Losing teeth is a rite of passage for children. Wiggly teeth, the tooth fairy, and learning to eat and speak with a gap or two are parts of childhood everyone experiences. But once you become a parent, it can be easy to forget exactly when those teeth started to come out. Once your baby’s teeth have come in, it can then be natural to wonder when they’re going to come out.
In general, baby teeth, also called primary teeth, begin to fall out by around the age of six. In some kids, this can be a little later or a little earlier, depending on different circumstances. The following helpful overview provides a clear timeline for baby teeth, when to expect adult teeth, and practical oral hygiene tips for young people to keep baby teeth and adult teeth healthy!
Timeline for Baby Teeth
Children have baby teeth to account for a growing jaw. Since a baby or a child’s jaw is too small to hold a full set of adult teeth, primary teeth are made to fall out as kids grow up. There are usually 20 primary teeth that will eventually fall out which will be replaced by 32 adult teeth. New adult teeth include the premolars and wisdom teeth.
While there is a lot of individual variation, baby teeth very often follow a standard timeline:
- The first teeth, usually the central incisors, begin to come in around six months
- The upper incisors generally come in over the two to four months
- Most babies have all of their teeth in by around two-and-a-half to three years old
- Baby teeth begin to fall out when the jaw reaches a certain size and adult teeth begin to push them out, typically around the age of six
It’s never too early to start caring for baby teeth. You can start to brush that first tooth, even just to get your little one used to the sensation. You can even start flossing as soon as there are two teeth to floss! Dentists generally recommend a first dentist appointment as soon as the first tooth comes in.
Which Baby Teeth Fall Out First?
Every kid is different, but baby teeth often fall out in something like the following order starting around age six:
- First, the bottom two front teeth, or central incisors
- Next will be the upper incisors
- Lateral incisors, which are the two teeth on either side of the upper incisors can come after
- Next are the first molars, canines, and finally the second molars
For most kids, the last baby teeth should come out by around the age of 12.
When Do Adult Teeth Come In?
Since primary teeth are pushed out by the adult teeth growing in, adult teeth will usually begin to erupt shortly after baby teeth fall out. Premolars and molars will come in around the age of 11 or 12. The wisdom teeth are generally the last to erupt, often between the ages of 15 to 17.
Tips for Your Child’s Oral Hygiene
It is extremely important to practice good oral hygiene at any stage of a child’s development. Even though baby teeth are supposed to fall out, if they come out early due to injury or decay, it can cause problems down the road. For example, adult teeth can begin to drift into the space opened up by a premature tooth loss, causing misalignment.
It’s never too early to start forming good habits that will keep the cavities away and help promote the health of adult teeth. Good oral hygiene tips for kids include:
- Showing your child how to brush properly and encourage them to brush at least twice a day
- Showing your child how to floss — plastic flossers can be easier for young children compared to standard floss
- Eating a healthy, low-sugar diet that minimizes sweets and sugary drinks and snacks
- Schedule regular dental visits as early as possible
The caring and experienced team of dental professionals at AC Pediatric Dentistry can help ensure that your child’s teeth are coming in on a good timeline. Your dentist can ask questions, perform a thorough evaluation, and take any necessary images to identify any early problems and take proper treatment steps to ensure long-term oral health and happy smiles for years to come.
Keep Your Family’s Teeth Healthy with the Help of AC Pediatric Dentistry
Going to the dentist can be scary — we get it. But it should be fun! Whether it’s care for baby teeth, big kid teeth, oral surgery, or orthodontics, our team of specialized pediatric dentists make the experience memorable while teaching you how to encourage healthy habits and good hygiene for lifelong smiles. Call us today or request an appointment online. We can’t wait to meet you!