Dr. Greg Jorgensen
(505) 891-9440
1401 Barbara Loop SE
Rio Rancho, NM 87124

The Jorgensen Orthodontics Blog

At What Age Do Baby Teeth Normally Fall Out?

Posted by Dr. Jorgensen on June 11th, 2012

Pulled a Baby ToothMany parents worry that their children’s teeth are not falling out on time. At what age should the first baby tooth be lost? When should the last one fall out? Is there a predictable order?

The first baby teeth (also known as primary teeth) to come in are usually the lower central incisors around the age of six months. The last baby teeth to show up are the upper second primary molars, and they appear between 30 and 36 months of age. There are normally 20 baby teeth by the time a child reaches age 3. These primary teeth then remain unchanged for about three years.

primary teeth eruption chartNot much happens to the baby teeth between 3 and 6 years of age. Between 6 and 8 years however, there is a flurry of activity as kids normally lose eight primary teeth in rapid succession. Between age 8 and age 10 there is another two-year pause that catches many parents by surprise since they have become accustomed to teeth being lost left and right. The last twelve primary teeth are then lost between ages 10 and 13. The following chart summarizes primary tooth loss:

Ages 3-6: Not much happens
Ages 6-8: First eight baby teeth lost
Ages 8-10: Not much happens
Ages 10-13: Last twelve baby teeth lost

Although there are always exceptions, there is a basic sequence for the loss of the baby teeth. The upper and lower front four teeth are usually lost between the ages of 6 and 8. This typically begins around age 6 with the lower central incisors followed by the upper central incisors. The upper and lower lateral incisors then come in between 7 and 8. So by age 8, children should have all eight of their permanent incisors in place.

After a two-year break (about age 10), the next four baby teeth to be lost are the lower canines and upper first molars. These are typically followed around age 11 by the lower first molars. The lower second molars tend to be lost about the same time as the upper canines and second molars. This usually happens in the 12th year. In summary, here is the order in which baby teeth are normally lost:

Age 6: Lower and upper central incisors
Age 7: Lower and upper lateral incisors
Age 10: Lower canines and upper first molars
Age 11: Lower first molars
Age 12: Upper and lower second molars and upper canines

These are merely averages however. Some kids lose teeth faster than this. Others lose them slower. It is not unusual to see a 10-year-old with no baby teeth remaining, nor is it surprising to see a 14-year-old still hanging on to a few. The actual ages are not as important as the pattern.

If baby teeth are not lost in the right order, or if a tooth is lost and more than three months go by without a permanent replacement coming in, there may a problem. Some possibilities include missing teeth, crowding, problems with the tooth loss mechanism, or the underlying tooth is just crooked and it is not pushing out the one above it. These are all conditions that your orthodontist will look for during your child’s orthodontic evaluation. Your doctor can tell you if everything is normal or if interceptive procedures are warranted (i.e. having your dentist help move things along by removing some primary teeth). Set up an orthodontic appointment for your child around age 7 so that you can benefit from the expertise of a doctor who specializes in dental growth and development. Even if there is nothing wrong, it is always a comfort having that peace of mind.

NOTE: The author, Dr. Greg Jorgensen, is a board-certified orthodontist who is in the private practice of orthodontics in Rio Rancho, New Mexico (a suburb on the westside of Albuquerque). He was trained at BYU, Washington University in St. Louis, and the University of Iowa in the United States. Dr. Jorgensen’s 25 years of specialty practice and 10,000 finished cases qualify him an expert in two-phase treatment, extraction and non-extraction therapy, functional orthodontics, clear aligners (Invisalign), and multiple bracket systems (including conventional braces, Damon and other self-ligating brackets, Suresmile, and lingual braces). This blog for informational purposes only and is designed to help consumers understand currently accepted orthodontic concepts. It is not a venue for debating alternative treatment theories. Dr. Jorgensen is licensed to diagnose and treat patients only in the state of New Mexico. He cannot diagnose cases described in comments nor can he select treatment plans for readers. Because he has over 25,000 readers each month, it is impossible for him respond to all questions. Please read all of the comments associated with each article as most of the questions he receives each week have been asked and answered previously. The opinions expressed here are protected by copyright laws and can only be used with written permission from the author.

991 comments so far in response to “At What Age Do Baby Teeth Normally Fall Out?”

  1. roseanett says:

    my daughter age is 2 years 1 month she fallen so her central incisor teeth one is lost so i would like know that the central incisor teeth when it will come i mean on which age the new teeth will start to grow

    • The upper centrals normally come in around 6. Following trauma however, they may be delayed as the gums and bone actually heal over the developing tooth and impede its eruption

  2. B R Das says:

    Hello, my son is almost 8 years old. He lost both of him upper lateral incisors around 5 months back. Do we need to be worried as its taking time?

    • The only way to know is for a local dentist to get an x-ray to see what is going on. I would suspect crowding (the spaces where the teeth were lost are not as big as the teeth that need to come in).

  3. sara says:

    i’m 14 and i still have my cuspid/canine teeth. they aren’t wobbly at all and i’m pretty sure everyone around me (my friends) have already lost theirs. will i need to remove them?

    • That is a decision that your dentist or orthodontist will make by looking at all of the variables with an x-ray in hand. Sounds like it is time for an orthodontic evaluation because you are a couple of years behind already

  4. Darlene says:

    I am worried sick about my 12 year old son having his upper left canine extracted yesterday because the orthodontist wanted it. The dental assistant assured me that “there was nothing left of the roots” and the adult teeth were right there. Neither was true. The tooth was not loose at all and the dentist had to work very hard to get it out. There is a very deep hole where the tooth was. I asked the dentist if she could see the adult tooth coming
    in and she said not yet. Now I’m worried I shouldn’t have let them take the tooth. Should I be worried?

    • You should NOT be worried. If your son is 12 and still had a primary canine, it needed to come out. Although it may have looked to you like the root was long, that would be even more reason to have it removed so that the permanent one can come in. No worries Darlene, I’m not your son’s doctor, but I’m sure everything is fine.

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