The first baby teeth (also known as primary teeth) to erupt are usually the lower central incisors around the age of six months. The last baby teeth erupt are the upper second primary molars, which appear between 30 and 36 months of age. A child normally has 20 baby teeth by age of 3. These primary teeth then remain unchanged for about three years.
By the time a child is 6-8 years old, there is a flurry of activity in the mouth, as kids normally lose eight primary teeth within a short period of time. Between the ages of 8-10, there is a pause in the loss of teeth, which is when many parents start to question why more teeth are not falling out (or exfoliating), since they have become so accustomed to the teeth falling out routinely. The final 12 primary teeth are normally lost between the ages of 10 and 13. The following chart summarizes the standard schedule of tooth loss in children:
- Ages: 3-6 not much happens
- Ages :6-8 First 8 primary teeth normally exfoliate
- Ages: 8-10 Not much happens
- Ages: 10-13 Last 12 primary teeth exfoliate
- Age 6: Lower and upper central incisors exfoliate
- Age 7: Lower and upper lateral incisors exfoliate
- Age 10: Lower canines and upper first molars exfoliate
- Age 11: Lower first molars exfoliate
- Age 12: Upper and lower second molars and upper canines exfoliate
If a baby tooth does not exfoliate in the correct order, or if a tooth is lost early, causing a few months to pass before a permanent tooth erupts, a problem could occur in the positioning of the new, permanent tooth. This is exactly the reason why the American Association of Orthodontists recommends that children should visit an orthodontist at the age of 7. Your orthodontist will look for certain conditions during your child's orthodontic evaluation, and can inform you whether or not interceptive treatment is recommended. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact any of our Sondhi-Biggs Orthodontics team members.