When do baby teeth fall out and adult teeth erupt?

When do baby teeth fall out

Most parents are concerned about when their child’s baby teeth fall out and adult teeth come in, as it is an essential milestone in their growth and development. Also, their food requirements change and the child goes through pain and irritability during this time. In this article, I will provide you with a guideline about when baby teeth fall out and the time adult teeth come in.

I have also discussed the complications that can arise at any step during the baby teeth exfoliation and permanent teeth eruption. 

What are baby teeth?

Baby teeth are the first set of teeth that humans have. They are appropriate for the tiny jaws of babies. These teeth are smaller, whiter, and fewer than permanent teeth. They are also known as milk or temporary teeth. 

How many baby teeth do you have? 

There are 20 baby teeth in the baby’s mouth. Each quadrant or side of the jaw has five teeth. These teeth are divided into three types depending on their shape and size. 

There are two incisors, one canine, and two molars on each side. Incisors are meant for biting, canine for tearing food, and molars for chopping food into small pieces. 

Why does your child lose baby teeth?

Baby teeth are small, and as the child grows, the jaws enlarge and require larger and sturdier teeth. The baby teeth are lost sequentially at a specific age to fill the space created due to growth. The exfoliation begins from the small front teeth till the second baby molar is lost at age 12. 

Permanent molars don’t replace baby teeth but come behind the second baby molars. 

How do baby teeth fall out?

You may wonder how baby teeth are retained in the bone if they don’t have roots to hold them in the bone. 

To your surprize, baby teeth have roots when they erupt and are held in the bone because of that root. The tooth buds of the permanent tooth lie immediately below their predecessor and slightly towards the tongue. 

As the permanent tooth develops, its growing roots push the tooth toward the roots of its predecessor and dissolve them. They continue to do so until the whole baby root is dissolved and the tooth falls out. 

is there sequence of baby teeth falling and adult teeth coming in?

There is a specific sequence in which baby teeth are lost and replaced by adult teeth. The front teeth go first as they cause less pain due to their small size. Also, front teeth are less likely to be swallowed by a child who is new to this experience.

As the child grows, he has already experienced tooth exfoliation. Now, when the baby molars fall, he knows that it’s a tooth that has fallen out, so they won’t swallow it or get anxious about it.  

When do baby teeth fall out?

The sequence and age of baby teeth fall out and permanent teeth eruption recommended by American and dental association are described under the following headings:

Baby incisor fall out 

The first pair of teeth that falls out is the lower baby central incisors. They are lost at age 6 or 7 and are replaced by larger permanent central incisors. 

This is also the time when the first permanent molar is erupting behind the baby second molar. Permanent molars don’t replace baby teeth. They erupt in the space behind the second molar created due to jaw growth. 

The next pair of teeth that goes are upper baby central incisors at age 7 to 8. Usually, the lower permanent lateral incisors and upper permanent central incisors arrive simultaneously or one after the other i.,e, at 7-8 years. 

It is followed by upper baby lateral incisor exfoliation at ages 8-9. 

By age 8 to 9, all permanent eight incisors of your child have erupted. 

Complication – Adult teeth growing behind baby teeth

This often occurs during lower incisor eruption. The permanent central incisors may erupt behind baby central incisor. This often occurs due to a lack of space for large permanent incisors.

Take your child to your dentist as soon as you notice their tooth edges coming out of gums towards the tongue. The dentist will extract two or all four incisors to make space for the permanent teeth. The earlier it is done, there is better chance that the permanent teeth will erupt in their correct position. 

Lower baby canine 

The lower baby canine goes next at 9-10.

Baby molar fall out 

Now is the time for the upper baby first molar to exfoliate at age 10-11 and be replaced by the upper first premolar. It is then followed by loss of the lower baby first and upper baby second molar at age 10-12. 

The last lower second premolar erupts at age 11-12 years after exfoliating the baby’s second molar. 

Eruption of the permanent second molar 

The lower molar erupts ahead of the upper molar, and they erupt between 11-13 years.  

Complication – crowding of lower permanent incisors

If your kid has lower incisor crowding (teeth overlap), get an appointment with an orthodontist. Earlier treatment will benefit you and your child in terms of treatment cost, complexity, and duration of treatment.  

The time when premolars erupt, we get some extra space in the arch as premolars are smaller in size than their predecessors. The crowding can be corrected by utilizing that space. 

If intervened earlier, the dentist places a lingual arch in your child’s mouth that will help align the crowded incisors and will not allow permanent molars to move forward to take up the space created after premolar eruption. 

A lingual arch is a simple appliance. It has two thin metal rings on either side, connected by a U-shaped wire. The rings, knowns as bands, are glued to the lower molars, and the wire rests on the inner surface of the permanent incisors.  

Eruption of second permanent molars 

The lower second permanent molars erupt ahead of the upper second molar between the age of 11-13 years. 

Upper Baby canine falling out 

The baby’s upper canine exfoliates between 9-12 years. The permanent canine erupts between 10-12 years. 

Complication – canine becomes impacted or erupts towards the cheeks 

A canine is the last tooth to erupt in the mouth, except for wisdom teeth. 

In individuals with insufficient space in the jaws, the canine becomes impacted (remains hidden in the bone) or erupts towards the cheeks or roof of the mouth. Such cases also require early orthodontic treatment. 

For full article, Is it normal if i only have 24 teeth in the mouth, click here.

Third molar or wisdom teeth eruption

Wisdom teeth are the last teeth to erupt and are also known as third molars. They erupt between the age of 17 to 21 years as you complete your growth and development and learn more life experiences.

Complication – Impaction and pericoronitis in wisdom teeth 

Due to their late eruption, they may get impacted if there is insufficient space in the jaws. 

The lack of space may allow them to remain partially submerged under the gums. The plaque accumulation in the gum pocket inflames the gums resulting in difficulty in mouth opening and soreness at the back of the mouth. This inflammation is known as pericoronitis. 

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