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When Do Kids Start Losing Teeth: A Parent’s Guide

Managing our children’s dental care can be complex. While we celebrate every little tooth peaking through their gums, we often question, “When do kids start losing their teeth?” The journey from baby teeth to permanent ones is filled with many milestones and questions.

In this article, we aim to clear all your doubts, provide insights into the process of losing baby teeth, and guide you on how to aid your child through this significant phase to ensure a healthy dental future.

What Is Baby Teeth?


Baby teeth, often called primary or milk teeth, are the first set of teeth that humans and other mammals develop in their early life. These tiny wonders typically start sprouting in infants around six months of age. But when do kids start losing teeth? This typically begins around age six, marking the start of the transition from baby teeth to adult teeth.

Although temporary, baby teeth play crucial roles—aiding in chewing, speaking, and establishing space for the following permanent teeth. Despite their temporary nature, it’s vital to maintain their health and hygiene. Poor care can lead to infections, diseases, or dental problems in adult life.

These small buds are the stepping stones for your child’s bright and healthy smile in the future.

Why Do Kids Lose Their Baby Teeth?


Children lose their baby teeth as a normal part of their oral development. When kids reach the age of six to twelve years, their baby teeth start to fall out, making way for permanent teeth to grow in. This is a natural process staged by the body’s biological mechanisms to accommodate the larger adult teeth, crucial for our functional needs like eating and speaking.

Losing baby teeth is a significant milestone in a child’s growth, symbolizing a transition from infancy to childhood. So parents, take a sigh of relief; your child’s tooth loss is a normal, healthy sign of them growing up.

What Are the Signs Your Child Is Losing Teeth?

  • Loose Primary Teeth. The first obvious sign that your child might be on the brink of losing a baby tooth is a loose tooth. It could be barely noticeable movements or a tooth that dramatically shifts when your child eats or talks.
  • Shifting Teeth. Prior to the loss of baby teeth, you might start to notice a slight shift in your child’s teeth to make room for their future adult teeth. This alignment of teeth changes can be subtle or more pronounced.
  • Itchy or Sore Gums. As permanent teeth start to push their way up, the gum tissue can become itchy or sore. Your child may complain about this or may frequently be found rubbing their gums as a result.
  • Late Tooth Loss. Late tooth loss is common in some children, which means your child might lose their primary teeth, including central and lateral incisors, late in comparison to their peers. This is normal and varies from child to child.
  • The Development of Sharp Canines and Adult Teeth. Another sign that your child is beginning to lose their milk teeth is the development of sharper canine teeth. These are usually replaced between the nine-to-thirteen-months age range.
  • Sprouting New Teeth. The subsequent sprouting of new teeth can be a telltale sign that the tooth fairy may soon be visiting your home. You may not spot the new tooth until it has fully emerged, but once it does, it is a surefire sign that an old tooth has been lost.
  • Teeth Getting Crowded. Crowded teeth, or when baby teeth are too close together, can be another sign. This usually indicates your child may soon lose their baby molar teeth, paving the way for incoming adult teeth.
  • Complaining of Mouth Pain or Irritation. Late tooth loss could make your child experience a deal of pain or irritation. If your child reports any pain, it’s important to ensure oral health conditions like tooth decay or gum disease aren’t the culprits.
  • Frequent Bleeding Gums. Don’t be surprised to find a piece of gauze or a bit of blood after brushing, as loose baby teeth might cause bleeding. However, excessive bleeding calls for a dental visit to rule out any systemic issues or blood disorders.

What Is the Timeline of Baby Teeth Loss?


1. Central Incisors (6-7 Years)


When it comes to the question “When do toddlers start losing teeth?” it typically arises around the age of 6-7 years when their central incisors become loose. This occurrence, often the first loss of baby teeth, is an exciting milestone and could very well be the child’s first close encounter with the ‘Tooth Fairy.’ Parents play a crucial role in this phase as they should gently guide their child and explain the process to help alleviate any potential fear or confusion associated with the loss of their baby teeth.

