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Baby Teeth: When They Come In and When They Fall Out

A child receiving his or her first set of teeth is a milestone. Likewise, when your child loses his or her first tooth, that’s also considered a landmark. With the anxiety and anticipation associated with both of these events, it’s quite understandable that most parents want to know the details about what to expect. The two biggest questions are when should they expect their child’s first tooth to come in and when they should expect their child’s first tooth to fall out. We know that these questions, among others, are important. So, in our article we’ll answer these questions:

  • What order do baby teeth come in?
  • What age kids lose their teeth?
  • At what age permanent teeth begin to grow?
  • Cavities in baby teeth: Are they worth filling?

 Let’s start with the events in the order they occur.

dr ohara teaching dental health to child about baby teeth

Baby Teeth: What Order do Baby Teeth Come In?  When Do They Emerge?

Typically, the first question many parents have is just how many baby teeth will my child have? To be exact, the answer is that 20 primary baby teeth are present within a child’s jaw at birth. These teeth generally start to erupt or appear between the age of six months to one year. By the age of three, your child has a full set of teeth. One important thing to remember, however, is that every child is different. Because of their differences, exact dates for when these milestones will occur cannot be given, nor should they be expected.

mother learning about baby teeth process

Listed below is the approximate order in which you can expect your child to receive their baby teeth:

  • Lower Incisors or Center Teeth on the Lower Jaw: Generally arrive somewhere between 6 and 10 months.
  • Top Incisors or Top Center Teeth: Erupt between 8 to 12 months.
  • Lateral Incisors (found just to either side of the center incisors): Typically erupt between 9 and 13 months.
  • Canines: Can be expected to come in between 16 to 23 months.
  • First Molars: First molars can be expected to arrive between the ages of 13 to 19 months.
  • Second Molars: Will arrive somewhere between 23 and 33 months.

If you’ve ever experienced the teething process with a child, you know that as teeth begin to make their way through the gum tissue, it can be a very stressful time for anyone involved. Some of the more common signs your child might be teething are excessive drooling, inflamed gums, irritability, and the desire to chew on anything within reach. During this time, you must remain understanding and provide your child with the necessary support. It’s also critical to help your child maintain proper oral hygiene.

kids still with baby teeth doing sports

At What Age Do Kids Lose Their Teeth? 

Once all of your child’s baby teeth have fully erupted, it is vital to keep up with excellent oral hygiene, which means brushing twice daily to keep them healthy and clean. For best results, dentists recommend that parents assist their child with brushing until they reach eight. These baby teeth will get loose during this time, begin to wiggle, and eventually fall out.

Generally, baby teeth begin falling out in the order in which they first appeared. The teeth found in the lower center will go first, followed by the pair found on the top in the center, and so on. Typically, teeth begin to fall out by age six, but because everyone is different, some kids can start to lose teeth by the age of four.

Most children are overcome with excitement when they feel their first tooth begin to wiggle – not to mention a visit from the ever so famous Tooth Fairy also helps. But, not all kids get excited. It’s not uncommon for a child to worry that losing a tooth might hurt.

If your child has concerns and is worried, you can reassure them that they likely won’t feel a thing. A baby tooth generally doesn’t become loose until the force of the permanent tooth below begins pushing it up and out. However, something to keep in mind is that your child can lose a baby tooth or teeth before their permanent tooth is fully prepared to erupt.

teen nice smile with no baby teeth

Permanent Teeth: At What Age Do Permanent Teeth Grow? How Soon Can You Expect to See Them?

Once permanent teeth have begun making their way in, you might notice that the permanent teeth look more prominent, and you would be correct. Not only do adult teeth tend to be bigger, but they also aren’t as white as baby teeth. Besides, you’ll even notice that they have pronounced ridges. The reason for the ridges is because they have not yet been used for chewing and biting.