It’s not always easy to know if your child’s tooth loss is normal— when is it too early to lose teeth? When should you be concerned? Taking your child in for a dental exam when they begin losing their baby teeth can ensure they’re on schedule, but this helpful guide can let you know if your child is experiencing a normal timeframe for losing their primary teeth!
When Should Your Child Begin to Lose Teeth?
Children generally begin to lose their teeth by age 6 and will continue to lose them for the next several years as they get their adult teeth in. If your child begins losing teeth earlier than age 4 ½, you should see a dentist to evaluate your child for any oral health problems.
Timing of Lost Primary Teeth
Generally, anytime within these years is normal, but a dentist visit can help ensure your child’s adult teeth are on their way!
Age 6-7: Lose First Tooth (Central Incisor)
The first teeth to be lost are usually the central incisors—these are the teeth in the center of the top and bottom rows of teeth, also known as the front teeth or biting teeth. Many children lose their bottom teeth first, but top or bottom teeth may be lost around the same time, which is around age 6 for many children!
Age 7-8: Lose Lateral Incisor
Also known as laterals, these teeth are the teeth neighboring the front teeth. They are usually the next to go after the central incisors and will happen with a year or around the same time as your child’s first baby teeth.
Age 9-11: Lose First Molar
The molars are those bigger teeth towards the back of the mouth that are designed for grinding up food. Your child will tend to lose these teeth a little later in their childhood years, around age 9 or possibly age 11. Your child’s adult molars should be on their way in!
Age 10-12: Lose Canines
Your child will lose their top and bottom canines around the same time, around ages 10-12. Many kids experience a gap in losing teeth between ages 8-10 after losing their incisors but before shedding their molars.
Ages 10-12: Lose Final Primary Teeth (Second Molars)
The second molars are usually the last teeth in the mouth to be shed. These are also the teeth that come in the latest during your child’s toddler years, so it makes sense that they are around for longer! Don’t forget your child’s third molars— also called wisdom teeth— will arrive around the ages of 17-21!
When Is It Too Late to Lose Primary Teeth?
Just as early tooth loss could potentially be a problem, so can late tooth loss. Visiting your dentist can help identify any problems that are present. If your child has not begun losing their teeth by age 7 or 8, you should be concerned.
Losing baby teeth can be a fun experience for children and is a great opportunity for you to talk with them about how important their teeth are to their health. The arrival of their adult teeth is a great milestone for many children, so teach them how to properly care for their teeth and visit your dentist for a checkup!