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When Do Kids Start Losing Teeth?

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A child smiling and pointing to her missing tooth.

As parents, we’re always concerned about our children’s health and well-being, especially when it comes to their teeth and oral hygiene. And for kids, there’s one common journey that connects them all: the adventure of their baby teeth!

On average, kids start losing their teeth between the ages of 6–8. But every child is unique, and this timeline can differ. 

You have enough to worry about, so your dentist can help you and your child navigate this exciting milestone.

When Do Baby Teeth Fall Out?

Remember that joyous moment when your little one’s first tooth popped up? It’s a milestone worth celebrating. But, of course, we all know that tooth will eventually have to go.

Kids typically start losing baby teeth, or primary teeth as dentists call them, between the ages of 6–8. But remember, various factors can play a role in this timeline. Genetics, overall health, brushing habits, and even an unexpected injury during sports can all impact when those baby teeth decide to say goodbye.

We can even guess which teeth are going to fall out first. The upper and lower incisors are usually the first to take the plunge. After that, the process typically continues towards the back teeth, although those canines sometimes like to stick around a bit longer. Still, by age 12, most kids have bid farewell to all their primary teeth.

What If Teeth Don’t Fall Out?

Timelines and the order teeth fall out is a general guide. It’s perfectly normal if your child’s teeth decide to operate on their own timeline and fall out in a slightly different order.

However, if you notice a significant deviation from the usual pattern or if your kid’s baby teeth aren’t loose after they should’ve fallen out, feel free to reach out to your local dentist for further advice.

Do I Still Need To Care For Baby Teeth?

A woman brushing the teeth of her child.

Even though baby teeth are temporary, they still need proper love and care. As permanent teeth grow beneath the gums, preparing to push their younger versions out of the way, they need the surrounding teeth to help guide them into place.

Neglecting the health of these baby teeth can lead to early childhood tooth decay. If left untreated, it could cause an infection in the gums where the future permanent teeth prepare for their grand appearance. If your little one is under 3 years old, an adult should take the lead in brushing their teeth. Once they’re old enough to hold a toothbrush, encourage them to join the fun! You can guide them in brushing their teeth twice daily using a pea-sized fluoride toothpaste blob. We always encourage parents of littles to follow through with brushing at the end to ensure a thorough job was done. Making it a family affair also encourages littles to spend more time in their own self-care routine as they see the examples parents themselves actioned out.

What Should I Do with Loose Teeth?

Navigating the journey of a loose tooth with your child can feel like uncharted territory. It’s completely normal if they’re anxious about this new experience. Reassure them that having a loose tooth is a natural part of growing up and is usually a pain-free process. If you have fond memories of your own tooth-losing adventures, share those stories to make them feel more at ease.

Now, if your kid gets the urge to wiggle their loose tooth, that’s perfectly okay. It shouldn’t cause any harm and might even help the root loosen up a bit. However, it’s important not to rush the process. Even though the tooth is wobbly, it’s still hanging on there. Forcing it out before it’s ready could be more uncomfortable than necessary.

In the meantime, you can make things easier by offering soft, easy-to-chew foods that are gentle on their tender gums.

After a Tooth Falls Out

When that little tooth finally decides to take its leave, your child might experience a whirlwind of emotions. Celebrate this milestone with them and offer some comforting words if they feel unsure about their new smile. Reassure them that another tooth will soon grow in its place, ready for them to smile out loud.

It’s normal to see a little bleeding after the tooth falls out. Here’s a quick tip: gently clean the area with a soft, sterile piece of gauze, or let your child gently swish around some warm salt water to cleanse the empty socket. If the discomfort lingers or the socket seems swollen, a dose of children’s ibuprofen could soothe inflammation.

However, if the swelling sticks around or the bleeding returns, don’t hesitate to reach out to your dentist.

Setting Your Kid Up for Dental Success

Losing baby teeth is a natural process every child goes through and an important milestone in their dental development. Understanding the stages of tooth development and when children typically start losing their teeth can help parents support their kid’s oral health.And Elevate Dental has your back! With compassion and care, we’re here to guide you and your little ones through this journey. Book an appointment today and elevate your smile.

Written by Dr. Krystal Hakkaart

Dr. Krystal Hakkaart is a General Dentist practicing in the North Okanagan Valley. She graduated from the University of Sydney in 2021 with unique training in Clinical Teaching and Leadership. Krystal moved back to Vernon (where she was born and raised) to share her passion and skill with her hometown. Krystal makes every effort to stay on top of current trends and developments in dentistry. Her commitment to continuing education empowers her to better serve her patients’ distinctive wants and needs. She is passionate about utilizing innovative technology and digital integration to offer the highest level of service, and deliver exceptional quality care wrapped in a gentle touch that results in an overall comfortable experience.

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