may indicate infection or not having enough space for a tooth to drop.
What to do with a loose tooth
The sensation of a loose tooth and tooth loss may be disturbing for most children, and they may want to avoid touching or brushing it, but even loose teeth need to be kept clean to prevent gum inflammation or issues with the other teeth.
Make sure your child isn’t brushing the loose tooth or the gap left after the tooth falls too hard, so they don’t accidentally irritate the gums and cause more bleeding.
To help loosen the tooth, your child can wiggle it with their fingers, but there’s no need to pull it if it’s not causing significant pain or discomfort. Regardless, baby teeth fall by themselves.
Once a baby tooth falls out, there may be some bleeding, so rinse it with water to keep the area clean.
And what happens when kids start to lose teeth?
Then it’s time to call the Tooth Fairy or any other tradition from your culture and family.
This is the chance to make a pleasant childhood memory of this exciting time for the whole family, and some parents even keep every fallen tooth as cherished keepsakes for when the child grows up.
So whatever you decide, make it fun and memorable for your kids.