While baby teeth will naturally be replaced with adult choppers later on, there are cases where children lose theirs too soon. This makes it essential to know the normal age range for losing baby teeth, as well as the things that can happen if your little one experiences the same thing.
Baby teeth come in and go
In most cases, babies will start having teeth between 6 and 12 months. The lower front teeth are the first ones to erupt, followed by the two upper front teeth. Most kids have a full set of 20 baby teeth by the time they reach age 3.
Dentists for children here in Utah note that they will begin to fall out around age 6 or 7 to make way for adult or permanent teeth. Baby teeth usually fall out in the similar order they erupted. The lower front teeth are the first ones to go, followed by the two top front teeth.
The lateral incisors go next, then first molars, canines, and second molars. This happens at about age 6 (ends at around 11 to 12 years old), with their teeth starting to loosen and then fall out. This, however, can be delayed for about a year or happen sooner.
Losing baby teeth early
Do take note that baby teeth usually stay in place or don’t loosen until the permanent teeth push them out. It is, however, still possible for a child to lose their baby teeth early due to dental disease or trauma. If your child loses theirs at before 4 years old, it is best to schedule a visit with a pediatric dentist sooner.
This is to avoid dental or orthodontic issues at a later age. The American Dental Association notes that when baby teeth fall out sooner, it is likely for the permanent tooth to drift into empty space. This will then make it harder for the other teeth to find their place when they erupt.
This can cause crowding or crookedness later on, with the need for orthodontic treatment like invisible braces or other teeth straightening techniques to fix both bite and alignment problems.
Caring for baby teeth
Kids can lose their baby teeth prematurely due to decay or by accident. While you may not be able to prevent accidents entirely, you can prevent tooth decay by making sure that your little one follows proper dental hygiene.
This also includes eating a healthy diet, especially teeth-friendly foods and beverages. It is also advisable to teach your little one the importance of good dental hygiene and care when they begin to lose their baby teeth. Some of the things that can help include:
- Remind your kid to brush their teeth or do it together (at least twice a day).
- Assist (or supervise) your kid when cleaning their teeth.
- Limit sugary snacks and beverages, as well as mindless snacking or between-meal snacks.
- Keep up with pediatric dental visits.
A pediatric dentist may also recommend spacers or space maintainers if kids lose their baby teeth early. These are placed in the gap of the tooth that fell out to prepare for the eruption of permanent teeth. This can help prevent spacing issues later on.
Don’t wait too long if you think that your little one has lost their baby tooth too soon. Get in touch with a pediatric dentist today to find out what you can do and learn other tips on taking care of your child’s oral health.