2. Lateral Incisors (7-8 Years)


Between 7 and 8 years, it’s the lateral incisors’ turn to make the journey from the child’s mouth to the tooth fairy’s collection. Like the central incisors, this transition from deciduous teeth to permanent teeth is a crucial dental milestone staying in tune with the child’s growth and development.

3. Canine Teeth and Primary Molars (9-13 Years)


The period between 9 and 13 years is an exciting time for dental development. The wiggly canine teeth and primary molars are ready to give way to their permanent counterparts (the sharp teeth and the molar teeth). Parents need to encourage their children not to rush the process and allow a loose baby tooth to fall out naturally to prevent damage to the adjacent baby teeth.

4. Wisdom Teeth (Late Teen Years)


Wisdom Teeth usually make their grand appearance in the late teen years, occupying the final spots in the permanent adult teeth line-up. It’s important to closely monitor the development and alignment of these teeth, as they can often cause crowded teeth or alignment issues.

What Should You Do When Your Child Starts Losing Their Baby Teeth?

  • Beware of Early or Late Tooth Loss. Primary teeth, or baby teeth, generally start to become loose and fall out around the age of 6. But if a loose baby tooth is noticed before the age of 4 or a baby tooth is still intact past the age of 7, this can denote early or late tooth loss, which a pediatric dentist should check.
  • Encourage Gentle Wiggle. When your child notices a wiggly tooth, encourage them to move it gently. The tooth should not be forcibly pulled out. It will fall out in its own time, usually within a few months of becoming loose.
  • Preparing for Tooth Fairy Visit. A Tooth Fairy visit is an exciting time and a fun concept that could ease the fear of losing teeth. Just pop the lost tooth under the pillow & talk about the gift or money the tooth fairy will leave.

Tips to Help Your Child Care for Their Permanent Teeth


Schedule Regular Dental Appointments


Dental appointments should be frequent. Experts recommend every six months. Regular visits to the dentist can ensure proper alignment of teeth and prevent dental issues such as tooth decay.

Implement a Healthy Dental Regime


Training your child to follow a routine of brushing teeth twice daily with fluoride toothpaste and encouraging flossing can help maintain oral health. Along with this, ensuring a balanced diet rich in calcium and vitamin D can help promote healthy teeth and gums.

Consider Preventive Measures Like Dental Sealants


Dental sealants help protect the permanent molars, maintain dental health and make the dental experience enjoyable. Dental clinics recommend them to eligible people, especially children who are primary targets of dental caries.

Teach Them the Importance of Oral Care


The use of fun concepts and tools like brushing charts and flavored toothpaste can make a child’s dental care routine more enjoyable. This can help them understand the importance of maintaining a healthy smile and make future visits to the dentist less daunting.

Limit Sugary Foods and Drinks


Excessive consumption of sugary snacks and drinks can lead to cavities and tooth decay. Encourage your child to opt for healthier alternatives like fruits, vegetables, and water.

Purchase the Right Toothbrush


It’s important to use a toothbrush that’s suitable for their age and level of development. Usually, a soft-bristled, child-sized toothbrush is best for children as it’s more comfortable and easier to use, ensuring all mouth areas are properly cleaned.

Secure Your Child’s Dental Health With Smile Greensboro: Request an Appointment Today


The journey of a child losing their baby teeth and growing their permanent ones is a unique and noteworthy phase in their development. Taking note of “when do kids start losing baby teeth” is crucial, as it helps parents ensure their children’s oral health is on track and provides an opportunity to instill good dental hygiene habits in them. Yet, it’s essential not to rush the process and let nature take its course.

At Smile Greensboro, we are committed to partnering with you to make this dental journey as smooth and pleasant as possible for your child. Contact us today to learn more about our pediatric dental services and schedule an appointment for your child because it’s never too early to start caring for your child’s smile.

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