How many baby teeth do you lose?

How many baby teeth do you lose

Babies don’t have teeth when they are born. The first pair of lower front (incisors) teeth emerge at six months, and they begin to lose at six years. How many teeth do you lose, and why is it essential to shed baby teeth? 

How many baby teeth do you have?

There are 20 baby teeth in a baby’s mouth. Each side of the jaw has five teeth. They are categorized into three types based on their shape and function. On each side (as you see from front to back), there are two incisors (central and lateral), one canine  (third), and two molars (first and second molar). They are aligned on the small u-shaped upper and lower jaws of the babies. 

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How many baby teeth do you lose?

All the baby teeth are lost and are replaced by permanent teeth. However, these teeth are lost over period of six years, starting at six years from the lower central incisors exfoliation to the shedding of the second molar between the age of 10-12 years. 

The teeth from each side of the jaw exfoliate almost simultaneously. However, lower teeth are lost first, followed by the same teeth in the upper jaw. 

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Why is it important to lose baby teeth?

Baby teeth are small and weak, with thin enamel and dentin and large pulp chambers. As you grow, the enlarging jaws require larger teeth with thicker and stronger roots. 

Your permanent teeth replacement corresponds to the growth of the face and jaws. 

Do you know that the growth of your face is almost complete at age 12? This is the time when the second permanent molar is erupting. 

The growth of the jaws provides space for the permanent teeth lying beneath the roots of the baby teeth to grow and replace the baby teeth. 

The replaced permanent teeth complement your face and jaws and give you an attractive smile.

What will happen if you don’t lose baby teeth?

The problems in growth and development may impede the exfoliation of baby teeth. The most common cause is malnutrition which not only delays the permanent teeth eruption but also affects their formation. 

If one or more baby teeth fail to exfoliate, 

  • you will begin to see spacing in your teeth.  
  • Baby teeth worn over time leading to bite problems
  • If it’s the front tooth, it doesn’t look compatible with your face and jaws when you smile. 

Retained baby teeth require extraction to allow permanent teeth to erupt. If the permanent tooth is absent, then either the tooth is left in the mouth or is replaced with an implant or a bridge depending on your preference. However, these teeth have long, thin roots and won’t last long. 

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What are the causes of retained baby teeth in your mouth? 

The causes of retained baby teeth could be one the following:

  • Missing permanent tooth
  • Protein, vitamins A, B, C, and D, and calcium and phosphorus deficiency 
  • Fusion of tooth to the bone 
  • Trauma to the tooth 


At birth, there are no teeth in the child’s mouth. The first tooth emerges at six months, and all baby teeth complete their eruption at three years.

The baby teeth start to exfoliate at 6 years and are gradually lost over six years. The growing jaws create space for the erupting permanent teeth. 

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