Baby Teeth: When They Should And Shouldn’t Fall Out

The memory of losing your memory might be pretty vivid but that was definitely a while ago. Now you need to put yourself in in the grown-up situation. You need to know more than being the ‘tooth fairy’ for your child. If there’s a problem with your child’s baby teeth, how much of a problem is it?

When Do Teeth Fall Out Naturally?

Baby teeth or also known as milk teeth or deciduous teeth are the first twenty odd teeth your child has. These are temporary teeth and are lost when your child is 5-6 years old.  Most often, the first teeth that the child loses are the lower anterior (centre) teeth. The roots of the teeth begin resorbing or (start shrinking) – they get loose on their own. This happens because the permanent teeth start pushing against them.

At the hand of this process, all the primary teeth are replaced by permanent teeth by the time the child is 12 years old.

Sequence and timing of the loss of baby teeth

Then entire process for a child of teeth falling usually lasts from start to finish for about 6 years. For children, teeth begin to loosen and fall out, making way for permanent teeth by the age of 6. This process can begin as late as 7 or as early as 4. But, generally, the earlier they come in, the earlier they fall out and typically they fall out in the same order as they erupted. The sequence of loss is more important than the age at which the loss occurs.

By and large, for the loss of baby teeth, there is an elemental pattern: first, the two bottom front ones (lower central incisors), trailed by the upper two front ones (upper central incisors), then the lateral incisors – molars first then canines and then the second molars.

Potential issues with the loss of baby teeth

That being said, in the case that baby teeth aren’t lost in the appropriate order or if the tooth is lost and isn’t replaced by a permanent one within a three-month mark, there could be a number of issues:

  • Crowding – The space for adult teeth until they are ready to erupt is preserved by baby teeth. Therefore, if they fall out sooner than expected, space can be lost which causes crowding of the underlying adult teeth. Likewise, if baby teeth fall out later than they should, this can possibly force the underlying adult teeth to come in crooked.
  • Premature tooth loss – There are chances that a baby tooth falls out much before the permanent tooth is ready to erupt. Likely because of tooth decay or some an accident. Most often, in a case like this, a spacer/space maintainer is inserted in the location where the tooth fell out so as to preserve space for the future tooth and to avoid crowding problems. If a child loses teeth before 4 then the orthodontist should be able to determine the course of action.
  • Late tooth loss – At times, children can go till the age of 8 without losing any teeth. Although there is nothing wrong in this, it’s best to consult with your orthodontist for future course of action.
  • Missing teeth – A baby tooth loosens only when the permanent tooth that is underlying pushes against it to take its place. Hence, in the event that the child is missing few permanent teeth, this process will not take place.

Other tooth loss considerations

Similarly, there are incidents which should not cause concern when it comes to the permanent teeth of the child like they look big. Yes, in fact, they are much bigger than the milk teeth they are replacing. Most often, they aren’t as white as baby teeth and sometimes even have prominent ridges as they haven’t been put to use as yet. Additionally, from the time the baby tooth starts growing till the time they become lose, takes a few months. Loose teeth can be uncomfortable for kids, but don’t let them yank it out as it can cause infection and other problems.

In concluding

Sometimes, the loss of teeth isn’t as per schedule. It could be early or it could be late. It’s best to visit the dentist every 6 months or as advised by them, once the child’s teeth start to erupt.

For more information on your babies teeth click here

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Article Categories:
Dental · kids · Teeth

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